Ubisoft CEO Thinks Gamers Are Ready For Always-On Consoles

Atmos Duality

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Well, I was looking at Farcry 3: Blood Dragon earlier today, considered a pre-order, but part of me stopped and went "Oh yeah, isn't that published by Ubisoft? Better wait and see."

Lo and behold. Ubisoft is pushing for that fucking Always Online bullshit again.
(I love you gut instinct, pity I don't listen to you more often.)

Looks like they didn't learn their lesson after all; but were just biding their time after the last time gamers threw that consumer-hating shit back in their face.
Welcome back to my shitlist, Ubisoft.

Time to start the burning.

Yannis Mallet said:
The answer lies in the question ? as soon as players don't have to worry, then they will only take into account the benefits that those services bring.
What "benefits"?
That we get to play the game? That isn't much of a fucking "benefit" when we have that already, now is it?
All you're doing is offering the same products, but only with a digital gun held to their head.

And I agree, these services need to provide clear benefits. It's important to be able to provide direct connections between us and our consumers, whether that's extra content or online services, a lot of successful games have that.
Oh yes, "extra content".
You mean DLC? I can get that without needing an "always online" system already.

I find it hilarious that you tout "clear benefits" when you're being as vague as fucking possible about what those benefits are.

"Oh yes. Clear benefits. They are benefits, and they must exist. Clearly."
Benefits to whom, I wonder.

Well, that's a question you should put to Microsoft and Sony! I would say that a lot of people are already always online through other devices ? I would suspect that the audience is ready.
Ah yes, "ready". In the same way a prisoner is "ready" to surrender any orifice necessary to his new cellmate to avoid a beating. (or worse)

And way to conveniently ignore the fact that all of those "always online devices" are completely useless in their primary function without a signal of some sort, while consoles are NOT.

*Everything he says after this is worthless. He speaks in nothings, providing elaborate answers about rising development costs that don't actually answer the question*

Snotnarok said:
I don't get this, why are these companies, especially Ubisoft so set on removing ownership from players with games?
My theory is that whichever company successfully pitches this to consumers and makes it stick, wins big.
With Always Online DRM, nearly every advantage you can think of is in the Publisher's hands.

-Absolute Legal Control (and complete potential for extortion)
-No secondary market at all
-Garden style market control
-Targeted marketing
\-More accurate demographic profiling and data mining potential (they nix a lot of false data and assumptions about their market when the game is monitored and routed through their system)
-Threat of loss aimed at the consumer ("agree to our terms, or lose your account and associated purchases") to ensure compliance and dependency, which if accepted, enhances the attachment and thus future sales.

-Maybe throw in some planned obsolescence there, but that's much further down the line. They have to pitch it first.

Really, "fighting piracy" is just gravy.
Doubly so, considering that Ubisoft has grown as large as they have in spite of the boogieman of software piracy.

What benefits are there to the customer?
I can think of absolutely nothing over the current model.

Every other ancillary service they could provide with such a system is already a standard in the existing systems, or one I can find elsewhere (for cheaper and at a generally superior quality).

The common pitch I see to customers for these systems always pulls from a grab bag of buzzwords like "Connected, Internet, Evolution, Enhanced, Experience..." but never once actually addresses what that means, but just assumes that it's better by default.

"It's online! It's multiplayer! It's social! Therefore it is better automatically! No, don't question it! Don't bring context into this!"
 

OldNewNewOld

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RatherDull said:
Do you guys intentionally look for what news stories will cause the most controversy?
Is this your first time on any news site? By posting stuff like that, you get more hits. So the answer to your question is obviously "yes".

OT:
And I think that I'm ready for not buying future Ubisoft games (except Rayman on the WiiU).
 

Firia

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I come from poverty. I scraped and I saved for what I have. I waited years after a games release for price drops, and bought used. I haven't always had internet either. We may live in an age where connectivity is expected, but we are not in an age where we truly are always on.

Should a day come where I will not have connection again, I will turn to my consoles to play games during my freetime. I do NOT want an always on console. There is no beneficent for it being always on vs On-when-I-log-on. I will not buy an always on console.
 

timboo_drow

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I feel like the real problem is not one of infrastructure, but of control. We really should stop addressing something that is a mere obfuscation of the true problem. Even if internet infrastructure was uniformly ideal the world over, this business of forced online is bad for consumers, good for publishers. It doesn't matter what sort of imaginary 'benefit' they insist we will enjoy, the downside is very obvious to me: when a publisher decides it's time for you to stop playing an old game and buy a new one THEY TURN OFF THE SERVER FOR THAT GAME.

Now people will remind me now that MMOs have been like this from day 1, with the possibility of the entire MMO world disapearing in the blink of a server switch. This much is true, however, people get into MMOs knowing this to be the case, and for the promise of a ever changing, robust online world, it's a quirk they are enthusiastically choosing. There is a benefit for MMOs to operate this way: hours upon hours of gaming and content in an immersive and dynamic world.

For an MMO, being always online is not just what makes the game possible to play, it IS the game. This is not the case for a game like Bioshock, Skyrim, Mass Effect, and a vast number of similar games with a robust story that can be arbitrarily taken from you once the game publishers have the ability to 'turn the game off'.

Imagine never being able to play all the classic games you love to play just because the publisher believes you should get with the times and buy a new game, or at least 'renew your license' to play that old game.

This situation is BS and I will not buy into it.
 

Woodsey

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Colt47 said:
RatherDull said:
Do you guys intentionally look for what news stories will cause the most controversy?
Well, that's sensationalism in a nutshell. Ubisoft isn't implying that always online is plausible, merely that if it were plausible it would be a good idea. I don't think always online is ever a good idea, as it represents giving up a certain level of control and would only hinder the modding community, which in turn would harm future developers.

It feels like businesses are getting a bit short sighted this decade.
Not to mention there's no additional value of always-online when you're dealing with entirely single-player games. Not least because, despite what publishers constantly insist these days, they don't need fucking token Facebookian elements thrown in.
 

heroicbob

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im sick of all this drm. im forced to log in to uplay when i want to play trials gold edition when i already bought and downloaded it through steam
 

Hawk eye1466

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I swear it's like they all have a bet to see which one of them can sell always online with the smallest shit storm. Do they not learn from the past massive fuck ups? No one want's always online things because a lot of people don't have a constant, high speed and perfect internet connection. And even if they did there's still the hassle of the whole thing so why bother with a console that's going to screw you at every opportunity? Why not just get a PC and steal every game so you aren't even buying a game in the first place?
 

Olas

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Could someone please explain to me what these "benefits" of an always online console are. At what point does removing the option to play a single player game offline benefit me?

These people talk about always online like it's the next big step for the gaming industry and not just a stupid restriction they're trying to place on us to benefit themselves at our expense.
heroicbob said:
im sick of all this drm. im forced to log in to uplay when i want to play trials gold edition when i already bought and downloaded it through steam
I just bought Assassin's Creed 2 through steam and I know EXACTLY how you feel. Just another fucking "service" I have to log into, another thing I have to keep installed on my computer, another step between me and the game I bought. It was the same thing with GFWL, and Origin. I keep getting forced to sign up for services I don't need, want, or plan to use. It's anti-competitive, it's exploitational, it should be illegal.
 

VoidWanderer

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I love his "No duh!" statement, the one in bold, where he says we will be ready for it when we don't have to worry about it.

That is EA marketing level's of 'genius'.
 

NoeL

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You know what... I hope Microsoft DOES release an always-online console. And I hope it DOES sell like hotcakes as gamers embrace the "benefits" of always-online. And when those people are left with a brick as Microsoft's servers crash and burn in exactly the same way EA's did, and the problems with the industry become blindingly apparent to the whole user base rather than just those in-the-know, I hope the AAA market DOES crash.

When Jim was talking about the 3 million+ copies of Tomb Raider being considered a failure, and that wishing for something shouldn't take precedent over smart business sense, I was reminded very much of the market crash of the 80's and primarily Atari's attitude with the release of Pac-Man. They wished that game to sell so bad they produced more cartridges of the game than there were systems out there to play it. They predicted it would be such a hit people would go out and buy an Atari just for Pac-Man (though to their credit they got pretty damn close - 7 million copies sold with only 10 million Atari 2600 units out there).
 

Nihlus2

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Ah... these elusive 'benefits' we have kept hearing about for years... yet seemingly unable to take physical shape and form, and actually be shared with us. Truly they sound absolutely transcended in nature. We simply cannot comprehend their existence!
 

BrotherRool

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This is a really stupid thing to say. Where's the feature in always-online? It's a sad day when publishers know they can do whatever they like to us as long and we won't complain even if they have absolutely 0 interest in serving their customers
 

Chaos Marine

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I'm reassured my stance on not supporting Ubisoft by buying their games ever again. I just more people would take a stance and ignore Ubisoft, EA and Activision till they buck their ideas but unfortunately, console gamers and PC gamers with no backbone. =\
 

Vrach

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RatherDull said:
Do you guys intentionally look for what news stories will cause the most controversy?
Yep, and when they don't find them, they look for news stories where they can extract an out-of-context quote and slap on a controversial title on it. If even that's not available, then they just twist someone's words and make a story up entirely.

To quote Homer as Mr. X:
"Real news is great son. But I'm getting a thousand hits an hour with grade-A bull plop."

Heh, captcha: "that escalated quickly". I love it when they're appropriate like that :p
 

Genocidicles

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Always on will never be acceptable to consumers because it serves no purpose other than protecting corporate interests.
 

Jamous

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What. Does he not keep an eye on what Gamers are getting cross about? That Microsoft rep was fired for telling people to 'Deal With It' about always online consoles. Because it got so much negative publicity. Does that not say something about how we feel on the matter?
 

SL33TBL1ND

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Zer0Saber said:
Always-on will never be acceptable to consumers because we don't live in a magical perfect world where it can always be on. Just do what Steam does. I can play my games when my connection down. I don't know the time frame it gives or how exactly it works, but I think Steam just makes you check-in from time to time.
It only checks on login, nothing more. If you lose connection it doesn't change anything.
 

Snotnarok

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Atmos Duality said:
I'm well aware, I don't know why anyone buys into these things.
Such as Sim City, the Always Online thing should have instantly have been a no to purchasing but many people did anyway. This whole attitude of "it's not going to be so bad" with DRM has to stop because it's not something to put up with it's something to stop you from buying the games that have them.

As you said, there are no benefits to players, and if anyone needs any more evidence of that go look up reviews of Sim City Social and you tell me what part of that looks appealing?
Infact here:


The game itself is minimized and the game has you actively spamming your facebook friends and family to play more and on top of way overpriced microtransactions, except their goal is ideally for them to make you pay full price for these games.

And again, what do these new games hold over previous titles? Nothing besides more polished visuals but that's not enough.