Ubisoft allowed the Crew to become unplayable for some console players prior to its being shut down (fixed...for now)

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bigsocrates

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Edited By bigsocrates

EDIT: This has now been fixed, at least for me.

When the shut down of The Crew was announced for March of this year I decided I was going to play through it before that happened because I bought the game back in the day and never got around to it. I downloaded it to my Xbox and booted it up only to be greeted with a server error that made it unplayable. I have tried intermittently since that happened about a month ago and have had the same error. Others have reported the same issue on the subreddit for the game and have submitted error reports to Ubisoft only to be met with silence. It appears not to affect PC players and to only affect some console players (and possibly to be account specific) but nobody seems to have figured out a solution to the issue.

From a purely business perspective I understand that Ubisoft has nothing to gain from fixing a game they have delisted and are pulling down anyway, but it just shows their complete and utter indifference to customer satisfaction. I buy a lot of games and I will probably buy an Ubisoft game again at some point, but I will definitely never buy an always online Ubisoft game for anything above a pittance and I will probably never buy an Ubisoft game at full price for a very long time. This situation has infuriated me on multiple levels. Ubisoft was perfectly happy to take my money and not even meet their own timeline for keeping the game up.

I'm not a full bore "modern gaming sucks" guy because there are lots of things about modern gaming that I really like, but this kind of thing definitely reminds me that modern game companies, for the most part, do suck. They just do not care about games, and especially older games. The "always online" thing is a disaster and in many cases seems intentionally designed to make games unplayable after a time. If the Forza Horizon series can be played offline there's no reason for The Crew to be always online. Same for the Halo series and Redfall. Types of games that many people play solo and that have had no issues having offline and online multiplayer modes in the past are now being built around being temporary and temperamental and game companies can offer zero good reasons for doing things this way.

Do I really care that much about The Crew? No. If it were at the top of my list I would have played it by now. But the principle of the thing matters a lot to me. It's the arrogance and total lack of accountability that get to me. Companies keep on asking for more money for their games but are happy to build them so they can't work without support and then drop that support when it's no longer profitable. Babylon's Fall didn't even last a year. It is literally impossible to list all the games with content roadmaps that never actually happened because the game didn't perform well enough. But they were happy to take people's money with false promises.

Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League is launching as yet another online only game. They are promising an offline mode down the road but we've heard that before. Redfall is supposed to have an offline mode eventually but are they really going to invest the resources for that for the 7 people still playing that?

It's not just gaming. Amazon is now adding advertisements to Prime Video and other streaming companies seem to be preparing to do the same. We all know how horrible websites have gotten with their ads over the years. As media continues to consolidate under a few very large companies there is less and less interest in providing customers with a good experience and a greater feeling that we're just being presented content slop on a tray and told to like it because it's the only game in town. Kind of like a cafeteria school lunch but without the benefit of it at least being cheap.

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm just not that into games right now. I think this is part of it. I'm exhausted as a consumer. I look at the gaming landscape for this year and so much of it just sucks. Endless remakes and battle passes and New Game+ modes locked behind paywalls. Always online BS and games that they want you to buy and not own. Immortals of Aveum was not a very good game but it's the last one I felt compelled to binge because it was straightforward in every way. Buy it, play the campaign, move on. If I want to play it again in 10 years I can.

Maybe I'm just old.

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Shindig

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This reminds me how I need to reinstall Onrush just to see what's left of that game.

It shouldn't be like this. At the very least, you should be able to enjoy The Crew as an offline experience.

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gtxforza

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#2  Edited By gtxforza

I'm so going to miss this game, it was really fun to play and reminds me of the Driver series, because of being mission-based driving gameplay and story.

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mach_go_go_go

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#4  Edited By mach_go_go_go

This makes me really sad to say but I'm glad that Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown allegedly only sold 300,000 copies. People losing access to their purchases, under any circumstances, should minimally make informed consumers think twice about purchasing from that company again, or ever.

If any game that isn't free-to-play has any form of an effectively single-player mode under any circumstance, it should be legally required to make sure said mode is functionally payable, offline, in perpetuity.

Edit: I guess, in most cases, in perpetuity would mean as long as the user is logged into Steam, thus invalidating most of my argument...

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ThePanzini

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#5  Edited By ThePanzini

@mach_go_go_go: It's hard to spin the news as anything but bad. Out of Ubisoft's three new titles AC Mirage 5m did really well, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora 1.9m did ok, and Prince of Persia The Lost Crown outright bombed. I mean what sort of message does that send?

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CreepingDeath0

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@thepanzini: That people were really excited to play a stealth based AC again, that Avatar isn't as big a draw as some people would like to think, and that a low budget metroidvania of an IP that's been basically dead for over 2 decades isn't much of a draw to modern gamers (sadly).

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#7  Edited By Ben_H

I think a thing that massively harmed the new Prince of Persia was the price. For a game of that scale and type, it is hugely expensive compared to the competition. In Canada, that game is $70 when most of the non-Metroid competition in that space is $20-30 when not on sale. Why would I buy the new Prince of Persia at that price when I can get something like Dead Cells with all of the DLC for much cheaper? Does Ubisoft really think people will pay that much money for a game that seemed like it was made on the cheap? Or is this just another instance of the big publishers trying to push game prices up even more? Maybe both?

I would imagine there's also a bunch of people waiting for a sale for it. Ubisoft has essentially set the expectation that the game will be on sale for a substantial discount within a month or two since that happens with most Ubisoft games outside of the mainline Assassin's Creed games.

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ThePanzini

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#8  Edited By ThePanzini

@ben_h: The Lost Crown was shown in two Nintendo Directs and pushed frequently on its YouTube channel, all having poor views. Price doesn't appear to be the main issue, people didn't really want it.

Mirage selling well and Avatar is doing alright which doesn't suggest people are waiting for discounts.

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Undeadpool

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Of course they don't care, literally who's going to make them?

Companies can take PR hits and pretend it's "punishment," (and their weird online sycophants CERTAINLY will) but unless someone makes them financially care, they will not.

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bigsocrates

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I realize this is now a thread about the underperformance of Prince of Persia, but I wanted to note that Ubisoft has apparently fixed the Crew for the next couple months before it goes down. I have been able to get in and play.

It sucks!

As for Prince of Persia, I think that price probably does have a lot to do with it but I also think that people who are into Metroidvanias mostly want either indies or they want actual Metroid/Castlevania. And Metroid Dread didn't even sell that well. Turning Prince of Persia, a game that was never really a Metroidvania and in recent years has been a 3D platformer into a Metroidvania was always a tough sell. Plus Prince of Persia is a pretty moribund IP. It's just an odd decision, especially at a $30 price point.

What will Ubisoft learn from all this? That people only want Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and Clancy games. The same things they always learn.

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mach_go_go_go

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#11  Edited By mach_go_go_go

@bigsocrates: I apologize for hijacking the topic. Only wanted to point out that Ubisoft, above others, have developed a reputation outside of it's games and perhaps, despite the game reviewing well, that reputation was beginning to affect sales. Probably not, though. The actual reason is more likely: don't release in the same month as Pokémon but it's ARK and with guns.

To hammer home your original point to where the landscape of the games industry has shifted, gamesindustry.biz is reporting that *consulting group name here* states that 95% of studios are currently working on or maintaining a live service game. Obviously this figure includes mobile a well, but that's a depressingly extreme number of games that are more than likely to shut down in the near or distant future.

Edit: and I do not mean to disparage mobile gamers by any means, but rather I'm operating under the assumption that anybody on this site (giantbomb.com, a website about videogames) knows the risks going in on a live service game. Go check out the reddit for 'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood' to see a bunch of people who've been playing this game for a decade and didn't know sunsetting was even a thing - it's heartbreaking.

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bigsocrates

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@mach_go_go_go: You don't have to apologize and I didn't even consider it hijacking. It's like a conversation, things go off in whatever direction. I was just noting it with a little amusement, not because I was upset in any way. I thought the Prince of Persia conversation was interesting.

95% of studios seems insanely high. Are they including indie studios? Are they counting something like "Microsoft Games Studios" as one studio? There's still a lot of single player stuff coming out, and even a lot of the mobile stuff isn't necessarily what I would call "live service." I think mobile games that require constant Internet connections are a little self-defeating because lots of the time when I want to play mobile games (rarely) is when I CAN'T get on the web because I'm on the subway or an airplane or somewhere else out of service.

The fact that nobody seems to consider the downsides of requiring constant Internet connectivity when developing games is baffling to me. Maybe it's because I live in a city that does have places with no service (like places in the subway) or because I like to play old games, but while I understand the anti-piracy advantages the downsides are pretty serious. Consumers are starting to reject these games.

Did the industry not think that eventually people would eventually be unhappy with the "we sell you undercooked games and then charge you more for the stuff we cut out, and then you can't play any of it after a time" model?