Ubisoft Admits Assassin’s Creed Is Broken, Offers Free Stuff To Apologize

acunityglitchAs I argued a couple weeks back in the wake of the botched release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, video game publishers need to stop treating their biggest customers as guinea pigs on which to unleash broken games that will eventually be fixed via multiple patches weeks after release — or at the very least acknowledge this treatment and give these customers an incentive (lower price, free stuff, etc.) that doesn’t make them immediately regret spending $60 on a new game. And while it’s too late to undo all the damage done, Ubisoft is now attempting to make nice with these users by offering them free content as an apology.

In a blog post published earlier today, Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto, admits that the anticipation and excitement for the newest title in the popular series was undercut because “the overall quality of the game was diminished by bugs and unexpected technical issues… These problems took away from your enjoyment of the game, and kept many of you from experiencing the game at its fullest potential.”

The publisher has released multiple patches since the initial launch, but many are still angered by the fact that they paid top dollar for an unfinished game. And the irritation is only made worse by Ubisoft’s decision to strong-arm reviewers into holding back reviews of the game until after pre-orders were released, meaning people had no advance warning that they were buying a glitch-filled mess.

So in order to try to make it right, Ubisoft is going to give everyone who bought the game access to the Dead Kings downloadable content for free. If you paid for a Season Pass, which gives you access to all DLC when it’s released, you’ll be able to pick a free game from a slate of other Ubisoft titles, including Far Cry 4, Watch Dogs, Rayman Legends, Just Dance 2015.

The company has posted more information about the offer here.

Mallat says that the feedback from users — who have not held back from filling in the company on every glitch they discover “has been both humbling and incredibly helpful,” and he says that Ubisoft is “hopeful that with these forthcoming updates, everyone will be able to truly enjoy their Assassin’s Creed Unity experience.”

Please let this be a lesson to the game publishers of the world — if you know in advance that you won’t be releasing a finished product, tell your customers as soon as possible.

Given that it takes months for disc-based games to be made, packaged, shipped and distributed to stores, Ubisoft knew for months that what it would release in November was not going to work properly.

Had the company announced a week or two before launch, “Warning: The game is going to be glitchy at launch, but we’re going to give free DLC to everyone who pre-orders,” I’m betting they would have actually sold even more copies of the game, and people would not have been able to complain when the launch product wasn’t up to snuff.