Ubisoft CEO Thinks Gamers Are Ready For Always-On Consoles

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Ubisoft CEO Thinks Gamers Are Ready For Always-On Consoles

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Ubisoft big dog Yannis Mallat says gamers will embrace always-on gaming as soon as they're able to stop worrying about it.

There are several reasons to be wound up about the prospect of an always-on game console, as the next Xbox is strongly rumored to be. Perhaps you live someplace with less than rock-solid internet service, or maybe you bore first-hand witness to the SimCity fiasco and don't feel overly inclined to trust your future gaming experiences to a mandatory connection to some central server somewhere. Or it could be a matter of principle; maybe you just don't like other people and can't abide the idea of even a tangential connection to them while you play.

Whatever the reason, an awful lot of gamers have expressed an awful lot of concern that Microsoft's next console will require a constant connection in order to function. But Mallat said people will stop worrying about such things as soon as the industry demonstrates that there's really nothing to worry about.

"As soon as players don't have to worry, then they will only take into account the benefits that those services bring," he told the Guardian. "And I agree, these services need to provide clear benefits. It's important to be able to provide direct connections between us and our consumers, whether that's extra content or online services, a lot of successful games have that."

As for whether or not the world is ready for an always-on console, he said that's a question that should be put to Sony and Microsoft, but added, "I would say that a lot of people are already always online through other devices - I would suspect that the audience is ready."

I wouldn't say he's necessarily wrong, and in fact he's dead-on when he says that the debate will go away as soon as the reasons for worrying do. The trouble is that so much of is is based on infrastructure, or lack thereof, and that's not something that any console manufacturer can do anything about. And even when infrastructure is solid, a dependence on remote servers is going to blow up in your face sooner or later - as Ubisoft, of all companies, should very well know.

Source: The Guardian

Permalink

Do you guys intentionally look for what news stories will cause the most controversy?

And here I was, thinking Ubisoft might actually become the least-bad of the Big Four (EA, Actizzard, Ubisoft, Squeenix) ...

Welp, guess I was wrong. For god's sake, what's so hard about not pissing your customers off?

We had this exact same argument from Orth, albeit phrased differently. And it's still plain wrong, because the premise is wrong. We don't need always-on anything. We need optional online benefits.

Also, Assassin's Creed 2 PC version.

...

That is all.

I thought ubisoft dropped the DRM thing and realized it wasn't working

"You know you guys would agree with me if you could just forget your reasons for not doing so."

What kind of fucking prat has that sort of mindset? One named Yannis, apparently.

RatherDull:
Do you guys intentionally look for what news stories will cause the most controversy?

Well, that's sensationalism in a nutshell. Ubisoft isn't implying that always online is plausible, merely that if it were plausible it would be a good idea. I don't think always online is ever a good idea, as it represents giving up a certain level of control and would only hinder the modding community, which in turn would harm future developers.

It feels like businesses are getting a bit short sighted this decade.

Of course if we didn't have this stuff showing up on the escapist there wouldn't be a whole lot of discussion. =p

Marik2:
I thought ubisoft dropped the DRM thing and realized it wasn't working

I think publisher's are just trying to market DRM as "always online". At it's core it is still DRM, but since it's a dirty word they have distanced themselves from it.

This is killing me. All the rumors going left and right are driving me crazy.

Is the 720 always online or not? Freakin' stand up and answer, Microsoft.

no sorry don't want it if you give me the option I'll say no if you don't give me the option I won't buy.

and it doesn't help matters that it's likely a wolf in sheep's clothing ... poorly fitting clothing at that.

Gotta love the propaganda machine "The Industry" has going on right now. Yeah, that's right publishers, developers, and studios, just keep telling us what we'll like and sooner or later we'll have to like it!

......right?

I don't get this, why are these companies, especially Ubisoft so set on removing ownership from players with games?
Give us 60 dollars and you can 'license' this game, but we can change the EULA at any time and you lose your games.

Sounds super good, I'll stick to not supporting their garbage.

In a hypothetical world, where every home has access to stable, secure, constant and fast internet. Where the companies using this always online service have constant, secure, stable and fast servers, yes, always online can have a lot of benefits.

We do not live in such a world. We live in a world where the vast majority of the world do not have internet connections good enough for this to be a good idea. A world where the wealthiest game developers on the planet cannot launch a single online always title, without massive issues.

So really, he isn't saying anything worthwhile.

RatherDull:
Do you guys intentionally look for what news stories will cause the most controversy?

That goes without saying.

:D Well, I think Publishers are ready to give us games at a third of the pri-*is dragged off by ubisoft execs and fed to the pigs*

But really? This is stupid.

IF we can guarantee that the connection is 100% good at all times, that their servers are always up, and that the server will never ever ever get shut down...Then yes, most people wouldn't be that upset.

But can we guarantee that in this day and age?

*points to Sim city* This proves otherwise. The infrastructure isn't ready. The gamers aren't ready.

And we will not be happy if you force this spike-studded-straitjacket on us. Don't try it, Ubisoft.

Of course we're all ready for an always online console! It's not as if someone was fired recently because of an insanely negative backlash from this so called ready audience or anything, because if that was the case then Mr. Mallat would seem pretty silly right about now.

Case in point: Origin hasn't been working on my machine for the past 2 weeks.

We still have to worry.

So, people will be fine with it whenever companies have the proper foresight and structure to support the market without ANY issues? So, like, when pigs fly? And hell freezes over?

Andy Chalk:
Ubisoft big dog Yannis Mallat says gamers will embrace always-on gaming as soon as they're able to stop worrying about it.

Something tells me the industry wil embrace it LONG before we can. And then buying Ubisoft games will be one thing I can stop worrying about.

Marik2:
I thought ubisoft dropped the DRM thing and realized it wasn't working

Actually they went in the opposite direction, as in:
no always on DRM <- always on DRM -> nothing works without internet

It's not their fault consumers don't know what they want, but are only saying what they don't want.

RatherDull:
Also, Assassin's Creed 2 PC version.

...

That is all.

nevermind that
AC2 eventually got around working relatively quickly
the new Sim City is where you should be looking at
I know it's not a Ubisoft game, but still =P

Hoho, this is gonna be fun, right Pinkie?


To be honest he seems to be alot more realistic than any of the other 'big names' in the argument but given what we've seen so far, thats not saying much.

Uh-oh. I really don't like where this trend is going...

Ubisoft. Guess I shouldn't be surprised. /insert profanity filled anti-DRM rant here

Always-on will never be acceptable to consumers because we don't live in a magical perfect world where it can always be on. Just do what Steam does. I can play my games when my connection down. I don't know the time frame it gives or how exactly it works, but I think Steam just makes you check-in from time to time.

I feel like the 'always on' saga is mirroring the 'paywall' issue that newspapers ran into a little while ago. Major newspapers were offering their content online for free but then realized that this was negatively impacting their sales so they attempted to implement paywalls to view online content. When they did that many people jumped over to the smaller independent news websites that didn't require payment rather than deal with the money grab from the industry bigwigs.

Similarly now, big game publishers are making a grab for more control but increasingly indies and smaller publishers are nipping at their market as people get fed up. All that remains to be seen is whether enough people are willing to give up their control over their games to get the AAA titles or whether Microsoft and others will be left wondering where the people went.

If the industry thinks that what we want are always-on consoles, then the industry is in for a big surprise.

Come on, guys. Try us. You'll be shocked at the shit I won't buy. I can not buy all day, just try me.

There's an awful lot of industry people coming out in defense of something that hasn't been confirmed... I didn't believe they'd be stupid enough to try an always-on console at first, but all these people defending the idea makes me think it's true.

Andy Chalk:
Ubisoft CEO Thinks Gamers Are Ready For Always-On Consoles

"As soon as players don't have to worry, then they will only take into account the benefits that those services bring," he told the Guardian. "And I agree, these services need to provide clear benefits. It's important to be able to provide direct connections between us and our consumers, whether that's extra content or online services, a lot of successful games have that."

I'm sorry...am I missing something here? What benefit does an always-online connection give to the consumer? How does an always online connection help give 'extra content and online services'? Why can't these be provided via the current system where the consumer can choose to be online or not?

As far as I'm seeing the requirement for being always online confers no benefits to the consumer, only to the publishers and games comapanies.

Oh, just up and die already AAA publishers. Die so that the talented designers you enslave can split off into smaller, awesome studios, the loyal consumers get to keep their rights, and the executives can go back to whatever elderitch pit that they were spawned in.

"And I agree, these services need to provide clear benefits"

BUT THEY DON'T!

There are no benefits to always online that you cannot also receive with an optional online mode. None. And there are many, many drawbacks: Artificial lifespan of games, increases costs of developers maintaining servers that you can be damned sure will be passed down to the customers, inability to play games when the connection drops, inability to play games when the servers of the console/ game servers become overloaded which they most certainly will on certain big game releases.

Always online provides a host of issues and no benefits. We are not ready for Always On and we will never be, unless you also make lobotomies a requirement for your consoles, so stop faffing about with DRM and make your games Ubisoft, and if I like the look of them, then I might give you some money.

This.
This is why I dont give my money to Ubisoft.

Always on is a farce and doomed to failure.

They're such little pranksters, aren't they? Let me pinch their cheeks and tell them to get ready for their afternoon nap.

Oh, and if Ubisoft makes their games always-on this is probably gonna be the last AC game I ever bought. I don't like them enough to put up with that bullshit. Besides, why does each company discussing this issue completely ignore such things as "Bad internet connection" or "Player independence"?

He seems to be fond of mentioning that we will enjoy the benefits of always online, without actually stating what these benefits are, so please, ubisoft, please tell us what the benefits of over 60 million users connecting to a limited number of servers are? It's not even a case of "what if I live in a area with a bad connection", because even when I can connect to the internet, the servers will be down, this is what happened with Diablo III and SimCity, and this is what will happen with the next xbox, but infinitely worse.

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Ubisoft, look out a window, will you? You seem to be under the impression that a monsoon is just a spring shower.

*wild applause*

GOOD JOB, SIR!

*Standing Ovation*

You may have single-handedly SAVED VIDEO GAMES!

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