Ubisoft has confirmed that it will not use the much-despised StarForce DRM mechanism in upcoming PC games. Instead, the company will rely on its new online services platform for anti-piracy protection. The new scheme is reportedly present in the Settlers 7 beta.

Ubisoft said in a statement that the new online platform allows users to install titles on as many computers as they wish, play games without a CD or DVD, and even it supports saved game synchronizations between systems via the Internet.

There is a catch, though: the platform requires a permanent Internet connection. Acknowledging its decision is controversial, Ubisoft said the connection requirement is justified "by the gameplay advantages offered by the system and because most PCs are already connected to the Internet."

The company added, "any initiative that allows us to lower the impact of piracy on our PC games will also allow us to concentrate further effort on the creation and expansion of our intellectual properties."