No Oceans, No Clarity, No Sense: AssCreed IV PC Delay

By John Walker on September 30th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

Well, it’s finally confirmed, and yup, it turns out that Ubisoft’s promises of avoiding delaying the PC build of their games haven’t exactly proven, well, true. The PC version of Assassin’s Creed IV, as speculated after a developer accidentally blurted the truth, will be released three weeks after the current-gen console versions. It’s now getting the same release date as the PS4/Xbox One versions. So it’s because it’s a vastly superior version and they can’t blow thei… no, because the Wii-U version comes out that day too. Oh, and three days later in Europe, too!

We’ve been asking Ubisoft to tell us what’s going on with the AssCreed IV release date since June, and we’ve received blank stares. Now we know why. Just over a year ago, Ubisoft said to us,

“We need to improve our communication, and make sure we provide better visibility to the PC community on our release dates for PC.”

Yeah.

The game’s whole release couldn’t be much more of a mess. Why on Earth they’re not delaying all the releases until the 22nd November, to coincide with their next-gen versions, I cannot guess. But now you’ve got the PS3 and 360 versions out on the 1st November, and PC, XB One and PS4 (and Wii U) on the 22nd. Yup, they’re releasing the PS4 version before the PS4 itself is out. Oh, and this is all in Europe. Indeed, they’re doubling down on this idiocy by releasing in the US three days ahead of Europe! Go oceans!

Even better, currently (although only until, I suspect, the time this information is unembargoed and the websites change), they’ve been implying the 1st November release date for the PC version on their main pre-order website.

Follow the link from that page to pre-order the PC version via Game, for instance, and oh look:

Or Gamestop:

There’s that improved communication and better visibility for the PC community.

So a three week delay on the PC version, a PS4 version before there’s a PS4 to play it on, and a three day delay internationally for each. What a feat. And good grief, that’s before you even start to ponder the ludicrous array of special editions, unique store versions (different releases for Gamestop, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target in the States), online versions, and so on. Quite how releasing a game can have been made into such a spectacular mess is beyond my explanation.

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147 Comments »

  1. pupsikaso says:

    Pray tell, why does the topic of few-day-later releases in Europe such a big deal?
    I understand if the delay was several weeks, but a few days? Seriously? Have we gamers really have such low patience?
    Never mind that these delays might make no sense to us. Never mind that there might or might not be a valid and reasonable reason for it. Why does a few days matter so much? Is it because these kinds of games only have a few days worth of play in them and by the time you have gotten your hands on it, your friends across the pond have already finished playing and moved on?
    I just don’t get this sort of impatience.

    • Dowr says:

      Because we do not accept unreasonable, illogical and downright idiotic behavior.

      “first world problems” blah, blah, blah. I (and many others) hate being disrespected for no reason and we like to do something about it.

      • pupsikaso says:

        Well you shouldn’t be playing Ubisoft games then, should you? Otherwise you’re telling them that it’s perfectly fine to disrespect their customers, that their customers will take it anyway.

        • LionsPhil says:

          The message of not buying it for that reason is indistinguishable from several others from their point of view, such as:
          * I do not like Assassins Creed IV, and you should sack the developers
          * I was not aware of Assassins Creed IV, because you did not market it hard enough
          * I pirated Assassins Creed IV, because you released it on PC (“Piracy Central”) so soon that I wasn’t forced to buy it on consoles
          * I am a potato and incapable of purchasing computervideogames, so do not even enter into your considerations

          “Voting with your wallet” is far, far too vague to be a useful training aid for naughty publishers.

          • Emeraude says:

            To paraphrase a friend of mine: “pirating sends a more accurate message than not buying. At least then they know you’re part of the potential market, but they are doing something wrong”.

          • pupsikaso says:

            Unfortunately by pirating you are not sending any message at all, because these kind of publishers do not listen for that kind of message. A smaller publisher might be able to see the message and realize that there’s something they can do to improve this situation, but Ubisoft and others have shown time and again that they are blind to this and would rather waste massive amounts of money and customer patience on a choreographed caricature of a hissy fit.

            At least by not playing their games at all you are sending some kind of message. As well as, if you care about it, preserving some kind of personal integrity.

          • melnificent says:

            So send them a message about why you are voting with your wallet. A level of distinction is achieved from general non-sales and you know they understand why you (and others) didn’t buy it.

          • jrodman says:

            I don’t think a company of this size is capable of listening to individuals. It’s the right spirit to try, however.

      • derbefrier says:

        “Being disrespected” okay now your just being a drama queen. I am sure there are perfectly good reasons for the small delays after all no company has infinate resources and there’s more to a game release than just putting it out for download. Logistical concerns are the primary reason I bet. Staggering dates to help with thingsd like support getting slammed by the whole world, or issues specific to the country that could arise etc.. Are just what I could think of off the top of my head and I am sure there are other concerns we have no idea exist. It just seems a very small thing to get all bitchy about espically when a lack of understanding clouds your perception of what actually happens during a game release.

        • Kitsunin says:

          It is disrespectful though! How is it not, when the only difference between English speaking Europe and the US is where they are on the planet, which doesn’t even matter because you know…no oceans on the internet. The reason is actually because they “Have to” synchronize their digital release with shipments of physical copies, which come later to Europe than the US. Only that should not be a thing online, so it is…pause for effect…disrespectful.

          • AngusPrune says:

            Disrespectful? They’re doing you a favour.

            The later release dates are awesome. You get to go on youtube and see if a game is good or not, and if you still want it after you’ve seen the release in Yankland you can still get all the pre-order bonuses as well. Long may this tradition continue, I say. I’ll carry on exploiting it as long as it’s exploitable.

          • The Random One says:

            That was quite useful when I got Saints’ Row IV. The game’s preorder had a discount, but since it was out already I had read reviews, impressions, videos etc etc etc. I got the preorder discount even though it was just a regular purchase for me.

    • tobecooper says:

      Why buy on release if you aren’t going to get it on release?
      And they really want us to buy on release, or better yet – pre-order.

      But someone else will probably explain it in more detail and with more emotion. I have patience and a backlog.

    • SirKicksalot says:

      The three days delay happens because of the logistics of transport. Eurogamer has a gigantic feature about this, the effect on digital release dates and the very low chances to synchronise with US dates.

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-11-23-why-are-we-stuck-with-games-being-released-on-a-friday

      • Artist says:

        Oh, that thing has some kind of reason? Thats too much research for Johnny Walker. Better hamster rioting =)

        • khulat says:

          Yes it has a reason. And the article, that you probably did not read, even states that the best way to change the behavior is to complain about it. Which Mr Walker is doing right here. Curious how this stuff works, really.

          • SirKicksalot says:

            Complaining like a petulant child, which is John’s approach, won’t lead to anything good.
            These delays are not “idiocy”. They’re the reality of a long-running distribution and storage system.
            Instead of bitching perhaps RPS should get its shit together and at least initiate a dialogue with UK retailers and with publishers. One with no snark, and informed, not like that time when Ubisoft told John that the always online DRM was abandoned a year ago and John was like “that’s great news!”. Come up with something constructive, not FUCK OCEANS AND YOUR IDIOCY.
            The UK market is a bit more nimble but pushing for Tuesday releases across the entire Europe is a nightmare scenario for everybody.
            I also can’t imagine a scenario in which all games come out on Tuesday and the prices and man-hours spent by distributors and shops don’t go up.

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            Also, I don’t recommend fucking oceans, salt water you know.

          • Kadayi says:

            Short of changing the entire release model around so music & films are swapped over with games, it’s not going to happen.

            It only makes sense for the big ticket items to push the boat out and go for synchronous release

      • JohnP says:

        Logistics of transport is a clear fallacy. Comics manage a global release date of every Wednesday, which involves plenty of shipping product around and they’re actually out earlier in the UK because of the wonders of time zones.

        And the comics industry definitely has a lot less money to sort this out compared to the gaming industry!

        • Kitsunin says:

          It isn’t the logistics though, it’s because UK shops think that Friday should be the day they stock games, while the US thinks Tuesday (Both for historical reasons). Did you read the article?

          • JohnP says:

            Did you read the post I was replying to? “The three days delay happens because of the logistics of transport.”

            And I read the article when it was originally published last year. I don’t give a damn what any shops think, I buy all my games Digitally.

          • Kitsunin says:

            Whoops, I must have mistakenly assumed the guy who posted an article would have referred to it in a manner that didn’t, y’know, disagree with said article.

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        I used to work for a transport company in the UK that delivered stock to several major game retailers. Stock for new releases actually came through about 2 weeks before the actual release date. So whatever their reasons for different release dates is, it isn’t transport.

      • Kadayi says:

        Yeah. I honestly don’t get why Walker keeps on doing these ‘no oceans’ rants. It’s never been the publishers fault as he always loves to imply Vs how the entire retail industry works. It’s only cost justifiable to make an exception to the normal delivery rules when you’re talking about a hot ticket item like a GTA 5 or a CoD

        As regards the 3 weeks differential. I suspect in large part that’s down to Nvidia & AMD needing a window in order to get their newest drivers in order. After all unlike a console a PC game has to run across a myriad range of systems & resolutions. Releasing early before drivers are in place can result in a game getting slammed for performance issues (See Rage).

    • Curry the Great says:

      It’s not impatience, it’s frustration with illogical behaviour because of outdated business principles.

      • iucounu says:

        Can I make a quick point about these kinds of criticisms?

        I work in book publishing, and quite often I hear people criticizing our industry for being ‘illogical’ or ‘irrational’ or ‘outdated’. But very often it turns out that the critics don’t actually understand the practical circumstances underlying what they’re complaining about. They assume that they don’t understand it because it’s nonsensical, but it may be that there are very good reasons for something to be done the way it is, but which involve poring over profit & loss statements, or logistics, or contracts, etc etc.

        For example, I can explain why ebooks are not, as some people feel they ought to be, way, way cheaper than paperbacks, but only because I understand the economics of my particular bit of publishing inside and out; and I can’t do it in less than a few hundred words. Whereas if you just have a bunch of naive but false assumptions (e.g. the price of books is closely related to production cost, or ebooks are zero-cost to make) it’s very quick and easy to just say “greedy publishers are obviously ripping us off” or “publishing makes no sense, they’re idiots.”

        I don’t know how the economics and logistics of game publishing work, so although it seems intuitively obvious that this doesn’t make any sense, there must be *some* reason beyond, you know, madness or being dinosaurs. I wish Ubi would actually explain in detail why this happens, because, all that said, I can’t really blame people for jumping to those conclusions.

        • Ajh says:

          I thought the prices of book publishing was mostly editing revisions,back and forth working with the author, paying cover artists, typesetting, promotions and marketing and the like. Granted it costs less to make an ebook, but most ebook stores take a cut too so there’s that to count the costs of making that paperback.

          But I never understood why a book can be released in the UK and take two years to get to the US. It all seems so odd to me even though I know it has to deal with copyright.

          Ubisoft just needs to communicate better. People want to know these processes now. Saying blanket statements like “We value our pc user base.” just annoy gamers. I think it’d be fascinating if they themselves did a website thing showing the process they go through to get a game to us. Where all the little fees go, where all the payments to programmers, markerters…things like that. It’d make it less disappointing if we knew why they seemingly arbitrarily changed the pc date.

          • welverin says:

            It tales a long time to remove all the extra ‘U’s.

          • iucounu says:

            With books, a delay of years is generally because nobody has bought the rights. These days, if there’s a book that is going to do well both sides of the Atlantic, there’s usually a simultaneous release – there might be a couple of days’ difference because of differences in the way retailers rotate stock. If people aren’t sure that a US book will sell in the UK, they might wait and see how it goes before committing. The same may go for delays of six months or so – that’s people waiting to see how the US launch went.

            I agree that the Ubisoft situation seems bonkers, and they ought to try to explain themselves more clearly if they want to avoid being seen to be bonkers. I guess the calculation is that if they just said ‘we think we’ll make more money this way, and here’s why’, then they’d be revealing more than they cared to about how their business works. (Maybe ‘we’d rather have console sales than PC, so we release it a little early on those formats to nudge fans who might buy either format.’ That probably wouldn’t go down well, though is rational.)

        • seamoss says:

          I’d be interested to read your reasons why ebooks do not cost less physical books – every single other “explanation” I’ve read so far is mostly hand-waving. I don’t mean to say that they should be “way, way cheaper” but given that certain aspects of book publishing are in fact eliminated (e.g. printing) or cost “way, way less” with ebooks (e.g. distribution), then I don’t see why ebooks typically cost the same as paperbacks (and in fact in many cases cost *more* than mass market paperbacks). The only reasons I’ve been able to figure out are bigger margins for both publishers & retailers (e.g. Amazon) and publishers trying to protect their dead-tree industry (see Apple anti-trust case).

        • Baines says:

          Book publishing is generally held as a prime example of an entrenched industry forcing its based-in-print practices and restrictions onto electronic advancement, to the advantage of the entrenched industry and the potential detriment of consumers. It isn’t just about the price of ebooks, either.

          • iucounu says:

            I know it’s often cited, but I think it’s a false picture. I don’t disagree about entrenchment, but not in the sense that we are just being stubborn; it’s because most of what publishers publish is backlist. Backlist more than about five years old is governed by contracts written before anyone really understood what the ebook market was going to look like – publishers, authors, agents, every party to them. Digital rights may not have been granted, or the royalty rates need to be revisited. Go back more than about ten years, and the final texts of books exist increasingly as image files or photographic film – they need to be scanned and/or converted to a digital format.

            These are both sources of drag and entrenchment, but they’re about solving practical problems, not about being crotchety old dinosaurs. Rights have to be cleared or renegotiated. Books have to be digitized, corrected, assigned appropriate metadata, and marketed correctly. Our contracts department is clearing over a thousand works per year, working full-time. Our ebook production department has doubled in size every couple of years and is now bigger than our print production department. And remember: any publisher is likely to be a low-margin business, because we are portfolio businesses – we need to make hits that outweigh the inevitable misses, and we hope we come out a little ahead.

    • FF56 says:

      The question is why is there a delay at all? There are no oceans on the internet, why am I punished and must wait 3 days to download a game because I live on the “wrong” side of the ocean?
      The delay makes some sense when you’re taking about shipping physical items, it makes no sense on digital downloads. Hell the pirated version with be available online before the legal version! Isn’t that insane?

      Imagine if RPS had a 3 day delay on all articles for those in the US, would that not annoy you?

      • malkav11 says:

        Because retail still exerts considerable influence, if primarily for consoles, and quite understandably objects to the idea of losing 3 days of sales versus digital.

        Now, there’s really no sensible reason for the -retail- releases to be staggered apart and the US releasing games on Tuesday is, quite frankly, dumb. It’s a terrible time of week to release stuff. Friday makes perfect sense because then you have the weekend to enjoy it (or go shopping, for that matter). But no, apparently we can’t do anything sanely.

    • TheMrSolaris says:

      Got nothing to with impatience. It just doesn’t make any sense to delay a video game, a digital product, for a particular platform and not offering a explanation why especially when it goes against Ubisoft’ earlier statement.

      If Ubisoft had said something along the lines of “we are delaying the PC version because we want add a few more layers of polish. :)”. I think people would have accepted that a lot easier.

      • TT says:

        Why not go for the truth: “Our suits think same day PC release will cannibalize console sales”

        • melnificent says:

          But the Truth would mean they respected the people that wanted to buy their product. Instead we are treated like walking wallets, that must be relieved of our money as quick as possible.

    • HighlordKiwi says:

      3 days is plenty enough time to get completely spoiled on a game, unless you shut off your internet connection during that time. That’s a tangible down side that’s not linked to impatience.

    • bookwormat says:

      I also don’t get all the complaining about a few days. I understand that it would be possible to lunch worldwide, but for a publisher there are benefits to iterative rollouts, and for the customer there is no real harm done.

      But I also don’t really feel the urge to buy a game at release anyway. So maybe I’m simply not the type of gamer that gets shafted here. For me, games usually get better with age. and they become cheaper as well. So the later I buy a game, the better for me.

    • pupsikaso says:

      So it’s not impatience then. Rather it’s got to do with people feeling that it’s simply unfair when there doesn’t seem to be any reason at all. That’s fine, that’s very understandable.

      But what if I gave you a pretty good reason? What if I told you that the publishers have a deal with the retail store chains in Europe to delay the release of the digital version in EU until the same day as the release of the physical version in the EU retail stores? Retail stores have already suffered significantly from digital distribution services. They have to fight back somehow. So they offer publishers a bigger cut or a better deal in return for making sure that the digital version is not available until the physical one is. Because imagine the disadvantage they would be in if the digital version was available before they had their stock of physical discs to sell.

      That might not be true at all, but for the sake of argument and conversation, pretend that that is at least one of the valid reasons for delaying the digital sales of the game in EU. Would this make you as upset over the delay or less so? Would you consider it an affront that publishers put money before customer satisfaction? Would that still be “unreasonable, illogical, and downright idiotic”?

      • Simbosan says:

        pupsikaso is right. This is the same reason that different countries have different pricing. The retail stores still have power over the publishers. Basically they force them to match the download pricing and release dates with the physical release. If publishers undercut the retail they would suffer a lot of loss of business.

        To be honest physical release will become less important and one day the publishers will just blow them off and start releasing digitally at a lower price and globally

      • Stellar Duck says:

        And why precisely should I, as a consumer, care if retail has been hit hard? Why should I care about profit margins? Why should I care about anything other than getting the good I want at the lowest price I can find and at a time that suits me?

        More broadly, I don’t quite understand why some people (not you, in this post precisely) will repeat ad nauseam that companies makes profit and not then add that as a consumer I can do as I please as well, including being pissed at a delay. Not that I am in this case as I’m not going to buy the game in question. Still, there are a lot of apologists for the companies that would at the same time screw over the consumer. That makes no sense to me at all.

        • bookwormat says:

          “Why should I care about profit margins?”

          You shouldn’t. But when pupsikaso asked why people are so upset with the delay, it turned out the problem was “Because we do not accept unreasonable, illogical and downright idiotic behavior.”

          Now, if a company delays the game in an attempt to increase its profit margins, then this is hardly unreasonable, illogical or idiotic?

          • Stellar Duck says:

            No, it’s not, obviously. They can obviously do as they like. But on the flipside I can bitch and moan however I like about their business practices.

          • Kadayi says:

            And hows that working out for you?

      • Lacero says:

        “But what if I gave you a pretty good reason? What if I told you that the publishers have a deal with the retail store chains in Europe to delay the release of the digital version in EU until the same day as the release of the physical version in the EU retail stores?”

        Are you going to give us a good reason or not?

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      It also increases piracy, if I’m hyped for a game and don’t want to wait till Friday I’ll just pirate it. A few times when games have been cracked quickly I’ve actually cancelled orders as they were let downs.

      I can’t be the only one who’s done this.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Because being arbitrarily fucked with isn’t endearing?

  2. Anthile says:

    To say it with MST3k: They just didn’t care.

  3. Mungrul says:

    Regarding the “No Oceans” thing, while not PC related, I was quite impressed that the Rock Star GTA V tail managed to wag the retail dog and arrange a universal same-day release.
    So it IS possible.

    • lightstriker says:

      That generally just means they had it sit in a warehouse for a few extra days.
      …which we know they did because the game leaked due to people taking it from said storage facilities.

      So no, they didn’t really magically solve this issue.

    • Kadayi says:

      Hot ticket items can justify the extra effort. AC is a popular series, but it’s no GTA5

  4. Viroso says:

    I’m okay with the PC delay, for one because I never get a game on release. Almost never. Kinda selfish here.

    Second reason is piracy. Apparently people just can’t contain themselves and they’ve got to get the game ASAP so they can play it and talk about it with their friends. Apparently people who would pirate get so tempted that they just go and buy a console version. The release, that’s when games get most of their sales.

    Yes, there’s piracy on the 360 but I doubt it’s as rampant as it is with PC, at least in the regions that Ubisoft prioritizes.

    Yeah, I know piracy can be fought other ways but this one is mostly harmless and if it works for Ubi than that’s fine. But then again, Ubisoft has shown lack of common sense, sight, reason in the past with their terrible DRM so maybe they don’t entirely know what they’re doing.

    We just sit down, playing with our backlog and wait for the sale, that’s what we do.

  5. Bull0 says:

    Not just muppets, but liars to boot. Sweet. Don’t give these people your money!

  6. Seafort says:

    Same shit, different game.

    They’re releasing the PS4 and Xbone versions before the consoles are even out in Europe?? I mean the Xbone doesn’t officially launch in mainland EU till 2014.

    That just stinks of so much incompetence that I don’t know what to do but laugh hehe

  7. Tei says:

    We are the 1%, the people that buy games as digital goods. The 99% still buy their games in brick and mortar shops, and that give enough lobby power to these brick and mortar shops to impose his rules.

    We don’t have lobby power, or perhaps our lobby power is not focused (same result).

    • lomaxgnome says:

      Except that recent data shows that digital sales of games is almost equal to, if not more than, physical goods.

      • welverin says:

        Yes, but the real point, not pissing off physical retailers, stands.

        To be clear oceans have nothing to do with it, it’s all about traditional release dates in our respective territories and no one wanting to change them.

      • Emeraude says:

        Well, given they’ve been trying as hard as they could to negate the advantages of buying retail, and gave it some of the inconveniences of buying digital…

        I find it amusing that those of us that buy retail have that feeling of powerlessness in our relationship with publishers, yet that feeling happens to be the same for those that buy digital.

  8. ZIGS says:

    At least this time they didn’t wait until a couple of days from the release date to announce the delay… baby steps

  9. welverin says:

    Why are they releasing the current gen versions before the next gen versions you ask, why so they can charge the impatient people a $10 upgrade fee of course (or whatever it is in your neck of the woods).

  10. nasenbluten says:

    I couldn’t even finish AC3, what a boring mess…

    Go ahead and release it next year, maybe I’ll pick it up on a steam sale just to try the new setting.

    • Rise / Run says:

      Yes, I really tried to understand why people think the AssCreed games aren’t just ass. I played AC2, and I found it robotic and pretty soulless, with incredibly daft AI (nevermind totally internally inconsistent in its missions and its overall world). I appear to be in the minority, but I just didn’t enjoy it, which was sad, because I wanted to very much.

      I’d wager that the current argument against the PC market would (ignoring ‘piracy’) would probably be, “they tend not to day 1 purchase, and wait to see if it’s crap. And then they buy in a couple of months when it’s cheaper. Damn them!” Since that tends to be the truth, a week or two delay in the release seems a-ok.

  11. Sharlie Shaplin says:

    After what they did to the Silent Hunter series, the bridges between me and Ubi are smouldering ruins.

  12. melnificent says:

    AssFlag gets a double delay for PC, why am I not surprised

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I was disappointed by the GTAV delay for PC, but then I read things like “don’t install the second disk, don’t use garages” and probably numerous other bugs. A lot of these games get put on schedules that are too limited. I’m hoping the PC delays usually lead to a more polished release.

  13. dogoncrook says:

    The company that makes the game you refer to as asscreed won’t respond to you? That’s weird. Maybe they thought you were a child?

    • Wisq says:

      Honestly, I think a lot of the game’s fans refer to it as that, too. It’s just standard internet gaming shorthand, not disrespect.

  14. Freud says:

    I can’t wait to collect 100 pirate coins, 100 pirate flags, 100 treasure chests and 100 bar wenches.

  15. Beernut says:

    How they do not avoid such obvious PR-minefields, is beyond me. Seriously, nearly all the Ubisoft-news I read the last few years make a negative impression, their apologetic statements excluded. And now we know how some of their promises turned out, so in retrospect those weren’t that brilliant either. Thank god I wasn’t in need of many of their games or a Uplay-account in the recent years up until now. Sometimes during Steam-sales, I’m tempted to buy Anno 2070. But then I read the extensive DRM-section with the need for an account even for singleplayer or the 3-machine-activation-limit and I’m cured for a while. If Nadeo and their Trackmania-series weren’t with Ubisoft, this publisher wouldn’t see any money from me at all.

  16. Iskariot says:

    I don’t mind the delay. Three weeks will pass before you know it.

  17. John Walker says:

    I realise that a lot of the people responding to disagree are just the perennial tedium-o-trons whose empty lives can only be filled by sneezing out their half-arsed sanctimony, but to explain to anyone genuinely asking:

    The reason the three day delay is an issue is because this is the same company that used odious DRM based on claims of Day 0 piracy costing them millions of dollars. They, and so many other publishers, then actively refuse to sell their game to most of the world, while allowing one territory to play it, YouTube it, discuss it on international forums and twitter. And then when people who would have paid to keep up with their friends if only then could then download the readily available versions instead, they cry “PIRACY! PIRACY!” and further punish PC customers.

    This cycle of idiocy needs to come to an end, as it harms games, game creators and pisses off gamers. Since we advocate games, and we are on the side of gamers, it makes sense to fight about this.

    • pupsikaso says:

      It would really help if you would take some time to explain this in the article, or at least link to previous posts, since not everyone reading it today is aware of this particular history surrounding Ubisoft.

    • Emeraude says:

      The reason the three day delay is an issue is because this is the same company that uses odious DRM based on claims of Day 0 piracy costing them millions of dollars.

      Necessary correction.

      That being said, seems like our constant collective negativity is getting to you Mr Walker. Have a cup of your favourite hot beverage (if it’s not coffee, let it be said you’re a heathen, though) some cake and/or cookies, and a slice of fun on the side.

      • Kadayi says:

        Correction?

        Even Walker knows that they dropped the always on DRM a couple of years back. Seems you however are late to the party.

        • Emeraude says:

          That or I consider any online activation scheme and needless mandatory bloatware client install – still currently in use by Ubisoft – to be in itself odious.

          Thank you for your reading comprehension.

          • Kadayi says:

            Man on the internet complains about having to be on the internet in article written by man on the internet.? Irony much? Sure back when Ubi-DRM was ‘always on’ there was reason to complain, but given now it’s a one time activation thing thing and then after that you can set Uplay to offline mode and not have to worry about it again, it seems rather storm in a tea cup it keep throwing out this ‘oppressive DRM’ spiel.

          • Emeraude says:

            “It is no problem to me, so it is no problem to anyone”. I love that argument.

            As someone who cannot guarantee constant internet access that is a problem. The fact that I cannot lend, gift or sell my legitimately bought games because of that scheme is yet another. The fact that the publisher demands that I submit to that bullshit after I paid them is the little abusive cherry on the cake.

          • Kadayi says:

            I’m not saying it’s not a problem for me, I’m saying it’s clearly not a problem for you. Because in the time it’s taken you type your various missives you’s of quite easily been able to carry out that one off login and all. Yet here we are with you making it out to be such a burden? I mean jez to you eschew mobiles phones because you might lose a signal? What about email?

          • Emeraude says:

            What part of “cannot guarantee constant internet access” do you not understand ?

            Not to mention the other bits you’ve been conveniently ignoring.

          • Kadayi says:

            The bit where its somehow such a burden. Phone connectivity isn’t guaranteed, yet I doubt that precludes you from having one, and internet isn’t guaranteed either, but that clearly doesn’t stop you from registering an account here presumably with an email. How can you tolerate the possibility that at any given moment you might not be able to check your email, or phone/text a friend? How much more of an activity are those things as everyday actions Vs playing a game, yet here you are proclaiming a one off activation as the ultimate transgression. There’s no sense of perspective at play.

            As regards your other issues, this notion of physical game sharing. Those days are long gone. One might as well hanker for penny farthings.

          • Emeraude says:

            The bit where its somehow such a burden.

            If I have to go in a ( common) situation where I don’t have access to the internet for two months, that means I cannot get new games for two months.
            That’s not a problem to you, that’s one to me.

            Fuck you very much for your complete lack of empathy. Again, all I see in your argument is that it’s not a problem to you, so it shouldn’t be one to anyone else.

            How much more of an activity are those things as everyday actions Vs playing a game

            Far less actually. Which is beside the point.

            As regards your other issues, this notion of physical game sharing. Those days are long gone. One might as well hanker for penny farthings.

            So you peremptorily say. I have problems understanding the recent xboxone fiasco in light of that though. You think resistance is futile I guess. Good for you.
            May you have the life you deserve.

          • Kadayi says:

            “If I have to go in a ( common) situation where I don’t have access to the internet for two months, that means I cannot get new games for two months. That’s not a problem to you, that’s one to me.”

            Care to elaborate on this 2 month blackout scenerio, and why the ability to buy new games despite being in this black hole of internet outage is somehow of absolute importance Vs playing maybe backlog titles? I mean who would you be buying games from in the first place exactly if you’re that far removed from civilization? Clearly electricity isn’t a problem because how else would you power up your laptop exactly?

            “Fuck you very much for your complete lack of empathy. Again, all I see in your argument is that it’s not a problem to you, so it shouldn’t be one to anyone else.”

            Again it’s not that it’s not a problem for me, I just merely wish to understand why it’s a problem for you. You’re not exactly demonstrating a case for so far.

            ‘Far less actually. Which is beside the point’

            So you place having access to games above the security of knowing if your friends and family might be in trouble? Hard to take seriously in truth.

            ‘So you peremptorily say. I have problems understanding the recent xboxone fiasco in light of that though. You think resistance is futile I guess. Good for you. May you have the life you deserve.’

            There are hardly any PC titles that don’t require some form of activation code these days is all I’m saying. What was the last game you bought that fulfilled your stringent criteria?

          • Emeraude says:

            a) I work in places that don’t have internet connection, but where I can still get physical copies of games delivered reliably.
            b) Playing new games might not of absolute importance but to be honest I fail to see why anyone should have to justify a desire to play a game that has been legitimately bought and paid for under normal conditions. It seems you happen to think that the limiting of access brought by online activations is legitimate, I don’t.
            I’m not alone in that – some people might not realize, but – believe it or not – Steam and its copycats actually pushed people out of the PC platform and into consoles. Which in some small ways magnified that xboxone backlash I think.

            So you place having access to games above the security of knowing if your friends and family might be in trouble? Hard to take seriously in truth.

            I fail to see how that has anything to do with the problem at hand. The fact that I believe the conditions of a commercial transaction are unacceptable have little to no bearing to the fact that I mostly have no use for phones, or that I still mainly communicate with my family and friends using the postal service – or *gasp* face to face.

            What was the last game you bought that fulfilled your stringent criteria?

            I love how asking something that is the accepted norm for every over comparable intellectual property product on the market is “stringent” when it comes to video games. But then, we’re the market where publishers dare to claim that second hand sales should be made impossible.
            Off the top of my head: Machinarium, Torchlight 2, Vampire the Masquerade Bloodline (bought one second hands last week after I gifted mine to a kid that had never played the game and fell in love with it after I had introduced her to it), Rayman Origins, The Witcher 2 – though I don’t see how saying that those games are becoming rarer (they are, that’s the crux of the problem and part of why the online activation process is odious in the first place) has any bearing to the fact that I believe they shouldn’t, and that the fight for them not to be is still an ongoing process (see recent EU court cases), and not an unmovable done deal as you seem to imply.

          • jrodman says:

            Last year, internet failed for me for 2 weeks solid.

            There was no power outage. There was no natural disaster. I didn’t move. I didn’t order new or different services. it just broke.

            This kind of stuff happens, and denying it is truly disingenuous.

          • Kadayi says:

            ‘a) I work in places that don’t have internet connection, but where I can still get physical copies of games delivered reliably.’

            Such as? I mean that you’re travelling around means you must clearly be on a laptop of some kind, but despite the fact Amazon can deliver you games, there’s not a Starbucks in sight to get some wifi off correct?

            @jrodman

            You boycott your email provider as well then?

          • Emeraude says:

            Such as?

            Camps in the Sahel. I don’t get games delivered by amazon, but by the rotating personnel on site.

            As for you comparison between the email and the DRM: the email (or telephone) as service is necessarily co-dependent of the telecommunication infrastructure, which is a prerequisite to its existence.

            That’s not the case for games,.

            Hence why one shrugs off technical difficulties with the former – where they are bound to happen sooner or later, but not with the later – where they have no reason to exist in the first place.

            I cannot believe that you actually do not understand that difference, and have to conclude that you are being willfully disingenuous.

          • Kadayi says:

            Not at all. I just think you’re full of it tbh. The notion that you’re out there in the midst of Sahara but the one thing that of all the innumerable inconveniences such a locale causes that’s simply beyond the acceptable is seemingly the ability to register your new computer games is just too…….convenient a situation in truth. It was hardly a bit ask to come up with the scenario the first time of asking, but the elusiveness and unwillingness be frank from the off brings into question the very validity of the assertion.

          • Emeraude says:

            The Sahel, not the Sahara.

            And of course it is not the mot important thing in the world, I can always read books. I’m actually much more bothered by the inability to lend or gift games if anything. But it’s an inconvenience that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

            Now, given how you casually disregard every point raised as a non inconvenience (again it’s not to you, and by some lack of empathy or imagination, or simply some genuine bad faith, you assume it’s not to anyone) and only concentrate on attacking your interlocutor(s), I have to to come to the conclusion you do not care about understanding.

            Hopefully that conversation though deprived of any meaningful exchange, will prove useful to some passerby.
            At least that would be worth the time loss.

          • Kadayi says:

            I prefer facts over fiction. Even if what you purport carried a grain of truth (which given that ‘The Sahel’ is still a pretty broad statement I find elusive), it’s such a 1% of the 1% of the 1% of the 1% scenario that it’s bizarre that you somehow expect the wheels of industry to skip to your beck and call for some reason, even more so when it’s seemingly a scenario that only comes up occasionally as evinced by you posting now.

    • dogoncrook says:

      The people that understand logistics have tedious lives? Eh probably.. Do you have any evidence they are doing this because of piracy, instead of agreements with brick and mortar retail?

      And why bother advocating for people you have an obvious disdain for?

      Half assed sanctimony in my book is taking critisism to insulting levels, and then being miffed they don’t engage you. Sorta like saying “answer my questions fuck face!”, and then bitching about them ignoring you. I mean your right, they should answer these questions, but why do you think they have an obligation to answer to you? You mock their work, and you belittle it, and you are admittedly not a journalist, and this is just a blog. Yes some people are being very tedious…

      • airmikee99 says:

        So it’s not okay for John to assault Ubi over things John dislikes about Ubi, yet the only way for you to tell John that is to engage in the exact same behavior, so why is it okay for you to do it, but not John? Admittedly, he’s not a journalist, just a blogger, but what does that make you? Why do you get to question peoples motives without evidence? Why do others need to provide evidence for their claims when you have nothing to counter it with?

        • dogoncrook says:

          John can bitch about whatever he wants to bitch about. I think it’s a weird practice myself to stagger release dates, but there are more plausible explanations. He didn’t really present any facts. Probably because you can’t go around smearing the name of a companies product and then expect them to engage with you on a professional level. If thats what rps wants to be, then I’m entirely ok with that, or even gaming advocates as apparently they now are. I mean, I don’t really care, I’ll still read and enjoy it. But complaining about something that’s your own fault I think is acceptable to point out.

          As other people have pointed out his conclusions might be wrong, but instead of explaining why he thinks he’s right, we are assholes, out to get him. What does he want out of this article anyway? For us to get mad, and for them to respond. He calls it asscreed, and he offers no facts. Don’t hold your breath is I’ll I’m saying. If this is gaming advocacy, good luck..

          • Kadayi says:

            Given the amount of scorn John regularly pours on most of the big publishers I doubt there are many avenues open to RPS as regards interviews with them, or the people working on their products these days in truth.

          • John Walker says:

            Kadayi – I know you and reality aren’t on the best of terms, but perhaps check out the numbers of interviews we have with developers represented by big publishers.

            And most of all, and making so many of these aggressive comments most mystifying, maybe read the interview we did with Ubisoft a year ago, after two years of ferocious campaigning against their DRM practices?

          • Kadayi says:

            You mean like the one where you went in huffing and puffing about the ‘always on DRM’ only to be politely informed that Ubi had dropped that policy 18 months before. You were just too busy getting your knickers in a twist about it in every ubi article you wrote to bother noticing? That article? Yeah I laughed. Just as I’m laughing now. Kieron was right, you’re all about stirring the pot and site clicks these days.

          • jrodman says:

            I appreciate your steadfast efforts to always raise the bar in discussions.

          • ffordesoon says:

            I don’t understand why you come here, Kadayi. You’re welcome to, I suppose, but all you do is whine about how much smarter you are than the RPS crew because ha ha they made a mistake once or something, and then you’re a snarky jerk to anyone who discusses anything with you unless they profess complete agreement.

            I mean, what’s the endgame here? Are you trying to get banned so you can go shrieking at GAF about RPS being “unfair” because they actually moderate their comments section instead of letting it turn into a cesspool of hideousness? Isn’t it boring being negative all the time?

            Honest question.

          • Kadayi says:

            I’m flattered by the attention (more so that you seemingly stalk me across different websites), but I must profess I have absolutely no clue as to who you are. Are we acquainted in some way? Did I perhaps fuck your father once? Because I must admit I find your character portrait rather lacking in truth, and I’m all about the truth to things.

            Still as ever I appreciate the impotent applause of fans.

          • jrodman says:

            “negative all the time” and that you really have nothing to offer are spot-on.

          • Kadayi says:

            Who knew criticism was a thought crime? How dare anyone care to disagree.

          • ffordesoon says:

            It’s less that I “stalk” you and more that I have read GAF threads in which your posts appear. How shocking that someone who reads RPS would have access to the internet. For the record, I have no idea who you are, either, nor do I care. It is merely your continued patronage of this website you seem to loathe that puzzles me, because I legitimately do not understand it. And you completely failed to answer that question, by the way.

            Interesting that “criticism” is your north star. I offered a bit of criticism, and what I got back was the following:

            “Did I fuck your father once?”

            Which is a hilariously disproportionate response to what I said. The old adage “Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it” springs to mind.

          • jrodman says:

            It’s not really criticism. Criticism requires you to engage. All you do is dismiss.

            Which, I’ll accept I’m doing here as well, but I didn’t spend the last 6 months doing only that.

          • Kadayi says:

            @ffordesoon

            You’re not offering criticism, you’re attempting to police the comments. It’s not that you actually have any counterpoints to my criticisms, you just simply don’t like my tone. In that regard I honestly don’t give much of damn, I’m merely bemused that you think you’re petitioning is anything other than troll behaviour. I actively want RPS to improve and move beyond perpetuating some pretty tired memes that frankly undermine the site, and I know I’m not alone in that regard. A lot of people are kind of done with the whole ‘big publishers are evil monsters angle’ because frankly, and to put it bluntly, we’re adults, with jobs, families and careers and that fairy tale simplification of things into ‘they’re the bad guys’ and ‘they’re the good guys’ just doesn’t cut it. So for future reference save your breath OK. Don’t like what I say? Use the block option.

          • ffordesoon says:

            I don’t have any counterpoints to your “criticisms” because A) I know I won’t get anything back but dismissiveness, B) because your “criticisms” as I understand them are so patently ridiculous that arguing with them would be a waste of time, and C) because your “criticisms” are not criticisms, but accusations.

            This is not to mention that you rarely flat-out say what you’re annoyed by, instead relying on passive-aggressive sarcasm and the textual equivalent of that bit in Taxi Driver where Travis Bickle glares at the pimps who may not even be pimps.

            No, I don’t like your tone, and if you don’t care if I don’t like it, well, I don’t care that you don’t care. I’m not trying to “police” the comments section, and if I were trying to do that, I’d be doing an extraordinarily poor job of it by focusing only on you. Literally all I did was ask why you only contribute negativity – and I’m still waiting for an answer that isn’t a bunch of chest-thumping nonsense. Sure, it’s a leading question that’s also something of an insult, but I can’t think of a more neutral way to ask it.

            And no, I will not block you, because – believe it or not – I am interested in what you have to say! If RPS is truly doing something bad or whatever, I’d like to know about that! But nothing you’ve ever written has convinced me of anything other than that you might work for Ubisoft or EA. Which would be fine, I suppose, but at least declare it if you’re going to haunt the comments of every article about Ubisoft and/or EA. Personally, I just wonder why, if you don’t work in AAA in some capacity, you’re doing their PR for them.

            And, before you ask, the reason why I’m often on RPS’ side is because I like RPS. I like the writers, I like many of the commenters, and I like the site’s integrity. I don’t always agree with the Hivemind, but that’s okay.

          • Kadayi says:

            @ffordesoon

            So nothing of value to add then (colour me surprised…)

            ‘Liking the writers’ is the submission of reason to fandom. Here’s a radical thought, try evaluating the weight of the words and seeing whether they hold up to scrutiny or seem reasonable Vs other probable scenarios. Engage in a bit of occams razor so to speak. I realise it’s a dangerous suggestion to require you to engage your brain Versus taking the things you are told at face value and defend them to the ninth as you are clearly wont to do, but trust me it makes for a much more rewarding life to have reasoned opinions of your own Vs simply championing the hollow nonsense of others.

      • Wisq says:

        The people that understand logistics have tedious lives? Eh probably.. Do you have any evidence they are doing this because of piracy, instead of agreements with brick and mortar retail?

        It doesn’t really matter either way. Digital distribution is the present and future of PC publishing (and the probable future of console gaming), and letting the brick-and-mortar shops dictate your terms is essentially allowing yourself to be blackmailed by dinosaurs that should have died off long ago.

        Remember, these are the same physical retailers who bite the hand that feeds them, actively denying game sales by doing their damndest to convince customers to buy used instead of new. I would venture to guess that used games actually cost the industry more than piracy, and I would suggest that it’s in the industry’s best interests to ditch the physical retailers as quickly as possible.

        If brick-and-mortar didn’t want to become obsolete, they should have invested in digital distribution when they had the chance.

    • airmikee99 says:

      After Numbnuts at Ubisoft announced that 97% of the people that play their games have pirated their games, I uninstalled every Ubisoft game I could and haven’t installed them since. While it certainly sucks not being able to play any of the Far Cry, Assassins Creed, or HOMM games, it feels good knowing that I’ve been supporting developers that don’t have entire Redwood forests stuck up their ass.

    • Jimbo says:

      “I realise that a lot of the people responding to disagree are just the perennial tedium-o-trons whose empty lives can only be filled by sneezing out their half-arsed sanctimony…”

      Do you have any self-awareness at all? You’re going to throw around ‘empty lives’ as an insult at your own readers while your chosen profession right now basically amounts to feigning outrage over nothing at all on the internet. No wonder you’re so frustrated all the time.

      Have you considered that maybe ‘a lot of people’ respond to disagree with you because they just, you know, disagree with you? You have to expect that if you’re going to persist with being so consistently wrong and/or hyperbolic about everything.

    • Kadayi says:

      Why the grudge tbh? Ubisoft is a corporation, not a big malevolent ogre. They as a company moved on from the always on DRM over two years ago now, so why can’t you? This endless anthropomorphism of publishers into evil ‘big bads’ is getting rather wearing in truth. You purport to be a ‘games journalist’ but you come across like a Fox News commentator with your conspiracies these days. How about researching ‘why’ there are delays rather than treating us all to endless rounds of speculation, finger wagging and constantly reminding us how they ‘done us wrong’ back in the day.

      • Emeraude says:

        Ubisoft is a corporation, not a big malevolent ogre. [...] This endless anthropomorphism of publishers into evil ‘big bads’ is getting rather wearing in truth.

        Amusingly enough, scientists modeled the behavior of corporations following human models – unsurprisingly enough, they most of the time (with some few interesting, notable exceptions) behave like complete sociopaths – if kept unchecked.

        But I understand the truth is rather wearing.

        • Kadayi says:

          Oh we’ve all seen the corporation, and some of us even read the book. However it’s not sociopaths, it’s psychopaths. A lot of people conflate the two, but they’re entirely different beasts.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Corporation_(film)

          Sociopaths are driven by emotions, psychopaths aren’t. Which is why assigning notions of gleeful malevolence and Trollish intent to the actions of corporations is misguided.

          However it should be noted that the Professor who the film & book cited, actually rejected the application of the term when applied to corporations. It was more a term of phrase than an actual diagnosis.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_D._Hare#Popular_science

          So yeah, about that truth?

          • Emeraude says:

            I’ve read the book myself. But that’s not what I had in mind (old paper comparing different structures according to their behavior to humans – given it predates the Corporation by a little while, I’ve always wondered if one was an influence on the other – and which. Always been fascinated by the similitudes between old family companies and constitutional monarchies).

            Thanks for the correction – always get problems with psychopath. Sociopath/psychopath/antisocial have slightly different meanings in French and English and I keep mixing them up. In each individual languages, and while translating.

      • yazman says:

        Obviously you haven’t been reading his articles, because RPS HAS been trying to investigate why the delays happen, only to be met with utter silence.

  18. Navagon says:

    Ubisoft are habitual liars. Just assume that the opposite of what they say of their upcoming games is true and you’ll be proven right most of the time.

  19. MeestaNob says:

    ‘Welcome to the Golden Age of Piracy’ indeed.

  20. Sheogorath says:

    Hey Ubisoft, I just wanted to tell you, I loved Far Cry, IL-2, the Silent Hunter series, and…hey, I even enjoyed Beyond Good and Evil. Played it on my Gamecube. We had some great times, didn’t we? Back when I paid for your games.

    But something happened. I’m sorry, Ubisoft, but I’ve found a new developer. I just wanted to tell you, it’s not you. It’s me. Also your stated preference for ‘younger gamers’ was kind of creepy.

    I’m taking the dog and the TV, by the way.

  21. Freud says:

    Dark Souls 2 will do exactly the same. Consoles first and PC later. NA first and Europe three days later. This is dictated by retailer preferences more than any malevolence on the part of publishers. In US the big retail day is Tuesday and in Europe it’s Friday.

    Wonder if we will get the same reaction from RPS with Dark Souls 2 of if they use up all their gunpowder on Ubisoft.

  22. Icarus says:

    For fuck’s sake. I just booked the 29th off so I can nip down to EB and pick up my Wii U preorder too.

  23. HisDivineOrder says:

    Everyone! BOYCOTT THE PIRATE GAME WHERE YOU ARE AN ASSASSIN! Boycott it and make Ubisoft know that we can’t take this kind of delaying on PC crap they always do.

    Meanwhile, once you all boycott it, Ubisoft will weep and give us a sale that I will then buy the game during.

    That is all.

  24. Dozer says:

    @pupsikaso There’s a big difference between ‘not sending a message’ and ‘deliberately blinding yourself to certain incoming messages’.

  25. unwashed says:

    Wait.

    Why do people buy games on release again?

  26. Lord of the Fungi says:

    To show my appreciation for the fact that Ubisoft seemed to take PC seriously this time around, I’ve pre-ordered this thing. To show my lack of appreciation for being misled, I just cancelled my preorder. And I think I’ve got enough. Good luck getting my money, big publishers when there is such an amazing backlog on gog and ative indie scene, with great games, no DRM and no PR lies.

    • Wisq says:

      If there were ever an example of how best to vote with your wallet, this would be it.

      Nothing says “maybe we shouldn’t do this any more” like thousands of people cancelling their PC preorders the day after you announce the PC version will be delayed.

  27. ralph_plauren says:

    Another classic “This week John Walker is annoyed by” article from RPS. This is just another boring rant about a complete non issue. During the entire article, no reason is stated for why this is a problem, leading me to initially make the assumption you are just upset you wont be able to play it when someone else can. To me this seems a bit immature. Reading the comments led me to discover the reason (which probably should be stated in the actual article, for people that don’t follow the latest RPS crusade), which is something to do with DRM, but again mixed in with essentially “I will be spoiled by Youtube” and “They disrespect PC gamers by accusations of piracy”.

    This entire piece just comes across as pointless, its a non issue. It reads like something you would find in the Daily Mail (if the Daily Mail had a focus on video games). Most people would not read this announcement and be outraged enough to write an article about it. They would simply think “Okay, I will wait an extra few days”.

    “People who respond to disagree manage to do it without being arseholes. People who respond because of some tiresome agenda are wasting my time.”

    This is farcical. How can you state that someone with a different opinion have a “tiresome agenda”. Your position on RPS seems to have recently morphed into peddler of tiresome agendas. But as your comments in this, and other articles have suggested your contempt for anyone with a viewpoint different from your own, makes this comment as equally pointless as your article.

    • airmikee99 says:

      For a boring, pointless, non issue, rant, you sure did read it and reply.

      Are you operating under the delusion that everything on RPS is written solely for you, or did you miss how many people agree with the article?

      Did you miss when Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said PC games have a 93-95% piracy rate? It’s been slightly over a year, so I’m sure his opinion has completely changed and he now believes that piracy isn’t rampant, which is why they’re still using their same retarded DRM scheme, right?

  28. Kadayi says:

    The bit where its somehow such a burden. Phone connectivity isn’t guaranteed, yet I doubt that precludes you from having one, and internet isn’t guaranteed either, but that clearly doesn’t stop you from registering an account here presumably with an email. How can you tolerate the possibility that at any given moment you might not be able to check your email, or phone/text a friend? How much more of an activity are those things as everyday actions Vs playing a game, yet here you are proclaiming a one off activation as the ultimate transgression. There’s no sense of perspective at play.

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