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Ubisoft CEO Changing Focus to Consoles Due to PC Piracy

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August 15, 2008 11:00:40 AM

Ubisoft has no reason to talk about piracy. I'm not really one to promote piracy, but with Ubisoft you pretty much have to try before you buy. Take Rainbow Six Vegas 2 for example. I can only get sound to work on half the game. I throw a grenade, nothing. I get shot at, can't hear the shots. I try to talk to an NPC to get mission info, oh hey I have no clue wtf I'm supposed to do! Just update the games and people might just buy them.
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August 15, 2008 11:29:04 AM

Ubisoft are known for bad support, lacking patches and incomplete games. Them leaving the PC market is a good thing since it raises the quality standard quite a bit. In addition that means more money for corporations that actually know how to treat their customers - like Paradox or Stardock.
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August 15, 2008 12:54:05 PM

Piracy ROFL so you can't pirates console games eh, hmmm that's news to me.
Well i guess there is no such thing as mod chips either, or soft mods, or exploit loaders.

LoL i clean computers for a living virus/spyware i have been cleaning machines for 20 years out of that time 1 person in 300 customers might have a pirated game, that's just a cop out.

Look at the state they release pc games half finished you think people are going to go out and buy a half finished game?? now even the mmo's are doing it look at age of conan.

They don't release half finished console games and ubisoft is one producer that sometimes ships pc games half done.

The quality of pc games have gone down hill ever since the console hit the scene because now software houses are spend most of there resources there.
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Anonymous
August 15, 2008 1:49:49 PM

?The PC gaming community is very often against any kind of system that prohibits piracy, which I have difficulty understanding. They need to help us to make sure we can invest on the PC, because if we can?t get a return on investment with PC games then we will not invest,? he explains.

Why didn't you explain to him what were the effects of starforce of some computers? Why didn't you explain to him what was exactly one of the recently removed patches to rainbow 6 vegas 2? Why didn't you ask him how much money they invest on their ports to PC when the two first screens in almost any ubisoft game contains "press any key to continue" and "select profile"? If I remember correctly, the P in PC stands for personal and since windows 98 different logins work fine. Did you ask if he checked how long does it take to exit from a ubisoft port game when compared to games developed directly to PC? Do they even take the time to customize the controls to the PC version to the makoraty of players that do not have a gamepad?
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Anonymous
August 15, 2008 2:28:18 PM

"Ubisoft isn?t ditching PC publishing altogether, but it certainly isn?t as FOCUSED as it used to be."
ROFL
Doesn't this guy have more important things to do then whining about piracy?
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August 15, 2008 2:58:00 PM

Heh , as if consoles don't have piracy , my guess is that the "pirates" will still be there and if they won't be able to pirate the games on the PC they'll just pirate the console versions.
It's not like consoles are that expensive anyway. You can get/will be able to get them as low as 200 $ and then some modchip or something for another like 50 $ and that's that. Then you can just go ahead an pirate all you want.
Maybe it's just that games are a little bit on the expensive side , did anyone ever think about that ? As is music .... But maybe people that prefer to get this stuff for free will do it anyway , no matter how low the price , who knows
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August 15, 2008 3:26:17 PM

I have no issues what so ever downloading a game from Steam and I am more then happy to pay for it. If all these developers would just give in and give Valve thier due, the PC industry would be much better off.

But when i have to go to the store and buy a half done game with 5 cds that take an hours to install and then I HAVE to have the CD in the drive, I would rather have a pirated version.

In fact, I own games that i then download so when i format i can easily reinstall the game and use me legit cd key.

PS. If steam ever released their sales numbers I think everyone would be shocked how healthy the PC market is.
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August 15, 2008 3:26:59 PM

OK, all of you business MBAs out there. If piracy isn't the reason virtually ALL game developers are migrating away from the PC then what is the reason? Before you answer, remember this is a business and your answers must make business sense.
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August 15, 2008 3:53:01 PM

"They need to help us to make sure we can invest on the PC, ...."

Last time I checked I'm not on your payroll... I don't 'need' to do anything for your company. If you can't produce games that will convince people to pay for them, then maybe you 'need' to do something else.

Would you like some cheese with that wine?
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August 15, 2008 4:13:03 PM

If Microsoft were as smart as they used to be.

They have the ability to do what they did back when they first stole DOS and then Windows.

Basically control their directx api, but don't force "Windows" on publishers and gamers. Xbox does this, but controls too much of the hardware.

Come out with a directx os (similar to what xbox is), but let users decide what GPU, CPU and maybe even motherboard go in.

The directx os would be a hardware component (the dvdrom-drive). The OS would be internal to it.

You would simply buy this xbox dvdrom drive, put it in your pc, it could probably have a cable that would connect to a pci slot, then all you would do is buy the games, put them in and turn on your pc. Your pc would become an xbox. You decide how much you want to spend on GPU, CPU, etc and the games would just specify min specs.

This could effectively also "reduce" the piracy factor.
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Anonymous
August 15, 2008 4:14:48 PM

their games are bad anyways good riddance
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August 15, 2008 4:26:05 PM

This sounds more like a cop out than anything. We can't put out decent games or support our products properly, so we're gonna shift the blame to Piracy. They move to consoles because for the most part, there are no patches for console games. Thats changed slightly with the xbox360 and PS3.

Price is a huge reason. As long as you're going to charge $60+ for mediocre games, people will pirate them. How many people do you think have pirated the Valve Orange box, considering you get basically 5 decent games for around $40 depending on where you buy it? Look at the Sims 2 game, and all the regular content expansion it still gets. I mean I bet people have pirated the game, but obviously EA is still making money on it. But most of the things I'm listing are games that are fun to play, and have good replay value. Not to mention they take more than just a few hours to beat. Even Mass Effect has it's problems, but it's still a worthwhile purchase.

What I love, is when I have to download a pirated version of Software I already own, because some how while sitting in the case not being used the discs manage to get scratched or part of the reflective film flakes off the back making the disc unreadable. Perfect examples of that are my CivIV install/Play disc, and my Civ3 complete install disc. Yet my older games like Baldur's gate 1 and 2 and diablo 2 can be used the hell out of a little scratched after almost 10 years, and still boot up just fine and be fun to play as a bonus.
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Anonymous
August 15, 2008 4:53:31 PM

It is exponentially harder to pirate a console game than it is to pirate a PC game. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional. On a PC you just rip off the data and send it over the internet and with the right CD key you have basically a free version of the game. You have to either hardware mod your console or soft-mod your console, rip the game to a computer, decrypt the game, and then burn it back to a DVD to have pirated the game. If you manage to do all of that you have successfully turned your console into an offline-only machine without a warranty. Great job.

Besides, the PC gaming market is dying and there is absolutely nothing that could save it. As soon as the next generation of consoles come out with real keyboard and mouse support the only thing keeping it afloat, Blizzard, will be jumping ship as well.
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August 15, 2008 5:19:43 PM

tcr you wouldn't be saying that if you compared the graphics and AI capabilities of a q6600 8800 equipped pc to an xbox 360 or ps3. The graphics along are way beyond those systems that came out 2 years ago. Also because it's a computer it's significantly more customizable... however I'm not going to continue arguing about why PC's are still completly unique and for the mos tpart better for video games than consoles, because they just plain are. That's why ppl spend twice or triple the amount for one.

Anywho as for piracy, someone mentioned everyone should just give their games to steam to distribute, and I agree. It's so much more convinient. I remember buying CoD4 and it wouldn't accept the cd for single player mode, saying I was pirating the game. So do get it to work I downloaded a pirated cracked version of the game... I was just thinking wtf.

I think forcing ppl to be online to play a game sorta just makes sense... It's a near fail proof way to stop piracy. And if ppl don't have the internet, they probably wasted their money on a computer.

Personally if they can think of a way to stop piracy that may be annoying during install or for the first 10-15 seconds of trying to play a game, I don't mind if it helps raise their interest.

(just an fyi the games I spend 10-20 hours a week playing are on steam, even though I own many other non steam games.)
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Anonymous
August 15, 2008 5:42:12 PM

A few years ago there was a game called Trackmania. I bought it and liked it. When the sequel came out later, it used an invasive form of copy protection that I refused to use. I emailed that company and told them why I didn't buy the game. I didn't pirate it - I simply moved on to something else.
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August 15, 2008 5:55:46 PM

Ah well, Pirates are going to cause their own demise when it comes to PC games by consistantly pirating.

I don't blame them though, Consoles are made for all ages, are easy to use, are harder to pirate with, etc etc. If I were a developer, i'd make games for the console for more money, Pirates ruined it for PC gamers. GG dumbasses. You brought this upon yourself.
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August 15, 2008 6:17:07 PM

The same scenario will probably happen with the consoles, they are equally as vulnerable as the pc market. The wii and xbox 360 are piratable (if there is such a word), only the ps3 hasn't been fully pirated to play games yet. With the shift by ubisoft, it effectively shifts the pirates to think of new ways to hack the consoles to play pirated games, maybe eventually not requiring mods in order to play a pirate game on a console.
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August 15, 2008 6:21:09 PM

@ ram1009,
there are more consoles out there than pc's capable of gamming. (meaning a real video card, not infested with virus/spyware broken drivers or crippled in some other way). Also it's easier to code/optomise for 1 exact set of hardware, than for a multitude of PC configurations. There is more/better shelf space for consoles. There is probably more corporate support. It appeals to younger people, who will be hooked on your product. It appeals to less technical people. Console's are trendy, PC's are for geeks. PC gamers, download demos or pirate versions first to see if they want to buy the game. However, on the console, most of the time you only have the back of the box to know if it's any good, especially if you're not one of the previously mentioned PC geeks on the interweb. So there are many crap console games that trendy people buy, who don't return them cuz they're too cool to be wrong.

Now that there is decent HDTV penetration and next-gen consoles, the graphics on consoles are good enough for the unwashed masses. PC geeks want mega-ultra-super graphics that are harder to code, then those with weak machines bitch about it.
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August 15, 2008 6:36:30 PM

Whatever. I'll just play DOTA for the rest of my life.
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August 15, 2008 7:16:50 PM

I think it would be neat if PC manufacturers like Dell and HP made more game-centric machines, but really brought down the price as much as possible, i.e. getting "powerful enough" graphics cards and processors that have the best bang for the buck. Do whatever it took to make the price low enough to compete better with consoles, and don't optimize them for things other than gaming. Maybe they already do this, but in my experience, "gaming PC's" are always around $2000 unless you build them yourself.
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August 15, 2008 9:16:00 PM

Tcr071 riiiight let's see you buy a modded console on ebay you then go out and buy blank dvd's, then head over to pirate bay download game burn it and toss it in your modded console that's REALLY HARD???.

I get ton's of modded consoles into my store for repair dvd rom replacment/alignments 1 out of 3 are modded and i live in a small city in NE ontario.

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August 15, 2008 9:27:21 PM

I think the real reason that game makers complain about PC game costs is the diverse set of HW configs their games need to support. Yes, a Q6600 with a 4850 can render a much better game than a 360. But what if the customer only has an E6750? Do you put in a hook to reduce physics effects? Or if the customer only has a 256 MB HD2600? Do you develop and include an extra set of lower-resolution texture files, or state that the 2600 isn't a supported HW config?

Designing a game to work well with the predefined hardware on a console is far easier than designing a game to work well across a broad range of computer HW configs. I am honestly surprised that Mr. Ubisoft is complaining as much as he is about piracy, and doesn't even mention this clear and obvious challenge. Hardware diversity is why MSFT moves so slow, while Apple can move quickly on specific enhancements and feature inclusions.

Piracy will happen, but is manageable. I think we all can agree on that. But hardware diversity is a tougher challenge for game developers, unless they develop for LCDenom, which is never as good as a console anyway.
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August 15, 2008 11:20:45 PM

If you want to help prevent PC piracy, release demo's so people can try the game before buying it. And don't release demo's a month after the official release. Release the demo's a few days before.

Also, you don't see valve games being pirated as much as Rainbow Six Vegas 2, mainly because they don't suck on the PC like RSV2 did.., but also because they're using Steam which makes buying a game and playing it immediately very very easy. Do this.
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August 16, 2008 4:36:58 PM

I guarantee that by shifting gaming to one defined segement the industry is going to rape themselves from behind. All they are going to do is shift pirates to the console which comically is a lot less complicated to pirate than a computer. The difference being that once you crack a console thats it, different games on a console don't have different forms of protection to confuse pirates and slow people down. Once you crack your console and figure how to copy the games thats it. The only reason its more prevelent on the pc is its still easier to get access to the games if they drop major pc support the crackers and pirates will shift heavily to consoles and just hit them harder than they are being hit now. Its simple. if a game is good enough people will buy it. To stop pirating all games should work similarly to steams setup or games like world of warcraft not necessarily where the game is all online but where some active content to operate the game is stored on a server somewhere that has to pass authenticity everytime you start the game up.
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August 16, 2008 9:08:39 PM

I completely agree with vegettonox above, releasing a PC version of the game will get the pirates off the companys' backs, in a way they are bribing the pirates into not moving more intensively onto the console turf, which is where most of the money lies for the developers.
as for the steam business model, i think it's successful. i personally would never want to pirate from Valve out of sheer love for that company and thier products as well as the fact that most steam games are "more difficult to crack" than most others thanks to their steam business model. so maybe if other developers are as dedicated to the PC as Valve is, perhaps their customer/fan base will become more loyal and be willing to pay for the new titles out of good faith, confidence and love for that develper and thier prodcuts.
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August 17, 2008 7:26:58 AM

Looks like developers are getting lazy and eventually the gaming industry is going to hit a all time low and be nothing more than suped up graphics with hardly any gameplay involved. oh i forgot the masses are to clueless to realize so its a win win for them. No wonder they want to focus less on the PC.
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August 17, 2008 9:56:08 AM

Piracy is a smoke screen. What they mean is they are abandoning the hardcore enthusiasts to make more $$$ from an easy to develop platform. Piracy is a problem for sure, people wont pay if they dont have to, but they should do more work on it, not head for the hills! The next couple of years will show how this will turn out, as the current gen consoles age, there will be a big opportunity for developer to make a console crushing pc game. If that doesnt happen, dont bother upgrading your pc.
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Anonymous
August 18, 2008 2:19:15 AM

How about they stop making crap games or doing dodgy console ports from console games? The only reason a lot of people pirate is because they wouldn't pay good money for the junk most developers come out with. The same can be said for consoles. There's just as much piracy on them as on pc.

The distribution system and price makes a big difference as well. Look at Valve and Steam. They're just about printing their own money.
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August 19, 2008 9:51:41 AM

You have to either hardware mod your console or soft-mod your console, rip the game to a computer, decrypt the game, and then burn it back to a DVD to have pirated the game. If you manage to do all of that you have successfully turned your console into an offline-only machine without a warranty. Great job.

That's just the price of doing business brother. If your bootlegging games. Hell you might want to fubar more consoles just to get some decent volume and production.

Topo is right. It is just a smoke screen. Last I checked "PC" wasn't some multinational company with deep pockets, but Microsoft and Sony are. PC never really cared about gaming until Microsoft dominated multimedia API's with DirectX. Sorry OpenGL lost games a long time ago. Hell, the only reason there is, and has been, games on PC is Microsoft. Ever since Microsoft has been making consoles you knew it was gonna go down. The console business model is simple: Give away the razor(console), sell the blades(games). If I make a game for PC, Microsoft doesn't get crap. If I make a game for Xbox...profit! What about game devs, AMD or Nvidia they'll complain? Who cares!? One API to rule them all says Microsoft. Its has been clear, for quite some time, that Microsoft wants games to be played on a console. Besides, when it comes to PC who's left? Mac? Linux?! I don't think so. This works great for game devs who already code for DirectX anyway. Only now they enjoy a higher premium much higher than PC. AMD, Intel and Nvidia however are left to duke it out selling console parts. I think this is the reason behind everyone offering higher-end integrated graphics solutions. Console tech has always been just PC tech. Now though you'll see consoles getting first dibs instead of sloppy seconds. What about Sony? Well I know nothing of it's API other than its different then Microsoft's. It has to be. Its on a completely different architecture. Still the success of either console is in hit titles. Its should be interesting to see if Microsoft can leverage its API's to achieve the same effect as its leveraged its OS.
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August 31, 2008 3:29:55 PM

Ubisoft can drop off the face of the earth and i wouldn't care. Their lack of support & poorly coded PC games make me sick.

Why would anyone want to pirate an Ubisoft game when half of them don't work anyways?
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October 17, 2008 1:53:49 AM

Guillemot starts off with something almost all PC gamers can agree with: “The consoles at certain periods are more powerful than the PC, but the PC can improve its capacity and ability every year so the cycle changes.

No I don't agree with the first part. Even when the XBox360 was released there were video cards that were more powerful. The 360 is a 3.2Ghz triple core with the equivalent of a 7800gt 256mb video card. It was powerful when it was released, but since then it is basically a midrange type system. I don't remember the exact memory bandwidth but it's not a lot.
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March 26, 2009 1:39:48 AM

LOL Roboto... I was just going to say the same thing, and you beat me to it! There's never been a time when a console game could compare to what I see on my PC - except perhaps for the days when PC's only had black and green (or amber) monitors, and console games came on cartridges.

I dunno, maybe I'm spoiled with the hardware I have, but I just find the console experience to feel so kludgy.

Cheers,
CList
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