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Ubisoft Gives Away World in Conflict & Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag for Free

Holidays are the perfect occasion to spend time with friends, family and have fun playing games! Just in time for the festive season, Ubisoft is giving two digital PC games away for FREE as part of its Happy Playdays! Players will have the opportunity to polish their strategy with World in Conflict and experience the Golden Age of Pirates with Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag. In addition to celebrate the festive season, Ubisoft is marking the 10th anniversary of both World in Conflict's launch and the creation of the Assassin's Creed's universe.

Ubisoft Massive released World in Conflict in September 2007, an innovative RTS game in a Cold War setting. A single-player expansion called Soviet Assault followed in 2009. The game features both a strong and captivating single-player campaign and an intense multiplayer section that supports up to 16 players. With many other features, including Voice Over IP, amazing graphics and completely destructible battlefields, World in Conflict is an intense strategy experience unlike anything you've ever seen before. Released to high critical acclaim, it has been called one of the best strategy games ever made.

The Division Update 1.8 Drops Tomorrow with Free Weekend & Free DLC Week

Today, Ubisoft announced that "Resistance," Update 1.8 for Tom Clancy's The Division will launch simultaneously on PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC platforms tomorrow, December 5th. Coinciding with the release of Resistance, The Division Free Weekend is coming to all platforms from December 7th to December 10th. Additionally, all The Division owners will have free access to all of the expansions included in The Division's Season Pass (Underground, Survival, and Last Stand) from December 5th to December 10th. "Resistance," Update 1.8 is the largest free update thus far for Tom Clancy's The Division and expands the game map with a new area accessible to all players: West Side Pier.

Ubisoft Promises Another Year of New Content for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege

After naming ENCE the champions of the Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Season 3 Pro League Final that took place in Sao Paulo from November 17th - 19th, Ubisoft announced Year 3 of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, continuing to bring exciting and thrilling challenges to its fans.

Year 3 will be structured into four Seasons including:
  • 8 new operators from the world's highly performing CTUs
  • 2 brand new maps set in Italy and Morocco
  • 1 existing map make over with a new level design and art direction

Vivendi Puts Off Decision on Ubisoft Hostile Takeover for Now

French media conglomerate Vivendi has been amassing Ubisoft shares over a course of two years. The company is the biggest shareholder at the moment owning approximately 26% of Ubisoft's shares. By French accounting law, Vivendi is obligated to make a mandatory bid once their shareholder percentage surpasses the 30% mark. Earlier this year, the French giant made it clear that the hostile takeover would happen before the year ends. It won't be their first rodeo, since they took over Gameloft not so long ago. The gaming sector is the second largest in the content industry after all, so you can't hardly blame Vivendi for wanting a bigger piece of the pie. However, business plans do change over time. According to Vivendi's recent third-quarter financial report, the company has postponed the Ubisoft takeover for at least another six months.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Goes Free to Play for the Weekend

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege will be available to play for free from November 16th to November 19th, 2017. Interested players can join the more than 20 million player Rainbow Six Siege community on PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC via Uplay and Steam. The game will be on sale up to 50% off from November 16th to November 27th, 2017. Players who try the game during the free weekend can carry over their progress and continue to play uninterrupted.

The latest content from Year 2 Season 4, Operation White Noise, will deploy on the Technical Test Server (PC) on November 20th, 2017. Operation White Noise features a new map set in a sky high observation tower above Seoul's skyline in South Korea. Three new operators are joining the fray, including two members of South Korea's 707th Special Mission Battalion and a new Operator from Poland's GROM.

Ubisoft's Microtransactions Surpass Digital Games Sales in Earnings

Ubisoft has announced on its latest Q2 financials that earnings from microtransactions have exceeded proceeds from digital game sales. Digital revenue increased by a very respectable 69%, but Ubisoft says that Player Recurring Investment (PRI), or the sale of in-game items, DLC, season passes, and subscriptions, increased by a staggering 83% year-over-year, being responsible for €175 million (~$202.6 million) earned during the first two quarters of the year. This amounts to a cool 51% of total digital income, which means that actual digital games sales earned less than DLCs and microtransactions.

Total sales across both Q1 and Q2 came in at €466.2 million (~$539.9 million), up 60% year-over-year, but that's hardly the key point to this story. The key point here is that while a company that heavily focuses on linear, story-driven, single player games has just announced a 25% reduction in its workforce, Ubisoft has just announced tremendous games seemingly on the back of microtransactions and DLC, or, as the company puts it, Player Recurring Investment. We can say what we will regarding the chronicle of an announced death for story-driven single player games, but one fact remains: players love microtransactions, even as there's a universal understanding of loathing towards them.

Sources: Ubisoft Earnings PDF, via Gamasutra, Ubisoft Earnings Presentation PDF

Ubisoft Giving Away Free PC Copies of Watch Dogs

If you've always wanted to play Watch Dogs but didn't feel like buying it, your prayers have been answered. Ubisoft is feeling festive for the holidays and decided to give away free copies of the game. The offer is valid for the PC version and runs from November 7, 2017 7:00 AM to November 13, 2017 10:00 AM. To claim your copy, go to this page and sign in with your Ubisoft account. The game will be added to your library. Enjoy the freebie!

CPUs Bear Brunt of Ubisoft Deploying VMProtect Above Denuvo for AC:O

It's been extensively reported that Denuvo has failed as an effective DRM solution for games, as some of the newer releases such as "Assassin's Creed: Origins," were cracked by pirates less than 48 hours into the market release. For those who bought the game, Denuvo adds its own CPU and memory footprint. In an effort to stem further piracy of "Assassin's Creed: Origins" (because hey, there are limited stocks of pirated copies on the Internet), Ubisoft added an additional DRM layer on top of Denuvo, made by VMProtect. The implementation is so shoddy, that paying customers who didn't spend a fortune on their PC builds (most PC gamers) complain of abnormally high CPU usage, which is in some cases, even reducing performance to unplayable levels.

Ubisoft deployed VMProtect as a concentric DRM layer to Denuvo. Genuine user authentication has to now be performed by two separate pieces of software with their own PIDs, CPU-, and memory-footprints, not to mention user data falling into more hands. Gamers such as this one took to Steam Forums to complain about abnormally high CPU usage, which is traced back to VMProtect. Gamers complain that the game now hits 100% CPU usage, resulting in frame-drops, stuttering, and even unplayable frame-rates. As gaming prophet Gabe Newell once said, the only way to beat piracy is to offer a better service than the pirates. Right now the pirates offer better frame-rates, at an introductory price of $0, while stocks last.

Source: TorrentFreak

Ubisoft Details Far Cry 5's Online Co-Op Mode

Immediately following the in-game tutorial, Far Cry 5 will be playable via online co-op. All earned experience and inventory items, excluding quest-based items, will carry over following each co-op session. While exploring Montana, each player will see and collect their own loot. However, the host player is the only player who will keep their story progress.

To help players in their mission to take down the cult, the host player will still be able to recruit "Guns For Hire" or "Fangs for Hire" keeping in mind that you can have up to two buddies, with one being another player, join you in your squad. Far Cry 5 "Friends For Hire" two-player co-op will allow players to explore Hope County and take down the Project at Eden's Gate in a surprising and chaotic new fashion expanding the possibility of the game's open world.

NVIDIA's 384.76 Drivers Crash Watch Dogs 2 on Startup

Users beware: if you've updated your NVIDIA drivers to the recently released 384.76 version and intend to play Watch Dogs 2, you might have a hard time doing so. Reports have surfaced that the latest NVIDIA drivers, which bring support to the "Rise Up" open-beta of "Lawbreakers" as well as support for "Spiderman: Homecoming - a VR Experience.", break startup on Ubisoft's game.

The issue doesn't appear to be listed on NVIDIA's 384.76 release notes (not even on the PDF), so it seems this issue largely flew under NVIDIA's radar. But if you've had problems with Wash (sorry, Watch) Dogs 2, be sure to check if you have the latest 384.76 drivers installed. That could be the source of the problem. Our own resident W1zzard himself ran into this problem, but no amount of steampunk wand waving was able to fix the issue. However, a fresh install of NVIDIA's previous driver release (382.53) should let you go out to San Francisco again.

Edit: The issue is related to Ansel and can be fixed by starting C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\Ansel\Tools\NvCameraConfiguration.exe and selecting the "disabled" option at the bottom of the window.Source: Ubisoft Forums

Mass Effect Franchise "On Ice," Bioware's New IP Release Delayed

Mass Effect: Andromeda was met with a lukewarm reception from reviewers and users alike (even if there was just a smidge of overblown issues,) and it would seem this has made EA cautious regarding this IP. Make no mistake: Mass Effect still lines up alongside EA's biggest franchises, and it's almost guaranteed the publisher will want to return to it at some point in time. It just so happens that its less than stellar reception has seemingly put further plans on the IP on hold. Bioware Montreal, the studio behind Andromeda's push, as apparently been relegated to a "support studio" role, with staff being channeled towards the new Star Wars Battlefront 2 game and other projects. Part of the staff will still be working on Mass Effect: Andromeda, looking to work through patches and multiplayer support, though it would seem that there are now no plans for eventual Andromeda DLC. This is a sad development, all in all, as Mass Effect counts one of the most interesting settings - and the most potential - among game franchises

On to Bioware's new original intellectual property, codenamed "Dylan", Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson revealed during a recent call with investors that its launch has been postponed. Originally scheduled to launch by the end of March 2018, the not-yet-named title has been pushed back to EA's 2019 fiscal year (April 2018 through March 2019.) This game looks to be EA's take on the kind of "live" game that is Bungie's Destiny and upcoming Destiny 2 (under Activision's supervision), and Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's The Division, being built around a live service and a "disruptive" new social design which was, according to Andrew Wilson, the reason for the delay.

MSI Unveils Camo Squad Limited Edition Products with Ghost Recon: Wildlands

MSI, world leader in gaming hardware, announces the Camo Squad Limited Edition series! Selected from MSI's powerful gaming lineup, the series include supreme gaming laptops, compact gaming desktops, heavy-duty gaming motherboards and high-performance gaming graphics cards. The military-themed collection is designed to make combat feel more visceral and is definitely an array that hardcore FPS fans wouldn't want to miss!

From March 7th until June 30th 2017, fans who buy selected MSI Camo Squad series products get the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands Game or Season Pass for FREE! The game, developed by Ubisoft, is scheduled to be released on March 7. In Wildlands, you are part of The Ghosts, an elite spec ops team, sent behind the enemy lines to break drug cartels in Bolivia, South America. Your task: take down the vicious criminal organizations in mind-blowing landscapes like mountains, rainforests and deserts. Moreover, in the MSI Camo Squad version of Ghost Recon Wildlands, a unique in-game T-Shirt with MSI logo is selectable for elite operatives in character customization. (Note: the game bundle deal is not available in China).

Watch Dogs 2 Wants to Monitor Your System, But You Need Not Let It Do So

We've earlier reported about the implementation of EasyAntiCheat on Watch Dogs 2 - and how the Ubisoft game installs a driver in kernel mode and a service that monitors your systems' operating files (when Watch Dogs 2 is running). In that piece, we said that "This mechanism is also running even when you're in single-player-only - and even offline - modes, meaning that you're not getting out of its crosshairs no matter how you are playing the game". Now, there seems to be a way to bypass the system monitoring altogether and enjoy the game in single-player. The way to do so, however, varies whether you're running the game on Steam or on Uplay.

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 376.09 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released its latest GeForce "Game Ready" drivers. Version 376.09 WHQL comes game-ready for "Watch_Dogs 2," the week's big AAA open-world third-person RPG by Ubisoft. This includes game-optimization, GeForce Experience optimal settings, and SLI support (if the game supports it). The company is also running a promotion, in which it's giving away UPlay keys to the game with purchases of new GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, and notebooks with factory-fitted GeForce GTX 1080 Mobile and GTX 1070 Mobile graphics. Grab the drivers from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 376.09 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit

Samsung Bundles "Watch_Dogs 2" with Select SSDs and Curved Gaming Monitors

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced an exclusive collaboration with Ubisoft, offering a free PC download of Watch_Dogs 2 with the purchase of qualifying Samsung solid state drives (SSDs) and its newest Curved Gaming Monitors. The partnership delivers gamers an incredible package for high-level gameplay.

"Samsung is dedicated to providing best-in-class technology to gamers, so we're excited to offer Ubisoft's highly anticipated Watch_Dogs 2 as an added value with our industry-leading SSDs and monitors," said Andrew Sivori, Vice President of CE-IT Marketing at Samsung Electronics America. "Our high-performance SSDs and stunning new monitors deliver an enhanced gaming experience, providing exceptional visuals and lag-free gameplay."

MSI Announces AMD Radeon Assassins Creed Chronicles: India Bundle

MSI is giving away copies of Assassins Creed Chronicles: India, with select AMD Radeon graphics cards. The company's Radeon R9 380, Radeon R7 370, and Radeon R7 360 graphics cards sold between late-January to late-June, 2016 (or till stocks last), are eligible for UPlay keys to Ubisoft's next installment to its smash hit Assassins Creed franchise. The game bundle will be restricted to participating retailers, and in select regions.

MSI Announces Z170A KRAIT Gaming R6 Siege

MSI, world leading in gaming hardware design, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Ubisoft Entertainment, creator of one of the most anticipated titles this year and awarded Best PC game in E3 2015, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. MSI is Ubisoft's exclusive motherboard partner and introduces a new version of the Z170A KRAIT EDITION motherboard, specially designed to celebrate this new partnership, the MSI Z170A KRAIT GAMING R6 SIEGE.

With this new model you will receive a free copy of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege [Standard Edition]. But that's not all, during this exclusive promotion MSI is also giving away a free copy of the game with the Z170A GAMING M5 motherboard. The promotion starts on Tuesday 1st of December, 2015.

Microsoft Acquires Havok Physics from Intel

Microsoft acquired Havok Physics, the industry's most popular in-game physics API, from Intel. Microsoft intends to add Havok's IP to its existing tools and platforms, including DirectX 12, Visual Studio, and Azure. Havok will continue to remain accessible to all its existing licensees and partners, including Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and Sony. It currently features in more than 600 AAA game titles across major platforms, such as the PC, PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox.

Source: Microsoft

NVIDIA Announces 'Pick Your Path' Game Bundle

NVIDIA announced the "Pick Your Path" game bundle for new customers of select high-end GeForce GTX graphics cards, in partnership with Ubisoft. Applicable to new buyers of GeForce GTX 980, GTX 970, GTX 780 Ti, and GTX 780, the bundle lets you pick one of three latest Ubisoft titles, including FarCry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity, and The Crew. Several NVIDIA AIC partners are participating in the giveaway, which works much like AMD's "Never Settle." The retailer gives you a code in the invoice of your new graphics card purchase, which you exchange for a UPlay key of the game of your choice, online.

Samsung Announces Gaming Bundle with UD590 Monitor or 850 PRO Series SSD

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today a bundle deal with Assassin's Creed developer Ubisoft, which will include a download of Assassin's Creed Unity with the purchase of the Samsung U28D590D (UD590) monitor or the Samsung 850 PRO solid state drive (SSD). The UD590 is an optimal monitor for PC gaming, with an ultra-high definition screen, one millisecond response rate and one billion color gamut, while the award-winning 850 PRO SSD offers the lag-free performance and blazing-fast load times gamers need. Paired with Assassin's Creed Unity, these products offer gamers the ultimate gaming package.

"Our monitors create a one-of-a-kind, immersive gaming experience and our SSDs ensure quick load times and robust performance for drastically improved gameplay," said Ron Gazzola, vice president of marketing at Samsung Electronics America. "The UD590 premiere monitor and the 850 PRO SSD will bring Assassin's Creed Unity to life and allow players to experience the game in a completely new way. We're happy to be providing this extremely popular offering to our customers."

Ubisoft and NVIDIA Team Up On Assassin's Creed Unity, Far Cry 4 And More

Ubisoft and NVIDIA today announced the next chapter in their strategic partnership bringing amazing PC gaming experiences to life in Ubisoft's highly anticipated upcoming titles including Assassin's Creed Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew and Tom Clancy's The Division.

NVIDIA's GameWorks Team is working closely with Ubisoft's development studios to incorporate cutting edge graphics technology and gaming innovations to create game worlds that deliver unprecedented realism and immersion. NVIDIA's GameWorks technology includes TXAA antialiasing, which provides Hollywood-levels of smooth animation, soft shadows, HBAO+ (horizon-based ambient occlusion), advanced DX11 tessellation, and NVIDIA PhysX technology.

NVIDIA Announces Watch_Dogs Bundle

Destructoid calls it one of the "most wanted games of 2014." CNET said it was "one of the most anticipated games in recent memory." MTV said it's one of the "Can't-Miss Video Games of 2014." This, all before anyone out there has even played it.

So, starting today, gamers who purchase select NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN, 780 Ti, 780, 770, 760, 690, 680, 670, 660 Ti and 660 desktop GPUs can get their chance to play Watch_Dogs, the new PC game taking the world by storm and latest masterpiece from Ubisoft.

ASUS ROG Launches Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Full Game Bundles

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced that in partnership with Ubisoft it will bundle Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag with the Rampage IV Black Edition motherboard and selected gaming PCs including Tytan G30 and the G750 gaming laptop.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is the newest instalment of the stealthy adventure title and its release has been awaited eagerly by gamers worldwide - and ASUS ROG will be Ubisoft's recommended hardware brand partner for the PC launch.

NVIDIA and Ubisoft Form Gaming Alliance for This Fall's Hottest Games

NVIDIA today announced an alliance with Ubisoft to offer PC gamers the best gaming experiences possible for Ubisoft's biggest fall titles, including Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist, Assassins Creed IV Black Flag and Watch Dogs.

NVIDIA's developer technology team is working closely with Ubisoft's development studios on incorporating graphics technology innovations to create game worlds that deliver new heights of realism and immersion. One example is NVIDIA TXAA antialiasing, which provides Hollywood-levels of smooth animation, soft shadows, HBAO+ (horizon-based ambient occlusion) and advanced DX11 tessellation.

AMD "Never Settle Reloaded" Bundle Bolstered by Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

AMD made an addition to its "Never Settle Reloaded" game bundle. Everyone who has already redeemed "Never Settle Reloaded" for their AMD Radeon products, will receive keys to activate Ubisoft's newest FPS title, FarCry 3: Blood Dragon, by e-mail. Those with unused coupons will automatically receive the game, when the coupons are redeemed. They keys will be given out by May 1st.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a standalone game, and an expansion pack in-principle to Far Cry 3. You don't need to own the original to play Blood Dragon. It gives you a single-player campaign that's completely set apart from the Far Cry universe, and features a retro-futuristic, exploitative B-movie setting, which is interesting and never tried out by a game studio in the last decade. A little earlier this month, AMD vice-president Roy Taylor announced that Battlefield 4 will be part of the company's next "Never Settle" bundle.
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