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Ubisoft Launches Plant-Themed Grow Home On PC

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)

Ubisoft Reflections is probably best known for their work on
the Driver series, though they also contributed to Watch Dogs, Just Dance, The Crew,
and Far Cry 3. – The Feed

[Update] Ubisoft Says Deactivated Far Cry Keys Purchased With Stolen Credit Card, EA Confirms

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:"

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.

Original Story:

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.


Our Take
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. – The Feed

Ubisoft And Kinguin Comment On ‘Fraudulent’ Deactivated Far Cry 4 Codes

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.”


Our Take
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. – The Feed

Ubisoft announces next experimental game for PC, Grow Home

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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Ubisoft Unveils Innovative Procedural Platform Grow Home

Ubisoft Reflections (the team behind the Driver series) has a new game that's very different from its past titles – and it's coming soon.

On a post on the Ubi Blog, Anne Lewis writes extensively about the new project, which is being created by an eight-person team within Reflections. Here's the basic premise:

"Grow Home is the story of BUD, a Botanical Utility Droid sent on a mission across the galaxy to seek out a new species of flora to help oxygenate his home world. He finds the perfect specimen in the Star Plant. "We think of the Star Plant like a giant beanstalk," says Producer Pete Young. "BUD's mission is to grow it to maturity and harvest the seeds it produces. The plant ends up being a towering two-kilometer-high bridge from the ground to his space ship."

As you progress, you'll help grow, guide, and climb increasingly towering plants to reach various destination. These plants will grow procedurally, meaning that each playthrough will be slightly different. The team promises that this odd concept will be accomplished with an intuitive, easy to master control mechanic, allowing BUD to effortlessly scale his natural towers. It's important to note: though the game is being made for PC, the developers say its made to be experienced with a game pad. This begs the question: why isn't it being made for console? Hopefully, those announcements are coming in the near future.

The game looks extremely interesting, and we won't have to wait long to experience it; Grow Home will be released for PC on February 4. Watch the teaser trailer below to get a better sense of the game's look and feel.

[Source: Ubi Blog]

(Please visit the site to view this media) – The Feed

Read the fine print: Ubisoft free game offer waives lawsuits

Ubisoft’s offer of a free game to make up for the widespread technological problems of Assassin’s Creed: Unity seems generous, but those hoping to take advantage should be aware of a notable caveat tucked inside the offer’s fine print.

You’ll find t…
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Reader Discussion: Which Free Ubisoft Game Are You Getting?

Ubisoft has started giving away a complimentary game to season pass owners (prior to November 25) for Assassin's Creed Unity as a makeup for the game's many problems. What's it going to be?

The games are being offered because the company decided to give away the game's Dead Kings DLC to all players as an apology, but because season pass holders already effectively paid for the DLC, they are now getting one of the following free games: Far Cry 4 (shown), The Crew, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Watch Dogs, Rayman Legends, or Just Dance 2015.

Which of these are you getting? Please post in the comments section below.

If you're eligible for your free game, head over to Ubisoft's redemption site. – The Feed

Ubisoft: Patch 4 will fix ‘most’ remaining Assassin’s Creed: Unity bugs

Assassin’s Creed: Unity has been criticized for technical issues since its November 11 launch, but publisher Ubisoft believes the majority of the game’s issues are nearly behind it.

In a recent entry posted to Unity’s website, the Live Update team d…
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Ubisoft confirms next Assassin’s Creed for Victorian London

The next major entry in the Assassin’s Creed series will reportedly be set in London. According to sources close to Kotaku, the game will take place in the Victorian era, which makes some sense of the reported codename for the next rooftop-leaping ga…
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Ubisoft yanks AC Unity season pass, placates buyers with free game

Amidst long-running technical issues with Assassin’s Creed Unity, Ubisoft has abruptly curtailed its DLC plans and made significant business concessions to appease those who purchased the game. …

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