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Thread: UbiSoft refuses to show anything to Ziff Davis

  1. #1
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    UbiSoft refuses to show anything to Ziff Davis

    I'm surprised there isn't a topic about this here.

    The story, as far as I know it, is that 1up and EGM gave Assassin's Creed a less than stellar review. UbiSoft stomped their feet and cried, and now refuse to allow any of their games to be covered by any Ziff-Davis media entity. Thus, 1up hasn't been allowed to see any UbiSoft product at E3.

    I can't believe they actually followed through on this. How absolutely childish. Not to mention incredibly damaging to the reputation of UbiSoft itself.

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    Yes, so incredibly damaging. No one will ever buy their games again!

    Honestly, I don't think it matters. With a billion gaming sites out there, what 1UP and EGM contribute is just a tiny part of the pool. There will be plenty of preview articles elsewhere and if you are still making your buying decisions on what reviewers think, then I don't know what to tell you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarkus View Post
    Yes, so incredibly damaging. No one will ever buy their games again!

    Honestly, I don't think it matters. With a billion gaming sites out there, what 1UP and EGM contribute is just a tiny part of the pool. There will be plenty of preview articles elsewhere and if you are still making your buying decisions on what reviewers think, then I don't know what to tell you.
    Oh right, reviews don't matter. Anyone who wants to know if a game is good or not and looks to a review to find out is an idiot. And they never contribute to making or breaking a game's success.

    I forgot.

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    I don't think the point is how important EGM and 1UP are in the overall scale of things. What's important is this childish, petty and despicable attitude by one of the biggest publishers in the industry.

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    Well, the point is that if -any- review outlet badly reviews any Ubi product, they will be blacklisted from Ubi ad revenue and access to any of their products in the future. And Ubi is showing here that they'll follow through on it.

    Therefore any media that honestly reviews an Ubi product is in danger of losing a large chunk of ad revenue from the publisher.

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    Anything that gets the people who COVER games away from relying on the money of the people who MAKE games, I'm for.

    Does this kind of BS have any hope of broadening awareness of how incestuous this industry is?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinj View Post
    Well, the point is that if -any- review outlet badly reviews any Ubi product, they will be blacklisted from Ubi ad revenue and access to any of their products in the future. And Ubi is showing here that they'll follow through on it.
    That you had to explain that is just sad.

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    This is pretty shocking. Unfortunately Ubisoft is big enough to get away with this sort of extortion.

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    You know, the issue is a little more complex than just "Wah wah bad review".

    If you go searching through some of the ancient AC threads, you'll find a bit more info on it. I'm not going to dredge up old shit though.

    IIRC, there was actually an interview or something that listed some of Ubisoft's proof and reasoning. They compared Metacritic scores of their games against 1up's reviews, and then they compared Metacritic scores of other publisher's games against 1up's reviews, and there was a discrepancy in the former but not the latter.

    Can't remember where it was though. Anyway, it's not just a hissy fit over one review. Ubi doesn't care about one bad AC review, especially since it's their best selling game ever.

  10. #10
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    Huh, I wonder if GI's joined-at-the-hip relationship to Gamestop (which I normally am wary of) would give them enough weight to throw back at Ubi to keep this from impacting them.

    I have no clue if they would, how important B&M is to Ubi, whether GameStop would actually get into the fray, who would have the most to lose, etc. but it's intriguing to me to try to build a mental calculus of the forces at work, regardless.

    Is there any one outlet or entity that a publisher of Ubi's size couldn't afford to piss off?
    Last edited by fox1; 07-19-2008 at 12:42 PM. Reason: "sneer at" was overly harsh, on reflection.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    You know, the issue is a little more complex than just "Wah wah bad review".

    If you go searching through some of the ancient AC threads, you'll find a bit more info on it. I'm not going to dredge up old shit though.

    IIRC, there was actually an interview or something that listed some of Ubisoft's proof and reasoning. They compared Metacritic scores of their games against 1up's reviews, and then they compared Metacritic scores of other publisher's games against 1up's reviews, and there was a discrepancy in the former but not the latter.

    Can't remember where it was though. Anyway, it's not just a hissy fit over one review. Ubi doesn't care about one bad AC review, especially since it's their best selling game ever.
    Are you implying that EGM/1up had a long running bias against UbiSoft, and purposefully scored UbiSoft games lower than other publishers?

    Or are you saying that EGM/1up tend to rate some games, regardless of the publisher, lower (more honestly?) than other media outlets- and this is unacceptable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinj View Post
    Are you implying that EGM/1up had a long running bias against UbiSoft, and purposefully scored UbiSoft games lower than other publishers?
    I think that's what Ubisoft is implying, not Charles.

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    I'm not saying anything, I don't want to get directly involved.

    I just remember a site somewhere that proved some sort of systemic bias. Maybe I imagined it, I certainly can't google it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    I'm not saying anything, I don't want to get directly involved.

    I just remember a site somewhere that proved some sort of systemic bias. Maybe I imagined it, I certainly can't google it up.
    Interesting. I'd like to see this site.

    However, I find Ziff Davis executing a systemic bias against any publisher to be incredibly unlikely. What possible reasoning would they have to do such a thing.

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    It wouldn't have been Ziff Davis themselves, it would've been more localized to EGM/1Up, I expect. Again, if you want a little more info, go dig through the AC threads.

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    Ubisoft is retarded any way you slice it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinj View Post
    Well, the point is that if -any- review outlet badly reviews any Ubi product, they will be blacklisted from Ubi ad revenue and access to any of their products in the future. And Ubi is showing here that they'll follow through on it.

    Therefore any media that honestly reviews an Ubi product is in danger of losing a large chunk of ad revenue from the publisher.
    I want to clarify that my response was not meant to imply I thought Ubisoft was doing the right thing, but rather that I don't think what they are doing will actually hurt their sales. You know, the basis of their business.

  18. #18
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    At the end of the day, I'd have to agree with 1up's scoring anyways. What a totally overrated game.

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    I'd like to see the entire industry get behind Ziff Davis and boycott all coverage of Ubisoft products for a while.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarkus View Post
    I want to clarify that my response was not meant to imply I thought Ubisoft was doing the right thing, but rather that I don't think what they are doing will actually hurt their sales. You know, the basis of their business.
    It may not hurt their sales, but it definitely seems unethical. I don't think it's illegal though, and I for one definitely don't think I've heard the full story regarding this situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by id4698 View Post
    At the end of the day, I'd have to agree with 1up's scoring anyways. What a totally overrated game.
    Overrated because every other outlet was afraid Ubi would cut all advertising ties to them if they rated it below an 8, apparently.

  22. #22
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    Is there a game in recent years as love-it-or-hate-it as AC? GI scored it very well (not me; I have no personal horse in this race), and have gotten equal parts "right on! loved it!" and "omgz so overrated" feedback. I wonder if other pubs have gotten similar feedback.

    As long as I'm in the thread anyway...

    Quote Originally Posted by fox1
    Huh, I wonder if GI's joined-at-the-hip relationship to Gamestop (which I normally am wary of) would give them enough weight to throw back at Ubi to keep this from impacting them.
    Not going to address the Ubi thing directly, but I can tell you that Gamestop has zero impact in any way on the day-to-day workings of the magazine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinj View Post
    Overrated because every other outlet was afraid Ubi would cut all advertising ties to them if they rated it below an 8, apparently.
    The two guys here that reviewed it (and loved it) absolutely adored the game, to the point of playing it through multiple times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gordonrumble View Post
    It may not hurt their sales, but it definitely seems unethical. I don't think it's illegal though, and I for one definitely don't think I've heard the full story regarding this situation.
    It's neither unethical or illegal. Petty? Maybe. But there's no laws or ethics that say you must show a work in progress to everyone under the sun. If there was, games would be developed in an open environment where interested parties could sit and watch the whole process up close.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyinj View Post
    Overrated because every other outlet was afraid Ubi would cut all advertising ties to them if they rated it below an 8, apparently.
    Overrated or not, it still sold over six million copies. So I guess we did *something* right.

    Although it's worth noting that our Metacritic rating isn't particularly high, and it's actually lower than the user reviews.

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    If 1up/EGM really dislike Ubisoft then I wager they wouldn't give that much of a crap over it other than mobilize Internet drama propoganda to try and burn Ubisoft.


    Lets yawn.


    IIRC Penny Arcade posted a mix review of AC.
    I don't see them being boycotted by Ubi any time soon.


    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    Overrated or not, it still sold over six million copies. So I guess we did *something* right.
    I would make the obligatory Oblivion corrolation, but I fear Draikin might migrate over from the FO3 thread to plague this one, so I'll leave it at that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
    I'd like to see the entire industry get behind Ziff Davis and boycott all coverage of Ubisoft products for a while.
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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    Wasn't 1up one of the only sites around that was trying to use the whole scale, opposed to a 7-9 scale?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    Although it's worth noting that our Metacritic rating isn't particularly high, and it's actually lower than the user reviews.
    Slightly higher at Gamerankings.

    A more interesting story might be the sway that pages like Gamerankings and Metacritic hold over pubs, and their rather creative ways of deciding what each outlet's score translates into as a percentile.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    It's neither unethical...
    That really depends on if the reason for the action matters as much as the action itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxstab
    IIRC Penny Arcade posted a mix review of AC.
    Not really. They hosted ads for it and Gabe came out in defense of the game, claiming that reviewers were basically playing it wrong. More accurately, it was the way they must play games changes the dynamic so their review scores may not be accurate.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxstab View Post
    I would make the obligatory Oblivion corrolation, but I fear Draikin might migrate over from the FO3 thread to plague this one, so I'll leave it at that.
    And yet, like most highly rated games, Oblivion's user reviews are lower than the actual ratings. Oblivion's Metacritic Rating is 94, but the Metacritic User Reviews are 7.6.

    It really does say something about the reviewing industry in general that there's such a discrepancy most of the time between average reviews and average user opinions.

    Of course, it may just be saying "numbers are arbitrary".

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