I didn't experience Steam until somewhere in 2004-2006. My FPSs were exclusively the Rainbow 6 series. I did actually buy HL2, but when it required me to have Steam I decided to shelve it...Sgt. Sykes said:
I'm aware of Steam's past issues, as I know people who suffered through them. The thing is, there was no Steam competitor back then, and Half-Life was a hugely important series in the FPS genre (albeit, one I still haven't gotten around to playing).
Even if Ubisoft wants to be just like Steam, it can't start out significantly worse than Steam's present incarnation, because there is Steam as an example of how it should be done. Further, while AC2 is certainly a significant game (again, one I've given a miss so far), it was first released to console, and is but a port on PC; the console release probably cannibalized the player-base needed to force poorly implemented DRM (the rabid fans should have already bought it on X-Box, leaving only those casually interested).
Also, do people really not recognise that Steam is DRM?