In a hefty new profile in Game Informer, the former Assassin’s Creed developer recounts his firing from Ubisoft, and why he’s “not being bullied” by the publisher. …
Ubisoft will be hosting a select number of individuals to play-test the next title in the Assassin's Creed series. The first invitation-only session will be taking place next week in Los Angeles alongside E3.
In order to apply, you need to be over the age of 17 and send an email to [email protected] You'll need to include your name, age, and 100 words or less about your experience playing Assassin's Creed games.
Ubisoft is looking for those experienced with the franchise. If you're selected, you'll be given a specific appointment time on Wednesday, June 17, and further information. For more, check out our previous coverage.
While we're checking out the game inside the Los Angeles Convention Center, you might be doing the same. Ubisoft appears to be working to involve the community a bit more after last year's problems with Assassin's Creed Unity. Anything the publisher can do to restore confidence and engage its community, the better.
If you happened to have been asleep last generation and missed an Ubisoft game or two, you might want to take a look at PlayStation Now. Sony’s game streaming service is now home to 17 of the publisher’s titles.
These include full retail releases and digital-only games. Here’s the full list of newly-added PlayStation 3 games:
- Assassin’s Creed
- Assassin’s Creed II
- Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
- Assassin’s Creed Revelations
- Assassin’s Creed III
- Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
- Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
- Call of Juarez: The Cartel
- Far Cry 3
- From Dust
- I Am Alive
- Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
- Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
- Prince of Persia (2008)
- Rainbow Six Vegas
- Rainbow Six Vegas 2
- Splinter Cell Blacklist
You can access these games either through a PlayStation Now subscription or as individual title rentals.
[Source: PlayStation Blog]
With each additional major publisher that signs onto PlayStation Now, the value proposition improves. I’m still not convinced yet, but the case is becoming more compelling, as this is the only way to get PlayStation 3 games on your PS4 right now.
Ubisoft’s anticipated post-viral MMO, The Division, just got a new partner. The project, headed up by Ubisoft Massive, already includes Red Storm (Ghost Recon) and Reflections (Driver). Now, Ubisoft Annecy has been added to the project.
Annecy was behind the much-loved multiplayer of Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow on the original Xbox. It also worked on the same segment of Chaos Theory, Double Agent, and Assassin’s Creed’s cat-and-mouse multiplayer featured in Brotherhood and beyond.
This studio also handled two well-known hubs in Assassin’s Creed titles. If you upgraded Assassin’s Creed II’s Villa or spent time in Unity’s Café Théâtre, you’ve experienced Ubisoft Annecy’s work.
Unfortunately, Ubisoft isn’t even hinting at what Annecy is working on for The Division. The company is scheduled to discuss its full-year earnings on Tuesday, May 12. At that time, more details may emerge (including whether we’ll be bringing The Division home this year).
Ubisoft is no stranger to multi-studio projects, with the entire Assassin’s Creed franchise serving as testament. However, it’s surprising to hear that yet another team is being added to a game that is supposed to launch in the next 7 months. I know there’s a lot of anticipation for The Division, and I’m hoping Ubisoft is getting ready to put some shape around the release window.
If you’ve been waiting for a sale on Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, or other Ubisoft titles, your ship has come in. Humble Bundle is teaming up with the publisher to discount a number of games.
Highlights of the sale include Far Cry 3 for $ 7.49 (75 percent off), South Park: The Stick of Truth for $ 13.59 (66 percent off), and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon for $ 3.49 (75 percent off). Recent titles, including Far Cry 4, The Crew, and Assassin’s Creed Unity are priced at $ 35.99 (40 percent off).
You can check out the complete list of offerings on Humble Bundle’s website. As always, 10 percent of all purchases support charities, including American Red Cross, Child’s Play, Wikimedia, GamesAid, and charity: water. The sale ends May 8 at 10 a.m. Pacific.
Update (2:45 p.m. Eastern): Ubisoft responded to our request for comment on the matter, though had little to share about the footage itself. Rather, the publisher suggested how it may have emerged.
"Last week, we invited a select amount of media and influencers to try the game at our development studio," an Ubisoft representative told us via email. "We are glad that they enjoyed the experience and that soon you will be able to read their impressions. Stay tuned."
Update (11:51 a.m. Eastern): Alas, the video has been removed by Ubisoft. We're still waiting on a comment from the publisher and will update again should we receive one.
When Rainbow Six Siege was announced at E3 2014, we saw a match of “Capture the Hostage” fought through a suburban home. The hostage-takers fortified their position, putting up barricades and reinforcing walls, while the Rainbow team made new entrances to escort the civilian out.
Now, 10 minutes of footage has been made available (though not in a way Ubisoft intended). The Closed Alpha is underway, after applications were opened earlier this month. The fight moves to an airplane that appears to have been grounded unintentionally, if the hanging oxygen masks are any indication.
The defenders have barricades and portable shields at their disposal, while the attackers can scout the environment with a small, wheeled camera drone and destroy some of the structure to get a better perspective.
There’s no release date for Rainbow Six Siege yet, but we’re expecting it this year. We’ve reached out to Ubisoft for some additional information about the footage and if there’s more the publisher is willing to discuss about timing. We’ll update should we receive a response. You can check out the video on Daily Motion (at least until Ubisoft has it removed).
Matches seem to move quickly, and the tactical options during the preparation phase seem to set Siege apart from other shooters. This title is likely to live by its breadth of tools available to both attackers and defenders. The more there are, the better the chance for unique strategies and meta-games. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this game garner an eSports following.
Ubisoft has announced and released a new game from its
Reflections studio, along with a trailer and screenshots. Grow Home puts
players in the shoes of B.U.D. (Botanical Utility Droid), a small robot searching
for the Star Plant save his world.
The game focuses heavily on exploration through
climbing, and tasks players with growing a massive plant from which islands are
produced. The islands are, in turn, home to different species of animals and
allow the player to climb higher in their search for the seeds of the Star
Plant – which will help produce the oxygen needed to save B.U.D's planet.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Update: EA has confirmed Ubisoft's assertion that the fraudulent keys in question were purchased from Origin. The company provided us with additional detail.
"A number of activation keys for Ubisoft products were purchased from Origin using fraudulent credit cards, and then resold online," an EA representative told us via email. "We identified the unauthorized keys and notified Ubisoft. If you are having trouble with an activation key, we recommend you contact the vendor who sold it to you for a refund. We strongly advise players only purchase keys from Origin or trusted resellers. For more information on our policy is available here: http://help.ea.com/en/article/should-i-purchase-my-ea-downloadable-games-from-cd-key-sellers/."
EA has since removed Ubisoft games from Origin. The publisher says this was to "protect against further fraudulent purchases."
We removed Ubisoft games from Origin to protect against further fraudulent purchases. We've followed up with EA with a request for more information, including why Ubisoft games were targeted and how removing that publisher's catalog improves security.
EA has declined to provide further detail at this time.
In an update to yesterday’s story about deactivated Far Cry 4 keys, Ubisoft has provided additional information about the situation. The company says that players affected are, essentially, in receipt of stolen property.
"We strongly recommend that players purchase keys and downloadable games only from the Uplay Store or their trusted retailers," the company said in a prepared statement. "We regularly work with our authorized resellers to identify and deactivate fraudulently obtained and resold keys. In this case, we confirmed activation keys were recently purchased from EA’s Origin store using fraudulent credit card information and then resold online. These keys may have been deactivated. Customers who may have been impacted should contact the vendor where they purchased the key for a refund."
We approached Kinguin, one of the retailers in question yesterday about the matter. At that time, the company told us something quite different.
"The banned game copies in question were acquired through licensed wholesale distributors and as such the origin of the ‘keys’ is the publisher himself,” said Kinguin chief marketing officer Bartłomiej Skarbiński.
We've reached out to Kinguin again for comment on this revelation. We'll update should we receive a response.
Consumers still lose out here, but Ubisoft is operating appropriately. Given fraudulent and illegal activity, the company must protect itself. This is a hard and painful lesson for affected users and, quite frankly, it isn't fair. The best course of action is to contact your retailer and hold them accountable. Please let us know what happens.
If you’ve purchased Far Cry 4 on PC from sites like G2A or Kinguin, you may have found that you no longer have access to the game. Reports like this have been popping up recently on the Ubisoft forums, and the company confirms it is taking action.
“We regularly deactivate keys that were fraudulently obtained and resold,” a Ubisoft representative told us via email, confirming the reports in the forums. “In this case, we are currently investigating the origin of the fraud and will update customers when we have more information to share. In the meantime customers should contact the vendor from whom they purchased their key.”
Fraudulent game keys have been a problem for some time. In March 2014, we reported on a company called 7 Entertainment (which owns Kinguin). The company was reselling codes acquired from Humble Bundle purchases at a markup.
Following our story, 7 Entertainment updated its policies to prohibit the resale of codes purchased via charity events like Humble Bundle. With Kinguin at the center of this latest code problem, we reached out to the company again to find out more.
A representative tells us that the storefront has “one of the lowest fraud rates in the industry.” The company says that all sellers go through a vetting process and the site offers a “100 percent Buyer Protection” guarantee.
“The current case raised by Ubisoft is surely unfair towards the players. The banned game copies in question were acquired through licensed wholesale distributors and as such the origin of the ‘keys’ is the publisher himself,” Kinguin chief marketing officer Bartłomiej Skarbiński told us via email. “From the gamer point of view its like going out to the store, purchasing a copy of the game, taking it home and suddenly a knock-knock on the door with Ubisoft representative taking the copy away – not even asking you as a paying customer to return it.”
Skarbiński questions whether the publisher had the right to deactivate the keys. “We believe Ubisoft had no legal basis for its action,” he tells us. “They did it just because they simply can. Kinguin of course is not going to challenge Ubisoft in court as we are not match up for these giants. We will continue to focus on customer's satisfaction and our customers know we have never let them down.”
Kinguin says that its services are designed to create an environment of “fair pricing” and that the market has a need for them. Skarbiński also raises the frequent topic of consumer rights with regard to reselling digital goods.
“Many big publishers are fighting the customers demands for fair pricing of digital products worldwide,” he says. “The customer's rights for reselling used ‘digital downloaded’ games is also being ignored by large. Its why customers either go for piracy or to alternative services such is Kinguin. It might remind us all with the situation with the music industry in the past decade. We all know how this ended up.”
The losers here are the customers. Other than a suspicion about low prices, there is nothing to indicate that a consumer purchased a key deemed illegitimate by the publisher. What we have right now are conflicting stories about the provenance of the keys.
Ubisoft needs to protect itself from piracy and theft, but gamers caught in the crossfire are owed some explanation or warning. Ubisoft and other publishers should post a list of authorized resellers, a warning about purchasing from unauthorized storefronts, and distribute a notice to all customers.
This is becoming a big problem in the industry, and publisher do need to combat illegitimate key dissemination. They just need to do so in a way that is fair for innocent consumers.
Ubisoft announced a new platforming game for PC today, Grow Home. Developed by a small team at Ubisoft Reflections, the game features a red robot named BUD (Botanical Utility Droid), who travels across the galaxy to find a “new species of flora to he…
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