Wow - it actually happened. Eurogamer confirms that Ubisoft have delayed the PC version of Driver: San Francisco. This is after explicitly stating they would not.
To put this in perspective: When Ubisoft announced that Driver: SF would carry their detested and grossly poorly-conceived DRM, a community manager at the @drivergame account helpfully tweeted,
"Bear in mind though that the PC version of DRVSF is released simultaneously to consoles."
Since then it's been confirmed that the PC version won't support wheel peripherals, and just Monday Ubisoft confirmed to us that there will be no PC demo. I was tempted to add in that post, "Now we just have to wait for the inevitable eleventh hour delay", but that would have been poor form. Turns out it would also have been correct.
This follows on from the previous two very recent cross-platform releases from Ubisoft also being delayed on PC at the last minute. So it is that we still don't have either From Dust or Call Of Juarez: The Cartel.
Driver: San Francisco was originally due to be released on the 2nd September in Europe. This will still be the case for the PS3 and 360 versions. But yet again (although admittedly with more than a week's notice for a change) the PC version is being bumped by almost a full month, with no given explanation. It will now come out, along with its game-breaking DRM, on the 27th September.
Ubisoft's sheer, unbridled contempt for the PC makes no sense. It's a profitable market, and they like anyone else are capable of just ignoring it should they not want it. So what is their plan? What do they think they can gain from kicking around one of their player bases with such disdain? What is their motivation for consistently stating PC release dates that are almost never kept? I wish I could find out, but so far requests to interview anyone at Ubisoft who makes these decisions have not gone anywhere, and statements issued to us have completely ignored our questions.
Which leaves questions about other forthcoming Ubisoft games.
Naturally they've already delayed Might & Magic Heroes VI once, but as a PC-only game it at least seems likely it's actually to improve the product. However, what DRM they will slap on it has yet to be announced. Being PC exclusive, I currently fear the worst.
And then there's the excitement of Trackmania 2. A game we're really pleased exists, but has seen the series change publishers from Digital Jesters/Focus/Enlight to Ubisoft. Again a PC exclusive, and it's not as if Trackmania wasn't without problems - it was at the heart of the StarForce nonsense. But it seems a real shame it could become similarly embroiled this time around.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations is still, hilariously, listed as coming out on PC at the same time as consoles, on 15th November. Since all the previous versions have experienced last-minute, months-long delays by Ubi, I'll eat my foot if it comes out within a month of that date.
Looking at next year, it's Brothers In Arms: Furious 4 and Far Cry 3 that could be affected by the cross-platform divide.