The Aftermath of Ubisoft Closing The Crew Servers

Ubisoft shocked players of their 2014 racing game, The Crew, by closing its servers on March 31st. This decision left gamers unable to access the game, as it would only show an error message upon launching due to the servers being offline. To add insult to injury, Ubisoft took the drastic step of revoking licenses from purchasers and completely removing The Crew from their libraries.

Players who owned The Crew found the game shifted to an ‘Inactive Games’ section in their Ubisoft Connect libraries. From there, they could not download or install the game anymore, with a message indicating they no longer had access to it. The solution offered by Ubisoft to check the store for other adventures did little to alleviate the frustration of gamers losing access to a purchased title.

When questioned by Eurogamer, Ubisoft reiterated their earlier announcement of the game’s closure on December 14, 2023. The publisher cited server infrastructure and licensing constraints as the reasons behind the shutdown, despite the disappointment it caused among players. The Crew, a primarily online game, relied heavily on servers to function. Therefore, with the servers down, even those with physical copies were left unable to play.

Some in the gaming community had hoped that efforts to launch fan servers might salvage The Crew’s gameplay experience post-closure, similar to what had happened with other defunct MMOs. However, the removal of the game from player libraries posed a significant hurdle to such endeavors. The lack of access to the game files and data made it challenging for community-driven initiatives to keep the game alive.

In response to the closure of The Crew and similar incidents in the gaming industry, YouTuber Ross Scott began the Stop Killing Games initiative. The movement aims to generate grassroots pressure on governments and regulators to address issues related to ownership rights over digital products. The closure of online games like The Crew raises concerns about players losing access to content they paid for, highlighting the need for stronger consumer protection measures.

Overall, Ubisoft’s handling of The Crew’s closure has drawn criticism from players and advocates alike, sparking discussions about the impact of server shutdowns on the gaming community. The incident serves as a cautionary tale for both developers and players about the implications of digital ownership in an era where online connectivity is crucial for gaming experiences.


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