FFS: Ubisoft Delay PC’s Driver: San Francisco

By John Walker on August 11th, 2011 at 11:38 am.

In-game shots.

Wow – it actually happened. Eurogamer confirms that Ubisoft have delayed the PC version of Driver: San Francisco. This is after explicitly stating they would not.

To put this in perspective: When Ubisoft announced that Driver: SF would carry their detested and grossly poorly-conceived DRM, a community manager at the @drivergame account helpfully tweeted,

“Bear in mind though that the PC version of DRVSF is released simultaneously to consoles.”

Since then it’s been confirmed that the PC version won’t support wheel peripherals, and just Monday Ubisoft confirmed to us that there will be no PC demo. I was tempted to add in that post, “Now we just have to wait for the inevitable eleventh hour delay”, but that would have been poor form. Turns out it would also have been correct.

This follows on from the previous two very recent cross-platform releases from Ubisoft also being delayed on PC at the last minute. So it is that we still don’t have either From Dust or Call Of Juarez: The Cartel.

Driver: San Francisco was originally due to be released on the 2nd September in Europe. This will still be the case for the PS3 and 360 versions. But yet again (although admittedly with more than a week’s notice for a change) the PC version is being bumped by almost a full month, with no given explanation. It will now come out, along with its game-breaking DRM, on the 27th September.

Ubisoft’s sheer, unbridled contempt for the PC makes no sense. It’s a profitable market, and they like anyone else are capable of just ignoring it should they not want it. So what is their plan? What do they think they can gain from kicking around one of their player bases with such disdain? What is their motivation for consistently stating PC release dates that are almost never kept? I wish I could find out, but so far requests to interview anyone at Ubisoft who makes these decisions have not gone anywhere, and statements issued to us have completely ignored our questions.

Which leaves questions about other forthcoming Ubisoft games.

Naturally they’ve already delayed Might & Magic Heroes VI once, but as a PC-only game it at least seems likely it’s actually to improve the product. However, what DRM they will slap on it has yet to be announced. Being PC exclusive, I currently fear the worst.

And then there’s the excitement of Trackmania 2. A game we’re really pleased exists, but has seen the series change publishers from Digital Jesters/Focus/Enlight to Ubisoft. Again a PC exclusive, and it’s not as if Trackmania wasn’t without problems – it was at the heart of the StarForce nonsense. But it seems a real shame it could become similarly embroiled this time around.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is still, hilariously, listed as coming out on PC at the same time as consoles, on 15th November. Since all the previous versions have experienced last-minute, months-long delays by Ubi, I’ll eat my foot if it comes out within a month of that date.

Looking at next year, it’s Brothers In Arms: Furious 4 and Far Cry 3 that could be affected by the cross-platform divide.

__________________

« | »

, , .

182 Comments »

  1. Ravious says:

    One thing to note…small thing as it is… Trackmania 2 appears to have no DRM, is PC only, and because it is digital distro the dev is closely controlling the date. So yeah it is Ubisoft owned, but Nadeo (dev) seems to be calling their own shots for now.

    http://forum.maniaplanet.com/viewtopic.php?f=208&t=2914&p=44265#p44265

  2. Laurentius says:

    This UbiSoft PC strategy really make no sense, I thought that maybe they will improve next PC releases after AC:Brotherhood, finally a AC game I could play without constantly scratching my wondering what should I click next , having all actions on screen matching keys on my keyboard. I was wrong.

  3. Bilbo says:

    “Game-breaking DRM”

    Settle down. That’s basically libel.

  4. Birky says:

    As soon as I saw the burnt out car picture (in relation to the post title) I somehow new John Walker had written this one.

    I think I’ve been hanging around here too long!

  5. ChainsawCharlie says:

    I played the demo on kiddiebox and this is not worth waiting :(

    • UncleLou says:

      Agreed. Quite surprised how good it looks, but the handling and physics aren’t great – some foul compromise between Driver’s Hollywood awesomeness and the frenzy of Burnout, which ends up being neither great in the one nor in the other way.

  6. ZIGS says:

    I still believe this is all part of some kind of psychological experiment

  7. bwion says:

    I’m starting to think that a PC gamer must have run over the Ubisoft CEO’s dog or something. While shouting about piracy.

  8. hjarg says:

    Coming to think of it- was Ubisoft the last and only remaining company who used starforce as their protection. Results were the same- it fucked up honest buyers machines but didn’t stop pirates much.

  9. hamster says:

    Is there a particular reason why they’re delaying the game? If it’s for bug fixes, then the move is more than welcome. Conversely, if it’s for… hmm. Actually I can’t think of anything, short of suddenly chinks in distribution.

  10. patricij says:

    Obvious troll is obvious…I bet all of the high brass are wearing paper troll faces….

  11. Drake Sigar says:

    Buying any Ubisoft game makes me feel like a wife crawling back to her abusive husband. Girl’s panties are comfy though.

  12. Dionysus says:

    This saga will be more entertaining than the game. Prediction issued.

  13. shoptroll says:

    Jerks. Granted, there could be some technical reason (optimizations/driver support) for pushing it back a month. But still, at this point they should just say PC version will be a month late. It’s getting fairly farcical how they’re handling the PC versions of their games.

    Also, add Clash of Heroes to the list of games that’s showing up well after the console versions. That should’ve been a PC game from the get-go given the success of Puzzle Quest and the fact that Heroes is a PC series first and foremost.

    • Hatsworth says:

      Funnily enough it was released on the platform with perhaps the highest piracy rate (for “hardcore” titles at least): the DS.

      I really hope it isn’t bogged down with DRM. The DS version was quite good and I want to support Capybara.

  14. laddyman says:

    Good work Ubi! Keep killing off that PC fanbase, the mongrels!

  15. povu says:

    Well, in that case we’re definitely not getting AC Revelations any time soon.

  16. Vinraith says:

    I had really hoped they’d gotten this shit out of their system, so it wouldn’t threaten any of the future releases I actually care about. Now I’m worried about AC: Revelations and the next Anno game.

  17. Navagon says:

    Get back to us when Ubisoft stop fucking PC gamers around. That would be news. Not this.

  18. Lantzalot says:

    The second picture in this post looks very interesting. The tires seem to be in very nice condition compared to the car.

  19. MaliciousH says:

    I come on late on night for my round up of things that happened in the day and I get… this. Seriously?

    I’m confounded. I seriously hope the devs aren’t this retarded. I’m sure they are a good, sane bunch of people but corporate is just insane. I almost want to go to their San Francisco office to give them a piece of my mind.

    Damn, no one told them to adopt PC gamers…

  20. lijenstina says:

    Nice photos. That is what Top Gear will look like in 20 years. :P

  21. jakonovski says:

    Ubisoft seems to be the first publisher releasing PC games out of spite. Maybe there’s a market for it?