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Published on November 28th, 2011 | by Dan

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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.

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17 Responses to Ubisoft: PC? Full of pirates and scallywags!

  1. Good article. Ubisoft just plain don’t ‘get’ PC gaming.

  2. Bob bpost says:

    I think I found a picture of Sébastien Arnoult:

  3. GamerByt3 says:

    It feels to me like these guys are consolol elitists that just can’t stand that people enjoy playing on the PC. As and added Fuck you they release games like Assasins Creed a month later on PC after insisting for months before hand the game would be ready on all platforms simultaneously. Ubisoft is the shallow, spoiled, redheaded stepchild of the video game industry with bad pr who won’t realize it until they’ve completely ruined their public image and can’t figure out why there’s so much hostility towards them.

    Valve doesn’t have this problem, EA doesn’t have this problem, Capcom doesn’t have this problem so why does Ubisoft? It’s because they’re shit and they want to rub that shit on everything they come across. They’ve got this preconceived notion that the world is out to get them and there’s nothing you or I can do to change that opinion. It’s really pretty ridiculous.

    I still pre-ordered assasins creed. I’ll still play their game because it’s a good game, but this kind of petty immature crap needs to stop or they’re going to completely destroy themselves.

  4. ToastyGod says:

    “because we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game.”
    If someone pirates your game, it’s not really your costumer, is it?

  5. Ofenlicht says:

    You are definately right. But still there is a percentage of people pirating and that is what the dumbasses at Ubisoft are seeing. Not the passion for their games. Just the percentage of people pirating. And that is really kinda desocial. I agree totally though with the points you are making. I am still waiting for the savior of intelligence in Ubisofts Pc-Dev-team.
    Anyways greats and a good evening Ofenlicht

  6. Bob bpost says:

    This needs some “We are the 95%” Meme’s…

  7. theIMatty says:

    ubisolololololoft

  8. rickysmith says:

    See this is why I cant get behind some developers for the fact that they people who are loyal and buy the games are still pooled in with the people who pirate games. Now that doesn’t mean I pirate there games it just means that I wait for them to go on sale on steam. I love PC gaming and hate that a lot of companies don’t want to produce a games for PC because they perceive its gonna be pirated. It seems that in the past couple of years Ubisoft is the only company complaining about pirating. Plus from what I have played most of there titles seem sub-par but there are a few ip’s that I do enjoy from them.

  9. Dex says:

    There really are a lot of games that are pirated. It may not be as high as 95%, but above 50% might be a realistic number. They all aren’t in the US, but piracy of games in Russia, China and many parts of Europe are amazing. Some of them are even sold in shops that PIRATE THE GAMES AND SELL THEM AS THE REAL THING. It’s ridiculous. They probably aren’t speaking directly to the US market, though I’m sure we pirate the shit out of games.

    That aside, I could give a fuck less if Ubisoft stop putting out games on PC. FarCry was cool and all, but that was a decade ago. How many fucking Tom Clancy games can there be?! Why is Assassin’s Creed starting to feel like Call of Duty? If they never release any of these games on PC again I wouldn’t be sad. I had to suck it up and deal with the fact that if I wanted solid racing games or football games I had to play them on a console. Remarkably, most of the games I own for console are…….. football games and racing games!

    Fuck Ubisoft, they sucks. They sucked before these comments, though. We all have to understand that a lot of the industry feels this way, too, Ubisoft just actually said it.

  10. Gl1tch says:

    Guess who has two thumbs and not going to buy AC: R now? This guy.

  11. CharlieTango says:

    From what I saw on launch day, Skyrim had over 200k players online through steam alone. If these were the only people that paid for the game, there would be another 4,000,000 players who pirated the game according to Ubisoft’s “95% estimate”. This is also coming from a single player game, which are much more easy to pirate because of multiplayer issues with most pirated titles. If Ubisoft can look at those numbers that outsold BF3 and MW3, and still claim that many people pirate that frequently, then I am shocked they can program a game to begin with.

    I think Gabe Newell has the best outlook on the issue. You can’t pirate good service. Providing a service that makes games easy to play, keeps everything up to date, and gives support when an issue arises are the best way to ensure sales. By saying you can’t afford to put out a quality product for the PC, you are admitting that you cannot support your game well enough to warrant a sale from customers. And quite frankly, if they can’t support their titles, I don’t want them anyway (looking at you Infinity Ward).

  12. maceron says:

    Fighting through layers of DRM or actually being able to play the game?
    They may as well just state they’ll never make another PC title again, but I don’t see that as a bad thing lol

nipnops

DanDan

I put the OO in Swagoo. One of the founders of KBMOD. I stream on Twitch as well as writing and editing for the website.


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