Uplay. Probably won’t though.

[Blog] Uplay, it's like that guy, who nobody likes, but he insists on crashing your happy time in the pub with your mates...

So, Uplay. Yeah. What can I say about it that hasn’t already been said? Lets think; it’s utter shite, no that’s been said by, umm, everyone who’s ever used it. Well, that’s it really. The download platform for Ubisoft’s PC games is something of a flaccid application, it does everything it’s supposed to do, except the one thing that really matters, please the customer. I am a customer. Does Uplay make me think “yeah! Lets buy that game!”? Nope. If anything, it puts me off. For example, I had Rocksmith purchased for me for my birthday by the wonderful proprietor of this establishment, Lozzykinz. It uses Uplay, and the moment my eyes met that God forsaken Ubisoft logo, I thought “oh for fucks sakes”…

Now, just to clear things up, I have no problem with unobtrusive, none limiting DRM. Steam for example is a wonderful piece of DRM.  It’s the fact that these other companies can’t seem to get the DRM right. They all fundamentally do the same thing, they check your game code against a database to see if you purchased it, assign it to your account and make sure you’re not logged in at multiple locations at once. However, this is a process that only needs to happen once, by one program. Most companies use Steam, which is great, it’s less hassle (EA, your Origin is so unstable and pointless, just go back to Steam), but Ubisoft feels the need to use their own personal crap DRM on top of Steam. Why? I didn’t ask for a threesome? And this isn’t the kind we want anyway, this threesome involves another dude, who isn’t interested in women… And he ain’t got no time for lube…

No, Ubisoft’s DRM is simply incompetent. It knows what it should be doing and it thinks it’s doing a great job, but it really isn’t. So, what’s my beefs? Well firstly, Ubisoft failed to supply steam with enough “keys” for all the purchases. See their facebook page, their forum or just simply the internet. So I had a “key” in my box, but that just unlocked Steam. Steam then has to pick ANOTHER “key” for using in Uplay, except, they’d ran out. Ubisofts answer? “Isn’t our problem, the blame lies with Valve”. Umm, no. I’ve been using steam for 10 years now, I know how it works. Publisher supplies Valve with valid serial numbers, Valve sells them to the customer. End of.


I finally got past that palaver the next day, but then comes the next hurdle, Uplay itself. Above is a lovely screenshot of my Steam download window after it had finished downloading Payday 2, note the max download speed. On top of that is the Uplay window, trying desperately to update itself. It’s going at a grand rate of 14.7KB/s. Now, nothing else is using the internet, steam has stopped updating and nothing is currently using my connection. So, why in Gods name is it going so slow? That was the fastest it ever got too as well. So after half an hour, it finally updated itself and allowed me to play!.. No. No it didn’t…

It crashed! Now I have the joy of it attempting to update at 14KB/s all over again. Yesssssss!! That’s just what I wanted!

The list of problems with Uplay is long, here’s a few off the top of my head:

  • You can’t merge your old account to a new one, I now have one on my Xbox and another for my PS3/PC.
  • You can’t change your name AT ALL.
  • Uplay games use your account name for multiplayer online games and, well, see above.
  • People opening accounts for the first time on the Ubisoft site are assigned a name automatically, this takes the form of “shop1234567891011”. Seriously. And then that name is used in multiplayer.
  • It’s unstable, it frequently crashes which boots you out of your game.
  • The servers are down on a regular basis, which boots you out of your game and you have to “restart” in offline mode. No auto switch like Steam.
  • The servers are unreasonably slow, as shown above. Thank God patches come through Steam.
  • Changing your personal details is more difficult than trying to perform fellatio on an alligator.

Basically, my point is, I don’t have one, I’m just ranting. Ubisoft have made some brilliant games in their time, but this whole Uplay thing is really destroying the experience for me as a paying customer. I can’t see why they’d use it when they’re already using Steam, a fully accepted, establish and reasonably stable platform. It makes no sense. Their servers are so poor and unstable that it’s enough to put any PC gamer off buying their games. In fact, I think Rocksmith will be my last Ubisoft purchase. Uplay is horrible and ruins the experience of games that are fantastic in their own right. It’s a real shame as most of the problems could be very easily fixed, though I’m sure it’d cost a significant amount of money. Uplays current state on PC and to a degree on the consoles too, is simply a matter of poor planning, poor programming and poor database setup. It could be fixed, I remember when Steam was garbage. But I doubt Ubisoft will ever fix it, not when they’re spending the time and money on stupid things like “3D avatars!!1!”




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