1. #1

    Uplay and Ethnic Insensitivity


    I would like to bring up a topic that has been very troubling for me lately. Namely, Ubisoft's disregard and disrespect towards some nations. In order to make my case and to explain the importance of my plea, I need to start with explaining some background. Disclaimer: this is in no way intended to offend any ethnicity. However, I will be quoting Wikipedia in order to establish some important facts.

    So over centuries Russia has had complicated relations with its neighbours. While representatives of many countries can share their stories, I am going to focus on relations toward Ukraine. Part of the Russian policy toward Ukraine was destroying its native culture / language. Information about this can be found in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russification_of_Ukraine

    But to be brief, in 1720 Tsar Peter I of Russia issued a decree in which he ordered the expurgation of all Ukrainian linguistic elements in theological literature printed in Ukrainian typographical establishments. Later Empress Catherine II of Russia issued a secret order to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Empire in which she instructed him to institute a program of Russification for the provinces of Ukraine. In 1862, all Ukrainian Sunday schools were abolished and proscribed. In 1876, tsar Alexander II of Russia issued a secret decree banning the use of the Ukrainian language in print In Soviet Union russification of Soviet-occupied Ukraine intensified in 1938 under Nikita Khrushchev, then secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party. After Western Ukraine was reabsorbed into the Soviet Union, most prominent Ukrainian intellectuals living there were purged or exiled to Siberia.

    This last part is especially traumatic for many as even my family, who were considered intellectual elite, were exiled to Siberia (some murdered).

    MY POINT. So why am I bringing this up? The reason is, currently whenever someone logs in to Uplay from Ukraine, they are greeted with Russian store and no option to change Store language (obviously, no game has Ukrainian interface and games purchased in Ukraine are mostly language-locked in Russian preventing players from being able to change language to English in many cases). Knowing how much suffering has been dealt in order to force the people of Ukraine to speak Russian, don't you think it's extremely insensitive of you to expect people to speak Russian and force the language that was used to replace our own?

    Furthermore, when buying games in Uplay from Ukraine I'm fairly sure the purchase is being made from a Russian-registered Ubisoft company. Considering the fact that even today Russia and Ukraine are in a state of hybrid war and the Ukrainian Crimea peninsula has been annexed by Russia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annexa...ian_Federation), how is it fair that Ukrainians need to pay VAT to Russian Federation for purchasing Ubi games?

    TL;DR - Russia and Ukraine have had complicated relations, to put it mildly. During USSR times, all the "republics" have suffered greatly from enforcing Russian culture. Information about this is freely available on the internet. I DO understand that an international company, such as Ubisoft, is not interested in things like that. I get it. But you guys do know your share about insensitivity. Example: It is a known fact that black people have been victims of slavery over the course of history. So it is considered polite to make extra sure to avoid jokes or insensitive references about slavery ESPECIALLY around black people. And that is fair.

    As someone whose family was literally slaughtered simply because they refused to speak Russian, I find it extremely insensitive that Ubisoft is forcing Russian language on me. I feel deeply insulted by the fact that even though you have the means to, say, translate your store into Ukrainian (which many Ukrainians would praise you for (and which many translator teams would volunteer to do for you for little to no reward like they do for Steam)), you choose not to and that you assume that every Ukrainian user has to speak / understand Russian in order to access your store.

    Possible solutions? Easy. You can either create a translation server (akin to Steam) and drop new strings for community to translate or hire a couple of translators. With how low average incomes are in Ukraine, you can find a team that can keep your store translated and updated for relatively low cost.

    Additionally, since you already have a legal entity in Ukraine (Ubisoft Kiev (which, according to international transliteration also should be converted from Russian-based "Kiev" to Ukrainian-based Kyiv)), please stop making Ukrainians pay VAT to Russian Federation.

    It is up to you, Ubisoft, to do the right thing.

    P.S. When it comes to international relations, it is common courtesy to respect the culture of the people you are dealing with. If someone were to, say, travel to Japan from France to conduct business there, they would do their utmost to respect the Japanese culture and language. So how come do you, Ubisoft, when conducting business in Poland, Russia, Spain or Italy, have the courtesy to respect the local languages, but when it comes to countries formerly occupied by USSR, you choose to completely disregard theirs?
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  2. #2
    That's why I haven't bought anything in the Ubi store yet. They have 2 offices of developers in Ukraine, but still, have no respect for us.
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  3. #3
    Delta7200's Avatar Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    My guess is they don't care. I don't think ethnic sensitivity has anything to do with it.

    Paying tax to a foreign country though? That's straight up bullsquid.
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  4. #4
    That's why we are trying to show them that we are here...
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  5. #5
    Moontessa's Avatar Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    This situation is really unpleasant, to say the least. I've used to play Ubisoft games in the past, but currently have no desire and contribute to the store of a foreign country, if there are several offices in Ukraine for quite a while. Sadly, not a unique situation not only with Ubisoft but other large game producers, too.
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  6. #6
    Дякуємо за те, що підняли цю тему.
    Thank you for bringing up the topic. It is rather insulting to realize that you even can't change the language to the one you understand better. The Ukrainians don't understand Russian language as well as the Russians don't understand Ukrainan language. To compare, English language as a foreign language is a subject for study at almost every Ukrainian school. and you can't say the same about Russian language.
    And it is even more insulting to realize that your money goes to the aggressor country who then murder your kin.
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  7. #7
    Will you stop doing that Ubisoft?
    Why don't you use the same approach Steam or Epic store does? They have local currency for Ukraine. That is why I buy games there and not in Uplay store.
    Yes, there are plenty of countries which don't have local support. But please stop consider Ukraine as part of Russia in term of a language and money.
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  8. #8
    Love Ubi games, but suspended any activity with Uplay after I've got forced to use the Russian language, inside the games and on the sites. My first language is Ukrainian and the second is English.
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  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Kalodyazzzzz Go to original post
    Love Ubi games, but suspended any activity with Uplay after I've got forced to use the Russian language, inside the games and on the sites. My first language is Ukrainian and the second is English.
    Same here. I hate the fact that Uplay locks games in Russian and doesn't allow to switch languages despite the fact that some people don't even speak Russian. Not fair, not nice.
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