The notices on the games' Steam pages were erroneous, according to a statement from Ubisoft that was released a day after this article was published. The most recent details have been updated in the article.
Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD (opens in new tab) and Silent Hunter 5 (opens in new tab), two games on the list for which Ubisoft is discontinuing online support, briefly appeared to be rendered completely unplayable by the action, defying Ubisoft's initial explanation of which features of each game would be removed. Ubisoft now claims that the language in the notices on the game shop pages was incorrect.
Background: Last week, Ubisoft revealed a list of the features it would be removed from a selection of games produced between 2009 and 2019, including 11 for PC, by turning off online support(opens in a new tab). All of the games would stop supporting multiplayer and account linking, and any applicable games would also stop allowing players to access DLC. Only one of the listed games, the 2019 multiplayer-only VR shooter Space Junkies, would be fully inaccessible as a result of the change.
Since the announcement, Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD and Silent Hunter 5 have been taken off the market "at the publisher's request," and fresh notices have been posted on their Steam pages stating that the games will no longer be playable after September 1, 2022. While Splinter Cell Blacklist and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, two other games on the list, are still available for purchase with the notice that "The deluxe edition and DLC for this title will not be accessible following September 1st, 2022," the same notice can also be found on the store page for the doomed Space Junkies (opens in new tab).
This made it seem as though Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD and Silent Hunter 5 would become completely unplayable, but Ubisoft has since stated that current owners of those games "will still be able to access, play, or re-download them," suggesting that the Steam alerts were incorrect. The business provided IGN with the following statement:
"The forthcoming decommissioning will solely affect DLCs and online functionality, as indicated in our support article (opens in new tab). The ability to access, play or redownload those games will still be available to current owners. As the online services for these games are shut down on September 1, 2022, our teams are working with our partners to update this information across all marketplaces and are also evaluating all the options available to players who will be impacted. We've always wanted to do everything in our power to keep those classic games accessible to players in the greatest settings possible, and we're still working toward that goal."
This issue has increased existing concerns about the mutability of our digital purchases, combined with the PlayStation Store removing purchased movies from user libraries (opens in a new tab) in Germany and Austria. Owners of Silent Hunter 5 and Liberation HD appear to still be able to access their purchases, but the removal of online functionality and DLC access is unlucky.