Ubisoft is shutting down online services for nearly a dozen games

Shawn Knight

Posts: 15,291   +192
Staff member
Bottom line: Ubisoft has announced plans to decommission online services for nearly a dozen games across a variety of platforms. It is not the first time we've seen the company disable online features for its games, and it's likely not going to be the last. In the company's defense, it simply doesn't make sense (financially or otherwise) to continue supporting dusty titles well past their prime.

Effective January 25, 2024, the following games will no longer support multiplayer functionality:

  • Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)
  • Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (Mac)
  • Assassin's Creed Liberation HD (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
  • Assassin's Creed Revelations (PC)
  • Ghost Recon Future Soldier (PC)
  • Heroes of Might and Magic VI (PC)
  • NCIS (PC)
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction (Xbox 360)
  • R.U.S.E. (PC)
  • Trials Evolution (PC)

In addition to losing multiplayer support, gamers will no longer be able to link Ubisoft accounts in-game or use other online features. Furthermore, the Ubisoft Connect rewards program will also be suspended for these titles.

In announcing the pending shutdowns, Ubisoft said it does not take such actions lightly but noted it is necessary as the tech behind certain services becomes outdated.

In this instance, it is hard to blame Ubisoft for their actions. The soon-to-be-decommissioned titles are all at least a decade old at this point – Assassin's Creed II came out in 2009, for example – and some are on platforms that are multiple generations old. Unfortunately, most online games have an expiration date and for these, that time is near.

Even if Ubisoft wanted to continue online support for these games, it wouldn't make financial sense to do so. I can't imagine any of these old titles have much of an online following these days, and it no doubt costs more to maintain online servers than it is worth. Simply put, it's time and money that could be better spent on other projects.

Just last month, Nintendo announced it would be ending online play and support for 3DS and Wii U games in April 2024.

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In light if this "tradition" I only have more respect for devs that allow communities to mod change and keep good games alive.
This is the best PC gaming has to offer.
 
The cleanest approach to me would be full disclosure, prior to sale, of how long each type of functionality would be supported. Gamers could then make an informed choice as to if the time period was acceptable to them.

For cases where the period was not defined up front, some sort of standard uniform commercial code type approach should kick in.

An interesting trade-off might be requiring publishers to open source the server-components (and allow clients to connect to private servers) at the time they wish to discontinue providing the service themselves.

A larger strategic problem, in which recreational gaming is not any important part, is we may wish to consider that during some future war or disaster or other disruption, network connectivity may become unstable for extended periods. We'd be smart if everyday infrastructure was designed to have workable offline modes.
 
It would be far better if as they "retired" games, they put them into public domain so players could set up their own servers and support them with their own codes, etc. After all, if the company has retired them there is no further expectation of revenue so their is no financial reason to say no. I think a company that did that would distingush itself and see it's revenue's expand on other games .......
 
People who buy games that need online functionality to function or those that require constant online connection to play, have to face this situation one day.

I never liked depending on online to play my games. Not a fan of multiplayer too.

(But I don't mind playing peer to peer connected TCP/IP games, like the original Diablo II or other LAN over IP games from DOS/Win9x era, with friends.)
 
I dont like how techspot is trying to run interference for ubisoft. "in this case its understandable" No Its Not. These games use the same infrastructure as their current crop. If player numbers are so low, it costs peanuts to keep servers up, and big multi billion dollar gaming companies can afford it.

Ubisoft is just plain greedy. Remember this is the same company that tried to shove NFTs into EVERYTHING they made to make more money, and stubbornly insists on always online DRM in single player games.
 
But are this games playable after this shutdown? It would be nice (or the correct thing) from them to give patch that would allow you to keep on using the game, even set up your own server for small MP matches. It's nonsense the fact the you can buy a game and 10 years later the company decides to close the servers and prevent you for playing.
 
It would be far better if as they "retired" games, they put them into public domain so players could set up their own servers and support them with their own codes, etc. After all, if the company has retired them there is no further expectation of revenue so their is no financial reason to say no. I think a company that did that would distingush itself and see it's revenue's expand on other games .......

Imagine a community arising that would make money for #whatever reason. Cannot let that happen!

No in all seriousness: I am old enough that buying a game yielded you a perfect 1:1 copy for the game that would run infinite and even without a vendors requirement. The product was actually yours, with a hard box, a product and a personal key.

But are this games playable after this shutdown? It would be nice (or the correct thing) from them to give patch that would allow you to keep on using the game, even set up your own server for small MP matches. It's nonsense the fact the you can buy a game and 10 years later the company decides to close the servers and prevent you for playing.

Only single player feature would do. Games with multiplayer support would come to an end.
 
The only game I own from this list is RUSE... I realised quite quickly that ubisoft didn't deserved my money anymore
 
But are this games playable after this shutdown? It would be nice (or the correct thing) from them to give patch that would allow you to keep on using the game, even set up your own server for small MP matches. It's nonsense the fact the you can buy a game and 10 years later the company decides to close the servers and prevent you for playing.
1) Those games will not be make playable ever again, at least the multiplayer/online aspect of it, and if the single player is forcefully made online dependent(for example THE Crew series), that also goes for good.
2) As of now, no publisher want and order the devs to mach patch for decommissioned online game to be played in single player or with the defunct LAN/LINK, and I doubt Ubisoft will do it.
3) That why digital only games is a no-no, simply because they are tied to a server and online account - when any of those is lost, there goes your games to.
 
1) Those games will not be make playable ever again, at least the multiplayer/online aspect of it, and if the single player is forcefully made online dependent(for example THE Crew series), that also goes for good.
2) As of now, no publisher want and order the devs to mach patch for decommissioned online game to be played in single player or with the defunct LAN/LINK, and I doubt Ubisoft will do it.
3) That why digital only games is a no-no, simply because they are tied to a server and online account - when any of those is lost, there goes your games to.
So we are basically dependant on the modding community and their ability to make this games playable. I see the problem and it sucks. But even if you buy a physical copy, some games make you download all the essentials files making the DVD (or wherever) a glorified updater.
The key I believe is not in not promoting digital games, but in promoting a way to make them playable even if the publisher does not longer support it. And of course that physical games should still be a thing, but maybe they should ship them with a complete version of the game (day 1 patch) which means shipping them after the release of the digital version and in a compatible storage device (maybe a thumb drive?).
 
1) Those games will not be make playable ever again, at least the multiplayer/online aspect of it, and if the single player is forcefully made online dependent(for example THE Crew series), that also goes for good.
2) As of now, no publisher want and order the devs to mach patch for decommissioned online game to be played in single player or with the defunct LAN/LINK, and I doubt Ubisoft will do it.
3) That why digital only games is a no-no, simply because they are tied to a server and online account - when any of those is lost, there goes your games to.
That's why people should go with GoG if they want no kind of digital DRM that may prevent them from playing games in the future. Download the game files to your side, keep them where you want and install them when you want. With GoG you should never have to worry about any single player game not working for you (outside of hardware/software requirements).

That's why I don't purchase games anywhere else and the same goes for media. I don't buy movies/shows on Prime or other digital platforms. If I can't get a DVD/BD for a movie or show, I won't put money towards it. I love the nearly 1100 movies and 4 dozen TV series I have on physical media; got them all copied to my plex server and I've got multiple DVD players and even a functional VHS player for the 3-4 dozen VHS tapes I still have. Folks are giving up a lot by going digital only and most of them don't realize it.
 
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