Published in Gaming

Ubisoft pulls the plug on 'The Crew'

by on16 April 2024

Gamer outrage as users don't get what they paid for

Ubisoft has just given gamers a stark reminder that they are renting access to our libraries and pulled the plug on the online-only racing game 'The Crew'.

According to Techspot the company had warned this was coming. But some miffed players say Ubisoft went a step further by revoking their licenses to even launch the game through Ubisoft Connect.

For those who invested in 'The Crew', Ubisoft's move feels like a betrayal. They find themselves locked out of a game they believed they owned. Attempting to launch it on Ubisoft Connect only leads to a message stating, "You no longer have access to this game. Why not check the Store to pursue your adventures?" The game has been relegated to the 'inactive games' section of the library, and while it can still be launched, it's only a stripped-down demo version.

Ubisoft would likely argue that since 'The Crew' relies on servers that no longer exist, the game is useless. It's a fair point, but that doesn't make it okay to take back products people paid money for, especially without warning.

Some of these unlucky gamers were hoping to keep 'The Crew' alive through private servers run by preservation communities. With the files now unobtainable, that dream is seemingly dead.

The disturbing part is how much control platform holders wield over digital purchases. The fine print in those terms of service we all mindlessly agree to makes that crystal clear.

Ubisoft's subscription boss, Philippe Tremblay, has said players will get "comfortable" with not owning games.

However, on Reddit, there are a ton of threads that seem to indicate that Tremblay is wrong. As one Redditor put it, "You don't own any of your digital library; you just own permission to download a copy, which they can revoke any time they want or remove from their servers."

Another lamented this as "the saddest and most ruthless decision I've ever seen in gaming history." They also called for new laws to guarantee lifetime access to purchased games. "I will always fight for digital media, I love all the advantages it gives to users worldwide. But we need protection on the national or European level, that when we purchase something, we need lifetime access."

Last modified on 16 April 2024
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