Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage

A recent tweet from AntiDRM spotlights an email from Ubisoft warning of the impending closure of a Ubisoft account. This is in line with Ubisoft's policy, which states: "We may also close long-term inactive accounts to maintain our database. You will be notified by email if we begin the process of closing your inactive account." This has been the policy for some time, but has caused fresh uproar since coming to light again since closed accounts lose access to purchased games. A tweet from Ubisoft Support responds to the outrage, saying, "We certainly do not want you to lose access to your games or account." If this was entirely true, there wouldn't be a problem, but there are accounts they want to, or in cases dictated by the GDPR, have to close. Here's more:
Hey there. We just wanted to chime in that you can avoid the account closure by logging into your account within the 30 days (since receiving the email pictured) and selecting the Cancel Account Closure link contained in the email. We certainly do not want you to lose access to your games or account so if you have any difficulties logging in then please create a support case with us. >> ubisoft.com/help
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60.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 25, 2023, 17:00
60.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 25, 2023, 17:00
Jul 25, 2023, 17:00
 
True, Prez.

As in protecting democracy or rights, it's important to make a stink anytime a calculated or erroneous move ocurrs.

But defending those who would despoil us without a qualm if allowed, what.
Let the self assured accommodative accept gradual lubed penetrative encroachment
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59.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 25, 2023, 16:46
Prez
 
59.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 25, 2023, 16:46
Jul 25, 2023, 16:46
 Prez
 
I appreciate the support but I don't share your pessimism. I think it's a simple matter of education that is only made difficult by the normalcy bias of what is evident all around them. If no one speaks out when these companies continue to blatantly violate consumer rights it becomes natural to think "Well, that's just how things are now".
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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58.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 25, 2023, 16:18
58.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 25, 2023, 16:18
Jul 25, 2023, 16:18
 
Sigh.
Prez, you are right, but you'll never convince them.

Here is an angle on the matter:

When Microsoft killed its ebook service and the buyers lost access to their books, MS reimbursed their valor.
Again: Microsoft. reimbursed. all buys.

Microsoft Is Closing Its Ebook Store and Taking the Books With It
"https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a27021744/microsoft-ebook-store-shutdown/"
"Those purchases will be met with a full refund, with a bonus $25 credit if you've actually used the annotations within the books software prior to April 2, 2019."

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57.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 25, 2023, 09:58
Prez
 
57.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 25, 2023, 09:58
Jul 25, 2023, 09:58
 Prez
 
LurkerLito wrote on Jul 25, 2023, 09:41:
Prez wrote on Jul 24, 2023, 13:15:
People get this wrong so often. It's not their fault; the narrative that has been pushed has been aimed directly at doing just that. In legal terms (and yes, this has legal precedent in courts) ownership of a game is exactly the same now as it was 40 years ago. When you bought a disc copy of Half-Life, you owned that copy. It was 100%, unequivocally YOURS. If you buy a digital copy of Half-Life on Steam, right now, your legal ownership is exactly the same. The mechanics involved in accessing, downloading, patching, and playing it are different. But your ownership is the same. Again, this isn't me talking; this is court tested and verified. All of the noise you hear about "you don't own your games anymore" and "once you started using Steam everything changed" is factually and legally false.
That is incorrect. Yes, your physical copy of Half-Life is "owned" but only what is on the actual physical disc. That isn't in question, but if you "bought" a digital copy that is completely different. The digital purchase (and technically all updates for Half Life) is bound by the Steam Subscriber Agreement and that clearly states the following:
The Content and Services are licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Content and Services. To make use of the Content and Services, you must have a Steam Account and you may be required to be running the Steam client and maintaining a connection to the Internet.

AFAIK these ToS, EULAs etc... have never been tested in a court properly. If you know of one that was tested and showed ownership of a digital copy please share a link. The physical copy thing lost it's meaning a long time ago when they started selling discs with only a steam installer on it. So on those physical copies you got a game but only really own the steam installer that's on the disc. To play the game you have to agree to Steam's terms and if you don't you had to get a refund as the only alternative to agreeing.

If you are saying that I am incorrect because of what Steam's EULA says, I don't even know what to say to that. Other than that maybe you should take a look at the many court cases in the past that have shown just how legally binding EULA's are compared to the law.

Tl;dr: in every single case ever brought before a court, when a EULA runs in direct contravention to what is guaranteed by law, EULA's aren't worth the paper they are printed on.

EDIT: I think also it is worth pointing out that you are misunderstanding what you own. The section of the EULA you quoted says ''ownership of the content within''; it is talking about protecting Valve's IP rights over the Half-Life franchise. Notice the "may" that is used? How legally binding do you really think that is? In other words, you do not purchase the right to release Half-Life on your own. It remains Valve's IP. However, you completely own the game, or rather your copy of the game. It has been proven in court (not the US, which is why to this day in the US this concept is so muddled) that you are owed a copy of the files that are on that disc, which incidentally is often a legal workaround pirates use when they prefer a DRM-free version of a game. You do in fact have the legal right to own a copy of Half-Life in any form once you have bought the game on disc or digitally. To whit, that is why back-ups are perfectly legal despite companies hoping you are unaware of this fact.

EDIT 2: I also just remembered that Steam's EULA has already been shown to be illegal in the European Union when it comes to the right to resale . I only mention it because it is a perfect example of EULA being null and void when it runs in contravention to the law.

This comment was edited on Jul 25, 2023, 10:49.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
56.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 25, 2023, 09:41
56.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 25, 2023, 09:41
Jul 25, 2023, 09:41
 
Prez wrote on Jul 24, 2023, 13:15:
People get this wrong so often. It's not their fault; the narrative that has been pushed has been aimed directly at doing just that. In legal terms (and yes, this has legal precedent in courts) ownership of a game is exactly the same now as it was 40 years ago. When you bought a disc copy of Half-Life, you owned that copy. It was 100%, unequivocally YOURS. If you buy a digital copy of Half-Life on Steam, right now, your legal ownership is exactly the same. The mechanics involved in accessing, downloading, patching, and playing it are different. But your ownership is the same. Again, this isn't me talking; this is court tested and verified. All of the noise you hear about "you don't own your games anymore" and "once you started using Steam everything changed" is factually and legally false.
That is incorrect. Yes, your physical copy of Half-Life is "owned" but only what is on the actual physical disc. That isn't in question, but if you "bought" a digital copy that is completely different. The digital purchase (and technically all updates for Half Life) is bound by the Steam Subscriber Agreement and that clearly states the following:
The Content and Services are licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Content and Services. To make use of the Content and Services, you must have a Steam Account and you may be required to be running the Steam client and maintaining a connection to the Internet.

AFAIK these ToS, EULAs etc... have never been tested in a court properly. If you know of one that was tested and showed ownership of a digital copy please share a link. The physical copy thing lost it's meaning a long time ago when they started selling discs with only a steam installer on it. So on those physical copies you got a game but only really own the steam installer that's on the disc. To play the game you have to agree to Steam's terms and if you don't you had to get a refund as the only alternative to agreeing.
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55.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 23:19
Prez
 
55.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 23:19
Jul 24, 2023, 23:19
 Prez
 
RogueSix wrote on Jul 24, 2023, 19:50:
Prez wrote on Jul 24, 2023, 19:05:
So it was NOT in fact much boohooing about nothing. If we hadn't made this as huge as it was, Ubisoft would have continued to try to encroach on consumer rights.

Bullshit. This one must have been the biggest nothingburger of 2023 so far. No one's account has been deleted or we would have heard it on Reddit or other so called "social" media. UbiSoft's criteria have been made perfectly clear and they are perfectly reasonable.

Oh well. Welcome to 2023... some uninformed asshole tweets some even more uninformed bullshit and things like these unfold in the process as every media outlet copies the other's clickbait headlines without even a modicum of fact checking.

Call it bullshit all you want. I know a win when I see it. No offense, but for someone apparently very smart you got a big ole blindspot for Ubisoft for whatever reason. Not me.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
54.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 20:43
54.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 20:43
Jul 24, 2023, 20:43
 
Dear RogueSix,

This for you from Uninformed Assholes Press. Also PCWorld.

"Could GDPR policy erase your games? It happened to an Ubisoft customer."

www pcworld.com/article/559218/could-gdpr-policy-erase-your-games-it-
happened-to-an-ubisoft-customer.html

Aww, took Ubi only 4 days to reply and update its policy, well, writing in french and all that mon chéri.

Avatar 58799
53.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 19:50
53.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 19:50
Jul 24, 2023, 19:50
 
Prez wrote on Jul 24, 2023, 19:05:
So it was NOT in fact much boohooing about nothing. If we hadn't made this as huge as it was, Ubisoft would have continued to try to encroach on consumer rights.

Bullshit. This one must have been the biggest nothingburger of 2023 so far. No one's account has been deleted or we would have heard it on Reddit or other so called "social" media. UbiSoft's criteria have been made perfectly clear and they are perfectly reasonable.

Oh well. Welcome to 2023... some uninformed asshole tweets some even more uninformed bullshit and things like these unfold in the process as every media outlet copies the other's clickbait headlines without even a modicum of fact checking.
-=Threadcrappeur Extraordinaire=-
52.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 19:05
Prez
 
52.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 19:05
Jul 24, 2023, 19:05
 Prez
 
So it was NOT in fact much boohooing about nothing. If we hadn't made this as huge as it was, Ubisoft would have continued to try to encroach on consumer rights.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
51.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 18:52
51.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 18:52
Jul 24, 2023, 18:52
 
PCGamer:
"Your Ubisoft account can be permanently suspended and subsequently
permanently deleted for inactivity taking your games library with it (Updated today)"

www pcgamer.com/your-ubisoft-account-can-be-suspended-and-subsequently
-permanently-deleted-for-inactivity-taking-your-games-library-with-it

Hey PCGamer had also got hot and bothered too.

ubisoft.com/help:
Update (July 24):
"Ubisoft now says that accounts which have game purchases or subscriptions attached to them are spared deletion for inactivity. The company has not explained the support message that seemed to indicate otherwise, but it has updated its policy page."

So, policy updated people, nothing happened here at all, move along, mind the blood blotches, thanks!.
Avatar 58799
50.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 18:44
50.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 18:44
Jul 24, 2023, 18:44
 
Sorry, my unending battle with long Urls.

This comment was edited on Jul 24, 2023, 18:55.
Avatar 58799
49.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 17:59
49.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 17:59
Jul 24, 2023, 17:59
 
Days ago, before it was posted here, between all the hysterics and clown emojis, there were multiple people saying it must have been a mistake because their policy is to not prune accounts with games on them.. Ubisoft should have been quicker to publicly clarify, not just give a generic Twitter support response.
48.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 17:47
48.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 17:47
Jul 24, 2023, 17:47
 
Nahh, seem like red handed salvaging to me

Nobody saw that all changing point nowhere till *after* the pot boiled over.
How was it an unimportant thing to mention before ?

Oh, thank you so much for your not so quick "clarification".
Seems the growing uproar made them relent.

Heaps of Ubi (fubick) sales on Steam today, no dice, nor deals anymore for me.

Hey RogueSix, go fetch some tasty game (employee of the month discount) !
Heh, kidding man
Avatar 58799
47.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 16:33
Prez
 
47.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 16:33
Jul 24, 2023, 16:33
 Prez
 
RogueSix wrote on Jul 24, 2023, 14:53:
UbiSoft has posted a clarification in the meantime. Contrary to what others claimed before, Kxmode was right as Ubi do NOT delete accounts with purchased games on them:

For many years now, we have implemented our account deletion process in compliance with the requirements of the GDPR (Article 5.1.e on the obligation to limit the data retention period). Our policies are aligned with legal requirements and with the standards of the industry. This measure also acts as a protection for our players against fraud.

Account deletion follows a very strict process. As such, we take into consideration the 4 following criteria before an account is deleted:

  • The gaming activity of the account since its creation
  • The account’s libraries: accounts that include purchased PC games are not eligible for deletion
  • The duration of inactivity of the account, meaning the last login to our ecosystem (including from Ubisoft games on Steam and other platforms)
  • In practice, as of today, we have never deleted accounts that have been inactive for less than 4 years
  • The existence of an active subscription tied to the account.

In any case, before the deletion is permanent, three emails are sent to the player over a 30-day period offering to restore their account. In addition, if the user tries to log in during the 30-day window, they will automatically receive a warning and a link to reactivate their account.”

^ So, yeah, as usual in our glorious historical era of the Internet and social media it was all much boohoo about (almost) absolutely nothing. Another episode of yelling at the clouds.

Speak for yourself. Your 'epiphany' doesn't impress me.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
46.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 14:53
46.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 14:53
Jul 24, 2023, 14:53
 
UbiSoft has posted a clarification in the meantime. Contrary to what others claimed before, Kxmode was right as Ubi do NOT delete accounts with purchased games on them:

For many years now, we have implemented our account deletion process in compliance with the requirements of the GDPR (Article 5.1.e on the obligation to limit the data retention period). Our policies are aligned with legal requirements and with the standards of the industry. This measure also acts as a protection for our players against fraud.

Account deletion follows a very strict process. As such, we take into consideration the 4 following criteria before an account is deleted:

  • The gaming activity of the account since its creation
  • The account’s libraries: accounts that include purchased PC games are not eligible for deletion
  • The duration of inactivity of the account, meaning the last login to our ecosystem (including from Ubisoft games on Steam and other platforms)
  • In practice, as of today, we have never deleted accounts that have been inactive for less than 4 years
  • The existence of an active subscription tied to the account.

In any case, before the deletion is permanent, three emails are sent to the player over a 30-day period offering to restore their account. In addition, if the user tries to log in during the 30-day window, they will automatically receive a warning and a link to reactivate their account.”

^ So, yeah, as usual in our glorious historical era of the Internet and social media it was all much boohoo about (almost) absolutely nothing. Another episode of yelling at the clouds.
-=Threadcrappeur Extraordinaire=-
45.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 13:15
Prez
 
45.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 13:15
Jul 24, 2023, 13:15
 Prez
 
People get this wrong so often. It's not their fault; the narrative that has been pushed has been aimed directly at doing just that. In legal terms (and yes, this has legal precedent in courts) ownership of a game is exactly the same now as it was 40 years ago. When you bought a disc copy of Half-Life, you owned that copy. It was 100%, unequivocally YOURS. If you buy a digital copy of Half-Life on Steam, right now, your legal ownership is exactly the same. The mechanics involved in accessing, downloading, patching, and playing it are different. But your ownership is the same. Again, this isn't me talking; this is court tested and verified. All of the noise you hear about "you don't own your games anymore" and "once you started using Steam everything changed" is factually and legally false.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
44.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 12:12
NKD
44.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 12:12
Jul 24, 2023, 12:12
NKD
 
This has been in their policy for like 10 years but rarely does anyone's account seem to trigger it, despite there probably being a ton of people with inactive Ubi accounts. I wonder if there are some other criteria that just make it incredibly unlikely for someone to hit it?
Do you have a single fact to back that up?
Avatar 43041
43.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 11:25
Jim
43.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 11:25
Jul 24, 2023, 11:25
Jim
 
The interesting aspect that nobody has mentioned is that with steam ubi games you have both a steam account and it links your key to a ubi account. So if the ubi account disappears does that mean you can link your steam key to a new ubi account?
42.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 11:18
42.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 11:18
Jul 24, 2023, 11:18
 
LurkerLito wrote on Jul 24, 2023, 10:49:
Prez wrote on Jul 23, 2023, 22:13:
Okay, I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt . I am less inclined to do that with you saying this because you are apparently a developer, as the green highlight on your name suggests. That's kind of sickening to me. If you think it is wrong that after 5 years, your car manufacturer wants you to call them so you can reiterate that yes, you would like to keep the car that you paid for, then you are not being consistent at the very least. Legally speaking, that car and that game were bought under the same perpetual license. You can verbally tap dance around the difference between a digital versus tangible good, but it legally makes no difference. If you don't have to make a phone call every 5 years to your automaker lest they come and get it, then I don't have to ask permission to keep something I own. To me it's as simple as that. Consumer rights are consumer rights. Period. If Ubisoft has created a problem for themselves by the way that they maintain their databases and how their DRM is implemented, that's their problem, not mine.
I 100% agree with you but understand we already lost this battle once steam took hold more than a decade ago. We stopped "owning" games the minute "digital" and "access" came from the game publisher/store instead of installer files and physical media that you can keep around with DRM that needs to check online if you are good.

BTW your example is flawed because technically, we don't purchase games we bought a license to use it but through another service with it's own ToS. In car terms the closest thing is we bought a lease to a car from a dealer. If your lease you signed says you have to do an oil change every 10k miles or yearly whichever comes first at the dealer service center, and you don't comply they can say you didn't follow the terms and reposes it. That is what Steam and the ubi store are the dealer. You kind of bought a perpetual license, but you can only access that license via the store which has a different ToS which effectively makes it closer to a lease. I don't know what Ubi's store ToS says, but Steam is spelled out clearly.

Unfortunately we all no longer read stuff like the ToS or EULA and just click I agree. Most of them like steam spell it out. You did NOT purchase the game, you bought a SUBSCRIPTION to play the game. That tweak to the ToS was made a decade or so ago because steam wanted the legal protection afforded by the term subscription as (IIRC) that was already tested in court.
The EULA that comes with physical copies of pre-Steam games also mention you not actually owning a copy, but merely a license to use a copy of the game.

How well a company trying to revoke such a license would hold up in court has not been tested afaik.
41.
 
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage
Jul 24, 2023, 10:49
41.
Re: Ubisoft Inactive Account Closure Outrage Jul 24, 2023, 10:49
Jul 24, 2023, 10:49
 
Prez wrote on Jul 23, 2023, 22:13:
Okay, I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt . I am less inclined to do that with you saying this because you are apparently a developer, as the green highlight on your name suggests. That's kind of sickening to me. If you think it is wrong that after 5 years, your car manufacturer wants you to call them so you can reiterate that yes, you would like to keep the car that you paid for, then you are not being consistent at the very least. Legally speaking, that car and that game were bought under the same perpetual license. You can verbally tap dance around the difference between a digital versus tangible good, but it legally makes no difference. If you don't have to make a phone call every 5 years to your automaker lest they come and get it, then I don't have to ask permission to keep something I own. To me it's as simple as that. Consumer rights are consumer rights. Period. If Ubisoft has created a problem for themselves by the way that they maintain their databases and how their DRM is implemented, that's their problem, not mine.
I 100% agree with you but understand we already lost this battle once steam took hold more than a decade ago. We stopped "owning" games the minute "digital" and "access" came from the game publisher/store instead of installer files and physical media that you can keep around with DRM that needs to check online if you are good.

BTW your example is flawed because technically, we don't purchase games we bought a license to use it but through another service with it's own ToS. In car terms the closest thing is we bought a lease to a car from a dealer. If your lease you signed says you have to do an oil change every 10k miles or yearly whichever comes first at the dealer service center, and you don't comply they can say you didn't follow the terms and reposes it. That is what Steam and the ubi store are the dealer. You kind of bought a perpetual license, but you can only access that license via the store which has a different ToS which effectively makes it closer to a lease. I don't know what Ubi's store ToS says, but Steam is spelled out clearly.

Unfortunately we all no longer read stuff like the ToS or EULA and just click I agree. Most of them like steam spell it out. You did NOT purchase the game, you bought a SUBSCRIPTION to play the game. That tweak to the ToS was made a decade or so ago because steam wanted the legal protection afforded by the term subscription as (IIRC) that was already tested in court.
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