Ubisoft On Delays: Our Goal Is To Win The Next Generation

Ubisoft On Delays: Our Goal Is To Win The Next Generation

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The Watch Dogs and The Crew debacle doesn't worry Ubisoft.

Recent announcement of launch delays for Watch Dogs and The Crew didn't do Ubisoft any favors, and its stock price tanked more than 26% after the announcement. Lower than anticipated sales for Splinter Cell and other titles only made the markets jittery. Ubisoft has responded to the tide of bad news with an official statement to IGN, claiming that its long-term goal is to win the next generation.

The full text reads:

Our long-term goal is to win the next generation. The tough decisions we took to fully realize the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance but we are convinced that, longer term, they will prove to be the right decisions both in terms of satisfaction for our fans and in terms of value creation for our shareholders. We are building franchises that will become perennial pillars of Ubisoft's financial performance.

Ubisoft's share price, at time of writing, is €8.30, or just a touch over $11 per share. Prior to the announcement, it was trading at €11.09, or just over $15 per.

Source: IGN

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Well they are just having a phenomenal start. The announcement that they want all of their future games permanently online and delaying their first foray into the next generation just screams "success".

Church185:
Well they are just having a phenomenal start. The announcement that they want all of their future games permanently online and delaying their first foray into the next generation just screams "success".

Always online is the future, whatever some gamers like it or not. The consumer benefit of always online is appealing, being able to share trophies, cool moments or whatever in real time with friends via social networks or the consoles built-in friend system, and the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

As for delaying the first foray, I think an analogy to Columbus is apt: The first settlers to the New World were all dead by the time the second bunch of settlers came around, because they had not adequately prepared for the challenges they would face in the Caribbean. It is better to delay and release two great games a few months down the line instead of releasing two mediocre games on launch date and having two potentially good IPs (read: future cash cows) ruined by a lukewarm reception and tarnished reputation.

Gethsemani:

Church185:
Well they are just having a phenomenal start. The announcement that they want all of their future games permanently online and delaying their first foray into the next generation just screams "success".

Always online is the future, whatever some gamers like it or not. The consumer benefit of always online is appealing, being able to share trophies, cool moments or whatever in real time with friends via social networks or the consoles built-in friend system, and the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

As for delaying the first foray, I think an analogy to Columbus is apt: The first settlers to the New World were all dead by the time the second bunch of settlers came around, because they had not adequately prepared for the challenges they would face in the Caribbean. It is better to delay and release two great games a few months down the line instead of releasing two mediocre games on launch date and having two potentially good IPs (read: future cash cows) ruined by a lukewarm reception and tarnished reputation.

In all seriousness, you're a school of business major, or something to that effect, aren't you? Your entire post reeks of spin. Always on may be the future, but we live in the present. Life on other planets may be the future, but you don't see anyone trying to coerce the consumers into purchasing radiation proof clothing because "you'll need it when the future arrives."

If they felt that way about it, not wanting to be first, why make it a launch title to start with? Shouldn't they have, from the beginning, said "We would have made it a launch title but felt [Columbus]," as opposed to making it a launch title and then changing their minds?

They're not some up and coming company still figuring this out. They're Ubisoft. This Columbus analogy was something they just happened upon now? Bullshit! Their stock dropped 25% and this is damage control through n' through. Not launching during the holiday season? The holiday season of launch of a new console generation because "you don't wanna get there first?" Bullshit! You may not wanna get there first, but you sure as hell want to get their in time for Xmas

Yeah, sure, i would have liked to play Watch Dogs next month, but I would much rather play a game thats not riddled with bugs. If Ubisoft is indeed delaying WD to work on the game some more, I can wait. Patience is a virtue after all. Delaying AC4 for PC is another matter, since it just seems to be their usual tactics to sell their game twice to impatient people with both consoles and PCs.

Gethsemani:

Church185:
Well they are just having a phenomenal start. The announcement that they want all of their future games permanently online and delaying their first foray into the next generation just screams "success".

Always online is the future, whatever some gamers like it or not. The consumer benefit of always online is appealing, being able to share trophies, cool moments or whatever in real time with friends via social networks or the consoles built-in friend system, and the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

I have a question! Do you really use those features? I mean seriously do you really enjoy sharing screen shots and trophies over social networks? How many of us actually use social features in games? Because publishers really love shoving social networking down your throat but do we really owe it to actual demand or just some sick dream of theirs to be like facebook and generate loads of money through advertising revenues.

Not to mention the fact most (if not all) publishers are not even prepared to support full online services for their customers, EA (in particular their last SC5 release), BNet (hello Diablo 3) Uplay (cloud saving... got fixed though) and Steam issues come to mind.

Hawkeye21:
Yeah, sure, i would have liked to play Watch Dogs next month, but I would much rather play a game thats not riddled with bugs. If Ubisoft is indeed delaying WD to work on the game some more, I can wait. Patience is a virtue after all. Delaying AC4 for PC is another matter, since it just seems to be their usual tactics to sell their game twice to impatient people with both consoles and PCs.

I hate ubisoft delays. Remember what happened to Splinter Cell Conviction :P. Also Watch Dog's been in development for 4 or 5 years now.

Gethsemani:

Always online is the future, whatever some gamers like it or not. The consumer benefit of always online is appealing, being able to share trophies, cool moments or whatever in real time with friends via social networks or the consoles built-in friend system, and the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

trololollol

I would like to point out with all your wisdom, those features can be implemented without the need of having Always-on, those features can used optionally.

Unless you've had your head buried in sand. Online features not only costs the company money but can also be crippled in a event of network problems. DDos attacks, service maintenance, ISP bandwidth capping and local data transfers allowances (i.e Canada and a few other places) will render the system inoperable for hours or even for days and even for weeks.

As far as the world is concerned, fibre optic wire is still futuristic technology. I suggest you pick-up a book about computers at some point.

Gethsemani:
Always online is the future, whatever some gamers like it or not. The consumer benefit of always online is appealing, being able to share trophies, cool moments or whatever in real time with friends via social networks or the consoles built-in friend system, and the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

Ah, but we don't live in the future, we live in the present. The present's current infrastructure doesn't support everyone being able to take advantage of the features always-on brings to the table, but instead limits people like myself from enjoying them. They are limiting their audience by mandating online components in single player games. It begs the question, why couldn't they make these online features optional? Dark Souls doesn't lose too much by allowing an offline mode, but if it didn't allow it I might not have ever beaten the game at all.

I for one won't be purchasing The Crew or The Division for precisely those reasons.

Church185:
Well they are just having a phenomenal start. The announcement that they want all of their future games permanently online and delaying their first foray into the next generation just screams "success".

I fully expect this stock price to go back up to normal once they've released some games. Black Flag is this month and Watch_Dogs will still be soon after. The drop is from angsty and impatient people. Knee jerk reactions like this happen all the time. I agree that they're doing some pretty dumb things, but I don't think this will really hurt them. They knew what they were doing as they've done this dance before.

Gethsemani:
Always online is the future, whatever some gamers like it or not. The consumer benefit of always online is appealing, being able to share trophies, cool moments or whatever in real time with friends via social networks or the consoles built-in friend system, and the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

Always on has a big problem, and that's the "Always" part. Most people I know live in a rural are that is limited to dial up. I myself never plug in my console. I don't have Gold. I don't play online games. When Sony anounced the PS4 to rejoicing of 'teh hardcore gamerz' everywhere, there was one major thing that kept a relatively even playing field at E3: the share button. I have yet to hear of a soul that wants it (I guess besides you). I personally get 0% benefit from always on. There is nothing appealing about it to me. Being rational it's not the end of the universe, but the biggest impact it has to me personally is now I'm suddenly limited to when and where I can play. It'd have to be plugged in, and my internet slogs down during 'peak' hours (ie. 5-11PM) because the entire apartment building is funneled through a single subpar connection. Since I work full time this means if I want to internet I do it mainly after midnight. Always on is the future, but until there is a perfect stable connection over every square inch of the nation/world to me Always-On translates to Always-Off.

Gethsemani:
As for delaying the first foray, I think an analogy to Columbus is apt: The first settlers to the New World were all dead by the time the second bunch of settlers came around, because they had not adequately prepared for the challenges they would face in the Caribbean. It is better to delay and release two great games a few months down the line instead of releasing two mediocre games on launch date and having two potentially good IPs (read: future cash cows) ruined by a lukewarm reception and tarnished reputation.

I think the Columbus analogy breaks down because he never reached his intended destination and upon reaching any land at all he promptly pillaged, raped, and committed genocide in an attempt to control a small island. He then got a disease and died. I can almost not think of a worse analogy, unless you're going with the fake version the Tea Party believes in.

Church185:
Well they are just having a phenomenal start. The announcement that they want all of their future games permanently online and delaying their first foray into the next generation just screams "success".

It turns out the only way to win the generation is to kill it.

as long ac4 works on pc, and for australia it will come out on the 21st of november (asked today), fine by me. but they really should get their stuff together by making better plans that actually work.

Gethsemani:

Church185:
Well they are just having a phenomenal start. The announcement that they want all of their future games permanently online and delaying their first foray into the next generation just screams "success".

Always online is the future, whatever some gamers like it or not. The consumer benefit of always online is appealing, being able to share trophies, cool moments or whatever in real time with friends via social networks or the consoles built-in friend system, and the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

The future ain't here yet. Right now, always online equals immediate no-sell to me because my internet goes out or slows down too much for it to work without annoying the hell out of me. Heck, SWTOR's connection constantly stutters (though errs on the playable side) with constant dips in the framerate and responsiveness. So no, it's DRM potential does bother people other than pirates. If I buy a SP game, I should be able to play that game whenever it's convenient for me, not whenever my internet provider's workload can handle it (hence why I've never started on Act 2 in Diablo 3). Also, none of those "features" you mentioned appeal to me. If I want to see my friends' achievements I look them up on their bio, if I want to share a cool moment with my friends I snip it out of the session's recording and email it to them (because our schedules never match up, so real-time sharing is impossible). These "features" of yours already exist and their current form works for me with no downsides, so why should I "upgrade" and put up with some negatives for no gain?

OT: So after their stock drops due to some issues, Ubi has come out and said that it only looks bad, but really has no bearing on their next-gen strategy? Sounds like classic damage control.

Gethsemani:

Always online is the future, whatever some gamers like it or not. The consumer benefit of always online is appealing, being able to share trophies, cool moments or whatever in real time with friends via social networks or the consoles built-in friend system, and the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

Question!

What happens when the internet goes down because someone accidentally pulled the plug on the router? Or when the telcos start digging up the street again? Or when it the network goes down just because it doesn't like me at that particular moment?

What happens then?

Winning the next generation by missing the Xmas and the new console launch window? Missing the first I can believe but the second...

The problem is with delaying Watch Dogs they are missing two critical windows, the console launch and the holiday season. I doubt the game won't be successful when its finally released, but now I wonder if its going to be as successful as it could have been.

Keys to winning next generation: Whittle your roster down to Rayman and games where you sneak around and push one button.

What I got out of this is that I should be buying Ubisoft stock right now. The price will go back up, probably shortly after The Crew and WATCH_DOGS are released. Ubisoft has been around for a long time, and survived much bigger fuck ups than this.

P.S. Thanks

Covarr:
What I got out of this is that I should be buying Ubisoft stock right now. The price will go back up, probably shortly after The Crew andWATCH_DOGS are released. Ubisoft has been around for a long time, and survived much bigger fuck ups than this.

This. I'm actually considering it.

I might wait until closer to the release window, though.

But as others said, I'm not sure how one wins the next generation by missing the Christmas and Console Launch windows.

Gethsemani:
and the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

Gethsemani:
potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

Gethsemani:
DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

Gethsemani:
DRM butt pirates.

STOP SAYING THAT! God damn, its like everyone drank lead paint as children.

It is not true in any way, shape or form. DRM does not bother pirates AT ALL. Why? Because they just remove it.

EA put Kingdoms of Amulur as online required to play, so the pirates changed the game to check a file in their game file that mimicked the server. Customers had to check in and maintain a connection to play THE GAME THEY BOUGHT. Pirates didn't.

DRM only bothers legitimate customers because the pirates stole the game and made it a superior version. So my question is, when are the pirates gonna start selling offline versions of Ubisoft games?

snekadid:
So my question is, when are the pirates gonna start selling offline versions of Ubisoft games?

For PC games? Since a roughly a week after Ubisoft first introduced their always online DRM. (strangely enough, most Cracking groups hate people who sell pirated software)

For the next gen consoles? To many variables to say yet. The OSes would probably have to be reverse engineered to see if soft-modding them was possible to override all sorts of stuff before that sort of caper was even viable.

RhombusHatesYou:

snekadid:
So my question is, when are the pirates gonna start selling offline versions of Ubisoft games?

For PC games? Since a roughly a week after Ubisoft first introduced their always online DRM. (strangely enough, most Cracking groups hate people who sell pirated software)

For the next gen consoles? To many variables to say yet. The OSes would probably have to be reverse engineered to see if soft-modding them was possible to override all sorts of stuff before that sort of caper was even viable.

I was being ironic since the pirates are making better versions of the software than the retailers. I would much rather they make decent products, as the thought of paying pirates makes me physically ill.

video game industry 101. Lesson 22:

Never claim you want to be the best at anything.
Whether its having all your games be 90+ on metacritic or having the best graphics, the best and most "realistic" games.

It actually makes a lot of sense for Ubisoft to delay Watch Dogs I think. Assassin's Creed 4 will be out soon and having two AAA open world action games coming on to the market at about the same time probably would hurt the sales of both.

lacktheknack:

Covarr:
What I got out of this is that I should be buying Ubisoft stock right now. The price will go back up, probably shortly after The Crew andWATCH_DOGS are released. Ubisoft has been around for a long time, and survived much bigger fuck ups than this.

This. I'm actually considering it.

I might wait until closer to the release window, though.

But as others said, I'm not sure how one wins the next generation by missing the Christmas and Console Launch windows.

Wonder if this will affect Stick of Truth's release date?

Gethsemani:
the fact that it doubles as potential DRM doesn't bother anyone but pirates.

Which is why Microsoft is bathing naked in an ocean of money and good will.

I would just say that "we won't compromise on quality" is their fancy way of saying "we miscalculated, and it just won't be ready on time" and believe them. But, I dunno, I still smell slight bullshit. They're asking for an extra three months or so, and you'd think if they needed that much longer, they'd have noticed before it was time to ship (which would have been within the next couple of weeks)
I dunno, I've heard a few theories, like that they wanted to release their game at a time when everyone's wallets hadn't been recently crippled by the new console releases, but I still think they stand to loose more than they gain, especially as they're now aiming for a pretty dead time of year. They'd have the market to themselves, but to forfeit the holiday season? Surely not. Then again, it's one hell of a holidays season, again, given the new consoles. So who knows.
In the end it's up to them to choose when to release anyway.

Is this them acknowledging how batshit insane it was to say all their franchises will be coming out annually? They don't seem to realize that divvying up the work on a game between 7 different studios may get it done faster, but makes it a disjointed mess, as was seen with AC3. Personally, I'm perfectly fine with delays, if and only if they are actually using the time to improve and expand the game. If they are just doing it to garner a more advantageous launch window, then it would annoy me...

 

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