Ubisoft Deleted Account With Hundreds Of Dollars’ Worth Of Games For Inactivity
If you haven’t logged in to your Ubisoft account or UPlay in a while, you might want to check on it now. The French game publisher had apparently deleted an account for inactivity even when it had paid games in its library.
According to PCWorld, the account in question had been inactive for more than a year when the owner decided to take a break from gaming. “In 2020, I sold my PC because I was gaming way too much and it went a bit over the healthy way of doing it. I made a choice to work and attend school,” said the account owner Tor.
When he decided to get back into gaming in summer 2021, he found that he was unable to login to his Ubisoft account. He was able to reset his password but later discovered that the account itself had been closed and permanently deleted along with hundreds of dollars’ worth of games. Tor added that none of his other game-related accounts had been closed, except for Ubisoft.
Upon checking his email, Tor said that he found an inactivity warning from Ubisoft in his spam folder dated January 20th. The email stated that his account had been temporarily shut down and will be permanently closed if he didn’t click the provided link within 30 days.
When he tried contacting Ubisoft regarding the email, the company’s representatives told him that they won’t be able to recover any of his games because his account had been closed. “If the account is closed, there is no way to restore it,” said the support rep.
While there’s a clause in Terms of Service that allows the company to suspend or close an account for inactivity, Ubisoft claims that what happened to Tor was a glitch and that they’ve never suspended an account that has been inactive for less than four years. The company also insists that they would never close an account with purchased games in its library.
Unfortunately, there’s also a clause in the ToS that no credit will be given back to the user in cases of account termination or suspension. The company’s support page also cites the General Data Protection Regulation compliance and freeing database space as the main reason why they delete unused accounts.
Ubisoft, however, says that Tor’s account doesn’t fit the criteria for deletion and that they will be reaching out to him to conduct an investigation on the matter and take the appropriate measures.
As for how other video game companies and publishers handle their inactivity, Valve says that they do not deactivate inactive Steam accounts. Period. They also don’t include them in active user statistics of data reports. Although one Redditor claimed that Valve deleted his Steam account which included several games and mods after 13 years of inactivity.
Epic Games’ ToS states that they may change the name of inactive accounts but says nothing about deleting them. Blizzard’s terms of service also doesn’t mention account deletion due to inactivity.
Riot Games, on the other hand, will suspend or terminate accounts if they’ve been inactive for “a prolonged period of time.” While Riot’s portfolio doesn’t include buy-to-play games, any DLCs or add-ons connected to the account will also be deleted upon account termination.
The crazy thing about this is that it’s perfectly legal for video game companies to delete your account regardless of whether you’ve spend zero or a thousand dollars on their games, as video game law attorney Ryan Morrison explained to PCWorld.
“They can delete your account for any reason they want,” he said, expounding on the fact that users don’t actually buy games from these companies, they license them. Using books as an example, Morrison explained that buying a physical book will grant you ownership of that book, while buying an ebook for Amazon Kindle will only buy you a license to display the book. He also added that Amazon can revoke that license whenever they want, as is the case with digital copies of video games.
As for me, I checked all my account and emails before writing this and thankfully they’re all there. Not that I’ve been inactive for longer than a week or so, but I just wanted to make sure. Thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.