Ubisoft Claims Blacklist Trailer Criticism "Uninformed" and "Kneejerk"

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Ubisoft Claims Blacklist Trailer Criticism "Uninformed" and "Kneejerk"

Blacklist's director believes that recent gameplay footage doesn't show both styles of play.

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The recent Splinter Cell: Blacklist trailer certainly drew attention to itself, but not in the way that Ubisoft intended. The trailer, which shows near constant fighting and interrogation, has had some fans up in arms that the series stealth roots might be neglected. Still, other fans were disturbed by how the trailer openly revels in Team America-style jingoism, with the franchise's "Fifth Freedom" taking center stage. Game director David Footman defended Blacklist to Eurogamer, saying that the criticisms are just "kneejerk reactions to a vertical slice of the game" and are "really uninformed as to what the whole experience is like".

According to Footman, the car-jumping, neck-stabbing action shown to date is only one side of the game. "It seems to be an overreaction because people are just seeing the 'pow!', the explosiveness... There are two distinct styles of gameplay - you can ghost a map, or you can go wild as well. There are some areas you'll have to play stealth, but there are areas where you'll find it hard if you don't use wide-open action."

While the trailer seems to focus on a black-and-white action experience, Footman is quick to emphasis that Blacklist will play in the grey. "If it makes you squeamish and uncomfortable, maybe that's the point... We feel it's an interesting dilemma for the player."

While the series underwent significant changes during 2010's Splinter Cell: Conviction, Footman states that evolution is necessary to compete today. "If you want to come out with a big Hollywood movie in the summer time, if you're not a big blockbuster - you're not going to get seen." Ubisoft doesn't want to abandon the core of the franchise, but as Footman notes, "like every branded franchise, it is evolving."

What he seems to be saying is that Ubisoft's current PR misrepresents the game, while also blaming fans for reacting to it. Perhaps what they really need to do is get the game into the hands of players so they can find out for themselves.

Footman agrees: "We really need to get a demo out there".

Source: Eurogamer

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Do you know why they think it looks like just another shooter? Because all you've shown of it makes it look like another shooter.

Want people to think differently? Show some things that don't make it look like another shooter.

It's not our fault your current info on it paints it like yet another shooter. That's all on you, pal. Put out some different info, show off a stealth mission.

'You guys are so uninformed to what the game is actually going to be like. I mean, it's not like it's our job to put the appropriate media out there so that there's a genuine impression being given. You just need to assume that the game will deviate significantly from what we show you.'

I really don't think they'll ever capture the magic of the original games ever again. In the event that they top Chaos Theory someone give me a call.

Wasn't Splinter Cell a stealth game?
So making a trailer showing nothing but shooting, explosions, and 'MURICA is going to piss off a lot of people who buy splinter cells for... well... stealth games. Mind you, I've only played a bit of pandora tomorrow, so I may be misinformed here. Don't just blame the fans for reacting to what you show them.

Mr Footman, as I'm sure you are aware, the whole point of trailers and demo's such as this, is to show a slices of the game that best represent the experience as a whole, so consumers can make an informed purchase based on what they've seen. If ire from the fans is based on a false impression of the experience as a whole, then that is still your problem, not ours.

You can say that the series hasn't completely abandoned its roots all you like, but we'll believe it when we see it. So far I've seen precisely one example of a 'stealth' demo that was still rather tenuous (seemed more focused on just sprinting from cover to cover when guards weren't looking than the traditionally silent and methodical approach), so you'll forgive us for not being filled with confidence.

Advertising fail is fail.

Seriously, what the fuck?

I've been defending the game (see the Stealth Demo, seriously) and even I thought the trailer was stupid.

Pro tip: If you only display one side of the game in your marketing, don't expect people to magically know about the other side of it. And don't get butt hurt when they complain about the other side not being there.

Pro tip 2: If fans' response to your marketing can be classified as "uninformed" your marketing team needs to start feeling ashamed of themselves. Part of their job is to inform.

IanDavis:

Footman agrees: "We really need to get a demo out there".

Yes. Yes, you do.

IanDavis:
Footman states that evolution is necessary to compete today. "If you want to come out with a big Hollywood movie in the summer time, if you're not a big blockbuster - you're not going to get seen." Ubisoft doesn't want to abandon the core of the franchise, but as Footman notes, "like every branded franchise, it is evolving."

It's a bloody stealth/action game, not some kind of C.O.D.-M.O.H. knock-off. It's not like S.C. fans or stealth games afficionados aren't going to play your crap if there are no explosions and tits everywhere. Seriously. And going COD-like, even for marketing purpose, ISN'T evolution.

Cry me a river Footman, you can't just release a one man army trailer like that and expect there to be No Russian to judgment.

I'm kinda torn about his statements.

On one hand it has been established long ago that accusing fans of stupidity is NOT a good PR move.

On the other hand it seems he is partial to the idea of demo of his game. Something we need more of in days of today.

So all in all I guess he deserves a slight butt-kicking and then a kiss on the cheek

We can only react to what you show us Mr. Footman.

I really don't care if the trailer gave the "Wrong Impression," they still changed the voice actor.
I would have been more at ease with a new gameplay style and voice actor if they had just said:
"Sam retired, your this new guy, also the game has been renamed 24."

Also I totally agree with Andy above me.

Eh, I think there is a very valid point here. Trailers make it look exciting. Someone sitting in a shadow may be fun to play but not to watch for three minutes.

Hey, we only know what you showed us. If we're uninformed that's your fault. If only there existed someone who could fix this...

Trailers are designed to garner a reaction. If the reaction is not the desired one, then the trailer has failed. Getting angry at the reactions is like blaming your dinner guests for getting salmonella poisoning from your undercooked chicken.

IanDavis:

According to Footman, the car-jumping, neck-stabbing action shown to date is only one side of the game. "It seems to be an overreaction because people are just seeing the 'pow!', the explosiveness... There are two distinct styles of gameplay - you can ghost a map, or you can go wild as well. There are some areas you'll have to play stealth, but there are areas where you'll find it hard if you don't use wide-open action."

As of this posting: 2 .4 million views.
Published on Jun 4, 2012

As of this posting: Almost 170 thousand views.
Published on Sep 25, 2012


IanDavis:
The recent Splinter Cell: Blacklist trailer certainly drew attention to itself, but not in the way that Ubisoft intended. The trailer, which shows near constant fighting and interrogation, has had some fans up in arms that the series stealth roots might be neglected. Still, other fans were disturbed by how the trailer openly revels in Team America-style jingoism, with the franchise's "Fifth Freedom" taking center stage. Game director David Footman defended Blackist to Eurogamer, saying that the criticisms are just "kneejerk reactions to a vertical slice of the game" and are "really uninformed as to what the whole experience is like".


As of this posting: About 50 thousand views.
Published on Aug 31, 2012


Neglected by whom? Of the 2.4 million people who watched the first gameplay trailer only 7% of that number of people watched the Fifth Freedom trailer. Only 2% of the 2.4 million who watched the first gameplay trailer watched the second version showing the stealth options. There have been times to criticize about the development of a game not going in the right direction, but this isn't one of them. I agree, these people are uninformed and are most likely bitching because they don't like seeing an actiony-style trailer as it makes them feel like they are watching just another CoD or BF.

You have an option how to play the game... This trailer shows one option.

I am sure a trailer for the other option will be released when they figure out how to make "sitting in the shadows, watching patrol routes and then snaking past the guards" look fun and engaging to people who don't normally play stealth games. Which is obviously the majority of people otherwise there would be a bigger number of games in the stealth genre and not so many CoD/BF clones.

IanDavis:
...but as Footman notes, "like every branded franchise, it is evolving."

image

So ubisoft, you "evolved" Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, have you?

Bollocks, they're hardly a shell of the games they used to be. Where's mission planning? Where's squad control? Where's the ability to move FUCKING BODIES.

Ubi, I am disappointed.
I enjoyed RS: Vegas and Splinter Cell Conviction, but not for the games you name them to be. I do not regard them as "splinter Cell" or "Rainbow Six" or "Ghost Recon"; fun or not, I still want to see an actual evolution of those 1990/early millennia games you use to make, not new games dressed up in the guise of the old ones.

*Sigh* Guess I'll just have to keep playing those on my PC, pretending they're new.

SlamDunc:
Eh, I think there is a very valid point here. Trailers make it look exciting. Someone sitting in a shadow may be fun to play but not to watch for three minutes.

There's ample space to make a good trailer for a stealth game. Reasonably fast cutting is still perfectly all right - just don't cut every time to another explosion.

It's certainly not impossible, which means that you can expect a professional with a large budget to give it a good try. Which they did not.
If you have completely unrepresentive advertising, then the ensuing backlash is nobody's fault but your own.

If the reaction to the trailer is "uninformed" then your trailer failed to convey the game. That's how it is.

IanDavis:
Blackist to Eurogamer

Not quite.

Again, Publisher blaming the fans for their own failings.

If people didn't get the message you wanted for a trailer your company produced, it's nobody's fault but your own.

If you think showing intense action to an audience of people who want to play a stealth game, then, well... That's kinda dumb.

That's like a CoD trailer that focuses on Storyline.

So players are uninformed because all the marketing material didn't accurately represent the game? Now who's fault is that?

Norix596:
So players are uninformed because all the marketing material didn't accurately represent the game? Now who's fault is that?

Exactly this.

'Our trailer didn't tell you enough so stop acting like it did what it was supposed to do! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!' He should have just said it was abit of a mis-step on the ad departments part, thats fair enough, people can handle a mis-step... although this is the internet...

I adored Conviction. Was the only Splinter Cell to date that was actually playable for me.
So if it's anything like that, I will enjoy it.

wait, don't most stealth games have portions that are really hard to sneak through, and really hard to fight through? how is this any different?

to put it bluntly maybe some people should remove their heads from their asses, and not all of them work at ubisoft, hm?

Tamrin:


As of this posting: About 50 thousand views.
Published on Aug 31, 2012


Neglected by whom? Of the 2.4 million people who watched the first gameplay trailer only 7% of that number of people watched the Fifth Freedom trailer. Only 2% of the 2.4 million who watched the first gameplay trailer watched the second version showing the stealth options. There have been times to criticize about the development of a game not going in the right direction, but this isn't one of them. I agree, these people are uninformed and are most likely bitching because they don't like seeing an actiony-style trailer as it makes them feel like they are watching just another CoD or BF.

I remember when this trailer was posted, someone mentioned in the comment section that they watched footage just like this at E3, and what followed after Sam goes to break in through the window is him gunning down all four of the assailants in slow-motion, just like the breaching sequences in Modern Warfare 2 and 3.

No matter what they do, it will never be a real Splinter Cell game without Michael Ironside.

Ubisoft, you continue to disappoint me. You made some of the greatest smart shooters of the last generation, Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon... and now you continue to make these games and say they are "evolving" when all you are doing is making them linear and more like CoD and Battlefield and the like.

All these big companies that used to make marvelous games during the previous console generations are now taking these beloved games and gutting them for mass audiences, and it's getting more and more absurd. *shakes head sadly*

elilupe:
No matter what they do, it will never be a real Splinter Cell game without Michael Ironside.

Ubisoft, you continue to disappoint me. You made some of the greatest smart shooters of the last generation, Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon... and now you continue to make these games and say they are "evolving" when all you are doing is making them linear and more like CoD and Battlefield and the like.

I was actually about to say, "Well, at least R6 Vegas had ziplines you could go up and down on", then I remembered that this game's stealth trailer showed Fisher doing the same thing, so chalk another one down.

I rented Future Soldier a few months back, and practically forgot about it after I'd beaten the game. I had to be reminded by another board member that Captain Mitchell was the guy who appears in the intro to the first real mission.

If Ubisoft doesn't want people thinking they've homogenized yet another one of their franchises, they shouldn't be surprised when people call them out on releasing an action-filled trailer with a main character sporting a much younger voice. I mean, at least Conviction tried to take some chances with Fisher slowly getting his gear throughout the game and not being in his trademark outfit, along with some interesting setpieces that showed that (almost) everything Sam fought for is good and dead. Now they stick him back in the suit and regress two games worth of development to make a pseudo-clone that plays "younger and faster".

Why on earth didn't they just reboot Splinter Cell with Blacklist? That would solve almost all the flak they were getting.

So there were Splinter Cell games after Chaos Theory? Damn, and here I thought that was just some dream. Some horrible, horrible dream...

I'd give a demo a shot before not buying blacklist tho. But it'd have to be really, really, really good...

I'm so glad people are starting to realize that demos are what we need, and not more bullshit trailers that show fuck-all. It's a hell of a lot harder to get a friend interested in a game you like when all they're doing is watching you play. They need to experience it for themselves.

What's with major game companies insulting people lately? Did the nice-chips in their spokespeople's heads suddenly reach their expiry dates all at once?

Tamrin:

Neglected by whom? Of the 2.4 million people who watched the first gameplay trailer only 7% of that number of people watched the Fifth Freedom trailer. Only 2% of the 2.4 million who watched the first gameplay trailer watched the second version showing the stealth options. There have been times to criticize about the development of a game not going in the right direction, but this isn't one of them. I agree, these people are uninformed and are most likely bitching because they don't like seeing an actiony-style trailer as it makes them feel like they are watching just another CoD or BF.

Or maybe that video has so many views because it came out during E3, where the interest of new game announcements is at its peak. The drop of views shows the lack of interest in the title not because they showcased the stealth aspects in it.

Bvenged:
snip
Ubi, I am disappointed.
I enjoyed RS: Vegas and Splinter Cell Conviction, but not for the games you name them to be. I do not regard them as "splinter Cell" or "Rainbow Six" or "Ghost Recon"; fun or not, I still want to see an actual evolution of those 1990/early millennia games you use to make, not new games dressed up in the guise of the old ones.

*Sigh* Guess I'll just have to keep playing those on my PC, pretending they're new.

Agreed, the last "real" Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell Games were Raven Shield and Chaos Theory respectively...I didn't enjoy Conviction much (Ironside was the only good thing in it), but Vegas 2 might just be the best cover based shooter available. It's a terrible, terrible Rainbow Six game though.

My reaction to this is...whatever, it's Ubisoft they have nothing to offer me anymore except Beyond Good and Evil 2, and I'm sure they'll ruin that too.

I'm going to voice an opinion here that most of you will hate at first.

He's completely right. We criticize this game because we're uninformed. We don't want Splinter Cell to be an action game like what we see in the trailers.

Now they claim that we're uninformed because we don't know that is but one of the possible gameplay styles. Yes we are uninfomred, but whose fault is that? Who is the center of information here? It's you, Ubisoft, you make the trailers, you give us the information. If you are going to say we only hate because we lack the information then give us the information rather than accusing ous of being uninformed.

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