Today Ubisoft confirmed that their highly anticipated upcoming game Watch Dogs will require Uplay for PC. No matter how you purchase the new action-hacker, even through Steam, you will be required to be signed into a Uplay account to play it.
Uplay is a digital distribution service owned by Ubisoft, similar to EA’s Origin, or Valve’s Steam. Uplay has been known to introduce some unpopular features, then smartly retract them.
When it was originally released in 2009, Uplay required the “always online” feature that was also very popular with the Xbox One crowd. Luckily both of these platforms dropped that in favor of the once-a-day update which seems to be a standard now. Also, Uplay originally required some games to have a “passport” which included a fee to play multiplayer and online, similar to an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Thankfully in 2013, Ubisoft announced that the “Uplay Passport” would be available free of charge.
This news comes after Ubisoft’s latest release, South Park: The Stick of Truth was not required to be played through Uplay.
With more and more game companies requiring you to play through their proprietary server/services, I can’t say this is a huge surprise. These services offer things like achievements which people seem to love, and online ranking which is huge for people needing a stroke of the e-peen. For me though personally, I just want to log in and play a game. Having to log into Steam, then log into another account seems a bit like a bad Xzibit meme. Also, the fact that you are relying on Ubisoft’s servers means that their downtime equals your downtime, which is a big no-no for me. That all said, I think that Watch Dogs has drummed up enough buzz to overcome this setback, and still do well.