View Full Version : Ubisoft Is looking Like The New EA Games

11-12-2014, 08:45 PM
A common refrain when we deal with these kinds of issues is that “well, publishers need to make money.” I understand that, but there’s a limit to what you can do without completely alienating your customers. You have a game like Elder Scrolls Online (not Ubisoft) which has A) a traditional box-copy cost B) a subscription model and C) in-game microtransactions. And how big of a hit was that game? Game developers can’t have it all. Even if a game like AC: Unity is only doing two out of three, there are gamers out there who remember when “unlock everything” was a cheat code in single-player games, and now it’s a $99 macrotransaction.

Yes, making games is expensive, and especially so when it comes to AAA blockbusters, but the further we get down this road, the less the “games are art” argument seems to apply. Assassin’s Creed can be a fun, thoughtful, intelligent series when it’s at its best. Why does it have to be forcefully milked by its own publisher with rushed-out sequels, cash-grab microtransactions and “enchanced” elements like app-locked chests? It’s like if after Gladiator won an Oscar, there was a new sequel released every year, and by the time Gladiator 5 rolls around, you’re paying 50% more to see it in 3D and you have to download an app to watch bonus scenes on your iPad.

The film/TV comparisons are always tough because games have the unprecedented ability to charge for anything and everything, whereas all other forms of media can do is raise ticket prices or subscription rates. Non-F2P, non-indie video games have the $60 price point locked in place, and now publishers are trying to figure out how games can cost $100 or more between DLC season passes, microtransactions, subscriptions and more. Ubisoft is rushing out games and trying controversial revenue generation all at the same time, and it’s not just creating a poor user experience, it’s making them look sloppy and cavalier about their relationship with their fanbase.

Yesterday, I talked about how the Assassin’s Creed franchise needed to slow down or it would go off the rails completely, but now I’m starting to realize that this seems like it applies to Ubisoft as a whole. EA lost consumer trust more or less completely for a period of time, and is just now starting to earn it back. But this year, Ubisoft has fallen into the same trap in different ways, with consumers no longer trusting their advertising (because of enhanced footage) or their retail releases (because of an apparent attempt to silence the press). And in pumping out more games from their beloved series more often, they’re diluting all the properties involved by rushing out a final product that doesn’t have enough time to be an innovative evolution for the series, or one is filled with technical issues. Or both.

Consumers want:

A) A product that looks like what was advertised

B) Not to be talked down to in PR speak

C) A working product at launch

D) To be respected for shelling out $60 for a new game, and not goaded into paying even more

These are not difficult goals to accomplish, and it’s amazing how far a little honesty will go in an industry where consumers constantly feel misled. Obviously every company exists to make money, but when your customers feel deceived or like their loyalty is being exploited, you’ve taken a wrong turn. And Ubisoft has taken at least a half dozen wrong turns this year, and now seem to be lost in the labyrinth EA only recently escaped from.

11-12-2014, 09:16 PM

well thought out. I too feel like the AC franchise is going way too fast. In order to play each type of game, I need 3 or more different consoles. This was there big hit super star, now instead of epic celebrity status, its feels more like Justin Beiber bling. Its all going too mfast, and honestly....

This might be the last Assassin Creed I buy.

I can't keep up financially, so I am going to go to other things.

Bye AC. If you go to rehab and get your self cleaned up, then we can talk about me coming back. Right now, you're a mess.

11-12-2014, 10:15 PM
Consumers want:

A) A product that looks like what was advertised

B) Not to be talked down to in PR speak

C) A working product at launch

D) To be respected for shelling out $60 for a new game, and not goaded into paying even more

Ok then. Next year Ubi will recycle AC1 with a new environment. Problem solved: honest advertisement, no talking down to because they have no problems to hide, a working product & no micro-transactions because it cost £5 to make. There you go...

Of course I'm not being serious, & I respect what you are saying as they are all valid points, but half of these complaints come from Ubi trying to change things.

A) Unity does look like what was advertised, so I don't see your point.

B) Ubi never do this intentionally, as it isn't ever an official statement. The people who work at Ubi are just too honest sometimes about what they feel. That could be a bad or a good thing depending on your point-of-view.

C) This is due to Ubi trying new things that often times don't work well. There is some truth in that they should probably wait longer to iron out the bugs, but the cycle must continue (which I actually want because I love AC, so don't listen to me :)). Also consider that the bugs will likely reduce as they get used to the knew hardware & their new engine. The engine may have been used previously from AC3 onwards, but that wasn't what Ubi initially intended, so it's all new.

D) Everything is easily obtainable in-game, so it's a matter of choice, but I agree that it makes them look greedy.