Ubisoft Accused of Demanding Good Assassin's Creed 2 Review

Greg Tito

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Sep 29, 2005
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Ubisoft Accused of Demanding Good Assassin's Creed 2 Review



A German gaming magazine says Ubisoft demanded it give Assassins Creed 2 top marks or their review copy would be kaput.

According the German gaming publication Computer Bild Spiele, Ubisoft would only release an early review copy of Assassins Creed 2 if the magazine agreed to give the game its highest grade, "sehr gut" or "very good" in German. The magazine refused and audaciously decided to tell their customers about it as you can see in this poorly translated editor's note [http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=http://www.computerbild.de/artikel/cbs-Heft-Aktuelle-Ausgabe-Heftinhalt-888222.html]. Computer Bild Spiele plans to review the game only after it has been officially released.

It's important to note that we only have the word of Computer Bild Spiele that this was in fact how it went down. If it is true though, it might make customers in this country more apprehensive about the quality of the game than a potential bad review in a German games magazine.

A studio with any intelligence in its marketing department is wary of receiving unfavorable early reviews, as that kind of press can quickly kill a game. Attempting to insure that the magazine publishes a good review, however, is a poor solution. One would think that the publishers would believe that the merits of a game like Assassins Creed 2 could stand on its own.

It is unfortunate, but this kind of backroom deal happens often between game publishers and reviewers. For the record, it is policy at The Escapist to never accept any compensation for editorial coverage.

Unless it's cookies. We love cookies.

Source: Destructoid [http://www.destructoid.com/ubisoft-demands-high-assassin-s-creed-2-review-score--154456.phtml]

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j0z

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Apr 23, 2009
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EA Marketing team: "*psst* Here is $10k for giving our game a good review."
Escapist: "No, it is against our policy to accept compensation for editorial coverage."
EA Marketing Team: "Won't take the money eh? How about this tin of COOKIES?!?!?"
Escapist: "Damn! They know our weakness!"


OT- Good for that magazine, and I am glad that they let everyone know that EA tried to do that.
 

SnootyEnglishman

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May 26, 2009
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Hmm..this is the second article of news like this accusing Ubisoft of this type of behavior i find it silly and stupid because it wont change my anticipation of it. I leave it up to me to decide whether AC2 is awesome or not so awesome
 

Wandrecanada

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Oct 3, 2008
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Sucks if it's true and it would represent something corrupt in the marketing machine but I don't think this in any way represents the game devs or the quality of the product. Seriously though if you have so little confidence in your product that you feel the need to pay people off for a good review then you should have rethought publishing it.
 

Tears of Blood

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Jul 7, 2009
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Blah. It's not a big deal. It's something the publishers are doing rather than the developers, most likely.

With a big company like Ubisoft, the people marketing and publishing are certainly different people from the devs.

And, who knows, it could be a silly misunderstanding or mistranslation. "We hope you guys give AC2 a very good rating. :]" There's nothing wrong with that. But meh.
 

Woodsey

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Aug 9, 2009
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Accusations like this are often made, and a German magazine doesn't seem like the most obvious target to me.
 

Sonicron

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Mar 11, 2009
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Woodsey said:
Accusations like this are often made, and a German magazine doesn't seem like the most obvious target to me.
Seeing how this one (Computer Bild Spiele) is pretty much the biggest (read: most issues sold) gaming magazine we have in this country, it's actually quite an obvious target. I suspect that Ubisoft wanted the magazine to give AC2 the highest grade possible to compensate for the (most likely) less-than-optimal sales in Germany; you see, even the most braindead of gamers in this country have figured out by now that, aside from Australia, Germany is as bad as it gets regarding games censorship, so a lot of folks (such as myself) order their copies from Austria, where games are guaranteed to be released 100% uncut. I guess Ubisoft made the same realization and wanted the good publicity in order to make people forget that AC2 will only hit German shelves in a severely censored state and thus boost their sales figures on the German market. Guess their plan just backfired.
 

300lb. Samoan

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Greg Tito said:
It is unfortunate, but this kind of backroom deal happens often between game publishers and reviewers. For the record, it is policy at The Escapist to never accept any compensation for editorial coverage.

Unless it's cookies. We love cookies.
Glad to hear it! Speaking of which, I'll be sending you an early review copy of "Shit-Storm: an Open-World Third-Person-Shooter Action-Adventure Fighting Tournament Interactive Story (Patent Pending)." So far it only has distribution in third-world countries and will be coming out on the Turbo-Graphx 16 CD (a Hi-Def remix for 3DO is in the works!) Hopefully a very favorable review and promotional consideration from your website will expand our market reception! Make sure you don't leave the package sitting around too long, my grandmother's secret recipe chocolate-chip delights have no preservatives!
 

Woodsey

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Sonicron said:
Woodsey said:
Accusations like this are often made, and a German magazine doesn't seem like the most obvious target to me.
Seeing how this one (Computer Bild Spiele) is pretty much the biggest (read: most issues sold) gaming magazine we have in this country, it's actually quite an obvious target. I suspect that Ubisoft wanted the magazine to give AC2 the highest grade possible to compensate for the (most likely) less-than-optimal sales in Germany; you see, even the most braindead of gamers in this country have figured out by now that, aside from Australia, Germany is as bad as it gets regarding games censorship, so a lot of folks (such as myself) order their copies from Austria, where games are guaranteed to be released 100% uncut. I guess Ubisoft made the same realization and wanted the good publicity in order to make people forget that AC2 will only hit German shelves in a severely censored state and thus boost their sales figures on the German market. Guess their plan just backfired.
Oh, well that makes it more obvious. I mainly meant that it seemed unlikely as your ratings board are huge nob heads, and think pixelated violence is the cause of all world problems. And if there aren't that many sales there, I'd of thought that making sure you kept up the high sales in America and here in Britain would make more sense.

I remain skeptical on the truth of the accusation.
 

GamingAwesome1

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May 22, 2009
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Good on the magazine, isn't Ubisoft the one's who did this bullshit with Kane & Lynch too?

I don't want to buy this game anymore after reading that. If they're not sure of their own game, how can I be sure?
 

MyDigitalHeaven

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Aug 28, 2008
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Woodsey said:
Accusations like this are often made, and a German magazine doesn't seem like the most obvious target to me.
This is the second time Ubisoft has been accused of "paying" for a good review. But you know, I guess that is how people do business (magazines are going broke so they will accept anything). Besides they were kinda pissed that Assassins Creed was rated as only decent overall.
 

BenzSmoke

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Nov 1, 2009
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If that's true then Ubisoft should be slapped.
If that isn't true then Computer Bild Spiele should be slapped.

I'd like to think Ubisoft wouldn't do something like this.