The Crew: Ubisoft Even Took Away the Licenses from its Customers!

This story shows that there is a downside to digital games: you can’t just pull out the game’s installation disk and run it (especially since there aren’t many physical PC editions left, or if there are, they only have the installer on them).


In December, Ubisoft stopped selling The Crew, and now it’s revoking licenses from customers on Ubisoft Connect after shutting down the game’s servers in April. Because it was an internet-connected game, it never had an offline mode. On Ubisoft Connect, the error message is “You no longer have access to this game,” and The Crew has been moved to the inactive games category. If you start the game directly from its folder, it will start, but only in demo mode.

This, of course, was not well received by the public. There were those on Reddit who called it the saddest and most reckless decision in gaming history. Someone else has always been in favor of digital media and said that there should be protection on a European level, that if you buy something, you should have unconditional access to it for the rest of your life. Some questioned why Ubisoft was doing this, since the game was no longer playable, and felt that the French publisher was so stingy that it was even trying to save server space. You can still download the game on Steam, but you’ll be prompted for a code when you launch The Crew.

On the Discord server of The Crew Unlimited there is a project called The Crew Offline+Online Server Emulation. They want to make the game playable offline locally and online without piracy or cracking by using a community server. PCGamer asked ChemicalFlood, a member of the project, how they were affected by Ubisoft’s move: “We are deeply saddened by Ubisoft’s decision to begin revoking licenses for this game when people have paid hard-earned money for it. As for the project, yes! We are currently working on a server emulator rather than cracking the game. Before shutting down the servers, we took the precaution of capturing network communication data. Had we not done so, the project would have sadly collapsed and the game would have been lost forever. Fortunately, server emulation is still possible. But no other patch is possible due to the large amount of DRM Ubisoft has placed in the game, which has unfortunately limited our ability to work on a fix, but not impossible!”.

byu/MorgonGordon from discussion

byu/MorgonGordon from discussion

And how did the Discord community react to the French publisher’s move? He talked about that too: “Obviously, Ubisoft’s withdrawal of the game’s licenses has left a sour taste in the mouths of every gamer, and has unfortunately made it so that the game cannot even be started without turning into a restricted trial mode. However, we can work around this new change they made without having to modify the existing game files, so the project is still on track! It should go without saying that the fact that the community has to implement something like this in order to continue playing something we have all paid for, especially something of this magnitude, is abysmal.

We love the game, of course, and we want it to be played for generations to come (my own son loved playing it on the PlayStation, “loved” being the key word!). But Ubisoft should have implemented an offline mode and they could have! The offline mode is already in the files, we just can’t turn it on because of the DRM. We hope that the Stop Killing Games campaign will mean that the communities and fans of these games will not be expected to restore every single online-only game like this,” ChemicalFlood said.

We’ve previously reported on Stop Killing Games, an initiative started by YouTuber Ross Scott. Ubisoft needs to be addressed, because if we let them get away with it, everyone will follow suit later.

Source: PCGamer,

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