Ubisoft clearly does not learn. The publisher is responsible for bringing titles like Splinter Cell: Conviction, Assassin’s Creed 2 and The Settlers 7 to the PC with a particularly nasty brand of DRM attached: requiring a permanent internet connection to play, even the single-player aspects.
Understandably, PC gamers get pissed off about this sort of thing because, as is the case with 90% of DRM practises, the only people inconvenienced are the legitimate customers. Well, legitimate Driver: San Francisco customers, you can feel pissed off once again as Ubisoft has confirmed that a permanent internet connection is required to play on PC. This is made more confusing by the fact that two recent, high-profile Ubisoft releases didn’t include this DRM at all: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and R.U.S.E.
Console gamers need not be too smug as Ubisoft’s Uplay Passport will make an appearance with your versions. This is similar to EA’s “Project Ten Dollar” but with Driver: San Francisco, the single-use Uplay Passport will unlock the multiplayer component of the game. Fine if you’re a first-hand purchaser, crappy if you’re buying second-hand. Still, that’s not nearly as bad as what PC gamers have to deal with.
Don’t lose heart just yet PC gamers, because in the past Ubisoft has eventually patched out the pesky permanent internet connection requirement. This happened with Assassin’s Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction so it’s possible the same thing could happen here. It makes total sense: hinder the paying, early adopters, and then once the game has been pirated to hell in retaliation, drop the DRM so that it’s easier to pirate some more. Seriously, WTF?