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Ubisoft Addresses Cheating In The Division With A Huge Wave Of Bans And Suspensions

Complaints about cheating in The Division continue to swirl around the game, with some credible sources wonder if the cheating can even be fixed at all. In response, Ubisoft has released a statement detailing steps being taking to stymie cheating and bug exploits.

New cheat detection methods and harsher penalties for those caught cheating are at the forefront of a new wave of suspensions and bans that will be rolling out over the next few days. This is the largest wave of punishments handed down to date.

Ubisoft addressed its efforts in a blog post today, saying there will be a list of known exploits and the consequences for abuse. You can read the whole statement here.

Our Take
Step into any major hub of Division discussion on the internet like the game's subreddit or other forums, and you're likely to find a ton of conversation regarding how cheats are a serious, serious problem. Cheating and exploits in MMO-like titles can ruin the experience for everyone, so it's great to see Ubisoft taking these problems seriously and coming down hard on offenders. I'm hoping they can continue to come up with new ways to keep the game fun and cheat-free for everyone. 

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Desilets ends legal fight with Ubisoft, regains rights to 1666

Longtime game designer Patrice Désilets took to Twitter today to announce that his ongoing legal fight with former employer Ubisoft is over, and he’s regained rights to his onetime game project 1666 Amsterdam. …


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Ubisoft, Patrice Désilets End 1666 Amsterdam Dispute, Rights Return To Creator

The lawsuit between Patrice Désilets and Ubisoft over. The long, drawn-out battle for the rights to the 1666 Amsterdam project Désilets originally started with THQ ends with Ubisoft returning the rights to the project and all its assets to Désilets. In return, the Assassin's Creed creator has dropped his lawsuit.

Ubisoft acquired Désilets and the game in an auction of THQ's assets following the company's bankruptcy. Shortly after the acquisition, the deal turned sour. When they couldn't reach an agreement over the oversight of the project, Ubisoft terminated Désilets and shelved the project, which led to the lawsuit. 

"I’m glad Ubisoft and I were able to come to an agreement that will allow me to obtain the rights to project 1666 Amsterdam,” Désilets said in an official statement. “I will now devote myself entirely to the development of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, my next game with Panache Digital Games. This is what matters most to me today: making the best games and showing the world the creative talent of Quebecers. I also wish every success to the Ubisoft teams.”

Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat also issued a statement: “Putting aside our past differences, Patrice and I are above all interested in the creation of video games and the evolution of this medium of entertainment. This agreement is good news for everyone. Ubisoft’s creative teams are currently working on innovative projects that will mark our industry for years to come. This is precisely where we want to focus our energy, on our teams, to continue what we have been building in Quebec for nearly 20 years. As we have always said, Patrice is a talented designer and we wish him all the best in the development of his future endeavors.”

To read more about the dispute between Désilets and Ubisoft, read our extensive Life After Ubisoft article that details the fallout and lawsuit.

 

Our Take
High-profile cases like this rarely reach the courtroom, so we aren't surprised that the two parties found a resolution outside of a long, drawn-out legal battle. The big question is now when, if ever,
Désilets will return to the project. Right now he has the funding for Ancestors, so we don't expect him to resume development on the ambitious open-world action game any time soon. 

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Ubisoft Announces Champions of Anteria With Playful Trailer

Today sees a surprise announcement from Ubisoft, with the reveal of a new fantasy-themed strategy game. Champions of Anteria looks to offer a different twist on RTS through a combination of hero-focused unit play, upgradeable home strongholds, and learning the ways to interweave five distinct elemental power sets.

In its announcement, Ubisoft puts the focus on its hero units, each of which wields one of the five elements: fire, water, nature, lightning, and metal. In any given mission, you’ll choose three of the five available heroes, and venture forth to confront armies of undead, goblins, vikings, and cyclops, among many other enemy factions, as well as boss fights against a bevy of larger foes. In between missions, you can develop your characters back at the stronghold, crafting points, armor, weapons, and more.

The Ubisoft-published project is being developed by Blue Byte, and the digital-only title is targeting a release on PC on August 30 for $ 29.99. Check out the announcement trailer below. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

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Ubisoft Is Giving The Division Players 150 Phoenix Credits This Weekend

Ubisoft is trying to make amends for some of the problems players have experienced since The Division’s launch. These include glitches that made characters unplayable and Xbox One players losing their agents altogether.

In a live stream earlier today, Ubisoft said that it would be giving all players 150 Phoenix Credits. These are used to purchase high-end items. All you need to do is log in this weekend. 

The Division recently got a hefty update that added the first Incursion, limited in-group gear trading, a new gear level system, and a variety of other improvements. You can read more about that here and our take on the game in our review.

[Source: The Division on Twitch via Polygon]

 

Our Take
In-game make-rights are nice, but it seems like Ubisoft Massive continues to struggle a bit with new problems emerging as the game is patched. It also seems like players are tearing through the new content at a pace that might be faster than the developers anticipated. 

Players also seem to be frustrated by exploits that have emerged in the player-versus-player Dark Zone area. Satisfying a community for a living game is no easy task, as Ubisoft is starting to learn.

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[Update] Xbox One Division Agents Aren’t Lost Forever, Says Ubisoft

Update: There's some good news (and maybe some bad news) for Xbox One players affected by vanishing characters following the April 12 patch. On the bright side, those characters will be restored. However, any progress you made after the patch went live at 12 a.m. Pacific / 3 a.m. Eastern on April 12 will be wiped.

Ubisoft says it will be restoring the characters that were corrupted during the server maintenance. Here's the full statement:

Some of you reported that their characters went missing after Update 1.1. Our team has identified and fixed the source of this issue to ensure that your characters could be correctly restored.

The issue was caused by a malfunctioning server that couldn’t synchronize character data correctly and corrupted them instead. The game client was unable to read this corrupted data, and simply assumed that the character didn’t exist. Once this has been identified, we were able to restore the server to its normal functions, thus ensuring that the issue will no longer occur for other players.

For those who experienced the issue: your character is not gone. We are currently working on a fix that should make it available shortly. Implementing this fix will require a server downtime, and we will let you know when we are ready to perform it.

Please note however that in order to make your character available, we will need to restore the latest uncorrupted save of your entire account, which happened during the server maintenance of April 12. In other words, your character will be back just as you left it on April 12 at 9am CEST | 3am EDT | 12am PDT. You will lose any progress made on this character or any other one from the same account between April 12 and the next maintenance. This only applies to players who have been affected by the missing character issue.

We apologize for the inconvenience and want to thank you for your understanding and your help in identifying this issue.

If you haven't encountered the error, you're safe. If you did, sit tight. A fix should be coming soon that will restore your missing character.

Original Story (April 13, 2016 @ 8:13 a.m. Central):

Yesterday’s big patch for Ubisoft’s The Division is reportedly having a significant problem on Xbox One. Players on the game’s official forums and The Division subreddit are reporting the disappearance of characters.

Ubisoft’s Massive studio, which lead development has gathered a number of reports and is investigating. We’ve asked for a more in-depth statement from the publisher and will update once we hear back.

The subreddit in particular has reports from dozens of players on Xbox One that have suffered from the problem. While not confirmed (again, we’re waiting on Ubisoft for details), a number of players report experiencing character disappearance following a “delta” or “mike” error in-game.

If you happen to be playing The Division on Xbox One, you might want to hold off for now. It’s possible that the characters can be recovered, but we won’t know until Ubisoft figures out the problem and issues a statement.

[Source: The Division Forums, Reddit]

 

Our Take
Patches can introduce some strange problems, but this one is either a major nuisance or a catastrophe. How it plays out depends on whether Ubisoft is able to recover characters that have pulled a vanishing act.

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Ubisoft opening triple-A production studio in the Philippines

The Assassin’s Creed creator will aim to hire up to 50 new people in the studio’s first year, and will task its new team with collaborating and assisting with the development of its triple-A console releases.  …


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Ubisoft Opening Studio Outside Manila, Philippines

Ubisoft has announced the formation of a new studio in Santa Rosa Laguna, Philippines, 35 kilometers from Manila’s main business center. The location will be open during the spring and employ up to 50 people by the end of 2016.

Members of Ubisoft’s Singapore studio will be headed to Santa Rosa Laguna to seed the team and help start to build The Philippines’ video game industry. Ubisoft chose the location due to its proximity to Manila and the airport, which is close enough to commute but offers a better quality of life than the city.

The studio will be located on the La Salle University campus, and will partner with the institution to foster young talent. The Philippines is Ubisoft’s third Southeast Asia location, joining Singapore and Chengdu, China.

 

Our Take
Ubisoft has a history of building up the industry around itself. The Singapore location, for example, has played a role in the Assassin’s Creed series since the second entry and was responsible for the naval combat in III and Black Flags.

The Southeast Asians market is responsible for $ 1.5 billion of revenue annually with 80 million online gamers. If you’re going to open up a new studio and have your pick of bright young talent (and a ready market), growing in that area of the world makes sense.

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Ubisoft Brings Classic Party Game Werewolf To VR With Spectacular Results

I have long believed that virtual reality could revolutionize and bolster the tabletop market by bringing distant friends together. Tabletop gaming is the intersection of mechanics and social atmosphere, and few games blend those two concepts better than the classic Werewolf.

Red Storm, a studio known for Rainbow 6 and Ghost Recon, has made an enormous leap forward in social VR gaming before the first consumer headset hits the market. Werewolves Within is Ubisoft's take on that classic game of misdirection and deception, and it works astoundingly well.

When played around a table, players are randomly assigned roles and must deduce who among them is secretely a Werewolf. The premise is identical here.

What makes the VR application so impressive is how it integrates the technology. Each Rift headset is equipped with a microphone for voice over IP. 

Players can whisper to the person to their immediate left or right in hopes of strategizing or forming alliances, these conversations can't be heard by other players. This is enabled by the two people leaning toward one another. Many of the abilities assigned to each role are also triggered by head gaze and head tilting. 

The tracker can determine if a werewolf is somewhere to his right or left by leaning in one of those directions. Players can monologue for 10 seconds by standing, which mutes the others and forces them to listen.

Werewolves Within ultimately succeeds because it feels like you're sitting around a campfire deciding which of your comrades to execute. We played a number of rounds over 45 minutes, and with each we became more comfortable, succumbing to the illusion. By the end, the conversation was ribald and no different than if we were sitting in one of our houses playing the original Werewolf.

The interface is simple, but the effect is profound. The avatars are cartoonish and the manual gestures (pointing, crossing arms, etc.) minimal, but the additions of mapping real-world head movement and automatically applied hand gestures while talking helps sell the atmosphere.

Werewolves Within is only a first step for social gaming in virtual reality, but a profound one. I can't wait to gather my friends for more once it launches later this year on Rift and other major VR platforms.

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EA and Ubisoft bury the hatchet over trademark ‘Ghost’

Ghost Games owner Electronic Arts has given up on trying to trademark “Ghost” in the face of formal opposition from Ghost Recon owner Ubisoft. …


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