Oh Ubisoft, your relentless quest to burden the PC gaming community with the most diabolical DRM methods seems to know no bounds. We get it: you think everyone who double-clicks a mouse is knee-deep in pillaged software and suffers from scurvy.
Upgrading PC hardware is synonymous with PC gaming. Upgrade your PC too much however and you’ll need to purchase a new copy of Windows. This DRM practice caused a ruckus when Microsoft first introduced it, but these days it seems to be filed in the drawer marked “Just One of Those Things I guess”. You can upgrade elements of your PC and Window won’t mind too much; add some RAM, swap out a new graphics card, you know, normal PC gamer stuff.
Ubisoft, however, seems to think otherwise. If you alter any of your PC’s system specs, it’ll count as a strike against your limited installs of Anno 2070.
You get three installs when you buy a copy of Anno 2070, which means that you’ll be able to install the game on a maximum of three different PCs before you’re told to shove it and to purchase another license. This wouldn’t ordinarily be a problem for most PC gamers as the likelihood of you playing Anno 2070 for as long as three consecutive PCs would last you, is rather slim.
Website Guru3D however has discovered that Anno 2070 considers a graphics card upgrade an entirely new PC. They were going to run a graphics card comparison article based off Anno 2070 but they soon discovered that the moment they swapped out a graphics card to try the game on a different one in the same PC, Ubisoft’s activation servers kicked into “GTFO” mode and blocked the game from launching.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun thinks that this is likely a glitch in Ubisoft’s activation system, but Guru3D have yet to receive a response from Ubisoft’s support team regarding the matter – that was about three days ago.
We’ll update this post if Ubisoft responds. In the meantime, be careful with your limited installs of Anno 2070.