Ubisoft Backtracks After Backlash To Make DLC Permanently Downloadable Despite Server Shutdown
from the putting-the-'d'-in-DLC dept
You may recall that a few weeks back we discussed Ubisoft’s decision to shutdown game servers for several titles, including major AAA titles like Assassin’s Creed 3 and Far Cry 3. While server shutdowns are the norm after some period of time, as is the loss of certain online gaming features, notable in Ubisoft’s announcement was that anyone who bought the PC DLC for those games was simply going to lose all that bought DLC. Making matters worse, updated versions of the game on PC are available for purchase and include all that DLC, making it so that Ubisoft was tacitly telling gamers to just go buy the content all over again.
This, as you might imagine, did not go over well. Much noise and chatter was had online, none of it positive. As often happens, this has caused Ubisoft to relent with a partial change in plans. As the company recently announced, online gaming was still going to be shut down, but those who bought DLC for these games at least have a window where they can grab it and download it permanently to their local machines.
Significantly, previously purchased PC DLC for four impacted titles—Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3, and Splinter Cell Blacklist— will now be available to download and keep permanently. Players will have to activate that DLC on their UPlay accounts before the newly delayed server shutdown date of October 1, however, to maintain access and the ability to redownload the content past that date.
While the online multiplayer portions of those games are still going to be shut down in October, this at least keeps Ubisoft from disappearing DLC content that there was never an online need for. Honestly, this should have been the approach from the jump. If Ubisoft had come out and said they had to shut down servers for its older games but made a point of creating a window for customers to grab their DLC permanently, it would have saved a lot of headaches.
And, notably, at least one game is going to get continued support from the local studio developer.
The developers behind city-builder Anno 2070 weren’t willing to let outdated servers impact their game, though. After the planned shutdown for the game’s server was announced in July, Ubisoft Mainz responded by “dedicat[ing] some of our development resources to work on upgrading Anno 2070’s aged online services infrastructure to a new system.”
On Wednesday, the team confirmed that the effort was successful and that a new, 64-bit version of the game coming in the next week “will allow [players] to continue to play the game past September 1 and hopefully for many more years to come.” It will include full access to multiplayer functions and previous single-player progression, but the developers do warn that “we unfortunately can’t guarantee that old mods etc. are still working in this new version of Anno 2070.”
What this demonstrates is that companies like Ubisoft should put far more thought into planned shutdowns of servers for their games in order to do them in a way that has the least negative impact on their paying customers.
That a sentence like that even needs to be written out is absurd, of course, but here we are.