Uplay is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications service created by Ubisoft to provide an experience similar to theachievements/trophies offered by various other game companies. The service is provided across various platforms (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Facebook, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, OnLive). The Uplay app for the Wii U was released after the launch of the console on 1 December 2012 on the Nintendo eShop. Uplay is used exclusively by first-party Ubisoft games, and although some third-party titles are sold through the Uplay store, they do not use the Uplay platform.
Responses to the platform have been generally negative, with coverage comparing it negatively to its competitors and calling it the worst part of Ubisoft’s games.
Uplay’s reception with reviewers and the public has been largely negative. John Walker, writing for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, called it a “technical mess” and saying that “it desperately needs to just go away” in the wake of a server collapse around the release of Far Cry 3 that temporarily made the game unplayable. Ars Technica’s Kyle Orland says that “Uplay has not exactly endeared itself to the PC gaming community”, describing a history of technical errors and problems related to its DRM. Geoffrey Tim, writing for lazygamer.net, called it the “worst thing” about Ubisoft’s “otherwise excellent” games, and particularly criticized it for running alongside Steam when Ubisoft games are purchased on that platform. Patrick Klepek, writing for Giant Bomb, criticized the same point, saying that Ubisoft’s desire to run its own distribution service offered no real benefit to consumers, and describing the tactics they used to try to get people to use it as irritating and unappealing. Writing a comparison for GadgetReview in which he compared the three major distribution platforms—Uplay, Valve’s Steam and Electronic Arts’ Origin—Shawn Sanders criticized it for using large amounts of memory while offering fewer features than its competitors. Summarizing popular opinion on the service, VG247’s Brenna Hillier said that “Uplay is one of the less popular PC DRM systems, but all your fervent wishing that it would die has not been successful.”