Even though Ubisoft promised that From Dust would not need an always-on internet connection as recently as last month, gamers who fired up the “spiritual heir to Populous” discovered that this was definitely not the case.
Originally we were told that – like many Steam titles – the game would require a one-time online activation, and that would be it. The game would not constantly “phone home”, and would not require an internet connection in order to play.
The game’s page on Steam read as follows:
From Dust PC will release with DRM requiring a one-time only online activation. After which you will be able to play the game offline
From Dust requires an internet connection when you start the game. Make sure you are connected to the internet when you attempt to start the game. After you have signed in and the game is running, you no longer need the internet connection and can disconnect from it if you wish.
It’s important to note here that the decision was made by Ubisoft, and not by Valve, who published the game on Steam. In fact, it seems the publisher is quite apologetic over the whole deal, offering refunds to gamers who aren’t interested in the game any more now that they know the full DRM situation.