How the mighty can fall

You see, I’ve have had a few issues with Ubi-Soft (or you be soft) in the past. After 5 iterations of glitches and increasingly less reliable accounting of that what they claim, we can see that the floodgates are opening. I wonder if anyone ever explained to Yves Guillemot that relying on marketing and shareholders equals screwing your company value over, those who push for short term gains, will long term destroy a company, in that view the danger of the existence of Ubisoft grows. They are in sizeable company IBM, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, WordPerfect and that list goes on. The first part you see can be found here http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/11/14/ubisoft-responds-inadequately-to-assassins-creed-unity-embargo-and-performance-issues/Obviously, they can handle this situation however they want, but there has been close to zero diplomacy throughout this launch. This statement simply reads as “we are fixing the things you are yelling about.”“, but there is insincerity in that past. It reminds me of a Beta version that was launched, just to keep with dividend expectations. Unity as I personally expect it to be is nowhere near ready. The glitches seen should be caught by a decent QA team, so either it was skipped, or this was about setting shareholder expectations. It is short-sighted and dumbfounded as I see it.

The second term is one I really have a problem with “It’s now a significant, highly uncommon event to have a major game launch without issue“, how about doing your job right? How about proper game testing, how about not being the bitch of marketing (for the shareholders)? These issues are central in the entire debate on quality software. I wonder why a billion plus company did not figure that out, or is this the bad side of the image they accepted?

There are even criminal charges to consider at present “To say that this one aspect of the game mandated a 12-hour-post-launch review embargo time is nonsensical” is more dangerous than people realise. You see, for that time, people buy a product which the company knows to be faulty, that by itself constitutes fraud, which might be seen as ‘an act commonly understood as dishonesty calculated for advantage‘, is that not the case here? The fact that it was shipped broken seems to be enough of an indication.

I will take it one step further: ‘A party who has lost something due to fraud is entitled to file a lawsuit for damages against the party acting fraudulently, and the damages may include punitive damages as a punishment or public example due to the malicious nature of the fraud‘, now let’s take a look at this. Consider that the gamer lost time, which is a given, now consider that many gamers can only afford one game until thanksgiving, now they bought Assassins Creed, whilst they might have bought Sunset Overdrive of the Evil within. So it might be considered that they defrauded the others whilst keeping knowingly the lid on faulty merchandise.

I foresaw this coming roughly three years ago, when we heard about a new Assassins Creed ‘every year’. Good gaming does not come on command and innovation takes time, which means that the gamer gets sold short right of the bat!

Forbes brings a good tone, but they remain soft on Ubisoft. Looking at YouTube and searching “Unity sucks” will get you a massive list of rants, which is only in the second day of release. Can we agree to some extent that Yves Guillemot needs to get a grip on his company unless he ends up being found liable on a near global scale (this game is apparently not played in North Korea)?

Gamespot seemed a little ‘softer’ on the makers as they are their primary sponsor, but likely they will claim that it had nothing to do with that, yet the fact that Gamespot gave the game 7 out of 10, should be indicative that the game has massive issues beyond the glitches and bugs as well. Yet Gamespot had good things to say as well “I had that roof approach licked, jumping into the building through an open window and blending into a crowd of bourgeois loyalists before sneaking up on my target and making the kill. With multiple options of attack available, the replay ability factor here is huge, giving you more of an incentive to go back and nail those bonus conditions for completing a mission“, this truly sounds like the old Assassins Creed many loved, yet then they state “These excellent sandbox-style assassinations make up the bulk of Unity’s missions” followed by a few negative notes. You see, the only true sandbox style I have seen is with Bethesda and both Elder scrolls and Fallout. The rest are often scripted to force you in a direction in the main story (for a larger part). Unity does take additional leaps when we consider the quote “I’m all for giving people the option to extend the experience onto mobiles and tablets, or on the web, but those things should offer standalone extra content; locking stuff out of a game you’ve just dropped $60 on is infuriating“, this I felt in the past as well with other games, so seeing it here is not a good thing. I personally think that this is about the data collection side of it all, as they get the information of the player, added with PC and Console information, we become targets in a very real sense. A view I do not treasure.

So as I had decided to let AC Unity slip by (a lack of funds will do that), I feel happy to miss out on the bugs and the glitches. There is one issue in hindsight of this, this is definitely strike two for Ubisoft, I reckon that Far Cry 4 will be their Waterloo in a very real sense. Gamers are more than just a little angry and their end might come harsher then they think. If we consider the quote by Play4Real (at http://www.p4rgaming.com/ubisoft-to-release-eight-assassins-creed-titles-in-2015/) stating “With the release of both Assassin’s Creed Unity for the PS4, Xbox One and PC plus Assassin’s Creed Rogue for the PS3 and Xbox 360 this year, Ubisoft knows that the demand for Assassin’s Creed will never die“, if we believe Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, then they have 8 releases planned from now until 2016. I reckon he needs to revisit quality before even attempting one next one. When we see “but will wait for reviews as AC unity was a bug fest” in regards to Far Cry 4, which was supposed to be the big thing for Ubisoft, we see that gamers are about done with Ubisoft

  1. Watchdogs fell short of expectations (rated 8 out of 10)
  2. Bug fest (we mean Assassins Creed Unity) launched on all major platforms. (7 out of 10)
  3. ? (X out of Y)

Strike three might come next week, so we will hold out fairly for Far Cry 4, especially as number 3 was a decently good game.

This is the first true indication of the sliding levels of quality in gaming. As developers (likely more precise would be marketing and shareholders) are pushing deadlines, we see a lowering standard of gaming. The approach, ‘we’ll patch it on day one’ is more and more the standard, whilst this tends to lower the joyous gaming we all anticipated, it also sets a dangerous precedent, because as proper QA is more and more ignored, the overall quality of the game tends to falter too. I do not ignore, that with size comes glitches, yet when we see an overall lack of care, then it is something entirely different and stringing gaming fans along seems almost too criminal. It might be regarded as criminal as people bought a finished game, which is not what this game seems to be, not by a long shot!

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1 Comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Law, Media

One response to “How the mighty can fall

  1. Pingback: You decide! | Lawrence van Rijn - Law Lord to be

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