The typical price tag for a full-fledged console or PC video game is around $60, but rare is the game that doesn’t also include an array of add-ons — everything from additional game content to new characters to outfits to in-game currency. It’s become such a popular practice that this “extra” stuff is now larger than some entire industries. [More]
Right before Thanksgiving, Ubisoft acknowledged that it botched the launch of the much-anticipated game Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and that people who bought the title early would be offered make-goods of free content. Now that the first of those freebies has gone live, users are realizing it comes with a catch — give up your right to sue. [More]
As 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. [More]
You wouldn’t go to Spring Training and expect to pay regular season prices to see a sluggish baseball team play a half-assed game. If you go to a preview of a new musical — where they might not be in full costume or have to stop and start a song halfway through — you don’t pay the same as someone going to the theater after opening night. And there’s a reason why the “dinged and discounted” section of the furniture store isn’t asking for the full sticker price. But when it comes to video games, consumers are increasingly paying a premium to be de facto beta testers for unfinished and broken games that aren’t ready for the market. [More]
One of the perks of my former life in the entertainment news business was getting early access to everything from books to movies to music to video games. On the down side, that early access often comes with the stipulation that you can’t say anything about what you’ve seen, read, played, or heard until the publisher says so. It’s an annoyance for all reviewers, especially when they want to tell the public that something is so bad they should stay away, but it’s particularly harmful in the video game business. [More]
The majority of video games in the U.S. are purchased and played by adults. The largest titles make money that Hollywood films could only dream of raking in, and the biggest players in the industry run multibillion-dollar multinational operations that employ thousands of people. Yet many consumers still think of gaming as a kid’s thing that doesn’t merit serious consideration or scrutiny. In an age where our culture recognizes previously sniffed-about industries like professional sports as much more than child’s play, it’s time to get over that same hump about video games. [More]
Comcast’s been irking a large segment of the internet again this week. This time, though, it doesn’t have anything to do with their pro-merger mania, their stance on net neutrality, or the problems with their actual service. The latest kerfuffle is all about a thirty-second commercial — one that doesn’t even seem to get the basics of its own technology right.
Back in the day when I worked at places where writers were allowed to receive free promotional crap (mostly DVDs and vodka… so much bad vodka) from PR companies, I got all manner of bizarre stuff, the strangest probably being a box that allegedly contained a few of Troy Polamalu’s signature curly locks. But if I received a tiny unmarked safe with a note to “check your voicemail,” and which beeped when I tried to open it, I might have gotten freaked out enough to call the police. [More]
If you’ve got an account with Ubisoft, you should probably change your password lickety-split to something super secure. The video game company announced today that an intruder gained illegal access to some of its online systems. While Ubisoft says it’s closed off the breach, data like email addresses, encrypted passwords and user names was accessed. [More]
Consumerist reader Ethan wants to buy the new video game Assassin’s Creed III but, like any good shopper, doesn’t want to pay full price if he doesn’t have to. So he was thrilled to see that Target.com is selling AC3 for 17% off the sticker price — oh wait, no it isn’t. [More]
UPDATE: Ubisoft has released a statement saying it has pushed out a patch that should fix the issue.
In one of the more inane attempts at viral marketing, a man in New Zealand was almost shot by police as he roamed the streets of Auckland scaring the bejeezus out of bystanders with his toy gun.
Ubisoft is so bent on stopping piracy that it has turned itself into a virtual nanny, peeking over your shoulder at all times to verify that your PC copy of Assassin’s Creed 2 isn’t a torrented file. Shacknews reports that if gamers go offline while playing the game, they’ll have to stop immediately and no recent progress will be saved.