Ubisoft deleted this user's account along with his games for inactivity to comply with...

Daniel Sims

Posts: 410   +17
Staff
A hot potato: A man in Norway claims Ubisoft deleted his Ubisoft Connect account and all his games after a year of inactivity. The stated reason is GDPR related, but Ubisoft’s account deletion policy is very different from what happened in this instance.

Tor, who only wants to be identified by his first name, told PCWorld earlier this month he sold his PC in 2020 to stave off gaming addiction. When he decided to start playing games again this past summer, he found his Ubisoft account closed.

After resetting his password, Tor discovered his hundreds of dollars of purchased games like Rainbow Six and Assassin’s Creed were gone. There was just one email from Ubisoft warning of account inactivity, which Tor found in his spam folder. Ubisoft says it cannot recover the account or its games.

A Ubisoft representative said it deletes inactive accounts according to its interpretation of article 5.1e of the European Union’s GDPR law, which concerns how long companies should hold onto users’ personal data.

Ubisoft's terms of service say it can issue a warning and then delete an inactive account after six months. However, the company told PCWorld it doesn't just purge accounts with purchased games on them. It usually sends three warnings before taking action and hasn't ever deleted an account after less than four years of inactivity. The representative said Ubisoft support would reach out to Tor.

Tor said no other gaming service did anything like this. GOG and Steam support don’t say anything about deleting dormant accounts. Blizzard might change your WoW character’s name or delete your Diablo II account if either is inactive for a while.

In any case, let this be a reminder that when you buy most digital products, you don't fully own them. Also, account deletion warning emails could be problematic because users may think they're phishing scams or get filtered into the spam folder, as it was in this case.

Permalink to story.

 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,115   +2,531
TechSpot Elite
Game important enough to you and available on GOG? Download the offline installer, sans DRM. Otherwise, as others have said, it's just a rental.

I'm left wondering if I'll even complete the full campaign in DiRT Rally before my Steam 'rental' period is over. The only thing saving it is that DR2 sucked and the fans still play DR1. Though this is really due to DR's requirement of logging into servers to run. I assume when those servers are retired due to lack of interest, it's bye bye game.
 
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hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,327   +2,329
One more story to remind the consumerist sheep that digital-only purchases with DRM are nothing more than overpriced long-term rentals. Unless it's DRM free and the platform provides the means for offline archival like GOG.
We're sheep for not boycotting every launcher except GOG? lol And all because of this outlier?
I dare you to try to convince people to drop Steam.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,334   +5,546
"Ubisoft says it cannot recover the account or its games."

Bullshit. They could easily provide him a new account and the games he lost. It's all digital 1s and 0s, nothing physical required.

"In any case, let this be a reminder that when you buy most digital products, you don't fully own them. "

And this is why I only pay full price on GoG. Never pay more then $10-15 on steam, and I NEVER use Origin, uplay, or any other garbage account system. There's so many games out there I dont mind if the AAA trash gets missed.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 1,049   +855
I'm an honest guy and laughed about a tin foil hat commenter years back about a subject like this would never happen, well lately I find in tech or politics anything is possible and I have to eat my own words again.

Last few years have taught me anything can happen..............................
 

ET3D

Posts: 1,779   +415
I treat games this way regardless of they're digital or physical. A game is worth its price if I plan to play it, based on how much I plan to play it in the near future (which is typically not a lot these days). Planning to play in the far future has very little value, regardless of whether the game just stays in the backlog forever or is permanently deleted.

Physical games aren't that much better in this regard. I can't play any of my old C64 or Amiga games due to the inability to read the media on a PC, and most of my old PC games also won't work (or at least not easily) because of compatibility problems.
 

Dennis83

Posts: 41   +29
Deletion should not be free for them, they must be forced to fully refund all purchases tied to the account but I suppose their lawyers made sure this is completely legit in regard to their terms and conditions / use.

At the very least this was one more a$$hole move by them to eliminate of what is left of their public image. The worst way of many to treat their customers in order to comply with the law.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 685   +1,084
"he sold his PC in 2020 to stave off gaming addiction"

Sounds like he succeeded.
Can we talk about this a little more? That’s some commitment! It’s really pretty biblical lol—“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” At this point, Ubisoft’s stupidity might as well be divine intervention and he should just stay away from games altogether 😜
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,094   +1,678
They cannot be more shi*tty. All the money and time invested went down the drain because of some crappy guy at that despicable company. I cannot imagine to lose my 100+ games like that. Immediate lawsuit.
 
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winjer

Posts: 410   +1,881
They followed European GDPR law.

There is nothing in nothing in the GDPR that forces a company to delete a user account, after a year, along with it's games and services.

Quite the contrary, the GDPR states that data must be preserved to guarantee rights established by other legislation.

Ubisoft chose to delete that user account and made the excuse that it was the GDPR.
 

Versutus

Posts: 66   +44
One more story to remind the consumerist sheep that digital-only purchases with DRM are nothing more than overpriced long-term rentals. Unless it's DRM free and the platform provides the means for offline archival like GOG.

Sheep, I like that. Baaaa, baaaaa. Thank you, but your way to play and store games maybe differ from how others do that. In this case, I'm happy that I have a different opinion on the matter. That makes me a sheep? "happy baaaaa" I hope you have a wonderful experience with your downloaded, DRM free games.
 

mrSister

Posts: 67   +98
Ubisoft Connect. What a retarded store. Some time ago I tried to change the email of my account because the provider had gone out of business.

Since they send you a confirmation link via email, I just couldn't receive it so I contacted support only to be told that they could not help me and that I always could open a new account.

Good thing I only had a couple of games there that were free giveaways.
 

waclark

Posts: 319   +211
We're sheep for not boycotting every launcher except GOG? lol And all because of this outlier?
I dare you to try to convince people to drop Steam.
Nothing like a little victim shaming, right? I love how people lash out at others, "oh you're sheep for obeying the law", etc.
 

franticfrosty

Posts: 111   +119
Imagine if they did this to your steam account with 300+ games on it... You'd all be well beyond angry, He should be able to sue for damages and as the cause for monetary loss and damage to his well being right? I mean they did technically steal his games and cause him untold pain from his loss.

Can't wait for 2090 to be like yeah sorry you haven't had a job in a year so we deleted your bank account, passport, driving license and any evidence of you actually being an American citizen, this is in accordance to the data protection law. You can't apply for a job because we don't know if you've ever paid taxes or lived in this country because we deleted it all.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,206   +2,615
TechSpot Elite
This sounds like it was done in error because Ubisoft's own rules don't support it. Having said that, I still find it disturbing that this can be done, having your games taken from you like that. If the laws in Europe are like that, then games should have physical distribution there because obviously this setup is problematic.
 

waclark

Posts: 319   +211
Imagine if they did this to your steam account with 300+ games on it... You'd all be well beyond angry, He should be able to sue for damages and as the cause for monetary loss and damage to his well being right? I mean they did technically steal his games and cause him untold pain from his loss.

Can't wait for 2090 to be like yeah sorry you haven't had a job in a year so we deleted your bank account, passport, driving license and any evidence of you actually being an American citizen, this is in accordance to the data protection law. You can't apply for a job because we don't know if you've ever paid taxes or lived in this country because we deleted it all.
Yeah, it doesn't make sense. I understand the "personal" data aspect but how is the game code part of that PII? It's not, so I think the user has a case that they have taken his money but denied him access to the SW he paid for.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,206   +2,615
TechSpot Elite
I treat games this way regardless of they're digital or physical. A game is worth its price if I plan to play it, based on how much I plan to play it in the near future (which is typically not a lot these days). Planning to play in the far future has very little value, regardless of whether the game just stays in the backlog forever or is permanently deleted.

Physical games aren't that much better in this regard. I can't play any of my old C64 or Amiga games due to the inability to read the media on a PC, and most of my old PC games also won't work (or at least not easily) because of compatibility problems.
Yeah but these days, you can get emulators to do anything. Hell, I still play Ace Combat 4, 5 and Zero (PlayStation 2 Games) on my PC with the PCSX2 emulator. I've been playing those games with PCSX2 since back in my Phenom II X4 965 / 2xHD 4870 days (although I did upgrade to my FX-8350 soon after. People managed to get the almost all of the major glitches out of it and it was perfectly playable at the PS2's framerate almost 10 years ago:
Then they went a step further... Someone fooled around with the graphics emulation and figured out how to remove the interlacing and upscale the resolution. This was a game-changer (pardon the pun) because now the games look 10x better on my PC than they did all those years ago on PS2 without changing the game itself! It's pretty amazing that they could do this actually. The PlayStation 2's resolution was 480i and here's someone playing Ace Combat 5 at 2160p:
I also have a couple of C64 games that I have played with an emulator as well (specifically, Ghostbusters and Transformers) and I'm willing to bet that there's an Amiga emulator out there as well. Titles that old are all AbandonWare anyway.

C64 Emulator:
https://vice-emu.sourceforge.io/
Amiga Emulator:
https://fs-uae.net/

Remember that computers today are so fast and so powerful that running a virtual machine, even one with completely alien architecture, can be done rather simply with a code interpreter.