The Changing Face of Ubisoft

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With the introduction of social media, the easiness of us all to be able to communicate with each other and anyone else has given us a voice that can be so loud that sometimes we need to stop and ask ourselves whether we should send that Tweet, Facebook post or instagram picture out into the world. Whilst this freedom has been great, it has also come with the even greater emergence of trolls online and so many people, for example, tweeting out quite nasty things to others including game developers and publishers.

For anyone who has been gaming a long time, there are of course many things our favourite game publishers and developers have done that we don’t agree with. For anyone who follows my blog, twitter, YouTube channel or other articles, I am a Destiny fan and I have been quite outspoken about the sequel and what I don’t enjoy about it and where Bungie has gone wrong in my opinion. But I don’t tweet nasty things at the developers or company executives no matter how much I want to. Being outright aggressive online to anybody is unnecessary and unwarranted. At a time when there is so much negativity online, especially in the gaming community I thought I’d send out some positivity.

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Let’s talk about Ubisoft. Cast your mind back to the disastrous launch of AC:Unity. Although I didn’t have any technical problems with the game post launch and really enjoyed, I can’t defend the broken state it launched in for many people which basically made it unplayable. This was on top of a game series, Assassins Creed, that seemed to be chugging along about to run out of steam. AC:Syndicate later released and many fans, critics and other in the gaming community including myself thought this series was now stale, offering nothing new and simply going through the yearly update motions.

When Ubisoft decided to take a year off from AC I think the vast majority of people breathed a sigh of relief. Another standard yearly update of a game could have been released and it could have sold very well. But Ubisoft didn’t want that and I commend it. Perhaps they saw revenue from the games decline and they wanted to take action. Who knows. And taking action they did with a year off and the release of AC:Origins. Apart from some tedious and time consuming side missions to level up, Ubisoft created an amazing world for gamers to play in. A beautiful, large open world with a good main story, better combat mechanics than any previous AC game and a level of detail the series hadn’t had before. And gamers responded enthusiastically which made many falling in love with the series all over again.

Another standard yearly update of a game could have been released and it could have sold very well. But Ubisoft didn’t want that and I commend it. Perhaps they saw revenue from the games decline and they wanted to take action. Who knows. And taking action they did with a year off and the release of AC:Origins. Apart from some tedious and time consuming side missions to level up, Ubisoft created an amazing world for gamers to play in. A beautiful, large open world with a good main story, better combat mechanics than any previous AC game and a level of detail the series hadn’t had before. And gamers responded enthusiastically which made many falling in love with the series all over again.

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But Ubisoft had another failed launch to with the release of The Division. This supposed Destiny killer couldn’t keep many gamers interest and couldn’t keep up with Destinys TTK expansion. But times can change. Instead of slowly letting the game die and accepting the negative perceptions many had of the game, Ubisoft slowly turned the screws, changed the oil and rotated the wheels of the game for it to become something great. The something it was promised to be at launch. With the release of the 1.8 update for the game, it is almost universally accepted that the game is now great. The vision that was spoken of has now been realised. A large amount of content, satisfying end game, brutal PvP and a large amount of fixes and tweaks has turned the game around.

Instead of slowly letting the game die and accepting the negative perceptions many had of the game, Ubisoft slowly turned the screws, changed the oil and rotated the wheels of the game for it to become something great. The something it was promised to be at launch. With the release of the 1.8 update for the game, it is almost universally accepted that the game is now great. The vision that was spoken of has now been realised. A large amount of content, satisfying end game, brutal PvP and a large amount of fixes and tweaks has turned the game around.

Now we also have news recently that the season pass for Far Cry 5 has been detailed before the release of the game so gamers know what it is they are buying. They know what each expansion is called and what it will be about. How many season passes have people bought and not known what is actually included in it? I know I have. Releasing this sort of information should be common place and for such a high profile AAA game from a large developer, I applaud them. I shouldn’t need to as this should be the norm, not the exception but I will anyway.

I hope Ubisoft continue down this path and continue to see their customers as gamers and understand that these gamers are paying money to support their games. You owe them a good game and for it to be released in a great state and if it isn’t, you will stick by your game until it is. And you have recently. I know the likes of EA and Activision could a learn a thing or two from Ubisofts recent moves. But never forget that the fans and gamers can be your biggest allies and harshest supporters to. Just go and ask Bungie.

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These are good steps to you growing to be a company that gamers admire but they will quickly remember the worst if you give them a reason to. Misleading game trailers such as Watch Dogs where the graphics are downgraded in the final release compared to E3 trailers. This is misleading and will foster resentment towards you once again. Sub standard server support has also been an issue both with The Division and For Honor. Lessons must be learnt from these examples and try to be eradicated from future releases.

If Ubisoft is to win over gamers they must first put the gamer first. Only then will they continue down this path.

-MaxPower

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