Bottom line: Ubisoft has announced plans to decommission online services for nearly a dozen games across a variety of platforms. It is not the first time we've seen the company disable online features for its games, and it's likely not going to be the last. In the company's defense, it simply doesn't make sense (financially or otherwise) to continue supporting dusty titles well past their prime.
Effective January 25, 2024, the following games will no longer support multiplayer functionality:
- Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)
- Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (Mac)
- Assassin's Creed Liberation HD (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Assassin's Creed Revelations (PC)
- Ghost Recon Future Soldier (PC)
- Heroes of Might and Magic VI (PC)
- NCIS (PC)
- Splinter Cell: Conviction (Xbox 360)
- R.U.S.E. (PC)
- Trials Evolution (PC)
In addition to losing multiplayer support, gamers will no longer be able to link Ubisoft accounts in-game or use other online features. Furthermore, the Ubisoft Connect rewards program will also be suspended for these titles.
In announcing the pending shutdowns, Ubisoft said it does not take such actions lightly but noted it is necessary as the tech behind certain services becomes outdated.
In this instance, it is hard to blame Ubisoft for their actions. The soon-to-be-decommissioned titles are all at least a decade old at this point – Assassin's Creed II came out in 2009, for example – and some are on platforms that are multiple generations old. Unfortunately, most online games have an expiration date and for these, that time is near.
Even if Ubisoft wanted to continue online support for these games, it wouldn't make financial sense to do so. I can't imagine any of these old titles have much of an online following these days, and it no doubt costs more to maintain online servers than it is worth. Simply put, it's time and money that could be better spent on other projects.
Just last month, Nintendo announced it would be ending online play and support for 3DS and Wii U games in April 2024.