Ubisoft server switch to render always-online DRM games unplayable next week

Might and Magic Heroes preview thumb

Ubisoft are having a bit of a hardware reshuffle next week, according to Eurogamer , which means major disruption to their DRM servers.

Games that use Ubisoft's always-online DRM system ping these constantly to reassure the publishers that you're not a pirate. That means that next week's switchover will render Tom Clancy's HAWX 2, Might & Magic: Heroes 6 and The Settlers 7 unplayable for an unknown period of time. The servers are set to go down on February 7. Ubisoft don't say when they'll be back up again.

Other games will be playable offline, as long as you've completed the one-time activation process. If you haven't, you won't be able to activate them for the duration of the downtime. Big recent releases like Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Driver: Francisco, however, will stay online for the duration of the switch-over.

Ubisoft told us that their hyper-strict DRM restrictions (which extend to limited activations tied to your graphics card ) are considered to be " a success ." They told us their anti-piracy measures had resulted in "a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection.” For many, next week's server outages will only reinforce their decision to steer clear of Ubisoft's games entirely.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.