Problems with Assassin’s Creed: Unity lead to apologies and compensations from Ubisoft

The home page of the Assassin's Creed: Unity official website
The home page of the Assassin’s Creed: Unity official website

On November 11, 2014 the videogame “Assassin’s Creed Unity” was released to the market. It’s one of the most anticipated titles of the year, with the launch in North America first and in the following days in the other continents. This new chapter in a series developed by Ubisoft and began in 2007 is set in Paris during the French Revolution and includes new expected features but also various problems that angered many fans. The discontent was such that apologies and promises of compensation came from Ubisoft.

The 1789 Paris was reproduced with remarkable fidelity harnessing the power of latest generation consoles such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Windows version has considerable requirements satisfied only by high-end PCs. “Assassin’s Creed Unity” is a game in the third person as the previous series but the fighting was greatly improved, parkour and stealth mode were introduced for players and a cooperative multiplayer mode was added.

The release of “Assassin’s Creed Unity” was scheduled for October but was postponed for a couple of weeks. Clearly they weren’t sufficient to eliminate all the problems of this videogame and immediately came the criticism. Whenever there are significant changes in a series of videogames there’s someone who isn’t satisfied and initially there are problems that are solved usually within a short time. In this case, however, the problems are so many with flaws including graphics, crashes and frame rate lower than those announced.

In less than three weeks Ubisoft already released three new versions that are supposed to fix hundreds of bugs. Not even this is enough and a fourth release is expected but the situation is so negative that the sale of the Gold Edition and the season pass was blocked.

A few days ago came the official apology from Ubisoft CEO Yannis Malat. The message also announces compensation for the users who have purchased the game. All owners will receive the DLC “Assassin’s Creed Unity: Dead Kings” for free. Those who have already purchased the season pass can choose a game for free among: “The Crew”, “Far Cry 4”, “Watch Dogs”, “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag”m “Rayman Legends” and “Just Dance 2015”.

In short, there is a clear availability by Ubisoft to give something to the players who bought “Assassin’s Creed Unity” right after its release and couldn’t enjoy the best way because of its problems. This is commendable but couldn’t they postpone the release of the game a few more weeks?

In his message of apology, Yannis Malat states that the problems were unexpected. This puzzles me because they emerged almost immediately after its release so it seems really strange that they hadn’t been found during its testing. Frankly, I think that marketing needs had the priority and “Assassin’s Creed Unity” was put on the market well knowing that it was far from perfect.

Last year something even worse happened with a new version of the SimCity series: it would really be better if those producers learned to better manage the development of their videogames. Getting the players’ satisfaction with some delay would be more useful than trying to fix the damage, including the one to the reputation.

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