Ubisoft PC activations track hardware changes

Like most PC games, Ubisoft titles carry a limit on the number of machines on which they can be installed. However, Guru3D has found that the limit also applies to hardware components.

The site set out to perform one of its regular VGA and graphics performance analyses on the recently released Anno 2070, testing the game on two graphics cards in three different PCs. That proved impossible when, after activating the game on each rig, he switched graphics cards only to be met with an activation prompt and subsequent message that he had used his entire allocation.

When he explained his predicament to Ubisoft, its Dutch division replied: "Sorry to disappoint you – the game is indeed restricted to three hardware changes and there simply is no way to bypass that. We also do not have seven copies of the game for you."

Ubisoft spent much of 2011 getting on the wrong side of PC gamers with its use of DRM, and it appears that our hopes of a fresh start in 2012 were misguided. Happily, developer Bluebyte was rather more sympathetic to the reviewer's plight. "Our key has been pretty much unlocked," the reviewer explains, "allowing us to properly work on this article."

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