Ubisoft’s notoriously restrictive digital rights management (DRM) system strikes again, as Anno 2070 now requires owners to activate the game every time they make a change to their computer’s hardware configuration.Anno 2070 was released late last year on the PC as a new installment in Ubisoft’s long running strategy series. While it was once again stuck with the company’s infamous anti-piracy measures, which requires activations and online verifications, most users didn’t really complain.
Now, thanks to Guru3D, a nasty ‘security’ feature has been uncovered about Anno 2070’s DRM system. It seems that, unlike other technologies which just keep count on the actual PCs on which you activated the game, Ubisoft’s program takes into account even your actual hardware components.
More specifically, in case you have activated the game on a PC with an Nvidia graphics card, just like the guys from Guru3D did, and have decided to swap it out for another graphics card (from ATI or a different NVidia model), once you want to start up the game, you’re required to activate it once again.
Seeing as how you only have 3 activations on a regular copy of Anno 2070, this means that just a few upgrades would prevent you from playing the game you paid for.
Ubisoft took into account such a problem, however, but instead of removing this harsh limitation, it asks customers to contact its customer service and request that their activation limit be removed. Guru3D did this, but it has yet to receive an actual answer about its activation problem.
The website also contacted its local Ubisoft branch in the Netherlands, explaining the issue, but the studio just shrugged it off and told it to wait for a response from Ubisoft’s global customer service.
“Sorry to disappoint you - the game is indeed restricted to 3 hardware changes and there simply is no way to bypass that,” the company said.
This isn’t the first time Ubisoft had problems with DRM, however, as the older Assassin’s Creed 2 or Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood titles required a permanent online connection even if you wanted to play the single-player campaign. Ubisoft later removed such limitations, but it’s unclear if this is going to happen with Anno 2070.
For what it’s worth, Anno 2070’s DRM system was cracked by video game pirates, who are now able to enjoy the game without worrying about online activations or hardware changes.