Ubisoft Confuses Gamers With Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD Review

Concerns that Ubisoft will soon block people who have purchased one of its older Assassin’s Creed games from playing it have been allayed, thanks to a statement from the game’s publisher.

Why is this important: In the past 24 hours, we’ve had a new scene in the ongoing drama over whether gamers should be worried about losing access to games they download instead of buying on disc.

Details: This time the focus was on the 2014 release of Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD for PC, a game about an assassin in 18th century New Orleans.

  • It was recently removed from sale and stamped with an alarming warning on its Steam page: “Please note that this title will no longer be accessible after September 1, 2022.”
  • Not selling an old digital game is nothing new, but making it inaccessible to people who have already purchased it would be unusual. baffled press articles and sarcastic tweets followed.
  • But a Ubisoft representative told Axios that Liberation HD won’t suddenly be blocked for current owners who, in effect, “will still be able to access, play, or redownload” the game.

The big picture: Older video games regularly lose some functionality as publishers drop support for infrequently played games.

  • Companies cite server maintenance expenses for games that aren’t heavily used.
  • Electronic Arts disables online multiplayer for older sports titles, for example.
  • In this case, Ubisoft is disconnecting online services for the PC and console versions of several once popular games, such as Far Cry 3 and 2012’s Assassin’s Creed III, on September 1.

Yes, but then there’s the issue of downloadable content, or DLC, which some of those older Ubisoft games will indeed lose access to on PC.

  • Downloadable extensions have been a staple of major publisher offerings for over a decade.
  • Many can be played solo and arguably shouldn’t have the lifespan of long-discontinued multiplayer modes.
  • Still, some seem at risk of becoming unplayable past Ubisoft’s September 1 deadline. This includes DLC for 2012’s ACIII, which included an extended single-player alternate-reality adventure featuring a Native American assassin in conflict with power-mad George Washington who has declared himself king. (This expansion and Liberation are also available in a remastered version of ACIII, which remains on sale.)
  • Regarding the potential loss of such DLC, Ubisoft says, “We are evaluating all options available to players who will be impacted when the online services for these games are taken down.”

The bottom line: This is confusing.

  • Your best bet: play what you buy as soon as you can and cross your fingers that it still works a decade later.

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