Ubisoft Backtracks After Backlash To Make DLC Permanently Downloadable Despite Server Shutdown

from put-the-‘d’-in-DLC department

You may recall that a few weeks ago we discussed Ubisoft’s decision to shut down game servers for several titles, including major AAA titles like Assassin’s Creed 3 and Far Cry 3. While server downtime is the norm after a while, as is the loss of some online gaming functionality, it’s worth noting in Ubisoft’s announcement that anyone who purchased the PC DLC for these games was simply going to lose any purchased DLC. Worse still, updated versions of the PC game are available for purchase that include all of these DLCs, resulting in Ubisoft tacitly telling players to purchase the content again.

This, as you can imagine, did not go well. Lots of noise and chatter took place online, nothing positive. As often happens, this caused Ubisoft to cave in with a partial change of plans. As the company recently announced, online games were still going to be shut down, but those who purchased DLC for those games at least have a window where they can pick it up and permanently download it to their local machines.

Significantly, previously purchased PC DLCs for four affected 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 need to activate this DLC on their UPlay accounts before the newly delayed server shutdown date of October 1, however, to maintain access and the ability to redownload content after that date.

While the online multiplayer portions of these games are still shut down in October, that at least prevents Ubisoft from dropping DLC ​​content it never needed online. Honestly, that should have been the jump approach. If Ubisoft had come out and said it had to shut down the servers for its old 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 will have continued support from the local studio developer.

However, the developers behind city builder Anno 2070 were unwilling to let outdated servers affect their gameplay.[ing] some of our development resources to work on upgrading the old Anno 2070 online services infrastructure to a new system.

On Wednesday, the team confirmed that the effort had been successful and that a new 64-bit version of the game coming next week “will allow [players] continue playing the game after September 1st and hopefully for many years to come. It will include full access to multiplayer features and previous single-player progression, but the developers warn that “unfortunately we cannot guarantee that old mods etc. will still work in this new version of Anno 2070”.

What this demonstrates is that companies like Ubisoft should put a lot more thought into planned server shutdowns for their games 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 is absurd, of course, but here we are.

Filed Under: assassin’s creed 3, dlc, far cry 3, game servers

Companies: ubisoft

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