Is this the change we're seeing in console development? They do a sloppy job on the PC version, sales are bad and they just blame piracy? Surely a stable-minded developer wouldn't think that way, well, think again. Ghost Recon Online is set to be a free-to-play game, and is a 'response' to piracy and an alternative to the restrictive DRM that has plagued previous Ubisoft games.
Ghost Recon Online producer, Sebastien Arnoult has said:
We are giving away most of the content for free because there's no barrier to entry. To the users that are traditionally playing the game by getting it through Pirate Bay, we said, 'Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you're asking for. We've listened to you - we're giving you this experience. It's easy to download, there's no DRM that will pollute your experience.'
We're adapting the offer to the PC market. I don't like to compare PC and Xbox boxed products because they have a model on that platform that is clearly meant to be €60's worth of super-Hollywood content. On PC, we're adapting our model to the demand.
Arnoult says that the perceived value of PC games is heavily affected by piracy - for both publishers and gamers.
This quote is the most amazing out of all of them, so I've left it until last:
When we started Ghost Recon Online we were thinking about Ghost Recon: Future Solider; having something ported in the classical way without any deep development, because we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game. So we said okay, we have to change our mind.
Really, Ubisoft? 95-percent of your customers will pirate your games? Wow.
PC Gamer have some more quotes on it, but this is getting quite out of hand. What do you think? Is piracy just an excuse? If they scaled the games and kept their PC gamers happy, porting the game down to the much lower-specced consoles, these issues wouldn't be so strong. But forcing DRM down our throats, and shoddy console ports at the same, if not more expensive price, is just ridiculous.