Ghost Recon Game Skipping PC Because Of, You Guessed It, Piracy

There's a shiny big Ghost Recon game, Future Soldier, coming to consoles. It won't be coming to PC, though. PC users instead get a free-to-play game called Ghost Recon Online. Why? It's Ubisoft. Take a guess.

"We are giving away most of the content for free because there's no barrier to entry", Ubisoft's Sébastien Arnoult told PC Gamer. "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.'"

Right, but why not bring over Future Soldier as well?

"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 OK, we have to change our mind."

By not releasing the game at all?

I'd point out the fact Ubisoft may have trouble attracting paying customers because their PC games are ported late and crippled with annoying DRM, and that they, like most other publishers, seems to turn a blind eye to piracy on the Xbox 360, but you know, it's getting perilously close to "broken record" territory about now.

Ghost Recon Online being free-to-play is a counter to piracy, says Ubisoft producer [PC Gamer]


Comments

    I thought their annoying DRM was stopping piracy?

      It IS! It stops the game being brought to the PC! Therefore no PC game = no pc piracy!

      Thats UBI LOGIC!!!!

        There always console emulators and roms.... :D

          Haha, indeed: DON'T WORRY GUYZ! WE CAN STILL PIRATE CONZOLE GAMEZ ONTO OUR PC! THAT'LL SHOW THEM!

    Anyone else remember when Ubisoft were a good company that wasn't being run by morons? I do.

      Yeah.. I'm remembering when EA where the current Ubi/Activision and Ubisoft were closer to where EA is heading (actualling giving a @#$% about their games and customers).

    Soooo ill just pirate it for my 360 then?
    no no i wont even bother those future soldier games sucked anyway.

    so much for there U-N-B-R-E-A-K-A-B-L-E DRM

    So..... no positive journalism about the DRM free game they're developing? Completely ignore that part in your article? Mkay, good unbiased journalism right there.

      Its online multiplayer only with Microtransactions. It doesn't need DRM. The quote as to why is the interesting part - it shows a complete lack of understanding of the platform. All these other companies are making huge amounts of money on the PC, but Ubisoft keeps doing things like referring to pirates as "their" consumers, whilst at the same time punishing the people who actually pay for their product with incredibly restricted DRM. Assassins Creed 2 forced PC gamers who paid for the game use a crack if they wanted to play offline. They then quote figures based on the number of times the crack was downloaded, ignoring the important metric: how much money they made on the platform. If they just said, we didn't make enough, no one would care.

        The idea of Ubisoft using the percentage of "cracks" as their statistic on how many users have pirated AC2 instead of who's just legally avoiding the DRM is an interesting one, and probably true.
        Oh, and by the way Ubisoft: go f*ck yourselves.

          Wonder if rainbow six vegas 2 cracks were counted too, you know, the ones that ubisoft themselves stole to sell the game digitally...

    Sooo... Guess I won't be buying this game after all. Morons.

      As if you were going to buy it anyway. I've seen your comments on pirate bay.

      "LOL, can haz crackz plz fa game not wok propilly!?"

    “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.’”

    *Clap clap clap* Way to completely alienate everyone who does pay for games, lumping all PC gamers into that category will do wonders.

    *sniff**sniff* i smell a law suite

    Tell that to companies like Valve. They seem to be doing very well. The key is to NOT do whatever the idiots at ubisoft are doing.

    I used to buy so many of Ubisoft's games on PC. Beyond Good & Evil, the Prince of Persia Sands of Time Trilogy, Rainbow Six Vegas 1 & 2, Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell 1 through to Double Agent.

    I used to have so much respect for them as a studio for the quality of the games they tend to churn out. But now? All I can think of whenever anyone brings them up is how they've completely botched any goodwill they'd built up with PC gamers.

    Now whenever a new Assassin's Creed comes out, I've been making a personal point of only buying them pre-owned from my workplace, as the PS3 copies are generally in excellent condition. That way I still get to play the game, and Ubisoft doesn't get a cent. I also did the same thing with Splinter Cell Conviction for my Xbox 360.

    I would love to be able to buy these games for my PC again, when they aren't throttled with awful DRM. Given the choice I've always preferred to play my shooters with my mouse and keyboard, and for games like Assassin's Creed I have a perfectly good gamepad, but with the added bonus of the better graphics my PC tends to be capable of.

    If you're listening Ubisoft, your upper management really needs to hire some people who truly understand the PC gaming community. I WANT to buy your games on PC. I'm more than happy to give you guys your cut, when you finally understand just what it is you're doing wrong. Giving legitimate customers like myself such shoddy treatment is not the way.

      This. I stopped buying Ubisoft games over DRM. In fact, I even went one step further and traded in all my Ubisoft games for X-Box. I want nothing to do with them.

      And if the few million of core PC gamers buy 10 copies each I'm sure Ubisoft will ignore the hundreds of millions of console gamers and be open to your suggestions. Until then, they'll probably just save themselves the "investment" of catering to the PC community.

      I know it's tough to not perceive the universe as a construct built solely around yourself, but take a step back for a minute and realise that loud does not equal numerous. You have a problem with their lack of commitment to the "PC gaming community" but as far as their accountants are concerned, there isn't one anymore.

        So they should ignore a market just because another market is bigger? That makes no sense at all. They have the capability to go in both markets, they just choose not to.

          No they ignore one market because it costs them far too much money for the profit they make from the release. Who can even say if they break even on the PC side of development. It's not about ignoring one because it's small, it's about ignoring it because it costs too much for the return.

        @Alex there isn't one anymore because people stopped buying PC games from Ubisoft due to tyrannical DRMs they Imposed on us.

        Why would you buy a game you cant play even if you bought it?

        My problem is that they HAVEN'T abandoned the pc. Instead they just do a lousy job of it. Also, I get we're a minority (at least with core releases), but they could still turn aprofit if they released a decent profit.

    I always get annoyed at the comparison of console piracy to PC piracy.

    PC Piracy - Download game, download crack, done.

    Console Piracy - To my knowledge of console piracy, you either have to mod the console, change the firmware on the disk drives or other not-to-simple changes.

    Console piracy still exists,yes, but is in no way as easy as PC, which would put off a few people.

      To be fair, you only have to mod the firmware once (which is as easy as plugging in a usb). After that it arguably easier because you don't have to find a crack for each game. That said, I presume piracy on consoles is lower, though I don't thunk figures are collected. I've seen torrents for Xbox versions of games that a higher than the pc version.

        Hmmm - I reckon (from walking around certain weekend markets) that Wii and DS piracy is out of control, Xbox piracy is probably no more than 15-20% of the userbase, reason being the Xbox Live bans that M$ routinely hands out - it's a great disincentive for pirating games.

        PS3 is something else altogether - it seems to be unbreakable.

          You're kidding right? Surely you know about all the PS3 cracks that have happened over the years, like the infamous "Number 4" crack, and about the entire PSN being hacked... Yeah you must be kidding. Everyone one knows.

            lol lern how 2 pruuf raed, u looser.

    "we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game"

    Way to pull figures out your arse and look like a total idiot. Jackass

    if its 95% of your consumers that pirate it. I wonder if they ever look at their steam figures. But truthfully this is most likely because they have changed the game already once and they can not be bothered to invest the time and money into making it for pc. If you make a good game then people will buy it, just look at the steam figures of skyrim, they are excellent because the company created an in depth experience and fans were truly excited for the game for pc.
    However piracy will always be the easiest excuse to use and we will never believe them.

    "Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you’re asking for. We’ve listened to you"

    No you haven't! All you did was look at figures determining that people like things for free and then gave it for free, instead of ever listening to what people who would pay for your products would want to pay for!

    "95% of our consumers will pirate the game"

    It's comments like these that just rustle my jimmies. Good job Ubisoft, I actually own consoles and buy games on them, only now: Not yours.

    Well the last Ubisoft game I ever bought on PC was riddled with so many bugs it rendered it unplayable (Splinter Cell Conviction). As much as I hate DRM, releasing games that can't be played properly is worse. No wonder why their PC market is gone. Piracy is just their scapegoat for their lousy programming and support on PC. Why pay for something you have no idea is going to work or not?

      Perhaps they are using piracy as an excuse to cover incompetence - although how it could be so hard to port from Xbox to a PC is completely beyond me - and a pity too because Conviction is one of the best games I've played this gen, sad that the PC version wasn't up to scratch.

    To everyone that complained about :

    “95% of our consumers will pirate the game”

    I know you guys pirate and you guys are trying to justify yourself by spitting alot of bull about it. Too bad PC developers know best when it comes to losing sales to piracy. I'd say good decision. Buy a console instead of complaining. The price of a ps3 and xbox360 only cost around 300.

      I used to pirate right up untill a few years back. I still have my "pirated game" collection. I dont Pirate games anymore and any game i have pirated ive ether gotten from gog or steam (mostly steam). The only reason i still have the pirated copies of the games is because they are packed up in storage and i really cant be bothered throwing them out.

      The reason why i stoped pirating games. Its because of a few reasons really.
      1. I got a job so i could afford to buy games legaly.
      2. Steam, its cheaper, easier and generally all my games are in one place.
      3. Got sick of my mates asking me for copies of new games.

      Guess what... All my mates followed me and now not 1 friend in my group pirates PC games.

      Not only that but everyone i do know that owns consoles has it modded and plays iso copies from their hdd's. I think you need to look at releases more often you will see a xbox360 torrent get more hits than a pc copy of the same game.

      Assuming your customers are criminals is never a good business decision for anyone.

      Hey we just had arguments about this in another article. You sound just as bad as Ubisoft here. Nobody needs people white-knighting over nobody actually justifying piracy.

      "I'm a PC gamer that is upset that representatives of a game company are majority labelling me as a criminal. So therefore I am!"

      How about, "95% of drivers are hoons, so all our new cars are incredibly slow!" See I can make up figures based from sensationalism to excuse my actions and piss off camps.

      "Too bad PC developers know best when it comes to losing sales to piracy."

      Yeah, like Valve, and Blizzard, and CD Project, and many others who sell quite well on PC because they didn't feel a need to ruin PC gaming for the paying customers in a bitch-fight against pirates.

        EDIT** As in piss off both camps, the comments made by Ubisoft make both pirates, and more importantly non-pirates angry.

    I was thinking about getting AC Revelations, but thanks to this, Ubisoft, this is the last straw. I won't be buying your game, I won't be pirating your game. I have never been more insulted in my life. 95% Hey? Where's your proof, I have a right mind to make a class action lawsuit for libel against that.

      Well regardless, they've only (supposedly) offended 5% of you. And before you get all antsy, keep in mind that's 5% of THEIR userbase, not every PC gamer ever. Also, I imagine many people pirate Ubi games out of retaliation anyway.

      Somewhat tangentially, I seriously liked SC: Conviction (360), and it's a shame that PC's hatred for Ubi combined with a DRM From Hell stopped a lot of people from playing it.

      Actually, based on that example, I think the current situation is both side's fault. Ubisoft for being way too harsh, PC users for having legal purchases as the minority (citation needed). You have to see that without one douchebag, the other wouldn't be such a douchebag back. Many successful PC game developers appear to have an ever-turning cheek, and I guess Ubi has done the (financially) smart thing and gone to where the money is. They are a friggin' business, they'll do whatever the hell they want.

      All the hate directed at them, and yet you all seem so upset when they ignore you.

      /devilsAdvocate

        I would disagree that it could only offend 5% because the offense that can be taken from that comment is not exclusive to their userbase. ie:

        "95% of our BLACK shoppers are shoplifters, so we've decided to not sell to BLACK people anymore."

        I'm sure that has the potential to offend a lot more than just the 5%.
        "You have to see that without one douchebag, the other wouldn’t be such a douchebag back."

        While I actually find it hard to believe that big business wouldn't continue being a douchebag if they could get away with it. But in this case the only party that could make their situation worse for themselves is the developers, since a products piracy and desirability to sell both stand on their own.

          Yeah that black comparison is a little stretched; a PC gamer can't seriously treat this as discrimination. As a console owner, am I discriminated against when they don't release Microsoft Word on my chosen platform? Hell naw, no-one will buy it so they don't bother.

          I know we want every game company to treat its fans with the love shown by Valve, Notch or even Bungie, but they can't ALL be like that. Especially when there's so much money involved.

          Agree with the last bit, it was their call to make it better or worse for themselves. I wonder though, is pulling out of the PC market for the better or for the worse - FOR THEM? They'd pretty much alienated all of you already, maybe they just saw the burnt bridge and turned away.

          It is a shame though. Some really good IPs.

            Your reference to microsoft word is a little stretched. You don't buy consoles for their word processing so I hardly feel like that makes any sense at all.

              Ubisoft don't make games to be pirated, so I hardly feel it makes any sense at all for them to continue developing for PC.

            I wasn't making the analogy to highlight prejudice against PC gamers, it was to highlight the insulting nature of ubisofts comments. No you wouldn't be upset if a company didn't release something on your consoles say, but you'd probably be justifiably upset if their reason was "we think console players are stupid."

              They didn't call you stupid. They didn't even call you a pirate. In fact they even gave you your own neat little percentage! How sweet!

    Bullshit. Any unpopular decision they make is attributed to piracy - it's just their scapegoat.

    Piracy on the 360/Wii/PS3 is quicker (the isos come out MUCH earlier then the SKIDROW releases) AND easier (no cracks, just a firmware upgrade once)

    Good thing I don't even like this franchise. But still, liars the lot of them. 'booo hoo, only made $50mil profit when I could have made $100mil - time to cry!'

      Expert much? The irony is delicious..

        Also you better fucking believe there's a difference between $100mil and $50mil. It could mean entire teams of hard working programmers out of the job. People that made a game FOR YOU.

    The way I see it, PC gaming is a shrinking market anyway. The biggest titles sell maybe a million on PC while consoles sell 5-10 million+

    I'm sure there's a lot more than a million people playing games on PC, but I guess most of them are pirating games. This way, Ubisoft deny PC access to their games and score a few more sales on 360/PS3.

      Oh I just thought of something awesome: If there's no more PC gaming, there's no more PC gamers WHINING AND BITCHING about BAD CONSOLE PORTS! FINALLY!

    There is currently 4,173,822 million PC gamers online on Steam at this moment. If 95% of PC gamers are pirates then that makes 79,302,618. THAT IS ALMOST 4 TIMES THE POPULATION OF AUSTRALIA. LOCK YOUR DOORS, HIDE THE CHILDREN, PIRATES ARE EVERYWHERE!

      And hide yo husband, cos they pirating everybody out there!

      95% of Ubi consumers. How about learning to read before trying to be a smart arse.

        So reading your comments, you sound like your from Ubisoft. All this guy is done is point out the absurdity of the 95% figure, but you berate him for using the figures available.

          Uh, he's wrong: I was correcting him. He commented without reading the article properly: I berated him for exhibiting YouTube-comment level comprehension. Christ, I never even said Ubisoft's number's were real.

    OH NO NOT FUTURE SOLDIER, ILL DIE WITHOUT IT.
    Game looks like dog crap anyways, they can keep all kinect controls while i keep playing skyrim mofo's.

      ... While I somewhat side with Ubisoft's (business-oriented) decision, you have a very good point: the game looks like total shit.

    I honestly do not care one single bit if Ubisoft decides to completely stop supporting PC and not bring their games out on it.

    The people at the head of that company know that piracy isn't the reason to as why they always do horrible sales wise on PC, but that is what they tell the world and their shareholders as an excuse.

    PC Gaming is doing better than it ever has and will only continue to soar upwards until the new consoles come out (If they aren't tiny, weak little machinse controlled primarily by motion control which I think they will and if that happens then we can expect PC gaming to take off like it never has before)

    As if anyone gives a flying fuck about the Ghost Recon series anyway...

    yeah ive almost purchased so many games of yours over the year but each time a read something on a review/forum saying the DRM is unbelievably shit and so skip it. If you just treated your PC customers with respect and made yourself liked less people would pirate. If you treat someone as if they are highly important to you they will value it and will feel inclined to return for another purchase.
    Its like Retail 101. If you treat them with disdain what do you think will happen? steal/ get a fake copy/ not buy your product. I think the games industry really needs some training in customer service.

      That's incredibly naive. If they took out DRM, it would get pirated even more. There is a huge % of people out there who simply don't want to pay for games and will go out of their way to avoid it, ruining it for the legitimate players. Look at the Humble Indie bundle. DRM-free, pay what you like, and it was torrented like mad. People are cheapskates.

      Sure it ruins everything for people who did want the game, but don't just blame the publisher, it's simply uneconomic for them to release on PC these days unless they're Valve or Blizzard. If millions of PC gamers stop behaving as children, maybe everyone would benefit when the publisher stops trying to babysit them.

        A lot of people can't afford or don't want to spend money on games that will instead just pirate them. But that does not mean they would spend that money on the game otherwise. If the person does not want to pay for a game, they can pirate it; in most cases, they were not going to pay for it anyway.

        I've had several ubisoft games with DRM that I bought and then cracked because I could not play what I had paid for. Putting DRM on games can increase pirating.

        The Humble Indy bundle sold a lot, regardless of pirates. It has very limited DRM and in some cases none at all. It might not have sold as many units with DRM like ubisofts.

        "making the download experience worse for generous contributors in the name of punishing pirates doesn't really fit with the spirit of the bundle" — Jeff Rosen

        People that don't want to pay for games are not going to pay for them. Don't bring the consumer down because of that.

        "If millions of PC gamers stop behaving as children"

        But those millions of PC gamers won't have money or vouchers magically appear for them to purchase the games that they would have otherwise pirated. If they couldn't get that stuff for free then then we're still fighting a battle over the consumers money. A battle that continues even when people are pirates.

        I'm not justifying people getting things for free when they shouldn't. I'm simply stating that when it comes to the publisher, it will make no difference for their sales; and even if it did we can estimate or quantify it, we simply don't know who would pay to have it and who would go without.

          EDIT** I mean CAN'T estimate or quantify it. Since piracy has been around for as long as it was possible, we can't really simulate buying patterns for a world without it.

          If you can't afford it, you should steal it?

            Jesus Christ, are you intentionally derailing this. Someone points out that its hard to estimate tge effect of piracy, because we don't know if people pirate more games than they can actually afford (entirely possible), and you take it as an attempts justification for piracy. Why are you white knighting this so hard. No one is arguing that puracy is right.

              A simple question I thought. It seemed to sum up his two paragraphs. I just didn't like the connotations of what he was saying.

              Namely this: "when it comes to the publisher, it will make no difference for their sales".

              And I totally agree that piracy-because-I-can't-afford-it may lead to piracy-because-fuck-it's-easy, and that is a bad thing. But c'mon, the ethics of piracy-because-I-can't-afford-it is really shaky. I know "it's not grand theft if the car you stole it still right there", but really that's just an archaic law system struggling to keep up.

                I NEVER SAID THAT.

                I never said that being poor gave you a ticket to piracy.

                The ONLY THING I was demonstrating with that rhetoric was that the publisher will not see the benefit they desire: Buying the game at full price at release. Unless somebody is incredibly rich many dedicated gamers literally can't afford the costs involved in buying every single game that may tickle their fancy.

                This month alone has yielded many stand out games that many gamers would enjoy. Somebody who MIGHT enjoy Skyrim, or Zelda, or Modern Warfare 3 but can't afford them all now needs to choose: What does he buy? What does he go without. Whichever publisher of the games he didn't choose will get no money. The exact same amount of money they would get if he pirated it.

                In the end one of these companies had to convince him to buy his game over the rest. The other companies FAILED. If their lucky, he will pick it up on bargain later but the publishers don't really even give a damn about sales then. But in the mean time, their games are out of his mind, and out of his sight. They get nothing and risk remaining so.

                Gamers have a lot of choice these days in how to receive their games. Only one is desired by the publishers: Brand new at full release price. We can do that, or get it later on bargain bin, or second hand, or borrow a mates, or hire it, or even pirate it. Making good games with good marketing that is worthy of the first option is the only dependable method of securing this.

                What happens to that worth when it now has crippling DRM?

                  I have a (nearly) perfect example of that type of person: me. I greatly dislike that all these awesome games have come out at once, and I can't afford even one. I am DYING for Skyrim, and heaps want GoW3, Halo Anniv., Battlef3 and Saints3, but it's going to be after Christmas by the time I can afford any. That's where the similarity ends though. I'm not going to just save up for one or two and forever "go without" the rest. I will still want to play them in 6 months time, and when I can afford them I WILL buy them. What if I just do as you suggest, and pirate the ones I can't afford yet? (see: "We can [buy at retail]... or even pirate it.") If I did that I would no longer need to purchase it when I can afford it later. I WOULD NOT NEED TO GIVE MONEY LATER. See the problem? If the person was not a pirate, they would PAY FOR IT. A person never being able to afford it is a ridiculous concept, by the way; how do they even own a gaming device if they can NEVER afford a game?

                  NB: I never said DRM was good. Not sure why you bring it up now. I'll tell you what happens when you DRM the shit out of your game: you've made a game worse for the people that matter, and Ubisoft happens. And if you respect your consumers and show them piracy isn't neccessary: Steam happens.

        DRM doesn't prevent piracy post-release. These people are already using cracks remember. It almost inherently can't. What it does do, when implemented badly, is encourage 'sometimes' pirates to download the cracked drm free version. I assune such a group of individuals exists give how well vale and others appear to be doing by using a good will strategy for sales.

        No one said that. What was said was that some people may pirate more than they can actually afford. Most people can't afford to part for ten games a month, but for a pirate, 10 games or 1 it all costs the same. Therefore they are likely to go overboard. Hardly a justification, but it does make it impossible to estimate the list sales to devs.

    The 95% statistic is completely bullshit.
    Ubisoft really need to look at this regarding piracy.
    http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Another-view-of-game-piracy
    Their DRM is the reason I don't buy any of their games. Not to imply I pirate any of their games, because why bother? I feel sorry for the game devs who are getting boned over by Ubisoft though.

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