There seems to be a trend in PC gaming to make the price of AAA releases the same as they were when they came out on consoles. Activision Blizzard started it all when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 made the PC version of their blockbuster first person shooter sell for 60 dollars, the same amount of money that gets a gamer the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360 version of the game. And Ubisoft now seems to be jumping on the price increase price wagon, pricing the PC versions of both Assassin's Creed II and Splinter Cell: Conviction at 60 dollars.
The big problem is that the same publisher, Ubisoft, is also getting ready to deploy some of the strictest Digital Rights Management schemes ever seen in PC gaming history.
Players will need to create an official Ubisoft account and log into it to play PC releases and constant authentication, using an always on Internet connection. Various outlets reported that for Assassin's Creed II, which is checkpoint based, an error in the connection results in the player being unceremoniously dropped to the desktop with all progress since the last save lost.
The new DRM is expected to limit piracy, which has been a big problem on the PC, and it will also offer players the chance to put their save games in the Ubisoft cloud, accessible from everywhere, with the game available for install on as many computers as the player wants.
But the problem is that Ubisoft is doing two rather unpopular things at the same time: introducing new DRM and increasing the price of games, which could be bought on other platforms a few months ago. It would be nice to see the company try to gain some good sentiment while pushing out the new anti-piracy measures. After all, less piracy would mean more sales for Ubisoft that could support a price decrease for Assassin's Creed II to around 40 dollars, a tag that might make PC gamers more supportive of its efforts.