‘Piracy’ Stops Ghost Recon: Future Soldier PC

By Adam Smith on November 24th, 2011 at 5:14 pm.

You don't want this...but you do want to steal it

Is it Thanksgiving or Groundhog day? I could have sworn it was yesterday that news emerged of a Ubisoft title not being released on PC, with anguished claims about rampant piracy being blamed. Now it’s the turn of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and although the quotes given to PC Gamer don’t actually accuse us all of ‘bitching’, they do paint an unpleasant view of the PC gaming landscape. We’re told that Ghost Recon Online is the PC’s alternative to Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.

‘Why’, you ask? Senior producer Sebastien Arnoult has the answers. Or at least, some answers. “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 per cent of our consumers will pirate the game.” Sigh.

There it is. A frank admission that ‘classical’ PC ports don’t have ‘any deep development’ because PC consumers are mostly pirates. Thanks for that. Arnoult claims that Future Soldier was never intended to come out on PC, although the existence of PC-specific forums at the official website suggests there may well have been plans at some point. It’s the reasoning given for not releasing the game that are so bothersome though.

What’s particularly irksome is the seeming faith in the assumption that the vast majority of people who play games on a PC would rather pirate them than pay for them. That must be why Skyrim is selling so badly and why Steam has collapsed under the pressure of operating in an environment where nobody spends any money, ever, for any reason. It’s a horrible place, the world he describes, so I’m glad that reality doesn’t appear to contain it.

But in case you’re thinking that you actually would like to pay for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, don’t worry. You’re wrong, you don’t want that at all. This decision was made because they’ve listened to us! Mr Arnoult tells us how he’s reacted to our demands, while also telling us what we said in the first place.

“We are giving away most of the content for free because there’s no barrier to entry. To the users that are traditionally playing the game by getting it through Pirate Bay, we said, ‘Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you’re asking for. We’ve listened to you – we’re giving you this experience. It’s easy to download, there’s no DRM that will pollute your experience.'”

The framing of that statement, arriving with the announcement that the game won’t be on PC at all, does make it sound like all PC gamers traditionally acquire games through Pirate Bay. Is it a stretch to suggest that there’s an admission that Ubisoft’s DRM has polluted experiences in the past? If so, it seems an odd solution to remove the thing that was polluted rather than trying to clean it up. Perhaps we should drain the oceans.

What else?

“We have to adapt, we have to embrace this instead of pushing it away. That’s the main reflection behind Ghost Recon Online and the choice we’ve made to go in this direction.”

So they are embracing the pirate-ridden wasteland by only releasing free games into it? I’m not entirely sure I understand. Who wins in that situation? Not legitimate customers, that’s for sure, who it seems will miss out on the entire single player campaign of Future Soldier, with only Ghost Recon: Online to play. That’s not to say Ghost Recon: Online won’t be a good game – we’ll be writing about it very soon, having seen it and come away impressed. But the attitude as to why only a free game is possible on PC does rankle. It doesn’t help that we’ve had comments like this two days in a row, of course.

There’s a little more.

“I don’t like to compare PC and Xbox boxed products because they have a model on that platform [Xbox] that is clearly meant to be €60’s worth of super-Hollywood content. On PC, we’re adapting our model to the demand.”

You see, we don’t want super-Hollywood content on the PC, or sixty Euro’s worth of game. We just want the scraps. Except we also want the super-Hollywood content so much that we will steal it at the first possible opportunity.

I think I’ll play Serious Sam 3 for a while, obviously spending the whole time wishing that it was more Hollywood.

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309 Comments »

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  1. Sankis says:

    From what I hear of Future Soldier, this is just preventing us from buying a sub par video game.

    • ZIGS says:

      I think you mean “stealing”. Didn’t you just hear the Ubisoft Man, no one buys PC games?

    • Phantoon says:

      Stealing implies you’re taking something of value, don’t it?

      Pretty sure if you dug holes in someone’s yard to take their dirt, they’d be mad about the landscaping issue, and not the dirt you stole.

    • G_Man_007 says:

      Ah, I really can’t be bothered anymore… It’s getting boring.

    • Ruffian says:

      officially done with ubisoft. cept maybe rayman origins. lol. I don’t know where these asshats are getting all this crap, doesn’t the great majority still actually buy games anyway? And wouldn’t you get a ghost recon game mostly for the mp? – aka you wouldn’t be able to pirate it and play mp still. Idk. honestly am not too disappointed – GR sucks anyway. I guess this is goodbye ubisoft.

    • nyarlathotep-88 says:

      Ever since they destroyed rainbow six, I have not bought an Ubisoft title since. From what I’ve heard and seen from their recent games, this most likely would have been a bad console port anyways. I am pretty sure I won’t miss this game anyways.

    • PopeJamal says:

      If the only way that Ubisoft will release games on the PC is with their shitty, DRM, then they can keep their mediocre titles. I haven’t truly enjoyed a Ubisoft game since the second Splinter Cell game.

      Screw them.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Joshua says:

    I may have readf that wrong, but I think the point was that if they just ‘port’ Ghost Recon then people will not like it, and pirate it. If they put some real effort in, then they won’t. Which is why they are making Ghost Recon online…

    • Adam Smith says:

      That’s certainly part of what’s being said – which is why I’m certainly not saying anything negative about Ghost Recon Online. But throwing out the 95% figure and the idea that the PC can’t support some releases because the right sort of ‘demand’ isn’t there seems at least a little disingenuous.

      If part of the problem with piracy is lazy ports, surely it’d be better to put in the effort, since there’s a large market of customers who would gladly pay for a decent game.

    • johnpeat says:

      Point them at Skyrim – and game CLEARLY designed for consoles first and foremost – and the most popular game (in terms of concurrent players) EVER in Steam.

      Yeah – mass piracy made that a terrible idea – way over 2m sales – why would you bother eh? :)

    • Jerusahat says:

      Yeah. I think the biggest problems they have are PC gamers don’t like crappy ports, they don’t like DRM, and they don’t want to pay console prices.

      They’ve got this problem where they need to spend proper effort on a port that’ll sell for less than the console version, in fewer numbers.

      But this is Ubisoft, so instead of saying that, they just bang on the piracy drum. It’s almost as if an exec somewhere has to justify the massive failure of their doubtlessly expensive DRM scheme.

    • Ravenger says:

      Again ubisoft is concentrating more on the pirates than on their paying customers. It seems strange to base your entire publishing model alienating your core customers with DRM, delayed releases, poor ports in the name of fighting piracy, then announce that your latest game isn’t for those customers who supported you in the past despite all the hoops you made them jump through. No this latest game is designed specifically for the pirates to enjoy.

    • Magnetude says:

      @Jerusahat: And the reason PC gamers are unwilling to pay console prices is because we have too much choice. For the £40 Ubi would want from me for this, I could buy 5 or 10 games (depending on what sales or bundles are on) and there’s a good chance that half of them would be better than Ghost Recon.

    • TailSwallower says:

      Well put Ravenger, extremely well put.

    • Eclipse says:

      Ghost Recon online will be a free2pay shit, so no

    • Adam Smith says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure that a game will be good or bad until I knew more about it. The us vs them mentality is what I find silly about the recent Ubisoft quotes – but it would be more helpful if they lead to conversation and clarification rather than an increase of sabre rattling on both sides.

    • sneetch says:

      @Ravenger
      No this latest game is designed specifically for the pirates to enjoy.

      I found that to be the most baffling statement of all! I don’t particularly want to play this at all (despite having bought the last two GRAW games and quite looking forward to the real GR game, if there was “sane” DRM) but the “get in there with the rest of the pirates” attitude is completely alienating me. What next? After six months they’ll shut it down and tell us that they’ve added all our names to their big-list-o-pirates?

  3. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    So PC Gamers, you’re all thieves.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Don’t exaggerate. He just called 95% of PC Gamers thieves.

      KG

    • Ajh says:

      I’d love to know where they come up with these numbers. I think they’re pulling them out of their imaginations.

    • frenz0rz says:

      @Ajh

      If only they applied said imaginations to say, I dont know, producing an entertaining game that people would gladly purchase? No, that would be silly.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      You call your ass ‘imagination’?

    • noclip says:

      The X% figures demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of what is happening. If 90% of your customers stole your product it doesn’t mean you lost 90% of your sales.

    • starclaws says:

      I don’t mind being called a thief. Better than being called a terrible developer.

    • Phantoon says:

      YES! IT WAS ME! I pirated Assassin’s Creed five hundred million times! That 95% was me!

    • Blackcompany says:

      They aren’t mad about piracy.
      .
      They’re upset about “AssCreed.”
      .
      Which is, coincidentally, still hilarious.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      I found the bit where he said “95% of our consumers will pirate the game” a bit odd. Don’t you have to BUY a game before you’re considered a consumer?

    • Valvarexart says:

      72.18% of all statistics are made-up.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      @TheGameSquid

      Maybe in a brief moment of clarity he understood that most the people who buy their games inevitably end up getting a cracked version too, to ignore all the DRM hoops.

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      It’s because they live by the Ass Creed. That is, their creed is “be an ass, treat your customers like asses.”

    • Magnetude says:

      @Droopy: I wouldn’t be surprised if piracy of Ubi games were significantly higher than those of other publishers because of people downloading cracks so they can play their legitimately bought games in peace.

    • elmuerte says:

      Steam stats say there once were 250.000 players playing Skyrim at the same time. By Ubisoft measures it means that there could have been 5.000.000 concurrent Skyrim players.
      At that time only 7.000.000 units were sold on all platforms. Because PC sales sucks I’ll say that only 10% of the sales are for PC version. So, that would make 700.000 sales for the PC alone, to make things easier I’d just say it’s 750.000. So at Steams height, 33% of the people that bought Skyrim on the PC were playing it. That means that Bethesda could have sold 15.000.000 copies of Skyrim if the people on the PC wouldn’t have pirated it. Because only 10% of the people are PC gamers it means that in total sales, Skyrim would reach 150.000.000 units sold. This would mean that Skyrim beats the Wii packages game Wii sports 2+ times over. (It also means that everybody owning a XBox 360 or PS3 bought the game more than once).
      Gee… numbers are fun.

    • Renzatic says:

      Ajh Said: “I’d love to know where they come up with these numbers. I think they’re pulling them out of their imaginations.”

      I imagine it goes something like this…

      There are roughly 5,000,000,000 people populating the Earth at this point in time. Of those 5,000,000,000, roughly 2,000,000 will buy this game. And that’s max projection. Therefore, we can safely assume that we, as a company, have lost 4,998,000,000 sales due to piracy.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      “Rock Paper Shotgun: We’re the other 5%”

    • His Dudeness says:

      [wax on]

      95% of Ubisoft drones and their minions are bitching whiners. Are they French or sumfing? Is it lesbian awareness week? Is someone holding their mung-bean-filled-Tibetan-shoulder-bags for ransom?

      Keep your games! No self-respecting pirate would want to be seen dead wasting any bandwidth on their fluffy, namby-pamby console ejaculate. Yaarrrr! We only pirate proper manly games…and well, music from Jedward.

      Pirate Bay should boycott them too. Let them wallop in the cold, dark void of conscious oblivion by the unwashed masses. Aside from them console jockeys. But then they don’t count, do they?

      [wax off]

      m(

    • vexis58 says:

      “There are roughly 5,000,000,000 people populating the Earth at this point in time. Of those 5,000,000,000, roughly 2,000,000 will buy this game. And that’s max projection. Therefore, we can safely assume that we, as a company, have lost 4,998,000,000 sales due to piracy.”

      You’re a bit off. There are closer to 7,000,000,000 people in the world. They’re losing 2 billion more sales!

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      Has the Sebastien Arnoult ever visited a torrent index site. The number of Xbox360 and PS3 games on there generally far outweighs the number of PC games.

    • Nielk1 says:

      The number is clearly fake, issue being they truly believe it. Anyone who has been to a torrent site, weather they be looking for something legit like Linux or something else, knows that at the very top of the list of torrents there are fake ones. I have seen stuff like “Ubuntu Game of the Year” with outrageous seeder and leecher numbers. These are what they use to count. Even if they did look at real torrents they sit there and sum them up from X number of sites where nearly all of them list the same torrent with the same numbers!

      A lot more than 95% of anti-piracy statistics are garbage.

    • lijenstina says:

      This means a Cold War between Ubisoft and PC Gamers. This time Comrades, We will win. :)

    • kemryl says:

      oops

  4. ezekiel2517 says:

    I’m just glad he didn’t call me a bitch.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yes, it’s refreshing, recently

    • theleif says:

      “The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment. And not being called a bitch.”
      -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      That’s John Romero’s job. ;)

  5. kikito says:

    I’ll quote the awesome mr Shamus Young on this one:

    “I know how it is. The money keeps rolling in, piling up. That’s fine at first, but after a while it becomes annoying. I mean, where do you put it all? The desk drawers are so full that money just comes spilling out every time you look for a pen to write a thank-you note to somebody for the duffel bag of cash. Your pillowcases are as stuffed as they can get, there’s no room left in the icebox, and the closet is clogged with the stuff. You can’t go up in the attic without bumping into something and having a pile of cash snow down on you. The heaps of bills in the basement have been scattered from the kids jumping in them, and you’re sick of sweeping them back together. Sooner or later you turn to your spouse and say, “Isn’t there something we can do to get rid of all this damned money?!?” ”

    That must be how that producer feels. Poor guy.

  6. Pharos says:

    It does make a kind of sense, really. After all, there are Internet Oceans that stop games being released on the same day over the world, so it stands to reason that Internet Pirates would be able to hold the transport ships up and steal the games before they can be sold to customers.

    • The Ninja Foodstuff formerly known as ASBO says:

      Hahaha yes indeed.

    • DazedByTheHaze says:

      This! Where is the UN when we need it! Switzerland will send it’s whole Bodensee fleet to save our gaaaames from the dirty pirate hands!

    • kemryl says:

      That is the funniest thing I have read in quite a while. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s quite funny, and I want a game based on the Ghallywood film based on the idea of Internet Pirates holding up ships on the Internet Oceans, and I want both the game and the movie to be horribly low budget so that the pirates find nothing worth taking and decide not to steal the game or movie, thus getting it to me sooner and without the barnacle that is modern DRM. Chop chop, Ghana.

  7. ran93r says:

    Not sure I’m bothered, Future Soldier didn’t seem that interesting and the pay to win GR:ONTHEWEBS just sounds like a dodgy proposition anyway.

  8. Premium User Badge

    JayG says:

    I can’t be the only person who wishes they would just fuck off. No way I’m ever buying another UBI game for any platform. Whiny bitches who never shut up. You don’t like the platform, just stop producing games for it. But no, whine whine whine.

    • Kuipo says:

      You’re not the only one. Trust me. Ever since their ‘always on’ BS DRM, I’ve sworn off all Ubi games. There were only a few that I followed to begin with. Every time I read about all the crap they say about PC gamers, I feel the same way as you… if you don’t like it so much, F-OFF!

    • Tin says:

      There’s a bit of “the lady doth protest too much”. If PC is so bad for them, then why not just make it for the console toys and be done with it. What does slinging mud at the PC market gain them?

    • Dolar says:

      @Tin I really do think the goal of Ubisoft these past 2 years was to justify their getting totally out of the PC market. They are pissing on the PC crowd so when they finally announce there will be no more PC versions more pc gamers will be happy to tell them to fuck off.

      I also think for some reason they want to see the industry as a whole move away from making PC games. Maybe they have something planned down the road, some kind of all in one console thing like Onlive?

      It does seem like they are trying damn hard to get out of the PC market, and take as many others as they can with them.

    • grundus says:

      I agree with Dolar.

      I also wonder how many of the pirates they’re so upset about became pirates because they were sick of being unable to play the Ubisoft games they legitimately bought thanks to the fucking ridiculous DRM, I know I looked around for a while trying to crack the DRM on Splinter Cell: Conviction, but then gave up, stopped caring about the game and decided there and then that Ubisoft can go and fuck themselves with the money I gave them for something I can barely use.

      Also, most of the Ubisoft games I can think of are just shoddy anyway. I know Ubisoft don’t develop all their games, though. Rainbow 6 Vegas is probably the most annoying of those, I would have loved the shit out of that game if the online play was any good, but I’ve found that if you’re not the host, you have to lead the randomly spawning, heat seeking, x-ray visioned terrorists by approximately calendar month, and even when you hit them there’s no assurance that you’ll actually kill the target because they sometimes seemed to be invincible for no reason. Such potential, ruined by shitty coding. The list does go on but I can’t be arsed, point is I wish Ubisoft would just give their IPs to a publisher who gives a shit about delivering a good product and fuck off entirely.

      Frankly, their tactic is working, if they announced they’re just ditching the PC market entirely I would struggle to find a fuck (flying or otherwise) to give.

    • The Ninja Foodstuff formerly known as ASBO says:

      95% of PC gamers wish they would fuck off.

  9. Faceless says:

    I don’t know what frustrates me more, the asinine assumption that piracy can be measured, or that he claims such a grossly exaggerated percentage.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Let’s be fair – any time they *have* been able to measure it to any degree, figures turn up 80% at the lowest.

      EDIT: The World of Goo being the classic. As always, remember the proviso is that 82% doesn’t include people who chose not to log into the leaderboards.

      The anti-pirate argument is that people who don’t buy your game don’t matter. It’s whether enough people *do*.

      KG

    • Faceless says:

      Sums up how I feel about piracy.

      It’s most easily noticeable when a game takes a while to be ‘cracked’. Those who had intentions to pirate it do not buy it, instead either waiting for it on torrents or completely forgetting about it.

      I’ve seen a staggering amount of pirates who downloaded Skyrim, only to purchase it afterwards.

    • Baines says:

      The most asinine is the belief that all pirates are lost customers.

      95% of your customers pirated your game? No. Most of the people who pirated your game would never have paid you for it in the first place. You aren’t losing billions (or whatever you think you are losing), because you never would have gotten most of that money regardless.

      That is without even getting into the smaller number of people who “pirated” a game that they bought in order to get around some form of DRM annoyance (and even Ubisoft admits that DRM pollutes experiences.)

    • Droniac says:

      @ Baines

      Unfortunately your claim that ‘most’ pirates wouldn’t pay for the games they download anyway is just as dangerous and far more unsubstantiated than Ubisoft’s “95%”. They can at least google for some torrent statistics and willfully ignore the fact that not all of them would’ve been sales, to gain some semblance of substance / realism to their claim. You cannot do anything of the sort for your claim.

      Personal experience really doesn’t count for anything in this either. I’ve seen a lot of piracy apologists claim that the pirates they know tend to buy games after they’ve ‘tried them out for a bit’. That isn’t really a fact or a statistic for all pirates, just a random personal experience. My personal experience is just the opposite: the vast majority of pirates I know never buy a game, unless it’s absolutely required for a multiplayer component they want to play. That doesn’t mean the vast majority of pirates act like this, just that the majority of the ones I happen to know act like this. And it’s utterly useless to be laying something like that down as a ‘fact about game pirates’.

      It’s probably that a large percentage of pirates shouldn’t be counted as lost sales, but how large that percentage is is quite unclear. And it’s very likely that developers and publishers ARE in fact losing quite A LOT of money to lost sales due to game piracy. Not as much as Ubisoft tries to claim here certainly, but even if the genuine lost sales percentage was just 20% that would be an ENORMOUS amount of money that would’ve helped a lot of studios to stay afloat.

    • Calabi says:

      Theres also the question of whom is pirating these games. The majority could be in certain geographic(or demographic) regions. So even if the 90 percent figure is true they could never get any of those sales, even if they have invulnerable drm.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      @ Kieron

      I don’t think you can reasonably expect everyone to be able to ignore massive piracy and focus on the sales. For a lot of people, myself included I would guess, seeing your hard work get stolen is an emotional and depressing experience.

      Now, corporations should not act on emotion certainly, they should focus on sales. If marketed and handled correctly could Future Soldier make money on the PC? Good money? Probably. That is what they should focus on. Ubisoft though… they have always seemed to take this stuff personally for whatever reason. More than any other publisher they seem to just hate piracy itself on principle, more than looking at the PC financially. All their leaders’ comments back this up.

    • Baines says:

      @Droniac

      No, I don’t have statistical evidence, but I was mostly knocking Ubisoft’s lack of proof as well. I’m also not trying to defend piracy.

      Game piracy is similar to mp3 piracy. A lot of people get a lot of stuff because it is free, not because they were going to buy it in the first place. Back in the heyday of mp3 piracy stories, we had accounts of people having more mp3s than they could listen to in 20 years. If piracy wasn’t an option, those people weren’t going to buy all those songs.

      I keep track of emulation news mostly to see what is going on in those areas. People try to keep complete ROM collections for MAME. Some of those games don’t even have working emulation. The vast majority will never be played by the people who are collecting them. (The DAT for the most recent version of MAME claims 18,547 ROM sets, or “supported” games. The numbers really exploded when MAME started adding slot machine/medals games.)

      If piracy were impossible, and Nintendo offered NES games, playable on PC, for even $2 a piece, do you really think it would amount to half the number of downloaded NES game roms? (If not, then most of those pirated copies would not be lost sales. And in a world without piracy, $2 would be a pretty good deal for anyone who actually wanted to play a particular game.)

      I downloaded the (legally free) OST to Portal 2. If buying it was my only option, I wouldn’t have bought it. If Valve looked at download numbers to estimate what they could have made with a commercial release, I’m not a “lost sale”. I watch (legally free) TV shows and movies through Hulu as well as show sites like the Daily Show. In most of those cases, I wouldn’t buy a boxed set DVD, if Hulu wasn’t an option. Heck, even if I *want* to buy a boxed set DVD, I might not simply because I can’t afford to buy everything I want. If “free” isn’t an option, then I just do without. (For that reason, if it weren’t for Hulu, I might never have watched Dead Like Me. It is also why I don’t own box sets of shows like Farscape, the entirety of Doctor Who, and many others that I *want* to own, but for which I simply have yet to be able to justify the expense.)

      For the guy who pirates 10 games a year, do you really believe that if he couldn’t pirate any games, he’d have bought all ten? Bought even 5 of those otherwise pirated titles? In some cases, maybe. In other cases, no.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      @ StingingVelvet For a lot of people, myself included I would guess, seeing your hard work get stolen is an emotional and depressing experience.

      And what about all those people who will enjoy a work you have produced? What about all those people who don’t have money to buy your games, but thanks to piracy can still enjoy them? As a creator, how come you don’t focus on the people who will enjoy something you have created, instead of focusing on the sales you have lost? There are sure a lot of pirates that will do so because they can and that are unable to appreciate the work of others, but you should focus on the people that can appreciate your work, pirates or customers, and be thankful that your game is being played. I assure you that it will be much more enriching (monetarily, but especially at an emotional level) to show your audience that your main goal is to create a video game and not to have successful sales. People are willing to pay for a work well done, whether they pirate or not, never forget that.

      Also, piracy is not stealing.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      @ Kieron Gillen World of Goo being the classic

      The World of Goo example never was a good example and I’m sad people continuously use it as the main example. World of Goo was a strange new game made by an unknown developer at a time where indie games were still a strange thing. And they did that estimate withing the first month, what were they expecting to happen? I pirated that game as I do with many indie games because I don’t know what to think of them, and then I bought it, and then I gifted it and then I bought it again. I was probably part of that statistic, but no statistic was made to realize that I, and I’m sure many, many others, eventually bought the game when we realized how good it was. Indies more than any other should embrace piracy, because they are the ones that are benefited the most. People get to know their work and, if that work is good, they get a lot of praise and word to mouth that eventually transforms into sales.

    • Gnarf says:

      When some number people put years of their lives into making a videogame, and they say that you can have the game for like $50 or whatever, then, as a general thing*, your non-asshole options are 1) buy the game, and 2) don’t play the game.

      Pirating it is the asshole option and pirating it and then arguing that the developer should be really super-happy that you’re enjoying it is some kind of what the fuck.

      *Yes yes yes yes. It’s actually all shades of gray and that and there are some cases where blahblahblah. But those are actually, in fact, really actually, uncommon. Not just some “I cannot comprehend the idea of bridge building games (and there’s absolutely no way I’d get any idea of what this one is like by checking out the totally free Tower of Goo)”.

    • Ravenger says:

      As a PC gamer I’m dead against DRM, even though I work in games and stuff I’ve worked on has been massively pirated.

      Post-release DRM is often ineffective. It’ll either be strong enough to stop the pirates for the while, or weak enough to be cracked straight away. In either case all the DRM does is annoy and inconvenience your paying customers, so it’s a lose-lose situation for them.

      I think you can reasonably stop zero day piracy, which in my opinion is the most damaging kind, because users could be tempted to pirate a game just to get it early. It doesn’t have to be DRM as much as not including the executable, then releasing it in a day-one patch.

      Anyone who says that a developer ‘deserves piracy’ for whatever reason probably hasn’t experienced anyone pirating something they worked on.

      It hurts when I google for a game I worked on to find that nearly every result is a link to a torrent or file sharing site where they’re pirating the game. I know that most of the people downloading the game probably wouldn’t buy it – and probably won’t play it much if they download it, but the sheer quantity of sites out there devoted to giving away for free something that I worked hard for months or years on is incredible.

    • Jenks says:

      @Gnarf

      So true, and it’s a borderline mindfuck to visit this site, read the “hey I pirate games, but we’re all cool here” comments, and watch the powers that be look the other way.

      It’s ok to pirate because you might buy the game later? You’re a self entitled twat that is the reason the PC platform is losing games like this. Go ahead and respond with some snarky bullshit about how this game sucks anyway, as if that’s the issue here. Ignorant developers aren’t the reason you’re losing games, you are. But please, continue on with the disingenuous “discussions” about how beneficial you pirating games is to everyone. You don’t just buy games you pirate, you buy two copies!

    • The Ninja Foodstuff formerly known as ASBO says:

      @Jenks: No it isn’t. Piracy doesn’t take away from actual sales, so it’s nonsense to talk about it in those terms. If I make a million dollars selling something, and ten million people get that thing for free, I’m still a million dollars up.

      The only argument that can be made is that it eats into supporting the product. But when was the last time you got decent support from any games developer?

    • Malk_Content says:

      @ The Ninja

      A couple of times things have been supported with free DLC and the like, but that isn’t where the money goes. If you buy a game from a developer (and I know most goes to the publisher but the devs are whats important here) and enjoy it, the likely hood is the next game they make you will also enjoy because developers tend to make games that are similair to each other, either mechanically, thematically or in terms of tone/aesthetic. If the devs don’t have money (or more accurately most of the time don’t make enough money for the publishers but same result) then they wont be able to make any more games.

      As I gamer I thought it would be obvious that after you’ve bought a couple of titles from a dev, or even a first title from a promising new dev, your not really supporting the product but the developer.

      Piracy does take away from actual sales (not 100% of pirated copies like some claim but definitely not 0%) I know when I (and my friends) were younger and stole games it was because we wanted to play them, we knew they were good but didn’t want to spend our pocket money. Without the option of piracy we would have bought the games, as evidenced by the fact we did before one of learnt how to pirate. Now I’m older and I see that piracy damages the industry so I don’t do it any more out of love for gaming but those absolutely were lost sales and there is no denying it.

    • Emeraude says:

      In short, what they’re saying is they’d prefer to make NO MONEY AT ALL rather than allow some people to play their games for free. This isn’t’ about profits, this is about control and spite.
      While understandable, I find it an ultimately baneful way of framing things.

    • Wonko the Sane says:

      @Droniac: some evidence is given by Larry Lessig here: “If 2.6 times the number of CDs sold were downloaded for free, and yet sales revenue dropped by just 6.7 percent, then there is a huge difference between “downloading a song and stealing a CD.”

      That figure suggests a pirated copy is worth about 0.025 of a sale. Also piracy of mp3s is easier than games.

      PS: I do not play pirated games. When I can pick up something like FO: New Vegas in a Steam sale for less than a fiver (like I just did :) , why bother?

    • Consumatopia says:

      I have no idea how many games are sold in the counterfactual piracy-less world, but MicroEcon 101 suggests that if you lower the price of something that’s ordinarily €60 to 0, a whole mess of people who never would have considered buying it at full price will take it.

      The argument that PC piracy could cannibalize console sales does make some sense–it’s more inconvenient to mod your console than to point your browser to Pirate Bay, at least if you’re dumb enough to not care about trojans. But consoles have a bigger used games market. Back when I played consoles I remember beating some games really fast and getting most of my money back on half.com. Or lending games to my friends and family. Unlike piracy, there’s nothing unethical about this–but a used game is more plausibly a lost sale than a pirated game.

      One thing is for sure. If you’ve got 95% piracy, then DRM is utterly, utterly pointless for stopping anything but the most casual of copying. At least DRM on PC. I think what’s really happening here–machines that only run signed binaries are the logical conclusion for DRM. They aren’t so much abandoning the PC as insisting on the only form of DRM that could possibly work: the console.

      Overall, I don’t really mind missing out on their super-Hollywood content. But Hollywood films don’t cost €60 in either the theater or on Blu-ray, and I can’t believe film piracy could be less prevalent than game piracy.

    • Laivasse says:

      @ Droniac Unfortunately your claim that ‘most’ pirates wouldn’t pay for the games they download anyway is just as dangerous and far more unsubstantiated than Ubisoft’s “95%”. They can at least google for some torrent statistics and willfully ignore the fact that not all of them would’ve been sales, to gain some semblance of substance / realism to their claim. You cannot do anything of the sort for your claim.

      Presumptuous to say he can’t back it up, although he didn’t have evidence on hand. It’s not a ‘dangerous’ claim. It’s a true one and I’ll attempt to substantiate it.

      The most frequently cited, casual example of pirated-to-legit ratio analysis is the one that 2d Boy did for World of Goo. Kieron linked it above. But everyone tends to overlook the point they made in that same blog post, as well as the more in-depth analysis done by Reflexive about their game Ricochet Infinity, which 2d Boy also cite in their analysis.

      Ricochet Infinity was a small indie game which shipped with some DRM but was still heavily pirated. Over a period of time, Reflexive improved their DRM in various ways but discovered that, in their words, ‘for every 1,000 pirated copies we eliminated, we created 1 additional sale’. This could even be a conservative estimate since their analysis appears to assume that 1) the decrease in downloads came as a result of their added DRM measures and not other factors (like the increasing age of the game) and 2) any increase in sales was linked to a decrease in piracy (and not eg. random fluctuation or increase in word of mouth surrounding the title at a particular time).

      2d Boy commented on that analysis:
      “this supports our intuitive assessment that people who pirate our game aren’t people who would have purchased it had they not been able to get it without paying. [emphasis Laivasse’s]

      in our case, we might have even converted more than 1 in a 1000 pirates into legit purchases. either way, ricochet shipped with DRM, world of goo shipped without it, and there seems to be no difference in the outcomes. we can’t draw any conclusions based on two data points, but i’m hoping that others will release information about piracy rates so that everyone could see if DRM is the waste of time and money that we think it is.”

      So 2d Boy’s much-referenced 80-90% piracy ratio figure actually comes as part of a meditation upon the futility of DRM.

      Furthermore, I remember doing some casual research into the impact of mp3 trading on the music industry a few years ago, as part of a report for university. I was dumbfounded to discover that from the period 2003-2005, the British Phonographic Industry (think Britain’s RIAA) enjoyed record-breaking sales of physical CD albums, year on year. That is to say, when Kazaa and various Napster clones were at their height, and when Suprnova (notorious predecessor to thepiratebay) was still around for torrents, the BPI managed to sell more actual CD albums than they ever had done. Then they sold more the year after, and yet more the year after that. They may even have sold yet more in 2006, but my digging didn’t stretch that far, since that was the year the essay was due.

      So yes, it is neither dangerous nor unsubstantiated to say that ‘most’ pirates don’t represent a lost sale. In fact it’s probably closer to being a massive understatement.

    • xl 4ndre lx says:

      I’ve got the solution to the pirating problem.

      Pirating is a horrible thing to do. All the pirates should instead, go to their local game shop and by a “legal” USED copy of the game. Now your not breaking any laws and you still don’t need to support the developers…

      I’m helping right?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      MichaelPalin: It’s the classic because it’s hard numbers which everyone on the Internet attempted to pick over to find flaws in, from a developer who is very much in the “Piracy isn’t a problem” position and were entirely open with their methodology. Normally the “Piracy isn’t prevalent/a problem” position tries to dismiss people who give numbers like these as inaccurate, but you simply can’t do that with with World Of Goo’s data.

      So you’re left either making the sort of soft arguments that you would dismiss if it was saying the opposite to your beliefs – which is exactly what you’re doing, Michael – or you accept that Piracy *is* prevalent. I’m in the latter camp. However, as I said, Piracy being prevalent isn’t the same as being a problem.

      Of course, the fact that people deny this as hard as I can leads to the flip, which is what really bugs me…

      Laivasse: “‘for every 1,000 pirated copies we eliminated, we created 1 additional sale’.”

      They’ve never, ever explained how they reached that figure. They don’t show their maths. It’s an entirely fluffy number they could have just made up. Even the neatness of the number – “1000!” – makes me raise my eyebrow.

      However it has never, ever been picked over in the same way as the World of Goo numbers were.

      Meanwhile comment threads are full of people who really appear to have a dog in the piracy-isn’t-a-problem fight and thus willing to argue strenuously against anything which may suggest that Piracy is either 1) common or 2) impacts company’s bottom lines.

      Which is my problem – the consumer side of the piracy debate is hopelessly biased towards “it’s not a problem” and the industry side of the debate is hopelessly biased towards “it is a problem”. Neither of these positions are exactly helpful in working on what’s actually going on, which is what needs to be known.

      KG

    • MichaelPalin says:

      @ Kieron Gillen

      What I’m saying is that 2DBoy never gave numbers later on and, therefore, they never measured how many of those pirated copies became sales. What people assume when using the World of Goo example is that 90% of World of Goo players never bought the game and I think that is utterly wrong. Not that I have proofs of this, but those statistics don’t prove otherwise by themselves.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I know what you mean – but it’s just a fluffy argument, because it proves absolutely nothing. Sure, It could be lower. It could be higher, because there’s a shit load more people on the planet to pirate it as well. It could be lower, because sales later allowed people to decide to convert their pirated game into a bought game. It could be higher, because the publicity gained via sales lead to more people hearing about it and trying to pirate it. It could be lots of things.

      But what we do know is that in the first month of sale – when it was on sale for the highest, most profitable price per unit for the developer – World Of Goo had an absolute minimum of a 82% piracy rate. There’s precious few hardish facts in this argument, and I like to hang onto the ones we can.

      KG

    • Wonko the Sane says:

      I have to say bravo to Kieron for sticking to the facts, even if they’re not unambiguously gamer-friendly. If you act like facts are your enemy, you’re admitting you’ve already lost the debate.

      I would welcome some stats on how many pirates also buy games, and what proportion of those games they first ‘tried out’ illegally. I believe there is some evidence to show that illegal music downloaders on average also consumed more music legally, but you’ll have to show hard figures on something like that before anyone in the industry will listen – and rightly so, tbh.

      I’d also love for Gabe to share some of Valve’s results that they’ve been cooking in the pressure cooker of experimental capitalism that is Steam – as pointed out in RPS. I can see why they don’t, but it’d be better for the industry if they could unclench a little on this one. The whole question is the shape of the demand curve, right? Someone should really start teaching economics for the digital age, and sent a few industry execs on it (Valve excepted – they’d probably be teaching it)

    • lijenstina says:

      @Kieron Gillen

      And the former Soviet Union had a strong economic growth during the 50-ties and 60-ties. Extrapolating conclusions from a specific case at a specific time is a hasty generalization. That study is not enough to make any definitive conclusion.

    • Consumatopia says:

      The WoG number is the best I’ve seen, it’s probably an underestimate, but It’s not an absolute minimum. For one thing, the adjustment from 90% to 82% is almost a factor of two difference in the number of pirates per legitimate installation. And some of the numbers used to reach the estimate, while reasonable, were basically just guesses. (e.g.”1.25 computers with different IPs”–reasonable guess, but still a guess). It’s also possible that a chunk of the apparent single-IP userIDs had actually just switched userIDs between switching IPs. (Not implausible–say you played the game for a couple days on release, told your wife about, and she played it on the same computer a week later. If your provider had switched your IP in the interim, then you’d appear to be two singleIP userIDs. How common would that be? Probably not very, but I’m just guessing.)

      So, yeah, WoG piracy in the first month was probably more than the 82% specified, and we can rule out the possibility that 2D Boy overestimated piracy intentionally. But “absolute” minimum?

      Once you get beyond that, and try to argue that other games would match WoG in % of pirates (if Ubi is complaining about their games that means you have to assume that multi-gig downloads, higher system requirements, DRM, marketing campaigns and even the faint possibility of legal action at a later date have no effect on pirate %) then things are equally fluffy in either direction.

    • Baines says:

      When World of Goo came out, I’m pretty sure I was still connecting to the internet through dial-up. Didn’t dial-up give you a new IP address every time you connected?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Consumatopia: Absolute minimum was a rhetorical flourish which I withdraw. I normally just say “conservative minimum”, which is still – for my money – a little over generous to the numbers. That by default it doesn’t register the IP – it’s something the players have to turn on – strikes me as the biggest unaccounted factor in the data by a considerable margin. But, yes, absolute minimum is in a literal sense wrong.

      Baines: Worth actually reading the piece. It includes IP numbers versus registered profiles and all that. The “Well, I play in net cafes, so I count as 20 people, so it’s actually just as likely that the number is only 10% piracy” argument was a common one before 2D Boy did more math.

      Just in case people are following, it’s worth noting no-one’s jumped on the “complete lack of information about the piracy-isn’t-a-problem” piece of evidence in favour of nit-picking at the “Piracy is prevalent” piece of evidence. This is exactly what I’m talking about.

      KG

    • Laivasse says:

      @ Kieron

      2dBoy were just as woolly with their statistics as Reflexive were with theirs. Neither dev gave precise sales figures vs precise piracy figures because neither was intended to be a definitive statistical study on piracy. Instead, both articles were written with the apparent message that DRM is futile and piracy doesn’t appear to be significantly affecting companies’ bottom lines. If anything is glossed over when the WoG post is mentioned, I feel it’s this message.

      Reflexive’s ‘1000 pirates = 1 sale’ figure is justified at least as well as 2dBoy’s own statistics. The percentage changes for sales and piracy rate are provided in Reflexive’s analysis, for each change to the DRM that they made. They don’t provide the exact figures – nor do 2dBoy – but they are after all in a position of wanting to defend their product from piracy, so why would we assume bad faith? To doubt it because it just ‘seems’ wrong is the same as dismissing WoG’s piracy ratio estimate based on gut feeling.

      Conversely, there are plenty of identifiable holes in 2dBoy’s attempt to establish a ‘piracy rate’. Many are covered in these comments. I started to type a load of stats stuff about how dubious I am regarding their IP counting methodology until I remembered that I’m still missing the point. The point, as they made it, was that despite a high rate of piracy (and my gut feeling does say it’s probably very high), they felt that omitting DRM would not significantly affect their bottom line.

      So, I have no problem with people tending to attack and dissect woolly statistics about high piracy rates. Although it was not the case in 2dBoy’s analysis, all too often these statistics come as part of an attempt to justify stupid DRM or poor treatment of the PC market. Ubisoft are a walking example. These attitudes objectively harm the user experience in a way we can identify. Meanwhile, and not for want of trying, nobody has quite been able to identify the effect of piracy on the market. That’s why people have a dog in the piracy-isn’t-a-problem debate.

    • Urthman says:

      People always say “82% doesn’t count people who didn’t log into the leader boards” as if it means there might be even more pirates.

      But I bought the game retail and never logged into the leader board either, so that part of it works both ways. If for some reason pirates were much more likely to submit their scores than people who bought the game, that would’ve inflated the piracy rate rather than underestimating it.

  10. RiptoR says:

    Aaaaaaaaarrrrr, I be insulted!

    My resolve to never touch a UbiSoft game ever again, no matter what platform it is released on, just became a lot stronger…

    • Sankis says:

      The problem with this is that they DO have some great PC only developers, like BlueByte who makes Settlers and the Anno games :(

    • RiptoR says:

      Main reason I didn’t buy the games you mentioned is because of the very restrictive DRM those games have (on release, not sure if the DRM changed since then).

      I love The Settlers and still play the second one from time to time, but I won’t touch the recent one with a ten foot pole because of the “always online” requirement.

  11. The V Man says:

    Wow. Well it’s a good thing PC gamers are terrible Morloks from under the earth who subsist on the skin of babies and cause oil-spills to further their war against cuddly sea-animals. Otherwise we might almost think this guy has something against us.

    Now, away foul light. Back to the depths with me.

  12. InternetBatman says:

    This is really just turning me off Ubisoft. The presumption that Hollywood is a good thing for games is another problem entirely.

    • Magnetude says:

      Yep, this idea that the Hollywood model is going to ne the norm for much longer is a foolish one to hold. I was sort of hoping that Modern Warfare 3 would be our Cleopatra…

    • wssw4000 says:

      You would think that a model that takes obscene amount of money to produce obscenely short and liner games would not be used by anyone with common sense. The key is that it panders to the lowest common denominator so well.

  13. Mordsung says:

    I used to get insulted/frustrated by this kind of stuff, but then I consider the plight of poverty stricken countries in the world and I combine that with the fact that the man who said these things could have his existence ended by a relatively small amount of pressure applied to his neck and it kind of puts it all in perspective.

    He may think me a pirate, but I look at him as a couple hundred pounds of meat and piss in a fleshy, rotting sack.

    It also means I’ll have more cash to reward devs who cater to my platform.

    • PodX140 says:

      Aye fright, there’s troll, scary, and then there’s just psychopathic. Which this may go past even.

      Seriously, it terrifies me that someone could even think like this.

    • Azradesh says:

      Think like what?

  14. Magnetude says:

    They’d better not pull any of this shit for Far Cry 3, because it’s the only series they have on their books that could still persuade me to give this silly company any money.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      Beyond Good and Evil? :(

    • Magnetude says:

      Beyond Good & Evil 2 will probably be a digital-only console release, like I Am Alive – the Ubi CEO made some remarks a while back about streamlining it to be more accessible to modern audiences and other such guff, so don’t hold out hope for a PC release :'(

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      Oh Ubisoft, you so silly :(

    • Magnetude says:

      Oh actually, don’t lose hope just yet – from the ‘Pedia:

      “On June 7, 2011, Ancel revealed that he plans to develop BG&E2 for the next generation of consoles, which have yet to be announced.”

      Next-gen consoles and PC, hopefully? Although Ubi seem to going down the route of limiting new releases to channels which allow the least piracy, so yeah.

      Edit: Though it is sad that he feels the need to wait. Start making it as good as it can be on PC now, then port it to the new generation of toyboxes when they come out! It’s a no-brainer surely?

    • frenz0rz says:

      The sad thing is if Beyond Good and Evil 2 were only to be released on consoles, I would probably consider acqiuring one (having not owned a console since the PS1) purely to play it.

  15. WMain00 says:

    95%? That’s a pretty bold statement? Does he care to back that up with any notable evidence? The last time I checked reports piracy was actually on the increase on console systems.

    I can only presume that the whole reason behind these statements is because Ubisoft can no longer really use their draconian DRM, so have instead taken the attitude of casting the PC platform in a negative light and shunning any development for it.

    • johnpeat says:

      They’d point to the usual utter fucking nonsense of comparing Torrent downloads to physical sales…

    • The V Man says:

      I guess they missed that classic Star Wars scene.

      Darth Vader: Piracy on consoles is rising!
      Luke: That’s impossible!
      Darth Vader: I modded my PS3 last weekend. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.
      Luke: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Probably the same department that put out figures to show they’re down some ridiculous number for PC sales, which everyone else put on their absurd DRM measures.

    • pacificator says:

      Ubisoft guys are known to be full of sh*t.
      Let me tell you one thing about PC game development.
      Respectable game engines these days work on both PC/PS3/XBOX. Maybe they have a crap engine at
      Ubi tho i doubt it, Ass Creed comes to PC with the same engine used on consoles.

      So… even with 95% piracy, going all digital would be the answer ( X % to the distribution channel ) and the rest to the company.

      No worries Ubi, i will make sure NOT to buy your titles on consoles too…
      I’ll happily send money to indies instead or companies that deserve it ( let’s say DICE & Bethesda). Have fun.
      MUAHAHAHAHAHHA…

  16. JohnnyMaverik says:

    PC gamers don’t buy shit games on mass just because they have big name publishers and big ass marketing budgets behind them. All these events are saying to me is “hey you know I am Alive and the new Ghost Recon, well those games aren’t going to be very good and we know you wouldn’t buy them for any more than £2.50 in a Steam sale, so we aren’t guna bother porting them, now enjoy the rest of your day”.

    Just wish they’d stop dressing it up as a reaction to piracy and throwing around completely fictional statistics.

    • DrGonzo says:

      But you started your comment with a completely fictional statistic.

    • Freud says:

      The Sims and expansions are by far the biggest selling PC games.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      They’re not really shit, they’re just somewhat repulsive and comically (considering the subject matter) time consuming. I mean more people have bought and are playing Skyrim than MW3 on PC. I’m not entirely sure about console, but I’d hazard a guess that Skyrim hasn’t sold as much as MW3.

      Yes I am still using guessed statistics (not fictitious, they’re based on facts, I just haven’t proven those facts) to make my point, but come on… we know it to be so.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    You mean, you’ll play your stolen Serious Sam 3?

  18. Thoric says:

    Ubisoft are really on a roll here.

  19. V. Profane says:

    Don’t care, got enough games bought already to occupy me for at least a year, and I haven’t even picked up Skyrim, Arkham City, Deus Ex: HR and I’ve waited for the New Vegas GOTY.

  20. ananachaphobiac says:

    Anyone else wanna go mug some cars and steal some grannies tonight?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’m too busy downloading cocaine off the pirating bay to sniff off of dead lemmings

    • The Ninja Foodstuff formerly known as ASBO says:

      I hope you both wear protection. Like a hoodie or something.

  21. Mangle says:

    Ah, good ol’ Ubisoft. Produce mediocre games, force PC gamers to be online just to play said mediocre games, then whine when they don’t sell.

    And they have to cheek to call us bitches? :/

    • pacificator says:

      True :)) And on the I am Alive post i commented about them being the kings of bitching. Apparently they really want to hold onto that title.

  22. Ergates_Antius says:

    He’s right about one thing: I certainly don’t want $60 worth of Hollywood content. I’d rather have, y’know, an actual game.

  23. Theory says:

    Choices:

    1. Port a retail game. Have it pirated to hell and not be sure how much damage is being done.
    2. Make a free to play game. Zero piracy and high confidence of massive ROI.

    Ubisoft’s new PR line isn’t very pleasant, but it does make business sense.

    • The V Man says:

      Wait, selling ZERO boxed copies/digital downloads is better business sense than selling ANY?
      You realise it will still cost them to actually MAKE the game right? Free to Play isn’t free to Make.

    • Theory says:

      Every F2P game ever made has had an item shop. This is not a coincidence.

    • neolith says:

      Choice #3: Make a good PC game and sell it without super restrictive DRM.

    • Premium User Badge

      Durkonkell says:

      4: Ignore piracy figures and look at whether it will sell enough copies to turn a profit after the cost of porting it. If you sell enough products to make a profit, the people who aren’t buying your game are irrelevant.

      Or you could go to your shareholders and say “We had the opportunity to make more profit but chose not to”. I’m sure they’ll be fine with that.

    • Salt says:

      @Theory “Every F2P game ever made has had an item shop. This is not a coincidence.”
      The Free to Play label is only applied to games that have an item shop (otherwise they’re just free games, or freeware if you’re in the 90s), so you’re right it’s not a coincidence. [Winking smiley face goes here]

      I’m interested if F2P games do have such a high confidence on high RoI as is generally thought?
      We hear plenty of stories of F2P games making piles of cash, but presumably there’s also F2P games that flop. Looking at only the winners is never a good way to determine your own actions, otherwise we should all be investing heavily in lottery tickets.

      @Durkonkell For Ubisoft’s sake (not sure why I care about them, but there you go) I hope that your option is what they actually did internally. But reporting to the media “we don’t expect to sell enough copies to make a profit after the cost of porting” sounds an awful lot like saying their game isn’t very good. So instead they bumble on about piracy.

    • The Ninja Foodstuff formerly known as ASBO says:

      Tellingly there are no F2P games on any consoles. So on one hand, we have reports of F2P making ludicrous amounts of cheese and then on the other, that PC gaming is bankrupting the publishers. Hmm… What to believe..

    • Theory says:

      @neolith: Like World of Goo?

      @Durkonkell: They probably would make a profit. But they will make a considerably larger one by going down the route they have taken.

      @Salt: A good question. My bet is that a game with Ubisoft’s branding and marketing will be a success, though…for exactly the same reasons that an equivalent boxed product would be popular on piracy websites. :-)

      @Ninja: There is a F2P game on PS3 actually, and I expect that we will see a *lot* more on the next clutch of consoles. (Also, when Ubi and others say it’s not worth making PC games they are talking about traditional boxed products.)

  24. Teddy Leach says:

    I wonder why people pirate Ubibum games.

    • The Infamous Woodchuck says:

      you wrote that comment just to call them ubibums? meh

  25. Maldomel says:

    So soon ubisoft will stop making games for pc? Or is it just another case of poor excuses and ‘blameitonthecomputers’?

  26. kafiend says:

    “…having something ported in the classical way without any deep development, because we know that 95 per cent of our games are mediocre at best ” Sigh.

    Fixed.

    • Heisenberg says:

      the Far Cry games are pretty awesome, AC:Brotherhood was cool, I liked this years Driver and all the Ghost Recons and Rainbow 6 games too.

  27. Mephisto says:

    I have an amusing mental image of the guy in charge of Ubisoft PR, weeping at his desk, periodically banging his head off the monitor.

  28. Vexing Vision says:

    There must have been some kind of memo going around UbiSoft. Seriously. Can someone please investigate?

    What’s next? Settlers for Xbox only?

  29. Dunkass says:

    Well, that’s certainly eliminated any persisting enthusiasm I might have otherwise had for a Ubisoft game. It’s like a self fulfilling prophecy. The more rubbish they spout, the more they undercut their own legitimate buyers. If they can’t be bothered to come up with a sensible marketing strategy then I don’t think I can be bothered to part with my cash.

  30. Hoaxfish says:

    I reckon there’s a ghost of a chance I’ll be buying anything from Ubisoft for a long time.

    At the same time, I’ve already bought 2 PC games this week, and am eyeing some more.

    • Magnetude says:

      Same, and the only thing stopping me from buying more is my lack of money until the end of the month.

    • thegooseking says:

      I reckon there’s a ghost of a chance I’ll be buying anything from Ubisoft for a long time.

      Don’t you mean you recon there’s a ghost of a chance?

    • The Infamous Woodchuck says:

      @thegooseking: well played sir.

  31. p3ya says:

    The solution to this is so simple.. its not even funny.
    Just stop making games that aren´t worth the money..

    • Ajh says:

      Then they’d have to admit that the market is already saturated with mediocre big budget games of certain genres and they’d have to make something exceptional to stand out.

      Add to it the fact that it might be a little more difficult to program for pc with the idea that not everyone is using the same hardware to play the game. So they’ll have to program a bit more.

      Then there’s the sad fact that a lot of pc games still don’t include a demo (thus increasing “piracy” figures since people don’t always have $60 to gamble away on something they’ve seen a few pictures and a video of.) and if a pc gamer buys a buggy or mediocre game they can’t do anything about it, they’re out the money. At least console owners can rent and sell their games.

      …Man all that thinking, programming and marketing is way too much work.

    • cjl says:

      Yeah but it’s known that people are pirating Ubi games so if it’s ‘don’t make games that aren’t worth the cost’ then don’t set your own price of ‘free’ for a game that you think isn’t worth however much you’re willing to pay…
      Looking at other comments, there seems to be a mix of people saying good riddance for there not being more PC Ubi games (about equal to the number of people who moaned about Ubi not releasing I Am Alive for PC) and those saying they’d never pay for Ubi games because of the DRM.

  32. Giftmacher says:

    Hey kid! I’m a computer!

    Stop all the downloadin’!

  33. MonkfishEsq says:

    At some point Ubisoft have to realise that if they make a good PC game/port that people will actually buy it. Why hasn’t anyone told them?

    The PC version of AC:Brotherhood was fantastic compared to 2. It actually had pictures of the keys instead of just icons colour coded to the xbox controls. That should be the fucking norm, not the exception. I shouldn’t be shocked that they went the extra mile to do that but I *am* because of how fucking terrible Ubisoft as a publisher are.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Wait they really did that? I was surprised just reading the comment that an Ubisoft team would expend that much effort on a port.

  34. Heisenberg says:

    this is depressing for me because i always look forward to the ghost recon games and was taking the usual amount of interest in this one too.
    Oh well, I’ll just have to be happy with GR:Online i suppose.

  35. Premium User Badge

    JayG says:

    It’s quite funny too, I doubt I’m alone but I spent more in the last 2 months on games then I have in many years. I gave heroes of Might and Magic a miss because of the messing around, but with Skyrim, arkham city, Saint’s Row 3 and quite a few others, been a hell of a year for gaming. Also have Star Wars TOR as my xmas present coming, and there’s a Steam sale. I can’t remember another time like this for games, and just wish I had time to play them.

    Not to mention the 360 and 3ds games I’ll prob pick up.

  36. Kandon Arc says:

    I just don’t get why Ubisoft PR lets devs make these statements. How does this benefit their standing in any way? If you believe this BS fine, but there’s absolutely no need to spell it when you can just say no comment.

  37. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    As I said on Eurogamer, I’m fed up of only hearing Ubisoft when it comes to piracy and DRM. I realise we sound harsh and cruel – that there _is_ piracy and that it _is_ a problem – but Ubisoft are like one of those friends who’ve had a bad time of it but are now locked into a spiral of self-pity that alienates everyone.

    You bring them out for a pint, and they sit sighing into their beer, rebuffing all attempts at conversation not aimed at their problems. Then, when they finally succeed in driving you away, they’re actually, in a weird self-destructive way, happy: “See, I was right: they hated me all along!”

    P.

    • DrGonzo says:

      It must also be mentioned that there WAS piracy, and it HAS always been a problem. But back in the old days budgets weren’t so high, and people didn’t insist on making millions to ‘feed their families’.

    • ankh says:

      Based on oceanclub’s comment I feel I can relate to Ubisoft and I sympathize with them, I really do. I’ll buy this game on my xbox.

  38. OJSlaughter says:

    How rude! I don’t get my games from Pirate Bay: I get them from BTJunkie! I just find this to be laziness, they can’t bothered even if it does make money…

  39. Premium User Badge

    Phinor says:

    The biggest problem with most Ubisoft games is that they are mostly not great games. To pull some serious PC sales you need to have a product people want to buy while on consoles slightly lesser products sell reasonably well with some extra marketing.

    Also treating your customers like Ubisoft does with PC gamers won’t help. But mostly it’s about creating great games, not good games.

  40. Icyicy9999 says:

    Ubisoft themselves said they’ve seen a “90% drop” in PC sales without a corresponding rise in console sales since they started their “aggressive” stance against piracy, which in the same interview they labeled a “success”.

    Expect that 90% number to rise, Ubisoft.

    Meanwhile, Nvidia expects PC sales to surpass console sales somewhere between 2013-2014.
    Guess which company isn’t going to see any of them.

  41. Moni says:

    Is cutting off the face to spite the nose the appropriate idiom here?

  42. paterah says:

    I think you could do without the vitriolic sarcasm.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Really?

    • Premium User Badge

      Durkonkell says:

      I’m surprised that they didn’t completely empty the RPS sarcasm vat, to be honest. When companies insist on being so staggeringly unreasonable so often, it’s really difficult to put together a reasoned response which doesn’t involve vitriol and sarcasm.

      Personally, I’m past the sarcasm stage and on to vicious swearing. I don’t give a damn about Ghost Recon, but there will be games that do I care about which I will not be allowed to buy with my money. BG&E2 anyone? Unless there’s a significant change in direction at Ubisoft, I reckon it’ll be console exclusive.

      Why won’t the stupid bastards let me give them my money?!

    • NathanH says:

      Vitriolic sarcasm seems an appropriate response from an irreverent and unashamedly pro-PC gaming blog, I think.

    • TailSwallower says:

      Sarcasm sure, but I don’t see any vitriol. To me it reads more like RPS are disappointed in the developers for this nonsense, as opposed to angry (in the same way a parent’s disappointment can be worse than their wrath).

      They even mentioned that they were impress by GROnline, which adds to the sense of disappointment. They’re saying “We want to like and support you Ubi, but you are making it so. damn. hard.”

      Anyway, that’s my reading of it.

  43. scruball says:

    I wonder how surprised would they be, when their revenue and numbers sold would drop as dead. Would they connect the dots and realize that less pirated is a game, less it is bought.

  44. Rudel says:

    Yeah right, like there are no Xbox and PS3 games all over the Rapidshares…

  45. Barman1942 says:

    Sorry Ubisoft, I’m not going to touch your titles with a ten foot pole, even if they are free. Are you trying to be worst than Activision? Because you seem to be succeeding.

  46. Qwibbles says:

    Well I never.
    Good Day to you Sir Good day to you indeed *puts on pirate hat and storms out*

  47. Juxtapox says:

    How can you be a customer if you pirate the game?

    [insert philosoraptor meme]

  48. NathanH says:

    Hmm, I never know where to stand on these piracy things. I mean, publishers dicking around is annoying, and intrusive DRM is annoying, and people pirating a bunch of stuff that I pay for is annoying. One might argue that pirates getting stuff for free and my paying for things is better than pirates getting nothing and my paying for things, but I don’t believe in that doctrine so it’s no consolation. It’s not fair and it makes me angry.

  49. Heliocentric says:

    Shanghai are ubisoft’s B-team and rarely put anything good out.

    As one of the 5% who buy games *rolls eyes* I think ubisoft are just admitting the game is a turd.

    • TailSwallower says:

      The fact that they mention a Hollywood approach makes me think it will be another game made simply because the publisher saw Modern Warfare’s sales figures and started drooling uncontrollably.

      And frankly I don’t find that interesting in the slightest… More to the point, MW players probably won’t be interested either because it’s still not MW even if it wants to be.

  50. Barman1942 says:

    It just hit me; I wonder how much money Ubisoft is going to make off the Autumn Steam sales that are going on right now.