Ubisoft loses $54 million

This is a discussion on Ubisoft loses $54 million within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Assassin's Creed II ships 9 million, Ubisoft posts $54 million annual loss - News at GameSpot Blames bad economy. Couldn't ...

  1. #1
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Ubisoft loses $54 million

    Assassin's Creed II ships 9 million, Ubisoft posts $54 million annual loss - News at GameSpot

    Blames bad economy. Couldn't be b/c they charge $60 now for new games and built the most invasive DRM to date? Nah...couldn't be that. What am I thinking? After all PC sales only make up 8% of their revenue....and yet they build the most expensive DRM to protect...um....8%? Something seems off here.

    If PC sales truly don't matter anymore I'm fine with that. PC sucks - ok I get it. So then...hey...just remove the DRM b/c it's not like piracy is going to hurt your itty bitty PC sales anways.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 05-22-2010 at 11:39 AM.

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    Really hate those paranoid economists. They damage themselves with this nonsense more than they gain. And all customers / crackers, too.

    Maybe if they started producing more games that are actually worth buying? I mean, 10 bazillion similar (IMHO) games will sooner or later become boring.

    And there's still WoW.

  3. #3
    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    Well the DRM does protect their investment. They are a company, and they have to pay their employees somehow. 8% of the income of a company like that is a lot of money. It's worth them putting a little bit of effort in it. Not saying that I do or do not pay for all my games but if they stop making money because of P2P theft, it's just going to get worse.

    Sad truth... we can all gripe about the insane things they are doing, but as long as people are stealing their software they will do what they can to protect their investments.


    Edit note: And i thought Assassin's Creed one was pretty tight!

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Well the DRM does protect their investment.
    It was cracked within 24 hours of releasing it. That doesn't protect anything. No one here is advocating they don't have the right to protect assets, but we are arguing they should find a way to do it that doesn't actually punish those who are their paying customer base.

  5. #5
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    I'm not surprised they aren't blaming piracy. It would be a problem since to this date they still defend their new DRM to have been successful in reducing piracy to... check it out, 0.

    UbiSoft PC sales have been dropping down, alright. While, AAA companies and indies who launched great games during the year saw their PC sales soar. It does occur to UbiSoft that their franchise model is all wrong and that the quality of the games they publish is average to just plain bad. They won't just say that to us. The press announcement could never say that.

    With due respect to those PC gamers who actually like their games, I really am hoping for this company to just abandon the PC gaming scene and move on to the consoles like others have done or just recently announced they will be doing (Epic Inc). I'm longing for the days on the PC gaming industry when game production costs were smaller and quality was higher and more frequent. We have those companies already. Companies like Stardock, Paradox, BioWare and to some extent Valve. And many others.

    It's publishers like Ubisoft or Activision that really are undermining the pleasure of being a gamer on the PC platform. And they have to go (sorry, Blizzard).
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Some things never change.

    Those of you who were gaming in the late 80s/early 90s will remember the near-constant stream of movie tie-in platformers for the NES and Amiga/Atari/C64. Let's see: The Untouchables, Total Recall, Batman...

    In theory, they were all hit games, and yet they were almost identical except for the graphics and slight changes in mechanics (and a couple of them were stupidly hard, as in you could not realistically get past level 4. Ever.)

    It is a bit depressing to see the large publishers constantly churning out variations on a theme, as if they're brute forcing the secret to a great game.

    But it also pleases me to see that it's the little guys making waves right now.
    Until they get bought.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I, too, consider the PC as the ultimate test of a game company. In order to produce quality on the PC you have to be on your game at all times and cannot just churn out copycat games time after time and expect to be profitable. The PC games industry requires innovation, imagination, and to some extent intuition to know what will work and what won't. As far as I'm concerned the console market is where the PC market was 15 years ago. It's not that the PC gaming industry is dying as much as it is maturing. It's b/c almost 25 years of PC gaming we've seen just about everything under the sun so trying to bring in something new is next to impossible. I really have not placed Ubi in the copycat category b/c they do have quite a few original games like the Silent Hunter series (minus it's current installment), Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, and the like. However their DRM scheme is worse than the previous DRM they used prior to it and we as gamers have to put our foot down at some point and say no more. Also, notice that the companies that treat the PC like a PC are doing quite well. Merely porting a game to the PC just isn't going to fly. The console and the PC are far different and have very different expectations. What works on the PC won't work on the console and vice versa. That is why most straight ports just suck. Are you really going to give a PC user a checkpoint save system when they have an entire hard drive at their disposal? Are you really going to make an inventory system super complex on a console when all they have is an XBox 360 controller with 10 buttons on it?
    Notice what DAO and Mass Effect 1 did. The entire inventory system and GUI was re-vamped for the PC and it worked like a charm. A PC user doesn't want to scroll an on-screen wheel to find the spell to cast no more than a console user wants to drag spells from one place on the screen to another using the stick as a mouse. I believe we are witnessing some companies begin to figure this out. 2 different platforms require 2 different approaches to game design.

    However, I will not buy anymore Ubisoft games until they remove the DRM or change it so it is less intrusive in single player games. And that means I'm going to miss out on IL2 Birds of Prey, Assasin's Creed 2, and a host of other games I was looking forward to.

    ...and to some extent Valve
    I was not happy with Valve's treatment of L4D 1. They never delivered on what they promised and that was the ability to create custom content out of the box. However I still support Valve b/c of their dedication to the PC as a serious gaming platform. I also tip my hat to them for learning to adjust to the market and bringing about Steam. I did not like it at first but it has gone through a complete facelift recently and even if I like or dislike it I cannot deny the success it has had. Their games are almost always cheaper than GameStop and BestBuy and so much more convenient since I don't have to go searching at ten different franchises to find the one I want. Between Steam, Impulse, and Direct2Drive I have picked up some hit games that I missed in the past few years and I'm loving it. My biggest beef with digital delivery was a lack of manuals but now most companies aren't even offering manuals in retail boxed games. Because of that there is now no draw for me to purchase a boxed retail game.

    Companies like ID software, Valve, Stardock, Paradox, Bioware, and even some newcomers to the scene like 1C are what is going to push the games industry forward. Other companies like EA and Ubisoft have gotten too big for their britches. It isn't that the PC market has dwindled...it was never really that big anyways - it is the fact that their development budgets have skyrocketed and the PC sales just cannot support those types of budgets. Essentially the kind of sales needed to support the huge budgets have never been in the PC market...it is only now that companies have surpassed the sales point that PC sales can realistically support. If budgets continue to grow and the console market shrinks even a tad bit....I would look for a lot of companies to begin re-thinking how they develop games and for what platforms they develop on. Consoles are headed down a very rough road and companies will soon reach a point where not even the console market can support the budgets needed to make their games. At some point companies must realize that bigger budgets don't always mean bigger and better games.

    It happens in every industry. Companies start out small producing high quality products. They grow and grow and take on more and more product lines and others begin to suffer. Before long all lines are suffering so they begin to raise prices to support the failing products. Raising prices excaberates the problem, irritates the consumer, and they start to lose market share. At some point I believe a company must decide what it is they really sought out to accomplish. All other products and tasks not related to that mission need to be cut off. When companies try to do to much or get into to many different products and/or franchises....they begin to get too big to be sustainable by the market or they just barely get by. As soon as the economy turns down they have little capital to work with and/or little leverage in which to sell their high priced items. They cannot afford to reduce the prices and therefore they begin to lose cash hand over fist. Those companies that survive are not necessarily the biggest or the best but the most focused on their mission. It's impossible to be the best at everything or even good at everything but it is possible to be the best at one or two things and make a lot of money in the process. Diversifying is great and healthy, however, it must be tempered by the company's mission.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 05-22-2010 at 10:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    No one here is advocating they don't have the right to protect assets, but we are arguing they should find a way to do it that doesn't actually punish those who are their paying customer base.
    It's not only the gaming industry that does that. I have a few movie DVDs that force one to go through various copyright screens, and then a clip with discordant music and nagging about the evils of piracy (the buttons to step or accelerate through those things are disabled). The irony is that those nag screens/clips are the first thing that would be removed during ripping. That amounts to punishment for those who buy legally, and no consequences for those who buy illegally.

    I also had one legal DVD on which the DRM decided I had an illegal player, and it managed to reflash my DVD player. Fortunately, I knew how to reflash the original firmware.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Yes I've seen those too. However I don't mind sitting through a 30 sec to 1 minute stupid video of why I shouldn't steal. Most movies are anywhere from 100 to 160 min. long so 1 min. of time prior to the movie is hardly punishment. Forcing users to be connected 100% of the time while playing the game and then not saving the game when the DRM server goes down thus causing the player to lose all progress....is a completely different issue and unacceptable.

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    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    However I don't mind sitting through a 30 sec to 1 minute stupid video of why I shouldn't steal.
    I do. Any legitimately bought DVD is... legitimate. Any illegal copy of a DVD will not include the message. Thus the only people who are forced to see the warning are those who have legitimately purchased the video. I think it's idiotic.

    Your customers want to give you money. If you make them feel slimy just for giving you their money, they will go somewhere else that doesn't make them feel like slime.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

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    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewbuck View Post
    I do. Any legitimately bought DVD is... legitimate. Any illegal copy of a DVD will not include the message. Thus the only people who are forced to see the warning are those who have legitimately purchased the video. I think it's idiotic.

    Your customers want to give you money. If you make them feel slimy just for giving you their money, they will go somewhere else that doesn't make them feel like slime.
    That drives me nuts too. Especially with Fox dvds. They usually follow that ad with one for Blue-Ray: showing you the improved sound and crisper viewing that you can get with the new format - neither of which can supposedly be demonstrated on the dvd I'm viewing! I'm not saying Blue Ray isnt better, but using a dvd to showcase it seems daft to me.

    It strikes me as odd that these dvds insist on warning you of a crime that you have obviously not committed and then introducing you to a new format that you can not differentiate from what you already have.

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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordy View Post
    That drives me nuts too. Especially with Fox dvds. They usually follow that ad with one for Blue-Ray: showing you the improved sound and crisper viewing that you can get with the new format - neither of which can supposedly be demonstrated on the dvd I'm viewing! I'm not saying Blue Ray isnt better, but using a dvd to showcase it seems daft to me.
    Same deal with VHS, when DVD came out. What I couldn't understand is the "blurb about DVD" looked a whole lot better than the rest of the contents on the VHS. You know? The scene of Swordfish with the cars blowing up...

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    I imagine that if you artifically sharpen 30 seconds of footage destined for VHS it looks magically "cleaner" compared to everything else you see, thus selling DVD. They probably do that for the Blu-Ray ads too.

    My idea of acceptable copy protection is something akin to the pirate wheels that came with Monkey Island 1 and 2. They added value in a way, were easy to use, easily thwarted as well but I think in most cases the quality of the game guaranteed sales.

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    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewbuck View Post
    I do. Any legitimately bought DVD is... legitimate. Any illegal copy of a DVD will not include the message. Thus the only people who are forced to see the warning are those who have legitimately purchased the video. I think it's idiotic.

    Your customers want to give you money. If you make them feel slimy just for giving you their money, they will go somewhere else that doesn't make them feel like slime.
    Why would you feel like slime watching a message that doesn't address you as a person? That doesn't make sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpaulgib View Post
    Why would you feel like slime watching a message that doesn't address you as a person? That doesn't make sense.
    Having gone to the effort and expense of buying something legally, you are then rewarded with being forced to endure something that presumes you will behave illegally. While knowing that those who behave illegally will not be subjected to the same indignity.

    It is implicitly educating those who behave legally on the benefits of behaving illegally. That is completely arse-about.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

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