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Old August 7 2008, 07:00 PM   #1
Rii
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Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

Gamespot is reporting that Ubisoft, no strangers to controversy in the realm of PC DRM, is suing the disc-replication company responsible for producing discs for the PC version of Assassin's Creed on account of the title being leaked to the interwebs several weeks prior to release. Fair enough.

This part caught my eye though:

In addition to lost sales as a direct result of piracy, the publisher also claimed its reputation was hurt by the leak as well. Ubisoft says that it included a bug in the prerelease Assassin's Creed for security reasons that would cause the game to crash partway through. The bug was supposedly removed from the retail edition, but a mix of negative reviews of the leaked, bug-equipped pirated version of the game and legitimate reviews of the retail edition created customer confusion and caused "irreparable harm" to its reputation, Ubisoft said.
Ubisoft deliberately included a bug in the pre-release version of Assassin's Creed that would, depending on whether or not security was maintained, either:

(1) Fail to accomplish anything at all.
(2) Function perfectly and, in doing so, cause "irreparable harm" to Ubisoft's reputation.

Whose bright idea was this again?

On a vaguely related note, Ubisoft's high level of commitment to the PC version of Assassin's Creed is amply and somewhat amusingly demonstrated here.
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Old August 7 2008, 07:53 PM   #2
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

Things like this make me glad I mostly stick with console games (I recently played through Assassin's Creed, in fact, and enjoyed it quite a bit).
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Old August 7 2008, 08:52 PM   #3
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

CaptJimboJones wrote: View Post
Things like this make me glad I mostly stick with console games (I recently played through Assassin's Creed, in fact, and enjoyed it quite a bit).
I don't see how this idea and the OP are related. If you had purchased the retail version of AC for PC then you'd have gotten the "correct" version of the game anyhow.

Certainly there are issues with the PC version (the quitting thing (I didn't even have to click Rii's link to know what it was )) and the ridiculous system requirements (that exceed Crysis') but this lawsuit ain't about that.
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Old August 8 2008, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

This isn't unheard of, including bugs in pre-release versions of PC games to curb piracy. I believe Titan Quest had a similar bug.

Also, I'd like to announce to any and all that will listen that I just got a new gaming pc, YEAH!
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Old August 8 2008, 10:20 PM   #5
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

Hah, this is like the Titan Quest guys who put a killswitch into their game if it was cracked.
Unfortunately, everyone thought it was a fatal bug as well because they didn't bother telling anyone why their game would crash.

Either way, who even bought the PC version of Assassin's Creed? Treat the PC like the PS2 - the place you dump your shitty ports - and no one is going to bother.
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Old August 8 2008, 11:40 PM   #6
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

OMG, they've completely destroyed any credibility they may have had with game bootleggers!

Now if they really wanted to be nasty they'd do some digging and publish a list of everyone who posted a game review online based on a pirated copy.
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Old August 8 2008, 11:52 PM   #7
firehawk12
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

Well, the joke is that they used a No-CD patch for their Rainbow Six Vegas update.
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Old August 9 2008, 03:26 AM   #8
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

firehawk12 wrote: View Post
Well, the joke is that they used a No-CD patch for their Rainbow Six Vegas update.
Reminds me of a time I had to apply an illegal "no-CD" patch to my legitimate copy of System Shock 2 because the security check refused to believe I had the real media in my CD-ROM drive.
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Old August 9 2008, 03:37 AM   #9
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

Making it crash was dumb. That just leads to bad reviews.

What they SHOULD have done was have it display a screen: "You are playing a pirated copy."

What's the reviewer gonna do? Complain? "I stole a copy of the game, and it totally told me! I give it zero stars!"

They wouldn't really have to worry about reviews like that.
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Old August 9 2008, 03:47 AM   #10
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

^^ I thought about that too, I could only come up with a couple of explanations. Displaying such a message might have made it easier to target the section with hex editors to "repair" the bug and they might have hope to fish out who had illegal copies.

For the former they could have left the bug in there but put the message at the beginning of the game which leaves the latter as the only sensible reason to do it like they did (but then they shouldn't complain about their own tactic backfiring).
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Old August 9 2008, 04:01 AM   #11
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Re: Ubisoft causes "irreparable harm" to reputation of Ubisoft.

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
(but then they shouldn't complain about their own tactic backfiring).
Well, it's not even about the tactic backfiring.

If they sent the duplication house a disk with a green title screen and said "don't run this, we're sending you one with a red title screen" and then they shipped the green one anyway, they could still be very mad at them even though it doesn't hurt anything.

The issue is that they sent out something they had no right to send out. That's really the problem more than any crashing or bad reviews.
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