Watch_Dogs and Game_Mods - The Arrogance of a Lie

Watch_Dogs and Game_Mods - The Arrogance of a Lie

When does hype and spin become nothing more than a lie? If everybody already knows the truth, can it still be considered dishonest?

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It's either incompetence or malice on their part. Given their track record for shoddy pc games we really have no right to be surprised by this at all.

Decent piece. I understand that Ubisoft likely couldn't get the game to run that way and still be a stable experience. At the same time, the fact that the demo was in-engine is the most infuriating part. It's one thing to dismiss a prerendered trailer as a marketing tool, but to show the engine doing X and delivering it doing Y is very disingenuous.

I think the reason people are against the word 'mod', and why Ubisoft are determined to use it, is because it gives the connotation that the hackers added stuff to the game, rather than just use in game functions... which is what they did because anyone can do this, you don't need to download anything else.

I like how they claim they wanted to avoid stability problems with these graphical options when the game ran like shit and had several issues at launch for a lot of people. Those issues apparently being made better by then activating those graphical options with the mod.

Ubisoft, just... Eeuurggh...

Eeuurggh Ubisoft! Euuurggh!

You know, everyone (including the very well-respected Mr. Young) continues to say that Watch_Dogs was supposed to be the first next-gen title, and maybe I'm the only one here, but it never felt like that to me. I'm not apologizing for Ubisoft, because they've put their foot in their mouth so many times all they can taste is Odor Eaters, but even when they showed the game for the first time at E3, the graphics didn't impress me. This is coming from a Sony loyalist who never plays on PC, but I thought Watch_Dogs looked really interesting "to play" and barely noticed the graphics outside of thinking, "That looks nice." Even if the game looked like the E3 demo or even better, would it have changed a single thing about the game's story, it's characters, or the gameplay.

If graphics never improve beyond the Seventh Generation, I could care less. I'd prefer game developers make games with actual depth in terms of the story and gameplay, rather than just prettier sandboxes to play in. I mean, I'd rather play the first (and especially second) BioShock over Infinite any day of the week, despite both of those games looking worse. Hell, my favorite sandbox game is The Godfather on the PS2. Everyone's complaining about Watch_Dog's lacking graphics and while a few grip about a relatively bland story and a flat protagonist (that has nothing to do with him being a white male, because if Aiden was a black woman, he'd still be boring as hell), everyone should be focusing more on the story and gameplay rather than the lighting and the movement of Aiden's jacket. Because after all, what's more important, the fact the sex trafficking sidequest ends with nothing more than a pat on the back and an achievement to cheapen the feel of what you've been doing or that thank God we have high-res rain at last?

I'm still reading but I just had to make one comment. Whether you care about graphics or not feels like in this case, a strange question because having played the game, there is little other reason to play it. Maybe if you didn't like the vulgarity of grand theft auto but wanted a giant sandbox maybe, but as far as other elements nothing really is sold by itself. Don't get me wrong, it's a good game on its own, but it's a one off kind of thing. I bought this game because I wanted to play something that took advantage of my PS4's graphics and stood out from the PS3 ports. Instead I got a basically PS3 port. I mean it looks great, but not amazing, not mind blowing and not so much better then GTA5 that I would recommend someone buy a PS4 because the games look amazing.

Also that's another thing. Why are the graphics on PS4 not that good? I mean they are good but Watch Dogs is only marginally better then my PS3 GTA5, which ran better then Watch Dogs does on my PS4... Is Watch Dogs really pushing the limits of the PS4? If so than that is very disappointing.

I completely agree with the outrage on this one. Not because I have any interest in Watchdogs; I just find that somewhere along the way PR departments stopped being used for dampening flame wars and smoothing out bad reactions to their stuff, and started blaming the people they're supposed to engage with, filling their ears with pointless drivel and buzz words.

I think it's a carryover from other corporate settings. Deny reality and promote an illusion! The shareholders will be spooked if we admit to having faults in any way! Remember to spin our mistakes as steps in the right direction, even if we're still going in the WRONG direction!

It's sickening.

As people have already said, I'm not as much angered by the lie as I am by their extreme arrogance.
Because not everyone can tell its a lie, I know people who would suck up whatever Ubisoft says and believe it because "news sites like this aren't official and are just a hub for conspiracy theorists". They will only believe what is being "officially" fed to them

This extreme arrogance in maintaining the facade will work out for them, because we here are the vocal minority, and that is what's angering me. I suppose a company taking advantage of clueless customers is nothing new though, but by doing so in such a despicable way.. Ugh

I believe in this case, it would be called a "tweak".

So I guess this is how we're doing things now, huh?

First EA and SimCity (which is still, and by far, the worst, but hey, EA has a reputation to live up to). Then it was Aliens: Colonial Marine, now Watch Dogs...

We're all used to bullshots, we're all used to over-inflated hype and we're used to take pretty much any official piece of news well salted... but now it feels like large devs/publishers are like a 4-year-old who's just discovered that he can get away with lying and is finding out just how far he can push it with a little incredulous and mischievous grin on his face.

LysanderNemoinis:
Snip

The issue isn't really the graphics themselves at this point. It's being lied to. It's being lied to so badly that it's insulting.

If Ubisoft had just come out and acknowledged the issue and had been honest about it I'd be a little disappointed that I don't get the expected eye candy, but I wouldn't think twice about it. And I wouldn't dislike Ubisoft for it.

But no. They keep insisting on stacking lie upon obvious and immediately disprovable lie.

Shamus Young:
The PC is the smallest part of the market and you're not obligated to go out of your way to make the PC version look any better than the other versions.

Actually, PC's status as being the small fry of mainstream gaming platforms is quite questionable now.
Consoles started big and ended big for the previous console generation but PC has only grown unchecked for that same period.

http://hexus.net/gaming/news/industry/69141-global-pc-games-market-revenue-overtakes-consoles/

Apart from that, I'm in complete agreement thus far...

"While the mod in question may indeed offer improved visuals to some users, we want to stress that this isn't endorsed or supported by Ubisoft. The diverse configurations of PCs made it infeasible to test these settings in time for a concurrent launch with the other platforms."

A fair hypothetical statement, and one that's certainly better than what Ubisoft offered.
However, I'd counter this by pointing out that this "mod" was developed entirely by Ubisoft, and not a third party.
They just buried the option in the game config files.

Apart from that, the article is spot on.
Ubisoft lied openly and repeatedly about the issue because they are still stuck with having to choose between preserving the interests of the console giants, and acquiring revenue from the now-powerful PC platform.

In the previous generation they could perform whatever contemptible acts towards the PC market with impunity because console sales were powerful while PC was secondary at most. But that has changed. If Ubisoft wants to maximize their exposure they must deal with PC now, even while their ingrained business philosophy dictates that they treat PC like shit.

Their statements, their repeated lies and PR doublespeak is simply the product of a business who is trying to double dip, once int a market they have close ties to, and again into a market they absolutely despise.
They just happened to get caught while doing so this time.

I pray that the gaming public makes a big deal out of this and kills more of the pre-order exploitation culture that makes this dishonest shit effective.

And to be clear, I'm not railing against consoles here, I'm railing against companies who use clumsily use consoles as leverage over the market like this.

Kameburger:

Also that's another thing. Why are the graphics on PS4 not that good? I mean they are good but Watch Dogs is only marginally better then my PS3 GTA5, which ran better then Watch Dogs does on my PS4... Is Watch Dogs really pushing the limits of the PS4? If so than that is very disappointing.

Basically it's because it's late life game versus early life game. As Shamus said in the article it takes developers a long time to work out how to get the most out of console. Compare "Last of Us" to some of the PS3's launch titles, the difference is staggering. The problem is also that the difference between the consoles isn't the leap in power there has been in the past along with the change in styles between console generations. They've covered this more elegantly than I ever could in some of the Podcats but the reason the upgrade doesn't seem that great just yet is developers are still learning and the game styles are still the same. I think the best example we have for comparison just now is Black Flag, the graphics aren't out-of-the park better between the PS3 and PS4, but they are clearly better. You'll only really be able to compare like for like once we get to the end of the current gen's life so we can compare it to last gen's GTAV etc. A good comparison we can make right now is compare "Resistance: Fall of Man" to "Killzone: Shadow Fall". Killzone is undeniably prettier.

Great article, Shamus, thanks!

Shamus in other news will shortly be announcing his new line of hammers which are guaranteed to always hit the nail on the head perfectly.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If the rumours about them doing the same thing to The Division are true, I'd suggest that whichever mod unearths these features and puts them back in like with Watch_Dogs, they report it as their own creation - then watch Ubisoft choose between looking incompetent enough to be outdone by a modder and admitting to being lying shitbags.

And about the whole "it might've caused performance issues" thing - no, not buying that. If this "mod" works on high-end PCs (as we've seen that it does, in fact some users even report better performance with this mod), then why on Earth would you remove those options? These are not the consoles we are talking about. PCs have a thing called "graphical settings". If these setting work on some computers, then why not leave them in and name them "insane", "uber ultra" or something?

Because it might make the game unstable? It obviously doesn't. And a company of Ubisoft's size and assets can't be unaware of this. You can't tell me with a straight face "yeah, we had those options, we've made them, but we didn't test them". That's just bullshit. Besides, the game as is launched (like most games do these days... or rather years) with problems of its own in stability and performance. What made those settings okay to launch with, but not these?

Did Ubisoft hire the same PR monkeys from EA a few years ago? Cause it sure sounds like it. Those asshats made EA look like the biggest douche in the industry, now Ubisoft is having the same problem.

On the bright side, i am glad i did not buy the game. From the looks of it i probably will not until its reduced in price by more than 50%.

LysanderNemoinis:
You know, everyone (including the very well-respected Mr. Young) continues to say that Watch_Dogs was supposed to be the first next-gen title, and maybe I'm the only one here, but it never felt like that to me. I'm not apologizing for Ubisoft, because they've put their foot in their mouth so many times all they can taste is Odor Eaters, but even when they showed the game for the first time at E3, the graphics didn't impress me. This is coming from a Sony loyalist who never plays on PC, but I thought Watch_Dogs looked really interesting "to play" and barely noticed the graphics outside of thinking, "That looks nice." Even if the game looked like the E3 demo or even better, would it have changed a single thing about the game's story, it's characters, or the gameplay.

If graphics never improve beyond the Seventh Generation, I could care less. I'd prefer game developers make games with actual depth in terms of the story and gameplay, rather than just prettier sandboxes to play in. I mean, I'd rather play the first (and especially second) BioShock over Infinite any day of the week, despite both of those games looking worse. Hell, my favorite sandbox game is The Godfather on the PS2. Everyone's complaining about Watch_Dog's lacking graphics and while a few grip about a relatively bland story and a flat protagonist (that has nothing to do with him being a white male, because if Aiden was a black woman, he'd still be boring as hell), everyone should be focusing more on the story and gameplay rather than the lighting and the movement of Aiden's jacket. Because after all, what's more important, the fact the sex trafficking sidequest ends with nothing more than a pat on the back and an achievement to cheapen the feel of what you've been doing or that thank God we have high-res rain at last?

So you obviously must care at least a bit about how we still have last gen graphics then, given how you stated you could in fact care less about the situation rather than that you couldn't care less.

Shodan1980:

As Shamus said in the article it takes developers a long time to work out how to get the most out of console. Compare "Last of Us" to some of the PS3's launch titles, the difference is staggering.

This is true, but there is a problem with this gen, as with the PS4 and the XBO it should not take as long to get the most out of the hardware because the architecture is a known one and one devs have already been working with for a long time. Its the PC architecture with a few changes. Yes they have to work with the few changes and there will be new universal "tricks" that are found, but the "learn the system" stuff that they had to deal with last gen just won't happen with these two, theoretically they should already know most fo the tricks... because they have already been doing them. on pc.

i expect the game types to change and not as much of a run for the shiny shiny this time, as the shiny shiny cap will be reached a lot quicker this time.

Shamus Young:
The PC is the smallest part of the market and you're not obligated to go out of your way to make the PC version look any better than the other versions.

You are utterly wrong about the PC market, it's the largest by a mile.

Steam alone is bigger than XBOX 360 + XBOX ONE, or PS3 + PS4. It's not more than all the consoles put together, but it dwarfs any one of them, and it certainly dwarfs both sides of the "Next"(current) gen put together.

 

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