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News video games 03 May 2019, 19:51

author: Jacob Blazewicz

No More Serial Keys? Ubisoft Has A New Idea For Digital Distribution

Ubisoft and Genba Digital are working on a new digital distribution system for video games. The solution known as Silent Key Activation will eliminate the need to send activation codes to vendors, thus preventing unauthorized trading of keys.

No More Serial Keys? Ubisoft Has A New Idea For Digital Distribution - picture #1
Ubisoft will refrain from sending game keys to resellers.

Two months ago news appeared on the planned removal of Tom Clancy's The Division 2 from independent digital stores. Some have blamed Epic Games for forcing Ubisoft to do so in order to promote its own digital distribution platform. However, the latest information seems to indicate that this was an independent decision by a French company to deal with the trade issue of game serial keys. GamesIndustry.biz reported on Ubisoft's cooperation with Genba Digital in order to change the way of digital distribution of its productions.

Currently, shops receive a large number of keys from the publisher to activate the game, and these are sent to the buyers of the title. The new system will completely abandon this solution. Instead, after purchasing from an independent vendor and completing the formalities, we will be asked to log in to your account on a digital platform (Steam, Uplay, etc.). After that, the purchased game will be automatically activated using a code sent from a database created for this purpose, to which only Ubisoft would have access. In other words, neither the shop nor the user will ever receive a key. Matt Murphy, CEO of Genba Digital, says it's "silent key activation" (in short - SKA).

No More Serial Keys? Ubisoft Has A New Idea For Digital Distribution - picture #2
The new digital distribution system may become popular even before the premiere of Beyond Good & Evil 2.

It is not difficult to guess why this solution should be implemented. Matt Murphy openly admits that this will prevent trading in the purchased keys unless someone decides to sell the account itself. However, the head of Genba Digital points out other issues, such as scams on the stores themselves (selling games at full price despite the official promotion) and individual employees (who can steal some of the keys and sell them on their own account at a lower price). That's why Murphy believes that SKA will become the standard for large publishers, perhaps even within a year. He also emphasized that this is an initiative of Ubisoft, which intends to sell its titles only in stores supporting this solution. He also added that more companies are working on the introduction of similar systems. Murphy also expressed his conviction that sooner or later we will see an end to the sale of boxed PC editions, which will accelerate the popularity of SKA.

No More Serial Keys? Ubisoft Has A New Idea For Digital Distribution - picture #3
Matt Murphy thinks that the time of boxed game editions is slowly coming to an end.
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