Saturday, November 26th 2011

Ubisoft Developing PC Free-To-Play Ghost Recon Game, Claims Is 'embracing pirates'

Ubisoft, pioneer of the much-hated always-on DRM, is currently developing Ghost Recon: Future Soldier – but only for the console platforms. The PC will instead get the free-to-play ("F2P" in common parlance) Ghost Recon Online, which conversely will not be available for consoles. Ubisoft claims that this is because "95% of our consumers will pirate the game", so they are addressing the needs of this market. Sebastien Arnoult, Ghost Recon Online producer said:
We are giving away most of the content for free because there’s no barrier to entry. To the users that are traditionally playing the game by getting it through Pirate Bay, we said, 'Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you're asking for. We’ve listened to you – we're giving you this experience. It's easy to download, there's no DRM that will pollute your experience.'
Note how Ubisoft are finally admitting that DRM 'pollutes' the experience? No kidding. Arnoult then elaborated on the differences between the business models of the PC and console platforms:
We’re adapting the offer to the PC market. I don't like to compare PC and Xbox boxed products because they have a model on that platform that is clearly meant to be €60's worth of super-Hollywood content. On PC, we’re adapting our model to the demand.
He then explained how they are embracing "piracy":
When we started Ghost Recon Online we were thinking about Ghost Recon: Future Solider; having something ported in the classical way without any deep development, because we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game. So we said okay, we have to change our mind.

"We have to adapt, we have to embrace this instead of pushing it away. That's the main reflection behind Ghost Recon Online and the choice we've made to go in this direction.
In other words, they won't bother developing the main single player game for the PC and just give gamers some maps to play online with each other instead, with some added "premium" content that requires payment to access. Not good news for single player gamers, leaving them feeling like second class citizens.

However, not everyone at Ubisoft sees it this way, as Stanislas Mettra, Creative Director of console-exclusive Ubisoft title I Am Alive, believes that the sales numbers on PC simply don't stack up to make a full port from console worthwhile:
Perhaps it will only take twelve guys three months to port the game to PC, it's not a massive cost but it's still a cost. If only 50,000 people buy the game then it's not worth it.
This appears to be the view of the old guard however and it will be interesting to see which view, Arnoult's or Mettra's or yet something else, will prevail in the long run.

One thing is clear however: the DRM-free model of premium product does work, whether it be games, songs or movies, as reported here and here. So, perhaps Ubisoft should concentrate less on worrying about "pirates" and instead give people a reason to buy their products – it's very easy to use "piracy" as a scapegoat for the poor sales of a poor product. Treating their customers like criminals by infesting games with unreasonable, draconian DRM is not the way to give people a reason to buy and many potential customers simply boycott those products due to this DRM.

The official website for Ghost Recon Online is at ghostrecononline.ubi.com and an established Ghost Recon fan site with lots of info on the entire Ghost Recon series is at ghostrecon.netSource: PC Gamer
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93 Comments on Ubisoft Developing PC Free-To-Play Ghost Recon Game, Claims Is 'embracing pirates'

#1
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
I'd lol if hardly anyone played it because it's shit like the 95% of ubisoft games.
Posted on Reply
#2
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
newtekie1 said:
I hardly think that is what they were saying there. I think they were saying it pollutes the experience of getting it by pirating it. I know I've run into plenty of games that released an update that broke the crack, that pollutes the experience for pirates. No DRM removes that pollution.

However, I think they should still sell it and charge for it. Just to prove that sales will be in the absolute tank if a AAA title is released without DRM.
I don't think so, look, Arnoult said "It's easy to download, there's no DRM that will pollute your experience."

How can you see this any way other than the DRM itself is the pollution?

What do others think?
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#3
neko77025
This sounds like A excuse to jump on the F2P band waggon. Frist off Ubisoft is in wicked trouble with finances .. they have had A huge amount of flops in the last year(s). I just looked at all the games I have bought in the last 2 years .. None of them were made by or published by Ubisoft. Also, Shame on Ubisoft to to blame pirating on poor sells in PC. I am sure if they made games ppl want too play they would sell. Take A look at skyrim 300k ppl on steam at one time playing the game .. and that is not everyone who bought just playing at that time. I am sick of ppl saying PC gaming is dead for one reason or another ... if PC gameing was dead why would AMD/ATI and NVIDA release new GPUs every year .. why would 10x companys manufatuer these in video cards .. why are they always selling out when they first release ... ... PC gameing is not dead .. their is just more money in consloes .. they just dont want too say they want more money .. its ok .. I want more money too .. Just fucking say it ... consoles make you more money. As for Ubisoft .. no loss for me ... I will just add them too the list with THQ (companys i wont buy from list ).

As we all know F2P (really should be called free too play if you want too suck) are the new fad, but they are makeing money .. and that is what this is all about.

read this ..
http://www.overclockersclub.com/news/30035/
Posted on Reply
#4
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
Re-read the portions of the OP that are quotes from the Ubisoft asshat.
It's the most offensive, condescending crap spewing I have ever seen coming from a gaming company directed at PC gamers.
Posted on Reply
#5
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
Kreij said:
Re-read the portions of the OP that are quotes from the Ubisoft asshat.
It's the most offensive, condescending crap spewing I have ever seen coming from a gaming company directed at PC gamers.
i agree. it sounds like the rant of a little child. i dont think ill be buying any ubisoft games for awhile.
Posted on Reply
#6
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Kreij said:
Re-read the portions of the OP that are quotes from the Ubisoft asshat.
It's the most offensive, condescending crap spewing I have ever seen coming from a gaming company directed at PC gamers.
Yup.

Easy Rhino said:
i agree. it sounds like the rant of a little child. i dont think ill be buying any ubisoft games for awhile.
and yup.

It reads like a 101 in how to alienate gamers and lose customers doesn't it? :shadedshu Just call them all "pirates" and feed them crap. Yeah, way to go Ubisoft. :slap:
Posted on Reply
#7
SirMango
F2P or not, you've already lost me as a potential customer when you started putting insane DRM into your games, Ubisoft.
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#8
CrAsHnBuRnXp
What is going to be great is when "94%" of the people who would normally pirate the game dont even bother downloading the free game.
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#9
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
qubit said:
I don't think so, look, Arnoult said "It's easy to download, there's no DRM that will pollute your experience."

How can you see this any way other than the DRM itself is the pollution?

What do others think?
Yes, he is saying there's no DRM to pollute your downloading experience. That is why he uses a comma an not a period. When a comma is used, the second half of the sentence is in relation to the first half. So the experience he is talking about is the downloading he is talking about at the beginning of the sentence.

But my point is that they are just putting out more bullshit marketting crap about DRM the way they are doing it now. I'd rather see them prove their original point, or disprove it, that DRM improves sales on AAA titles. By just releasing it for free they can't do that.
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#10
NC37
CrAsHnBuRnXp said:
What is going to be great is when "94%" of the people who would normally pirate the game dont even bother downloading the free game.
Heh I won't. Ghost Recon died the day they announced Ghost Recon 2. It became a festering zombie the day Mitchell spoke in Warfighter, and no one seems to get the concept of "removing the head, or destroying the brain."

First time you'll see me ever rooting for CoD to squash it. They ruined Recon. It either needs to return to it's roots and stop catering to kids, or just outright have that bullet in the head.
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#11
W1zzard
I doubt DRM has any significant effect on piracy, cracked versions are usually released days within the game's release. and everybody can find them easily nowadays via Google.
Perhaps it will only take twelve guys three months to port the game to PC
how is it possible that most console ports dont even have adjusted menus if you have that much developer time available for a pc port ? changing an in-game graphic from a triangle button icon to a text label shouldnt take more than 10 minutes?
Posted on Reply
#12
pantherx12
Is it not easier to build a game for pc and then scale it down?
Posted on Reply
#13
W1zzard
pantherx12 said:
Is it not easier to build a game for pc and then scale it down?
you need to build two versions of anything thats not in-game logic anyway: ps3 and xbox 360

adding pc is very easy, the 360 is basically a windows pc with directx

if you look at game data files, you can easily see that all platforms use the same files with platform specific defines, same should be happening for the codebase
Posted on Reply
#14
cheesy999
pantherx12 said:
Is it not easier to build a game for pc and then scale it down?
it would be easier, but it would likely leave the game more unoptimised compared to games designed for the console and in an environment with limited resources available efficiency is everything.
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#15
Jarman
Easy Rhino said:
ubisoft is admitting this new game is a pile of poop. if you think 95% of people will pirate the game on PC then you clearly don't have much faith in the game itself. also, let's look at the history of free to play online games. they all suck!! you download them, play them for 30 minutes and that is all. also, F2P online games attract an insane amount of trolls who find great pleasure in purposefully ruining your gaming experience. just give me an updated version of the original ghost recon for $10 and go away.
League of legends, it's free. Although most (including myself, spend money on it.)
QaukeLive..No cpma, but you can't have everything for free.


World of Tanks, HON...I haven't played these two, but they seem pretty good.
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#16
Jarman
It doesn't matter if a game has DRM or not, if you update it you will still need a new crack.
Posted on Reply
#17
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
W1zzard said:
I doubt DRM has any significant effect on piracy, cracked versions are usually released days within the game's release. and everybody can find them easily nowadays via Google.
You're right, but with AAA titles, many people aren't willing to wait. Not to mention most pirated versions don't work properly with multiplayer, which most want. Oh, and as each update comes out the crack breaks. And most casual "console" gamers can't figure out torrents, and what to do with the files once they download them.
Posted on Reply
#18
AsRock
TPU addict
95% of our consumers will pirate the game
That makes a hell of of people thief's in fact i feel insulted.
Treating their customers like criminals by infesting games with unreasonable, draconian DRM is not the way to give people a reason to buy
Calling them common thief's is not either.
Posted on Reply
#19
MilkyWay
Any company who treats their customers like this it doesn't do that company any favours, its patronising and flat out insulting.
Posted on Reply
#20
caleb
Dj-ElectriC said:
FU ubisoft for canceling future soldier for PC and giving us that BS!!!!

Sorry thats just me, another pc gamer fustrated....
+1 FU UBISOFT for killing RainbowSix.
Posted on Reply
#21
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
newtekie1 said:
Yes, he is saying there's no DRM to pollute your downloading experience. That is why he uses a comma an not a period. When a comma is used, the second half of the sentence is in relation to the first half. So the experience he is talking about is the downloading he is talking about at the beginning of the sentence.
Ok, my head hurts, but never mind it's not that important. :)

newtekie1 said:
But my point is that they are just putting out more bullshit marketting crap about DRM the way they are doing it now. I'd rather see them prove their original point, or disprove it, that DRM improves sales on AAA titles. By just releasing it for free they can't do that.
Yes, finally something we agree on, especially the bold bit. :) Indeed, I'd made just this point in my news article, Ubisoft Abandons Despised Always-On DRM For Upcoming Assassin's Creed: Revelations

qubit said:
This drop is despite Ubisoft claiming that it has reduced piracy significantly. Apparently, they have seen "a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection, and from that point of view the requirement is a success". What they haven't said of course is whether the reduction in piracy has actually increased sales. If it had, one would expect this glorious achievement to be shouted from the rooftops, wouldn't it? The only thing that companies listen to are their bottom lines and lawsuits, which really affect their bottom lines. Therefore, one can reasonably conclude that sales have actually reduced due to this draconian DRM. Also, the servers must be expensive to maintain, which eats into their precious profits too. Hence, it sounds like they're just keeping their options open with that statement. Shall we take bets on them dropping always-on DRM from all their titles in time? The sooner the better. PC gamers will have to wait until December, a few weeks longer than their console counterparts, to get their hands on the game.
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Ubisoft is being an asshole now. :mad:
Posted on Reply
#23
morphy
From reading that it seems if you're a PC gamer you're automatically seen as a pirate by UbiSoft. I'm a PC gamer, been buying games consistently for years - hell I have more games bought than I have time to play them and yet in Ubisoft's eyes I might as well be a filthy, stinkin pirate.

This makes me mad and resentful. And after all that, they still expect me to be their customer....GTFO! If they haven't lost me as a customer already, they just nailed the final nail in the coffin as far as I am concerned.
Posted on Reply
#24
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
morphy said:
From reading that it seems if you're a PC gamer you're automatically seen as a pirate by UbiSoft. I'm a PC gamer, been buying games consistently for years - hell I have more games bought than I have time to play them and yet in Ubisoft's eyes I might as well be a filthy, stinkin pirate.

This makes me mad and resentful. And after all that, they still expect me to be their customer....GTFO! If they haven't lost me as a customer already, they just nailed the final nail in the coffin as far as I am concerned.
Yep, well put. :cool: You're echoing what many of us on here are thinking. GTFO indeed.
Posted on Reply
#25
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
FordGT90Concept said:
Ubisoft is being an asshole now. :mad:
Lol. I see a bright future with them for PC gamers.

[quote="W1zz]how is it possible that most console ports dont even have adjusted menus if you have that much developer time available for a pc port ? changing an in-game graphic from a triangle button icon to a text label shouldnt take more than 10 minutes?[/quote]This is the first time our fearless leader, and one of the most elite programming gurus I know, has posted something that cause me to actually facepalm.
No more comments ... I like being a member of TPU and don't want to get banned. :)
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