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Ubisoft Blames Piracy for Non-Release of PC Game

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#1 +Frank B.

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 14:45

Ubisoft Blames Piracy for Non-Release of PC Game

Ubisoft is known for laying the blame for many problems on the unauthorized downloading of its games. Stanislas Mettra, creative director of the upcoming game ‘I Am Alive,’ confirms this once again by saying that the decision not to release a PC version is a direct result of widespread game piracy. However, those who look beyond the propaganda will see that there appears to be more to the story than that.

Ubisoft’s highly anticipated adventure game ‘I Am Alive‘ is expected to be released on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace this winter.

The first demos of the game were well received by the gaming community and as a result many PC gamers asked Ubisoft to release a PC version as well. This is not going to happen anytime soon though.

PC gamers shouldn’t “bitch” about it, ‘I Am Alive’ creative director Stanislas Mettra said in a recent interview. In his commentary Mettra insinuates that many of the people who are asking for a PC release are in fact going to end up pirating the game.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that PC gamers are bitching about there being no version for them,” Mettra told incgamers.

“But are these people just making noise just because there’s no version or because it’s a game they actually want to play? Would they buy it if we made it?”

The creative director argues that it might not be worth the effort porting the game to PC because of widespread piracy.

“It’s hard because there’s so much piracy and so few people are paying for PC games that we have to precisely weigh it up against the cost of making it. Perhaps it will only take 12 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,” he said.

Indeed, it’s undeniable that game piracy is an issue for developers, but the question has to be asked to what extent piracy has been a factor in the non-release of a PC version.

Talking to Digital Spy Mettra reveals that not all the blame can be put on pirates.

“This is basically the second version, especially designed for XBLA and PSN in mind, knowing that we had to design something really unique, really different type of game experience, but we knew we had to push some levels that aren’t compatible with mass market gaming experiences,” Mettra said.

In other words, for this version a PC port wasn’t ever the plan, and it’s doubtful that pirates are solely to blame for that. It is of course good to use as an excuse, especially for a game that was originally announced in 2006, has suffered several setbacks since (including development by two different studios) and one that underwent a “total re-engineering” only last year.

The piracy blame-game is an interesting choice too, particularly coming from Ubisoft. The company was previously exposed using pirated music and cracks to support their games.

Luckily, not all people in the gaming industry blame piracy for all their troubles and misfortunes. Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell, whose Portal 2 sold more copies on PC than on any other format, has a refreshing take on how to approach the issue of piracy. According to him, game publishers should compete with it.

“One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue,” he said recently. “The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates.”

For now, however, Ubisoft is taking the “no service” approach to ‘I Am Alive’ and actually killing PC piracy dead in its tracks, but sadly in the most cynical way possible.

Instant update: There goes Ghost Recon: Future Soldier too.


Source: TorrentFreak




#2 +Lovell

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 14:49

“One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue,” he said recently. “The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates.”


That's why I love Valve, Ubisoft games on the PC are atrocious and unplayable, there's nothing worse than buying a game only to have to pirate it just to play it, **** Ubisoft.

#3 Miuku.

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 14:55

That's why I love Valve, Ubisoft games on the PC are atrocious and unplayable, there's nothing worse than buying a game only to have to pirate it just to play it, **** Ubisoft.

Yes because Steam was such a wonderful product when Half Life 2 for example came out.. oh wait.

#4 +Lovell

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 14:57

Yes because Steam was such a wonderful product when Half Life 2 for example came out.. oh wait.


Yes, lets judge a company by what happened 7 years ago. :p

#5 giantpotato

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 14:58

I have no problem with Ubisoft sticking in as much drm as they want as long as I can still play the game. I've never had a problem with their DRM in the past. I would gladly take DRM over no PC release. In this case, this game doesn't really interest me, so I wouldn't have bought it anyway, but I don't like the direction this is headed. It could mean good games in the future, like the Assassin Creed series, are no longer released on PC.

#6 Lucas

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 15:02

Whatever you say Ubisoft, whatever you say bro.

#7 wivelden

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 15:05

...and piracy isnt rampant on consoles too? O......K......

#8 Yusuf M.

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 15:06

I was just reading this article on Kotaku and thought of what Ubiosoft said about the PC verson of I Am Alive. Piracy is inevitable and DRM isn't the answer. All it does is inconvenience paying customers which in turn makes piracy more enticing. CD Projekt RED has shown that it's possible to release a PC game and sell a lot of copies without DRM. That's right, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has no DRM. They sold almost 1 million copies in under 2 months which is amazing for a SP-only game that lacks DRM.

Anyway, read the article linked above. It's much better than the usual piracy arguments made by some developers.

#9 +Phouchg

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 15:08

I blame overproduction of crudware. Does Skyrim sell? Yes, it does. Does a whole load of... Oh never mind. No sane arguments will ever convince these clowns.

#10 George P

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 15:14

If a company doesn't expect to make a profit on a version of something for x platform then it's their choice to not make it for that platform. If they feel the PC versions costs won't be made back then why bother? People who are PC only or console only need to give it a rest, I own and play on both and don't miss out in the end.

#11 giantpotato

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 15:20

Even if there is piracy, you'd still make more money releasing it than not.

I'd rather Ubisoft not release their DRM crap anyways. Minecraft doesnt have much DRm if any at all and it sells like crazy.


Developers don't work for free. It costs money to convert a game to run on another platform. If you're not going to recoup the costs you will not be making more money compared to not releasing it.

If a company doesn't expect to make a profit on a version of something for x platform then it's their choice to not make it for that platform. If they feel the PC versions costs won't be made back then why bother? People who are PC only or console only need to give it a rest, I own and play on both and don't miss out in the end.


You miss out on better graphics, more control options, for console-only games. Not to mention unbeatable Steam prices on the PC. So you are technically missing out in the end if you don't have the choice of buying for the platform you want :p

#12 ahhell

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 15:36

Way to miss out on revenue, a-holes.
The game will probably be crap anyway so no big loss.

#13 Joey S

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 15:52

Perhaps it will only take 12 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,” he said.

Let's say for example's sake that the game sells for $30 a pop, that's $1.5 million for three months work if 50k buy it. Are you seriously telling me that's not a good return? Wow!

#14 Neo003

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 16:00

I understand Ubi softs point when you know the game is crap and you know as usual console gamers will fork out 60 bucks for a game on the other hand pc gamer will pirate it (very small number) play maybe an hour or so and DELETE. PC gaming has become a demo machine of some sort, as a developer your game will be scrutinize on every level and in the end some people might pirate it just because developers wants those extra security fetures so the game doesn't get pirated. Here’s my 2 cents just release the game on a freaking disk without any security (has be a good game) and see how many you sell.

#15 AbandonedTrolley

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 16:00

Let's say for example's sake that the game sells for $30 a pop, that's $1.5 million for three months work if 50k buy it. Are you seriously telling me that's not a good return? Wow!


That's not full on profit though, you then have the whole physical production cost and getting it out to the stores/suppliers. They must know their figures though, I doubt a company would just not put it on PC out of spite if they honestly thought that there was profit there to be made.