Ubisoft's Uplay Becomes a Digital Distribution Platform

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Gamescom 2012 has already featured some big announcements, some revealing more than at this year's E3. Perhaps the biggest announcement of the show, though, has not been directly about a video game.

Today Ubisoft announced that its Uplay digital rights management (DRM) system has become yet another publisher-specific digital distribution platform for the PC. Uplay has now replaced the individual Uplay game launchers that are required to play modern Ubisoft games. The software will consolidate players' Uplay-enabled games in and will, of course, feature an online shop, a friends list, a chat system, and achievements.

Electronic Arts (EA) released its digital distribution platform, Origin, just over one year ago with many of the same features. All of those features, however, were modeled after the current most popular and widely used digital distribution platform for the PC, Valve's Steam.

To get PC gamers to download the new Uplay platform, Ubisoft is practically giving away free games. Starting today and ending on Sunday, Uplay is selling a specific game for $1 (1€ in Europe). The games, in order of the day they will be on sale, are: Hawx 2, From Dust, Silent Hunter 5, and Driver: San Francisco. Several other Ubisoft games, such as the Assassin's Creed franchise, will be on sale for 75% off for a limited time.

“Uplay PC is a great way for customers to discover Ubisoft’s games, connect with their friends and gaming communities, and win achievements and content that’s not available anywhere else.” said Stephanie Perotti, worldwide director for online games at Ubisoft. “For PC gamers that are already fans of Ubisoft’s titles or have been considering trying some of our classics, this promotion is a great deal, and our way of saying thank you for their support.”

When Electronic Arts launched its Origin distribution platform, it soon after stopped offering its games for download over any other PC digital distribution system. Whether Ubisoft will follow a similar path is not yet known, but already gamers are becoming afraid of being required to have many different distribution platforms and stores to play the games they love. Assassin's Creed III is still listed in the Steam store, but is not available for pre-order and has an outdated release date listed for the title.

Check out Ubisoft's trailer for the new Uplay to see how the service will look:

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