Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 2 belatedly released on PC yesterday, two weeks after its initial launch for Xbox One and PS4. However, as has become all-too common for the studio, the latest release of the hacking-themed title hasn’t been without incident.
The PC version of Watch Dogs 2 relies on a third-party anti-cheat system, EasyAntiCheat, to control unauthorised modifications to the game’s code. According to its website, the service is primarily used by e-sports game developers to prevent players illegally modifying their titles to receive an unfair competitive advantage.
However, Ubisoft’s use of this system seems to be rather restrictive for a newly launched game that doesn’t feature a competitive multiplayer scene. Using the anti-cheat system to prevent online cheaters would be one thing, but according to the application’s terms of service, and as pointed out by Tech Power Up, EasyAntiCheat installs a driver in kernel mode and a service that monitors users’ systems’ operating files when Watch Dogs 2 is open – even if they’re not playing online.
This service appears to be having an impact on legitimate users too, with popular streaming program OBS having its recording and overlay features disabled in Watch Dogs 2. Worse still, in some cases it’s preventing users from playing online entirely.
According to numerous user reports, EasyAntiCheat doesn’t seem to be triggering correctly, restricting players from being able to access Watch Dogs 2’s online multiplayer at all. A Ubisoft support FAQ posted earlier today recommends that “quitting and restarting the game should allow the multiplayer to be played without any further issues”.
On Reddit, meanwhile, Ubisoft community manager UbiBlargMonster acknowledged that “this is a known issue”.
On the basis of this statement, we would therefore expect to see that specific problem addressed in a future patch – but the likelihood of the developer ditching EasyAntiCheat entirely seems fairly unlikely.