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
digibucc
see mat newt likes to have it both ways: he's supposedly a pirate(though i believe it's just to attempt to lend him some "credibility"), but the only pirate on planet earth that still wants to argue for drm, as though that makes it ok for him to be thief. the thing you have to recognize is all of his arguments are directed at himself, as he knows he's full of it. rational arguments mean nothing, because he has a goal, and it's not to find the truth of the situation. you'll notice if you ever throw it back at him, he'll quietly ignore your answer as though not to look a fool.
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#2
3volvedcombat
I'm going to pirate ubisoft's CEO's mom then the wrest of the developers moms also.
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#3
Bjorn_Of_Iceland


Is the guy at the leftmost side wearing flared pants? Dont ask dont tell
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#4
xtremesv
qubit said:
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.
You summarized everything qubit. They say "95% of their consumers" pirate but they should think about the consumers that are more important, I mean the customers, the people who really pay for their games.

It doesn't have to do with Ubisoft but my latest "lame" experience on PC is with Batman Arkham City. Rocksteady developed a superb game but meant for consoles. I preordered the game, bought by the promise of a superior experience on PC and I ended up with a mere console port powered by the obsolete DX9 API... and another promise... a DX11 patch in the near future.

The problem with PC gaming is not piracy but the bias toward PC gamers, developers have always treated us like criminals and background processes. How about:

1. Make excellent games with rich content out of the box, games that could take advantage of todays PC hardware. Make me wish to pay for your games!!!

2. Keep the good prices down. I prefer to pay on preorder $40 for a downloadable game than paying more than $60 on the console counterpart (of course you must pay the royalties to Microsoft and Sony, pathetic uh?). Stop recharging (I hate DLCs) for the content that should be included in the first place.

3. Stop using DRM ware, that is useless, a total waste of money, a cracker always finds a workaround sooner or later. Digital Restrictions Management doesn't hurt the pirates but only the customers who give you their hard-earned money.

4. Don't come out with stupid excuses. Sales are down because the quality is down. I bet even sales of console games are decreasing.

PC gamers are worried that this anti-PC trend is getting worse but the ones that should be more preoccupied are Nvidia and AMD, if there are no PC games out there that really push our hardware to the limit with palpable results of course, then both companies are going to have problems trying to sell their shiny powerful GPUs with DX12 or whatever, because I won't buy a GTX 770 just to benchmark or Folding@Home.
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#5
R_1
A PC gamer will invest lot of money in hardware just to play Crysis or whatever he/she likes to play and will continue to upgrade that hardware to gain better gaming experience. Then other games , most likely console ports , will flood the market, so the gamer will eventually try them to see are they any better than Crysis or whatever he/she plays and the experience will be : "Are they asking money for this !!!!" So it takes a lot of effort to develop really great game, that will eclipse totally previous best title just to drow gamer's attention to it. It is not an easy task , so studios like Ubisoft pretend that they are victims of piracy, while nobody wants to play their console ports, even if they were absolutely free.
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#6
digibucc
as has been mentioned, the $60 model is broken. it's been quite obvious for a awhile now. not every game is worth the same price, whether based on objective quality of production or just cost of production, Dance Dance Revolution and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are not worth the same amount of money, in any shape or form.

obviously the objective quality can be difficult to judge (diff'rent strokes), however anyone that honestly says there is no argument to get away from $60 pricing needs their head examined. And of course some companies will overprice their games - but they need to really look at how smart that is:

the ONLY reason i bought Batman AC is because steam had a sale that AA owners got $20 off. I was not even considering it. not that i didn't think it'd be quality, but i have games to play. it would never have happened. but suddenly it's a brand new AAA game that doesn't cost $60... hmmm. I bought it within minutes. and I'm not upset about that now.

Gaming is expensive, and then we get companies like ubi who try to milk you more, and than call you a pirate when you don't by their crappy ports.
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#7
Mr McC
we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game...

Class action lawsuit for defamation of character?
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#8
keling
A famous game developer once said:

"It's a clusterf**k."

That would sums up this situation with Ubi quite nicely.

Another developer, Fork Parker of Devolver in a recent interview about Serious Sam 3 BFE, on the other hand said "PC gamers will definitely “pay for awesome.”

Some people get it. Ubi obviously doesn't.
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#9
newfellow
Kinda funny words from people who doesn't even understand what a game is.

The whole word 'game' is like forgotten these days and as said above 'Super-Hollywood' o my I mean tetris was a insane hit. ;)
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#10
digibucc
you're right, i'd much rather be playing candy land too ;).
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#11
chron
lmfao@ 95%

they are so full of it. Dumb corporate cu----- I can't say that word here.
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#12
chron
Mr McC said:
we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game...

Class action lawsuit for defamation of character?
what's even funnier is how can someone be a customer to someone if they rob them?

I wonder if Ubisoft actually believes 95% is the accurate figure. If they TRULY believe that, then it's no wonder they're so willing to destroy their pc chapter er whatever with such drastic actions to combat piracy.
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#13
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
chron said:
what's even funnier is how can someone be a customer to someone if they rob them?

I wonder if Ubisoft actually believes 95% is the accurate figure. If they TRULY believe that, then it's no wonder they're so willing to destroy their pc chapter er whatever with such drastic actions to combat piracy.
Yup, all these big corporates are labouring under the misguided belief that "stamping out piracy" will lead to increased sales. This is despite several studies showing that piracy does not reduce sales.
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#14
Mussels
Moderprator
qubit said:
Yup, all these big corporates are labouring under the misguided belief that "stamping out piracy" will lead to increased sales. This is despite several studies showing that piracy does not reduce sales.
someone is given a job to remove piracy, and they do so. they're paid to stop something that cant be stopped, and wont give much benefits even if they do stop it but they dont care - they're getting paid.


next stop: tidal waves. gotta do something about that moon...
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#15
mediasorcerer
What will lead to better sales of pc games in the future is to inject IMAGINATION back into the stories and ideas involved to create the pc gaming experience, not using over hype and "special effects" with not much regard for telling a good yarn as well as good gameplay ,it isnt all about the quality of the graphics/effects, the best games are the ones that tell a good story too.
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#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
MatTheCat said:
Well....

.....i saw Anno 2070 on sale for 20 quid just the other day. I was just about to buy it (for my gf who loves all that shit) when I spotted the Ubisoft logo and remembered about there always on internet DRM and thought to myself, "naw f**k that, this sounds like a job for nzbsrus".

So there is a tale of at least one pirate who would have bought if not for the DRM.
Yes, and we all know for every one that we know about that amounts to a billion buyers that we don't.

Oh and Anno 2070 doesn't use always on DRM, just an activation at install. So your point is kind of moot.

digibucc said:
see mat newt likes to have it both ways: he's supposedly a pirate(though i believe it's just to attempt to lend him some "credibility"), but the only pirate on planet earth that still wants to argue for drm, as though that makes it ok for him to be thief. the thing you have to recognize is all of his arguments are directed at himself, as he knows he's full of it. rational arguments mean nothing, because he has a goal, and it's not to find the truth of the situation. you'll notice if you ever throw it back at him, he'll quietly ignore your answer as though not to look a fool.
I've got 418GB of download PC games that would like a word with you(give or take a few GB of legit downloaded games)...

And pirates don't care about DRM, because it isn't a challenge to them, that is kind of the point I've made(and MatTheCat helped me prove). And DRM isn't designed to stop the common pirate like myself, it is designed to stop casual pirates, and less tech savvy. As I've said, I've spoon fed people how to pirate, and they still can't manage it.
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#18
entropy13
newtekie1 said:
And pirates don't care about DRM, because it isn't a challenge to them, that is kind of the point I've made(and MatTheCat helped me prove). And DRM isn't designed to stop the common pirate like myself, it is designed to stop casual pirates, and less tech savvy. As I've said, I've spoon fed people how to pirate, and they still can't manage it.
LOL yeah, just checked the Anno 2070 torrent in TPB and the DRM is labelled as "SS2/Crap" :laugh:
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