What just happened? Ubisoft has responded to the widespread reports that it will delete user accounts if they've been inactive for too long. The company has now included an important caveat to the policy: accounts that include purchased PC games are not eligible for deletion.
Hey there. 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. We certainly do not want you to lose access to…– Ubisoft Support (@UbisoftSupport) July 20, 2023
The news worried PC gamers, especially as game libraries would presumably be deleted along with removed accounts. But Ubisoft has responded with confirmation that if you've purchased any games with an account, it won't be deleted.
Ubisoft also notes that logging into its games from other platforms such as Steam counts, and having an active subscription tied to an account also exempts it. The French developer confirmed that Ubisoft has never deleted an account that has been inactive for less than four years.
What's strange is that some of the important facts, such as accounts with purchased games being safe, didn't appear on the company's ToS or support websites beyond a warning that Ubisoft may "close long-term inactive accounts" to maintain its database. The latter has now been updated to confirm the exemption rule. It's also unusual that the Ubisoft Support team didn't mention this when it responded to the original tweet. Furthermore, the ToS says that users are informed of pending account deletion after six months of inactivity.
Another interesting part of the story comes from a PCWorld report in 2021 involving a Norwegian gamer named Tor, who after taking a break from PC gaming for about a year found he could not log back into his Ubisoft account. It had been deleted, along with all his games. Company officials claimed at the time that they have never deleted any account that has a purchased game tied to it.
Tor said he did find a single warning of inactivity and eventual account deletion sitting in his spam folder.
Full Ubisoft statement (bolded by the company):
For many years now, we have implemented our account deletion process in compliance with the requirements of the GDPR (Article 5.1.e on the obligation to limit the data retention period). Our policies are aligned with legal requirements and with the standards of the industry. This measure also acts as a protection for our players against fraud.
Account deletion follows a very strict process. As such, we take into consideration the 4 following criteria before an account is deleted:
*The gaming activity of the account since its creation
*The account's libraries: accounts that include purchased PC games are not eligible for deletion
*The duration of inactivity of the account, meaning the last login to our ecosystem (including from Ubisoft games on Steam and other platforms)
– In practice, as of today, we have never deleted accounts that have been inactive for less than 4 years
*The existence of an active subscription tied to the account.
In any case, before the deletion is permanent, three emails are sent to the player over a 30-day period offering to restore their account. In addition, if the user tries to log in during the 30-day window, they will automatically receive a warning and a link to reactivate their account.