2011 12 01 00001 Ubisoft DRM Servers Shut Down PC Gamers Again (Updated 1/08)

For the second weekend in a row, the authentication servers governing access to Ubisoft-published PC games are offline, denying legitimate customers access to important game play features and, in some cases, rendering affected titles unplayable.  This outage once again shears off access to saved games in Might and Magic: Heroes VI, but this time expands to afflict other titles including Anno 2070, the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom.

The service interruption has not been acknowledged on the publishing company’s main page, support site, Twitter feed, or Facebook page, the last of which is currently deluged by aggrieved gamers requesting a timeline on a possible fix.  The publisher’s forums are also offline citing technical upgrades, and are expected to resume service no earlier than Monday, January 9th.

Symptoms vary by title, but generally include the loss of access to multiplayer modes and the removal of important items and career progression features in Single Player mode.  The worst affected seem to be Heroes VI, which nullifies all progress in the game’s campaign by locking out players’ own saved games, and a percentage of Assassin’s Creed players who report their games launch with no sound or randomly crash during load screens in “Offline Mode.”  It is also impossible to complete a fresh installation of any affected Ubisoft title, entirely locking out anyone with plans to start one anew.

PC games unaffected by Ubisoft’s DRM outage include, but are not limited to titles published by 2K Games, Activision, Atari, Bethesda Softworks, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Game Studios, Paradox Interactive, Square Enix, THQ, Valve, and Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment.

–Update: Near midnight on January 8th, approximately one day after the DRM servers failed, the Ubisoft Support Facebook page made the following announcement:

PC Users: We are happy to announce that all services have been restored. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you enjoy your game. Please let us know if you continue to have trouble.

The publisher’s community forums remain down for their planned migration, but a look through the discussion forums on Steam suggests that all affected titles are back online and normal functions have resumed.