Published on November 28th, 2011 | by Dan17
Ubisoft: PC? Full of pirates and scallywags!
You might say that Ubisoft doesn’t have the best track record with PC gamers. And instead of working to repair their image, they seem content to continue digging a deeper hole for themselves.
Recently, IncGamers conducted an interview with Stanislas Mettra, creative director of upcoming Ubisoft title I Am Alive. Check out the snippet below from that interview:
“We’ve heard loud and clear that PC gamers are bitching about there being no version for them,” said Mettra.
“But are these people just making noise just because there’s no version or because it’s a game they actually want to play? Would they buy it if we made it?”
“It’s hard because there’s so much piracy and so few people are paying for PC games that we have to precisely weigh it up against the cost of making it. Perhaps it will only take 12 guys three months to port the game to PC, it’s not a massive cost but it’s still a cost. If only 50,000 people buy the game then it’s not worth it.”
Add those comments to recent remarks made by Ghost Recon Online producer Sébastien Arnoult on the decision to make GRO free-to-play:
“When we started Ghost Recon Online we were thinking about Ghost Recon: Future Solider; having something ported in the classical way without any deep development, because we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game. So we said okay, we have to change our mind.”
Where does one even begin with such misguided statements? No one is bitching about anything, except Ubisoft’s attitude that the PC is a toxic platform. PC gamers want Ubisoft titles; we just don’t want to be labeled criminals and burdened with draconian DRM schemes.
And 95% piracy? Ninety-five percent? We’re expected to believe that 19 out of every 20 PC games in the wild have been pirated? I’m holding back laughter even writing it out. Such a statement is patently absurd and does nothing except destroy Arnoult’s (and, by extension, Ubisoft’s) credibility.
Because of these misinformed attitudes, it may not be long before huge titles like Assassin’s Creed vanish from the PC. But why? Plenty of developers are seeing massive success on the PC. Piracy is certainly an issue publishers face more with the PC market than consoles, but to describe the situation in such exaggerated terms just sounds like publishers trying to place blame everywhere but themselves.
Let’s make one thing clear: We here at KBMOD are against piracy. It hurts the PC as a platform, and we encourage you to support game developers by buying their product. However, we don’t support companies making outrageous statements disparaging the PC as a gaming platform with no evidence to back up their claims. Ubisoft (and some other publishers) have shown time and time again that they just don’t understand the PC market whatsoever. Publishers seem to be making up statistics and excuses in order to justify their half-baked DRM solutions to company shareholders. But in reality, there is no proof to back up all of this doom and gloom. Capcom has admitted as much:
“We looked at quantifying what the real losses are, and it’s incredibly hard to do, because you end up having to do a set of cascading assumptions that you have no real ability to validate in any meaningful away.”
So I would challenge Ubisoft and other publishers to this: Instead of constantly characterizing the market as the problem, why don’t you take a look at your own decisions and analyze how those decisions are affecting your sales? Do your decisions encourage piracy because of the inane restrictions you place on legally purchased copies of your game? (Yes.) Are potential customers tempted to pirate your games specifically because of the hostile attitude you flagrantly exhibit toward PC gamers? (Yes.) Are you trying to avoid the real issue here and throw out manufactured statistics to back up your position? (Yes.)
So please Ubisoft stop trying to justify what you’re doing and take a good look at what’s really going on. You are the problem, not the PC gamer. Don’t punish us for your own misinformed opinions. Try some good will and honesty and we can all benefit in the end.