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Ubisoft defends PC piracy measures

Publisher admits "choice is controversial" but "justified"

Ubisoft has released a statement defending its decision to apply a set of anti-piracy tools to its PC titles from now on, following what it called "a lively discussion" over the technology.

The publisher admitted that the move was "controversial", but that the system - currently being trialled in the Settlers 7 beta - would "lower the impact of piracy" and allow the company to "concentrate further effort on the creation and expansion of our intellectual properties for the PC".

The platform has seen a general decline in core titles in the past few years as the next-gen console cycle has taken effect, and piracy blighting a number of key releases.

Only MMO titles, which require remote server access, or platforms such as Steam, have really thrived in the core games market, while casual, free-to-play and social networking titles have rocketed in popularity.

The full Ubisoft statement is as follows:

"Ubisoft's number one goal is to provide added value that will facilitate and enrich the gaming experience of our PC customers. The Settlers 7 beta version is enabling players to discover that this platform empowers them to install the game on as many PCs as they wish, to synchronise saved games online so that gameplay can be continued from where they left off (from any computer with an installed version of the game) and frees them from needing a CD/DVD in order to play.

"The platform requires a permanent Internet connection. We know this choice is controversial but we feel is justified by the gameplay advantages offered by the system and because most PCs are already connected to the Internet. This platform also offers protection against piracy, an important business element for Ubisoft and for the PC market in general as piracy has an important impact on this market.

"Any initiative that allows us to lower the impact of piracy on our PC games will also allow us to concentrate further effort on the creation and expansion of our intellectual properties for the PC - our goal is to deliver the best gaming experience to our customers."

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