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Ubisoft Sues over Assassin's Creed Leak

GameSpot reports that Ubisoft is suing Optical Experts Manufacturing, alleging one of the employees of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based disc replication company pilfered a copy of Assassin's Creed and leaked it to the internet. The GameSpot story indicates the game sold only 40,000 copies in the US through June, but that over 700,000 pirated copies of the game were downloaded. They also relate an odd-sounding claim that Ubisoft intentionally included a bug in the code that would crash the game as a security measure, and that negative reviews of the buggy leaked version harmed their reputation. The suit is said to be for copyright infringement, breach of contract, and negligence, and Ubisoft is asking for over $20 million in damages and legal fees. Here's the strange bit about this supposedly intentional bug:

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 it included a bug in the pre-release 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 and 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.

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112. Re: No subject Aug 12, 2008, 17:48 Tumbler
 
I don't suppose these numbers are readily verifiable, are they?

Nope. And even at half I think that is really generous to say considering the audience they are marketing this game too. 350k PC gamers took the time to download and play Devil May Cry 4?

Really? Because I tried the demo on my console and couldn't be bothered to even rent it to play the full game...I cannot imagine a world where 700k PC gamers were just dying to play devil may cry 4.

This would be a more interesting story if it wasn't such a ridiculous game to be complaining about. A console action button masher game of all things. It's as easy to believe as someone claiming the had priceless artifacts in their house before it burned down. Priceless! I swear!

Hmm, wait a second. Assassins Creed...why did I think this was about Devil May Cry 4...? I guess I'm getting piracy complaing threads mixed up. Wait so this was assassin's creed all along? I think I need some time away from teh site because I'd swear this was about Devil may cry 4... Wow, talk about a mind fuck...

Edit: Ok I see what I did. That DMC4 thread ended around the time this one started and the discussion I think just carried over. (in my mind apparently) So yeah, you can ignore my ravings about DMC4.

40k is a surprisingly low number for AC. I do recall it being on the tops of the piracy lists for PC games but after playing and beating the rental I don't see why it was expected to be a big PC seller. I don't know if developers have very accurate statistics about how many gamers have multiple platforms to play on but AC seemed like a game aimed at more mature players who are likely to have at least one of the major consoles as well as a computer.

And the fact that it came out late is a big negative for sales on another platform. I'm guessing that a lot of PC gamers have xbox's. A LOT.
This comment was edited on Aug 12, 17:59.
 
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111. No subject Aug 12, 2008, 16:52 Prez
 
I didn't read this whole thread, but I skimmed a few pages, so forgive me if this dead horse has been amply beaten already.

But 40,000 units sold compared to 700,000 downloads? Even assuming that half of those were bogus (re-started downloads or just for purposes of playing the game sans DRM once paid for, etc), that is an absolutely staggering ratio if true. I don't suppose these numbers are readily verifiable, are they?

EDIT: Just so you know UBI, that number should really be 699,999 pirated copies because I downloaded it just to make sure I could play it on my mid-range gaming PC. (Sorry - demos don't always give the correct impression. Kill me) Once I realized I could, I bought it. Yep, I know, I'm a filthy pirate. But you actually got $29.99 (Gogamer.com sale) out of me. And I'd say it was about worth that.


This comment was edited on Aug 12, 17:16.
 
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110. Re: Sorry long reply Aug 9, 2008, 22:38 Verno
 
Microsoft really has no reason to worry about their place in the OS market.

Actually given the growth of competitors across various markets, they have every reason to worry - especially given the market reception to Windows Vista. I like Vista, SuperFetch is pretty damned nifty and I think as long as you have newer hardware it's fine but there's a huge public perception of it as a money grab.

Apple's shown huge growth in residential computer sales, especially in the laptop market. 2.9% last quarter alone, which is pretty big when you only have 3% of the market. Their various gadgets are helping increase mindshare and Microsoft's endeavours in that department have been an utter failure.

Firefox is still making big in-roads into Internet Explorer's share of the browser and that's despite it being a third party browser. People are moving towards more online solutions and hosted applications over the old big local application paradigm.

You tie all of the things like that together and it paints a picture. You don't go after something like Windows by just simply making a competing operating system. You chip away at it piece by piece. It'll take probably a decade to see any huge changes, especially in the corporate markets where Windows is heavily entrenched.

Anyways my overall point was that Microsoft has a vested interest in keeping it's moneymaker platform strong and the Xbox is not that platform, it's the PC. You already have people doing work on the PC and it's a much smarter strategy to keep people relatively locked into your platform. The Xbox made what, 20mil last quarter? Nintendo made what, 15-20 times that at least? Microsoft has taken losses over 2 billion dollars on the Xbox and the 360. It's only been profitable three times. At some point they will hopefully realize that making PC gaming a priority is a boon to them instead of further polarizing their installed base.

 
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109. Re: Jerkk Aug 9, 2008, 13:50 Wowbagger_TIP
 
That said, I still think the series has a ton of potential. If they strengthen and flesh out the various core elements of the game (platforming, stealth, combat), a sequel would be great.

I agree with that. The devs should go back and play through the Hitman and Thief games and realize all the gameplay opportunities they missed that could have made the game actually interesting. The story in AC was kind of interesting, but I just couldn't force myself to slog through the game to see how it played out.

This comment was edited on Aug 9, 14:08.
 
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108. Re: Sorry long reply Aug 9, 2008, 11:39 Bhruic
 
Microsoft really has no reason to worry about their place in the OS market.

And even ignoring that fact, there's the point where MS refused to provide DX10 for XP, and instead tied it to Vista. That certainly wasn't in PC gamers' best interests.

 
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107. Re: Jerkk Aug 9, 2008, 04:50 LittleMe
 
"That said, I still think the series has a ton of potential. If they strengthen and flesh out the various core elements of the game (platforming, stealth, combat), a sequel would be great. "

One of things I like about AC is the sword collision code. Most or all other slashers don't even attempt to do it, but just make the animation go though the opponent as if he/she isn't there.

 
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106. Re: Jerkk Aug 9, 2008, 03:28 Jerykk
 
I always found ways to challenge myself and had a lot more fun trying to get into the role of the assassin instead of just fighting every guard I came across.

The problem is that the options were so limited. You couldn't hide in shadows, you couldn't distract guards with noise, you couldn't knock people out and wear their clothing, you couldn't poison a target's food, you couldn't push a target out a window, you couldn't drop a large crate on a target's head, you couldn't smother them with a pillow... hell, the targets didn't even pop into existence until you performed a series of generic and completely irrelevant sidequests. After playing Hitman, the whole "assassin" part of AC felt woefully limited.

That said, I still think the series has a ton of potential. If they strengthen and flesh out the various core elements of the game (platforming, stealth, combat), a sequel would be great.

This comment was edited on Aug 9, 03:28.
 
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105. Re: Jerkk Aug 8, 2008, 23:10 Verno
 
I don't really agree with that but it's subjective as I said earlier. I can't really give Witcher points for having all of those things when its tied together with a bumbling and repetitive combat system that comprises the core gameplay. I thought AC had a great story and that it mainly lacked in sidequests but you can see they focused heavily on the engine and so I'm hoping for a better second outing in that respect. If you go into it like a brawler then yeah things get repetitive pretty quickly and I can't say I was fond of the side missions that were required to progress the story missions. I always found ways to challenge myself and had a lot more fun trying to get into the role of the assassin instead of just fighting every guard I came across.

All of that said, you can't pin down opinions on games, some people like Lumines and I think it's an utter waste of time but hey, whatever. My point was simply that I can't see the enhanced edition being a big blockbuster this year. So that leaves me with Spore and Left 4 Dead which gives me sadface when I used to have 5-6 games to choose from at Christmas time on the PC.
This comment was edited on Aug 8, 23:14.
 
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104. Re: Jerkk Aug 8, 2008, 22:46 Jerykk
 
People accused Assassin's Creed of repetitive combat but Witcher is just as repetitive to me without the frenetic action of AC.

Frenetic action? When I played it, all I did was hold Block and then press Counter when an enemy decided it was his turn to attack me. Rinse and repeat.

Now don't get me wrong, the combat in The Witcher wasn't much better. However, the fact that The Witcher had varied sidequests, numerous ambiguous moral choices with long-term consequences, an engrossing story, an engaging alchemy system, cool enemies and quite a few hot bitches made it approximately 500 times better than Assassin's Creed.

 
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103. Ubisoft Aug 8, 2008, 20:39 Creston
 
= Gigantic Retards.

Leaving a bug in a version of your game DESERVEDLY will fuck you up the ass. Did you retards learn nothing from Titan Quest, that had the same issue screw with it?

I guess not.

Optical Experts Manifacturing's defense will consist of two words : "Proof, please?"

Good luck Ubi!

Creston


 
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102. Re: Jerkk Aug 8, 2008, 17:30 Wowbagger_TIP
 
I'm hoping that Clear Sky will fix most of the problems with the STALKER. If it doesn't, there are already mods that fix most of the problems anyway, so they'll probably be adapted as well. Either way, it looks like a much better version of the game.

Red Alert is just one that I'm really hoping will be good. I haven't been that impressed with C&C for a while either, but maybe they'll finally get it right with this one. Wait and see... I've pretty much lost any hope of Fallout 3 being even halfway decent, let alone good. Sad.

I started playing The Witcher early this year, but had to reload my system and then found out about the Enhanced Edition which sounds like it will be much more polished, so I decided to wait for that.

People accused Assassin's Creed of repetitive combat but Witcher is just as repetitive to me without the frenetic action of AC.
I guess I can deal with it since I'm more interested in the story aspects of it. With AC, it felt like I was basically just watching the game most of the time as I just held down a button or two and Altair did his thing. Most of the game seemed to be just holding down the button and pointing him in the right direction. I would have appreciated a more nuanced system for performing the various feats than just holding a button. More varied missions would have helped a lot too.

TF2, Sins of a Solar Empire (1.1 beta) and various casual games have been keeping me busy for now.

 
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101. Re: Jerkk Aug 8, 2008, 16:43 Verno
 
I'm looking forward to Spore, Left 4 Dead, STALKER: Clear Sky, Witcher: Enhanced Edition, C&C Red Alert 3, and hopefully Sacred 2 if it doesn't suck.

The original STALKER was a bug filled disaster and it took them forever to get it to a playable state. It's a good game if you can past all of the nonsense but really the community mods are what made that game decent. I've lost faith in the C&C series since EA ran it into the ground, maybe it'll be different this time but I guess we'll see. Witcher I played already, it was released last year, they'd have to majorly overhaul the combat mechanics to get me interested. People accused Assassin's Creed of repetitive combat but Witcher is just as repetitive to me without the frenetic action of AC.

That pretty much leaves Left 4 Dead and Spore for me to play on the PC this year, maybe Fallout 3 if the PC version is worth it. Maybe next year I can hope for a Blizzard game (not WoW, thanks) to tide me over. This is why I love console ports - without them there isn't much else these days

 
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100. Re: Sorry long reply Aug 8, 2008, 12:11 Jerykk
 
So if game developers want to do the console version first then half-ass the PC, how is anyone but the game developer to blame for that?

Oh, they take a large part of the blame, of course. The problem is that MS promotes these transitions. As I mentioned in my list, Microsoft made the Xbox much easier to transition to than the PS2 or PS3 in an effort to attract PC developers. Microsoft also regularly provides monetary bonuses to developers who make Xbox exclusives.

Simply put, if MS had never entered the console market and instead focused all its attentions on PC gaming, PC gaming would be much better off.

So whether they started off on the PC or not has little relevance, because what else would they have done, besides ceasing to exist?

It's not just about starting off on the PC. It's the fact that they stayed on the PC until the Xbox arrived and MS bought or bribed them to make the jump.

Calling people enemies of something, the whole "us vs them" mentality, I'd almost think it was some sort of strange psychosis.

Psychotic? No, it's completely logical given the surplus of evidence supporting it. The 360 and PC clearly cannot coexist. The 360 cannibalizes the PC market, taking developers, games and sales away from it. #14 on my list says it all: Microsoft's mentality is essentially "Fuck the PC." If you support the Xbox, you are hurting the PC.

That being said, it's not in their best interests to move people off the PC platform entirely. They want everyone on Windows to buy their OS, buy Office and so on.

The problem is that everyone buys Windows regardless of gaming. Windows is bundled with almost every PC on sale. Almost every business uses Windows. PC games are all designed for Windows. Microsoft really has no reason to worry about their place in the OS market.

This comment was edited on Aug 8, 12:16.
 
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99. Re: Jerkk Aug 8, 2008, 11:39 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Anyways, all of that stuff aside this is my games list for 2008 - Spore, Left 4 Dead. That's it I hope things start improving because I really do PREFER to play games on my PC but I can only make myself play TF2 so many times before I end up bored and start to boot up my 360.

I'm looking forward to Spore, Left 4 Dead, STALKER: Clear Sky, Witcher: Enhanced Edition, C&C Red Alert 3, and hopefully Sacred 2 if it doesn't suck.

 
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98. Re: Jerkk Aug 8, 2008, 09:44 Verno
 
Think about it. Jerkk hit it right on the head.
Another thing to consider, the Xbox is very similar to a modern PC platform. In fact, there are modded Xboxes out there which were converted into PCs. It runs DirectX and therefore it is very easy and simple platform for PC developers to switch to.

I think that Microsoft definitely has conflicting interests here to be certain. That being said, it's not in their best interests to move people off the PC platform entirely. They want everyone on Windows to buy their OS, buy Office and so on. They have a vested interest in keeping everyone in the same spot, providing exposure to all of their other products. The Xbox platform is barely profitable, it's made very meager amounts of money so far and they've taken massive losses in previous years for it. I think they're starting to wake up a bit to this with the recent announcements about changing Games for Windows and it's GfWLive platforms. I don't think it's fair to say that they are public enemy #1 or something, they simply made some silly short-term gain decisions and are having to make up for it now.

To answer someone last page, yes piracy exists on the console platforms but there is a significant barrier of entry. On the PC, you have all of the things you need in place except for the software. You have a hard drive(most of them are pretty big too), you probably have broadband and from there you need 3 pieces of software to be happily downloading and burning/mounting games.

On the console side, you usually need a softmod exploit which are typically complicated enough to keep the masses away. Alternatively you need a modchip and it goes without saying that the average person probably can't handle a soldering iron and would have to hire someone else. Then you have to worry about losing your online accounts with the various services since detection of pirated games is possible with a variety of methods. This isn't the case for every console but I think it's a fair general assessment to say that yes consoles have piracy but nowhere near the scale of PC's.

Anyways, all of that stuff aside this is my games list for 2008 - Spore, Left 4 Dead. That's it I hope things start improving because I really do PREFER to play games on my PC but I can only make myself play TF2 so many times before I end up bored and start to boot up my 360.


 
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97. Re: Sorry long reply Aug 8, 2008, 08:38 Wowbagger_TIP
 
You're saying the numbers are bunk, prove it. Where are your numbers? I didn't think so. It's easy to make demands isn't it? How many times are we going to go through the whole "all publishers make this shit up" routine?
I'm not the one claiming that I have an accurate figure. They are. Burden of proof is on them. If they aren't willing to explain how they calculate their number, then I don't see how they have any credibility at all, as they certainly have motive to inflate the number as much as possible.

After seeing groups like the *AAs make up numbers left and right, I'm naturally skeptical of anything reported by a group or company with a strong financial interest in exaggerating the numbers. I don't think that's foolish in any way.

These guys have to go to court, they will need to show something to the judge. Let's not start comparing game publishers to the RIAA just yet, mmmkay?
Why not? They're doing the same thing. Throwing out big numbers with no evidence to back it up.

I mean, if they give the court the data and it gets released and looks reasonable enough, will you suddenly change your tune? I doubt it.
Look, I don't care what the actual number turns out to be. I know there is some level of piracy. I just want to know how they're going about calculating it. Just like any other group that comes up with statistics, their methodology should be scrutinized. Letting them just make something up without questioning it would just be dumb.

 
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96. Re: Jerkk Aug 8, 2008, 08:24 InBlack
 
Ive have been saying something along the lines of what Jerkk has been saying since day one that Xbox is released (that is even before Xbox360).

Microsoft is the biggest enemy of PC Gaming, bar none. (Except for Nintendo maybe)

I dont know how many of you are aware that Microsoft sold ALL of their original Xbox consoles, and MOST of their Xbox360 consoloes, at a HUGE LOSS!

Before calling me a liar and a conspiracy theorist, go look it up. They have never hidden this from the public eye if you have any inside knowledge of the industry this should be familiar to you.

Doesnt make sense? Makes perfect sense. Sell the console at reduced prices (at a huge loss) to dominate the marketplace.

Then recoup those losses through console exclusives and other game sales.

Sudenly where we previously had only PS2 (and now PS3) and Nintendo, which were competing with PC gaming, now we have another ten ton gorrilla in the already very crowded room.

Think about it. Jerkk hit it right on the head.
Another thing to consider, the Xbox is very similar to a modern PC platform. In fact, there are modded Xboxes out there which were converted into PCs. It runs DirectX and therefore it is very easy and simple platform for PC developers to switch to.


 
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95. Re: Sorry long reply Aug 8, 2008, 07:03 Verno
 
Are you actually being serious? I'm having a hard time telling now. Have you read what any of us have posted? Ubi pulled those numbers out of their ass because they have absolutely no way of calculating how many downloads took place, so they just add up all possible downloads and multiply by 100 or some shit and put that out as a number. Who can prove it wrong? Nobody. For exactly the same reason their number is bullshit. Because it's damn near impossible to count the downloads accurately.

Are you following the discussion at all? Most of us are taking Ubisoft's numbers at face value and then reducing them with a healthy margin of error to account for inflation. 700,000 is probably just about right if anything because it doesn't count downloads from Usenet, IRC, private BitTorrent trackers and many other sources.

We've already listed several reasons why just counting seeds and leechers wouldn't be accurate, so until Ubi wants to explain their methodology, it's safe to assume their numbers are essentially fabricated and they have nothing to back it up. At least nothing that they wouldn't be embarassed to reveal.

Dude, read the thread again. There is nothing wrong with reasonable extrapolation of information based on data. No one is saying every download was someone who played the game to 100% completion and would've purchased the game with a gleeful smile on their face. You're saying the numbers are bunk, prove it. Where are your numbers? I didn't think so. It's easy to make demands isn't it? How many times are we going to go through the whole "all publishers make this shit up" routine? It's tired and old by now. If they gave you an Excel spreadsheet, you'd still deny it. The only way you'd believe it is if the people actually downloaded the game right in front of your eyes. For the purposes of this discussion, most of us are willing to give them a little leeway on the number of downloads, ok? Sheesh.

I'm not saying they have to prove it to me. I'm simply saying that if they aren't going to back it up with anything, then it's perfectly valid for me to believe that their figures are entirely self-serving and fabricated. It's their burden to convince people if they want us to believe otherwise. They may not care, but they're the ones making ridiculous claims with no evidence to back it up, so it's they that look pretty silly.

I don't know, I see plenty of people who have made outlandish statements and don't back up their facts with data. These guys have to go to court, they will need to show something to the judge. Let's not start comparing game publishers to the RIAA just yet, mmmkay? That's a whole other world of crap to discuss I mean, if they give the court the data and it gets released and looks reasonable enough, will you suddenly change your tune? I doubt it. People like you ask for proof so that you can make accusations based on it and twist it, not because you're interested in the actual numbers or their impact. Go ahead, reduce the downloads to 200,000 instead of 700,000, that's still potentially a shitload of money.
This comment was edited on Aug 8, 07:14.
 
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94. Re: Sorry long reply Aug 8, 2008, 03:25 sponge
 
So how many of those are caused by MS, or how many are just due to consoles becoming a lot easier to port to and from thanks to higher level APIs being used as consoles evolve?

Rainbow Six, Epic, id, Irrational, Ghost Recon, Deus Ex, Thief are all based on engines that run on multiple platforms, both MS controlled and non-MS controlled. So if game developers want to do the console version first then half-ass the PC, how is anyone but the game developer to blame for that?

Many of those PC developers started on the PC when there was basically no other choice. Compare the N64, to the PSX, to GLQuake 1 and 2. A much larger gap than the multi-core, DirectX/OpenGL driven consoles we have today.

So whether they started off on the PC or not has little relevance, because what else would they have done, besides ceasing to exist? That's like saying Ford is going down the tubes because people are using cars that aren't Model Ts. Face it, companies like Monolith couldn't have made a game like Blood on the consoles easily. Quake 3 can't run on the PS2 or Dreamcast very well. Q1/Q2 for the N64/PSX were also crappy because it couldn't handle it. That isn't the case nowadays.

Instead of saying why you believe MS caused this, you instead list every transgression you can think of against PCs regardless of whether MS was involved or not, grouping them all together as one big evil. Calling people enemies of something, the whole "us vs them" mentality, I'd almost think it was some sort of strange psychosis.

 
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93. Re: Sorry long reply Aug 8, 2008, 01:35 Jerykk
 
Oh, I keep track of every transgression against PC gaming... and I let it all fester inside until someone forces me to unleash it

 
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