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horseflesh's blog

11:52 AM on 11.27.2011

Ubisoft is a ghost of a PC developer

Ghost Recon Online, and Ghost Recon Advance Warrior (GRAW): Future Soldier This blog entry was initially very different than what you're reading, what I had heard prior to writing this, was a spin on this topic that painted a very different portrait than what you're reading here. The core issue I'm discussing is this: The director of the Ghost Recon Online game says that GRO (hereforward...) is a response to piracy on the PC platform. And that Ghost Recon Advanced Warrior: Future soldier will not see development for the PC.

This was originally reported by PC gamer, subsequently GameSpy, and I found out via Techpowerup!. This "whisper down the lane" originally gave a very different spin on the content of the original article. The tone of the article I read at techpowerup, gave the impression that the publisher Ubisoft had decided that PC games were not worth developing because of the prevalence of piracy on the PC. Of course the members of the community of techpowerup were incensed (Being a PC tech community), and even techpowerup's usually thoughtful members screamed bloody murder at the possibility of being wholly abandoned, condemning Ubisoft repeatedly.

If you haven't guessed by the site I originally came by this corrupted information, I am a PC gamer. Though I think the reasons for that are immaterial to what I'm writing, I'm going to discuss my rationales for that here briefly so that any readers can contextualize me in this light. I've been gaming since the eighties, though in no committal fashion until the previous decade.


My broach to the world of gaming came about when I owned a PC that I had so much trouble with that I wanted to destroy it. I decided then that I needed to learn how these things worked so that I could take care of them myself, rather than relying upon overpriced tech support that largely seemed unable to help anyway. The easiest way to dip my toes into this arena, was the PC gaming community. This community spans from enthusiasts and DIYers (This is the area I put myself into) to IT professionals and developers of various stripes. And they make themselves readily available to anyone if they want to learn how to build for themselves.

One of the core issues that drive my choice to game on the PC platform is control of my own property, and the ability to exert control over the market in a limited way. With a console, the entirety of the intellectual property is owned by a single corporation. All of the Operating system and hardware are owned proprietarily by the company that designed the console in question. I do not want consoles to eradicate PCs for this reason. Particularly given a climate seeming to indicate that we'll be left with only one brand of console. Windows is proprietary enough, I don't want this situation to get any worse. No less, you can see the companies that own consoles try to add to their consoles some of the most common PC functionality. Browsers, Online video availability, DVRs likely in the near future, the functionality of Cable boxes potentially, etc. Consoles really are in a sense a limited-functionality PC, simply an incredibly proprietary one. If this does happen, we will in a sense have come full circle to the new iteration of the gaming PC. One owned by a single corporation, and able to charge willy-nilly for even the most minuscule products and services.

I know for some the trade-offs seem to be worth it, but for me some of these things fight my ideals a bit too much, and for that reason, I don't own a console. But this isn't really the topic I want to discuss, and I want to move on now.


By the time it had reached techpowerup, the focus of the original article had changed, and had been turned into something more topical to the forum there, but similarly more narrow and with a less broad context. While this is an amount normal, for people to discuss issues in a manner that is meaningful to them more than, or to the exclusion of all, others, It also begat the kind of introverted and cyclical thinking that had made Ubisoft into something of a villan.

The problem is...Ubisoft has clearly been drifting away from the PC gaming community, and likewise the PC gaming community had drifted away from Ubisoft. Ubisoft blames Piracy, the PC gaming community blames DRM. I think Ubisoft would sell games, and similarly PC gamers would tolerate somewhat extreme DRM...if the games were good and suited to the platform.

This may sound harsh, but really, games like assassins creed, while an amount tempting, aren't so tempting when they're ports that aren't so well optimized.   read

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