Well, the last answer is good news.
This morning, the official Ubisoft support Twitter account apparently confirmed a Ubisoft Connect requirement for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. It was met with immediate dismay by fans, on the same day the game went gold. After the tweet was quickly deleted We reached out to Ubisoft for comment, but that same account later clarified things.
The new tweet says quite succinctly: “A Ubisoft Connect account is not required for players to play Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, contrary to what was wrongly mentioned in one of our previous tweets.” It appears to be a definitive statement on the matter, as a direct follow-up and acknowledgment of the above error. In any case, with Nintendo heavily involved, it would be a bad look if a single-player adventure game required a third-party login.
Ubisoft has been pushing Connect as long as it can, and is still running the Ubisoft Connect (formerly uPlay) launcher and store. Conversely, several studios have shut down or downplayed their launchers, in favor of migrating to more mainstream platforms. It’s one thing to have it spread over a assassin’s Creed game for bit and bob bonus points, but you’re not going to get the same pass with sparks of hope.
However, the mere mention of a login requirement really brought me back to the 2010s and the battle of the launchers: when you had the added baggage of extra logins, but none of the bonuses like cross-play. . It was a dark time.