Ubisoft has received summary judgment from a U.S. District Court judge that allows it to separate itself from a long-running legal fight over patents related to digital rights management, including its own Uplay service. The lawsuit began in 2011 when Digital Reg of Texas, LLC, filed a lawsuit against Adobe Systems, Valve, Ubisoft and other companies over various aspects of their digital content delivery and authentication services. Some of the defendants (like Valve) settled with the company. Ubisoft did not settle and has been found not guilty of infringement.
On this week's show host E. Zachary Knight is joined by guest host Jeremy Powers to talk about Ubisoft's ongoing controversy about including female characters and its response to the Watch Dogs PC mod, Playstation Now pricing, and some stuff on YouTubers. Download Episode 103 now: SuperPAC Episode 103 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 66.4 MB.
Ubisoft has issued a statement attempting to explain why the PC version of Watch Dogs included unused graphical options hidden within its game files. The company also said that a mod enabling these features is not a good thing for PC users because it can cause a number of unwanted technical and gameplay issues.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot says that his company is working hard to improve its character creation processes in response to criticisms over 'bland' characters in its blockbuster games (although the most recent criticisms were related to both Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed: Unity not offering gender options in multiplayer and the creative leads of those games saying that they lacked the resources and time to add them).
In another interview with Polygon about female character options, this time in Far Cry 4, another Ubisoft employee blamed an increased work load for the game not featuring more options. Far Cry 4 game director Alex Hutchinson said that the team were "inches away" from allowing players to choose between a man or woman co-op buddy in the upcoming shooter's multiplayer... but it never materialized.
It's E3 week and Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sony and Nintendo are doing their damnedest to convince us to buy their stuff.
Earlier this week, Nintendo had a digital event announcing it's upcoming games while the other four hosted full press conferences. Who had the best show?
If you need a refresher, you can read our recaps here:
Jonathan Cooper, a former Assassin's Creed designer says that Ubisoft's claims about the complexity of adding playable female character options in Assassin's Creed: Unity is bullshit. Cooper, who now works at Naughty Dog, says that such a task would be simple to implement. In fact, he says it would be one or two days' worth of work.
"In my educated opinion, I would estimate this to be a day or two's work. Not a replacement of 8000 animations," Cooper said on Twitter.
Reminder: You can watch the biggest E3 press conferences on Twitch, starting at 9:30 am PST (that's 12:30 pm EST) with Microsoft's big E3 event.
Later today Electronic Arts will host its press conference, followed by Ubisoft, and then way later in the evening Sony will host its event for the show.
The Electronics Entertainment Expo is next week and kicking it off is a round of press conferences where the biggest publishers will try and dazzle you with game announcements and spectacle in an attempt to win your dollars.
Of course, these presentations rarely go off without a hitch. Everything from technical failures such as Nintendo's Skyward Sword demo from 2011 or EA's Battlefield 4 false start last year to horrible hosts such as "Mr. Caffeine" from Ubisoft's 2011 presser and Jamie Kennedy who MC'd Activision's show in 2007.
Conservative TV and radio host Glenn Beck criticized Ubisoft's recently released open-world hacking game Watch Dogs on his Internet TV show. During a recent episode of his show The Blaze, Beck called the game's protagonist Aiden Pearce an "anti-hero."
"Why must everyone be an anti-hero? Why must everyone break the law? Why can't we have a Superman? Why can't we have somebody who is doing the right thing, does the hard thing? Instead, everybody is an anti-hero," Beck said.
If you thought that PC Watch Dog players were the only ones having problems because of Ubisoft's Uplay DRM software, then we have a surprise for you: Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PS4 owners of Ubisoft's open-world hacking action game are also struggling to play the game. So says this advisory from Microsoft to Xbox players - and it's not just Watch Dogs suffering from Uplay problems.
A public relations stunt to drum up publicity for Watch Dogs went awry, instead leading to a bomb squad showing up in an Australian news station earlier in the week, according to Kotaku. The PR stunt consisted of a package, which arrived at the offices of Ninemsn. It contained a letter and a small safe.
Assassin’s Creed is Ubisoft’s most successful franchise, according to newly updated data on Ubisoft's Facts & Figures page on its website. The data was uncovered by Kotaku columnist Superannuation. The Assassin’s Creed series of games has sold 73 million to-date worldwide, but Ubisoft's second biggest game series is Just Dance, which has sold 48 million to-date, beating out big franchises such as Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Rayman, Petz, and Prince of Persia.
Ubisoft is offering Uplay users all-expenses-paid trips to E3 in Los Angeles by becoming ambassadors for its (often mandatory) games platform Uplay. Ubisoft announced that 12 winning fans will "receive the VIP treatment" with paid travel, access to the E3 show floor, a ticket to the Ubisoft press conference and exclusive meetings with Ubisoft's development teams. One thousand fans will also be given an invitation to "the Uplay lounge", a pop-up event held near the Los Angeles Convention Center during E3.
When the PC version of Ubisoft's Watch Dogs releases later this year it will require consumers to install the company's Uplay software. Even if the game is purchased through Steam, users will still have to install Uplay, according to CVG. All PC versions of the game will use a mandatory Uplay client that players will have to log on to in order to activate the game.
In a series of tweets, Watch Dogs creative director Jonathan Morin tries as best as he can to explain why the Wii U version of Watch Dogs has been delayed until well after other versions of the game are released on May 27. On Monday, Ubisoft confirmed a Watch Dogs release date of May 27 on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC, with the Wii U version set to "release at a later date."
Ubisoft is apparently comfortable enough to give us a concrete date for the release of its open world game Watch Dogs. Much to the chagrin of Wii U owners, the company only offered a vague timeframe of "available at a later date." That later date will be sometime after the game releases worldwide on May 27 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. Hopefully this will be the last time the game gets delayed.
The European video game ratings board PEGI, says that it did not in any way force publisher Ubisoft to cut the content it did from the European version of its new South Park RPG, South Park: Stick of Truth. In fact the ratings body said that it judged the uncut version of the game and gave it an appropriate rating.
One of Andrew Eisen's latest videos (has been busy in the last week or so) points out that Ubisoft's latest move - to delay the Wii version of Watch Dogs to an undetermined date well after the Spring release of the game on other platforms - ensures that that version of the game will have crappy sales.
Some would say that Ubisoft is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by doing this, giving other publishers an example to point to when they abandon development of their top properties for Wii U.
Ubisoft confirmed during its earning call today that the Wii U version of Watch Dogs has been delayed significantly, coming out well after the game releases on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.
Those versions of the game will release this spring (the period between April and June), according to Ubisoft, but Watch Dogs for the Wii U will not be released until much later. How much later? Ubisoft was pretty coy about an exact date, saying only that it would be released at "a later date" after the release of other versions of the game.
Ubisoft this week revealed a new graduate program that aims to help a small number of graduate students get into the video games industry every year. The program's continuation is clearly dependent on how the first two years go and its effectiveness in picking and training candidates that will stay in the industry long-term.
Beginning in September of this year, Ubisoft will select two dozen applicants to receive paid graduate positions at its various studios around the world complete with salaries and relocation costs paid.
Some good news for fans of the RPG being developed by Obsidian and South Park Studios: It will be a Steam game and will not use Ubisoft's uPlay DRM. Responding to a question about whether the game would require uPlay to be installed in order to play, Obsidian Entertainment's official twitter account confirmed that the PC version of the game will not use Ubisoft's uPlay; instead it will be fully integrated into Steam.
The rights to publish the game were acquired by Ubisoft in an auction following the bankruptcy of its previous publisher THQ.