Just when you thought it could not get any worse for Ubisoft it turns out that the patch they designed to fix all of the broken stuff is also sort of broken. According to a post on the Assassin’s Creed Unity site some Xbox owners were seeing a 40GB download when they were trying to grab patch 4 for the game. It seems that the patch was attempting to re-download the entire game and simply overwrite all of the game files instead of just trying to replace the messed up ones.
Ubisoft is at it again with an announcement that they will delay review copies of the game The Crew until launch day. Their justification for this is that there is no way to properly test the game with such a small group of people. On their blog they claim “it’s only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world. And by other, we mean thousands and thousands and thousands of players – something that can’t be simulated with a handful of devs playing alongside the press.”
The idea of hardcoding a flaw into a game to identify pirate is a pretty old one and one that has been used on more than one occasion. Ubisoft has done this with their most recent game Far Cry 4 by removing a control from the game. The control is the field of view (FOV) in the game. Apparently when the game was put out this control was missing and it was not given out until a patch that you can only get with a legally purchased copy of the game.
It seems that Ubisoft is trying to get out from under the stigma the bad launch of Assassin’s Creed Unity. After pushing what many are calling a half-baked game, they have made a few excuses and have also promised different patches to remedy the bugs including a day one patch that really did not do much to make things better. So what is Ubisoft pointing at now to remove blame from themselves? Well some of the choices are entertaining to say the least.
Ubisoft is under a lot of pressure since the launch of the Assassin’s Creed Unity. The game had a large number of bugs along with some rather disappointing performance to boot (30fps). In the days leading up to the launch Ubisoft attempted to tell everyone know that 30fps was more than enough and that it was in line with a cinematic experience. The number of articles making fun of these rather poor excuses was quite large and while trying to pass off a poor performing game as something wonderful is not unexpected it is still in rather poor taste if circumstances make it look like you might have done it on purpose.
Have you ever been in one of those situations where nothing you say will make things better? You know what we are talking about, you made the initial comment and now… well you just can’t fix it. This is about where Ubisoft is at the moment. After a developer and an art director made the claim that adding in playable female characters into Assassin’s Creed Unity, they have been trying to make things better and only making them worse.
Ubisoft dumbing down Watchdogs for PC, Crytek losing money, game devs claiming next gen consoles will match the graphical look of the PC on Ultra: all of these are interesting signs to a troubling possibility. Is the gaming industry moving away from the PC and focusing on the close environment of the console? From some of the information and the items we listed above it would seem so. Is this a trend of the future? Or is this simply what the industry does whenever they see new consoles hit the market?
Remember the news about the “locked” out graphical features in Watch Dogs? Well Ubisoft has finally released a statement about those options and a claim as to why they were hidden in the first place. According to Ubisoft the reason they were hidden had nothing to do with denying users game settings. It was all about “possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality”.
After taking something of a beating in the news the other day with the revelation of locked features in Watchdogs, Ubisoft is back in the news today. However, today’s news is both good and bad for them. This time the title in question is Far Cry 4. Apparently Ubisoft is very fond of the current next gen consoles (Xbox One and PS4) and found them to be a great benefit when developing Far Cry 4.
We have all heard rumors about how this or that game developer “intentionally” crippled a game on one platform or another, but in the end those usually are little more than manufacturer guerilla marketing efforts. Today though, we are hearing that a game company may have left out visual features from a new AAA title that seriously reduce the visual quality of the game played on the PC.