Assassin’s Creed Shadows requires an internet connection to install it, but not to play it afterwards

Ubisoft has confirmed that Japan-set Assassin’s Creed Shadows requires an internet connection to install but not to play it afterwards.

In a post on x/twitterThe publisher has confirmed that Shadows will follow the recent trend of larger games with the disc version requiring an internet connection before play is possible. Shadows does not require a permanent internet connection, but it does require the internet to essentially download part of the game upon installation.

“After some questions we noticed in the community, we wanted to share some early information about the upcoming launch of Assassin’s Creed Shadows,” Ubisoft said in response to concerns raised after the PlayStation Store listed Shadows as a game “required for online play.”

“Assassin’s Creed Shadows will not require a mandatory connection at all times. An online connection will be required to install the game, but will you be able to play the entire journey offline, and explore Japan without any online connection.” The PlayStation Store menu has been changed to read “Online play optional” despite installation requirements.

Larger 3D video games are slowly but surely moving to this method of distribution as physical media becomes a smaller and smaller part of how people buy games. As physical discs become less of a priority, what used to be included as a second disc (along with the installation disc and boot disc) is now primarily added as downloadable content.

This means that even single player games like Assassin’s Creed Shadows cannot exist without an internet connection. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was one of the first major single-player games to adopt this model, but the trend has continued elsewhere and will likely continue to become more popular.

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Shadows was fully revealed on May 15, 2024 as a Japanese entry in the long-running series in which players control two heroes: the stealthy Shinobi Naoe and the action-oriented Yasuke, a real-life figure from Japanese history.

IGN had a wealth of exclusive content at the reveal, and you can read about all the gameplay changes, story beats, and open-world assassinations coming with Shadows in our extensive interview with the development team.

If that’s not enough, check out our analysis and explanation of where and when Shadows are set and the 40 key details we learned about the game. You can also watch the full breakdown of the cinematic trailer to discover all its hidden details, Easter eggs, and more.

Shadows launches on November 12, 2024 for those who purchase the Gold, Ultimate, or Deluxe editions at $109.99, $129.99, and $279.99, respectively. Standard Edition for $69.99 available November 15, 2024.

Ryan Dinsdale is a freelance reporter at IGN. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day long.

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