A hot potato: Has it been a while since you signed into your Ubisoft account? It might be prudent to log in as soon as possible; otherwise, there's a risk of it being deleted and your purchased games along with it.

Twitter user @PC_enjoyer, a piracy and anti-DRM advocate, tweeted a very phishing-like email from Ubisoft informing them that they have not been using their Ubisoft account. As such, the company has temporarily suspended the inactive account and said it would be closed in 30 days in accordance with the Terms of Use.

The message includes a Cancel button for the user to keep their Ubisoft account open. Again, this all looks pretty suspicious, but the company's support staff later confirmed it's not a scam.

"We just wanted to chime in that you can avoid the account closure by logging into your account within the 30 days (since receiving the email pictured) and selecting the Cancel Account Closure link contained in the email," the Ubisoft Support team tweeted.

News that users of Ubisoft's online store could have their entire accounts, complete with games, progress, other purchases, etc., deleted isn't going down well and has reignited the debate over how much control companies retain when selling digital items.

Like many others, Ubisoft reserves the right to suspend or end its services at any time. The developer states that it does not automatically close inactive accounts. However, as per its Terms of Use, there are instances where it may immediately close inactive accounts to comply with local data protection legislation, but only if it has strong reasons to believe that the account in question will remain unused.

Ubisoft adds that it may also close long-term inactive accounts to maintain its database, but "You will be notified by email if we begin the process of closing your inactive account."

As per PC Gamer, Ubisoft states in the voluntary account closure page that accounts cannot be recovered once they have been closed, which is why a 30-day cooling-off suspension period is activated before deletion.

The big question is how long a Ubisoft account must remain inactive before the threat of losing it and all your purchases looms large. According to a Twitter note, Ubisoft claims they don't close accounts that are inactive for less than 4 years.

Some commentators have noted that what Ubisoft is doing is illegal in some countries, even its home location of France, and that it feels like an underhand way to push people into buying more games on its platform.

Ubisoft, once voted the most hated video game company in 23 countries, is no stranger to controversy. Its decision to shutter online services for some of its older games across several different platforms last year, making some purchased content inaccessible, brought plenty of flak. There was also the ill-fated NFT experiment. Whether the company listens to the criticism and walks back its policy of deleting inactive accounts remains to be seen.