Weekend Reading: Uplay Should Copy Origin
Ubisoft's service is in poor shape and desperately needs an overhaul
Ubisoft's relationship with PC gaming hasn't been the best one, as after forcing those who got its games for the PC platform to endure extremely restrictive Digital Rights Management (DRM) programs in order to prevent piracy, the company is now binding its games with the Uplay service.Many gamers should already be familiar with Uplay, as Ubisoft online service was introduced some time ago and actually has a pretty nifty idea: playing a game earns you Uplay points which can then be spent on extra content for that game or any other title made by Ubisoft.
Did you play Assassin's Creed 3? Then you can spend your Uplay points on DLC for Far Cry 3, for example, no matter the platform on which you got the two titles.
Sadly, on the PC, Uplay has been transformed into a sort of service similar to Valve's Steam or Electronic Arts' Origin. However, instead of turning it completely into a digital distribution program, PC games made by Ubisoft still need to be transferred separately through special downloaders, started up, and then introduced into Uplay, which acts as a glorified game manager.
Besides this inconvenience, Uplay can also cause issues for the actual games, as yesterday, when the service's servers went down, people could barely play Far Cry 3 and, if they did manage to start it up, they couldn't access core features, like the crafting mechanic.
While EA's Origin was criticized for not living up to Valve's Steam, it's currently miles ahead of Ubisoft's Uplay. It can download games, keep them up to date, easily allows you to register new titles, and is almost always functional.
When talking about Uplay, however, you need to download games separately and then start them up to make the program notice their existence on the computer.
Overall, if Ubisoft wants gamers to embrace Uplay, it needs to take it offline completely, rebuild it from the ground up with a firm eye on what EA and Valve are doing with their own services, and then release it on the PC.
How has your Uplay experience gone? Share your thoughts about Ubisoft's service below.