Update 7/24/23: Tom's Guide received clarification from Ubisoft about its policy following publication, which has been added to the article below
Here's a not-so-fun fact: Apparently leaving a Ubisoft account inactive for too long puts it at risk of permanent deletion. So if you have a Ubisoft account and can't remember the last time you used it, now's the time to log in before you're locked out forever.
Ubisoft, the publisher behind Assassin's Creed, Far Cry and other series, has confirmed it's temporarily suspending accounts tied to its digital storefront that it deems to be "inactive" after a screenshot of a Ubisoft support email saying as much went viral this week. A piracy- and anti-DRM-focused Twitter account @PC_enjoyer posted the warning email they received informing them their account had been suspended and would be permanently closed if not accessed within 30 days. The message reads:
It's a policy that's been in effect since at least 2021, but many users (myself included) were unaware of it before this week. The idea that Ubisoft could suspend your account simply for not using it had commenters scratching their heads. After all, that's not something you have to worry about with the best games on Steam or other video game storefronts. Several wondered whether this could actually be some kind of phishing scam. But Ubisoft's verified support account confirmed it was the real deal in a response to the tweet a few days later.
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…July 20, 2023
"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," Ubisoft Support wrote. "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."
A Ubisoft rep reached out to Tom's Guide to clarify that "accounts that include purchased PC games are not eligible for deletion" — meaning your game library isn't at risk of disappearing if you forget to log into your Ubisoft account for a while.
According to a support page on Ubisoft's website, the company only closes accounts if it has "strong reasons" to believe the account in question will remain unused. It goes on to say long-term inactive accounts may also be closed to free up space in Ubisoft's databases. However, in rare cases, it may immediately close inactive accounts "to comply with local data protection legislation."
The support page links to another regarding voluntarily closing your Ubisoft account. The steps appear to be the same — the user receives an email warning them that they have 30 days to restore their suspended account before it's permanently deleted. Most noteworthy of all, there doesn't appear to be a way to reverse the process; once your account is closed, it's apparently gone for good.
"As we will be unable to recover the account once it has been closed, we strongly recommend only putting the request in if you are absolutely sure you would like to close your account," Ubisoft says.
Previously Ubisoft has cited legislation like the EU's General Data Protection Regulations, which govern how the personal data of individuals in the EU may be processed and transferred, for this policy. Though it's worth noting that other video game giants like Blizzard, Steam and Epic Games do not delete long-inactive accounts tied to their storefronts.
Ubisoft's international terms of service agreement states it will notify accounts that have been inactive for more than six months about possible termination. But apparently, that timeline is much more flexible in practice. Ubisoft told Tom's Guide that "as of today, we have never deleted accounts that have been inactive for less than 4 years."
Ubisoft Support claimed in several responses on Twitter that it would not automatically delete accounts after six months of inactivity, so there's a chance could be in the process of amending its policy in response to all the backlash. Regardless, it's time to dust off your Ubisoft account just to be safe.
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Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.
Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats. She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.