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Stanislas Mettra, the I Am Alive creative director who made controversial remarks about PC gaming this week, has attempted to retract/explain/downplay his outburst.
What Stanislas Mettra originally said: PC gamers were "bitching" about I Am Alive not being on PC. He then questioned whether PC gamers really wanted I Am Alive on PC, or were just "making noise" because they felt hard done by. Mettra went on to say a PC port, which may take a team of 12 people three months to make, was "not worth it" if only 50,000 people bought it.
In a subsequent email to IncGamers, Mettra wrote how he would "really love" to see I Am Alive on PC, and that his comment 'the game won't happen on PC' was "probably and English language miscommunication" (English isn't his native tongue).
"What I meant," Mettra explained, "is that the PC version did not happen yet. But we are still working to see the feasibility of it, which is not necessarily simple. I gave some examples to illustrate the problematic [sic], but obviously it is not in my hands and not my part to talk about this.
"Honestly, which game maker would not love his game to be playable on as many platforms and by as many people as possible?"
Stanislas Mettra, creative director, I Am Alive
"Honestly, which game maker would not love his game to be playable on as many platforms and by as many people as possible?"
Mettra ended his email with a word about "the pleasure" of the game mattering more than the platforms it was on.
Mettra's original comments were unlikely to have gone down well with I Am Alive publisher Ubisoft, for which PC gaming has become a sensitive subject. Late PC conversions of multi-platform games and intrusive DRM have dogged the publisher's desktop reputation. And yesterday we discovered that Ghost Recon: Future Soldier won't be released on PC - free-to-play adaptation Ghost Recon Online will be the equivalent offering.
The unwritten supposition of Mettra's comments and the Ghost Recon Online news is that Ubisoft no longer wants to develop multiplatform games for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Nov 24, 2011
Somewhere down the line, Ubisoft transformed Ghost Recon: Future Soldier on PC into the free-to-play game Ghost Recon Online.
The publisher told Eurogamer this afternoon that "Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has not been announced on PC", and that "Ghost Recon Online is the PC equivalent".
However, Future Soldier was announced for PC in 2010, albeit partially - specific details were to follow (but never did).
An official forum for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier on PC supplies further evidence that a multi-platform release was once Ubisoft's intention.
Ghost Recon Online senior producer Sebastien Arnoult, to PC Gamer, explained: "When we started Ghost Recon Online we were thinking about Ghost Recon: Future Solider; having something ported in the classical way without any deep development, because we know that 95 per cent of our consumers will pirate the game.
"So we said okay, we have to change our mind.
"We have to adapt, we have to embrace this instead of pushing it away. That's the main reflection behind Ghost Recon Online and the choice we've made to go in this direction."
"To the users that are traditionally playing the game by getting it through Pirate Bay, we said, 'Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you're asking for. We've listened to you."
Sebastien Arnoult, senior producer, Ghost Recon Online
He added: "We are giving away most of the content for free because there's no barrier to entry. To the users that are traditionally playing the game by getting it through Pirate Bay, we said, 'Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you're asking for. We've listened to you - we're giving you this experience. It's easy to download, there's no DRM that will pollute your experience.'"
Ubisoft Singapore is making Ghost Recon Online. The PC game doesn't look dissimilar to Future Soldier on PS3 and 360 but won't, by the looks of things, feature a single-player campaign.
"I don't like to compare PC and Xbox boxed products because they have a model on that platform that is clearly meant to be €60's worth of super-Hollywood content," said Arnoult.
"On PC, we're adapting our model to the demand."
Ghost Recon Online is in closed beta in Germany and France. The closed UK beta test is schedule for the next few months, reported PC Gamer. You can apply for the Ghost Recon Online beta on the game's website.
Ubisoft is a publisher synonymous with problems regarding piracy on PC. The publisher tried to combat piracy with DRM, but ended up alienating legitimate PC game buyers in the process. Those legitimate buyers tussling with restrictive DRM had to wait weeks after console release for their port, too.
The result was angry backlash for Ubisoft. And things seem to have come to a head with downloadable XBLA and PSN game I Am Alive, which isn't being offered on PC at all. Can we presume that Ubisoft has had enough?
"Perhaps it will only take 12 guys three months to port the game to PC, it's not a massive cost but it's still a cost. If only 50,000 people buy the game then it's not worth it," I Am Alive creative director Stanislas Mettra explained this week.
Oct 3, 2011
Tactical shooter Ghost Recon: Future Soldier in the US on 6th March, publisher Ubisoft has announced via Joystiq.
That should give the development team plenty of time to make any tweaks following the title's planned January open beta.
Aug 9, 2011
The Splinter Cell HD Trilogy will be released on the PlayStation Store tomorrow, Ubisoft has announced.
The games - Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory - will cost 9.99/£7.99 individually or 29.99/£23.99 bundled together.
A Blu-ray disc with the games on will be released "at a later date", wrote Ubisoft product manager Akshay Paul on the European PlayStation blog.
The Splinter Cell HD Trilogy revitalises the last-generation Splinter Cell games in 1080p resolution and with stereoscopic 3D. Trophies have also been slung in.
PlayStation Plus subscribers will be offered 20 per cent off individual title Splinter Cell and 10 per cent off Pandora Tomorrow. Chaos Theory comes with an exclusive theme that features Sam Fisher - the hero of the games.
Eurogamer's Splinter Cell review dished out 9/10 back in 2003.
Eurogamer's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow review awarded 8/10 in 2004.
Eurogamer's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory review, written in 2005, also deemed an 8/10 appropriate.
Jul 29, 2011
This year's Eurogamer Expo will host a huge showing from developer Ubisoft, with some of the year's biggest titles such as Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Driver: San Francisco available to play on the show floor.
High-tech shooter Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and beautiful platformer Rayman Origins will also be on show.
For racing fans Ubisoft is bringing World Rally, while those who prefer a boogie can try Just Dance Kinect.
The Eurogamer Expo runs 22nd-25th September at London's massive Earl's Court One. It's Britain's biggest and best games event.
This year is larger than ever, with 30,000 gamers set to spill through the doors.
Want in? Head over to eurogamerexpo.com to nab your ticket. Over half have already gone - and Saturday is nearly sold out.
Jul 18, 2011
The lack of dedicated PC Ghost Recon titles was a result of the sorry state of the retail market for the platform, Ubisoft has explained.
Theo Sanders, creative director of the forthcoming Ghost Recon Online, told CVG that all PC releases in the series were ported down from the console versions.
"We knew it was a platform we wanted to come back to. However, until recently, the retail market for PC made it difficult to invest in a big, dedicated product," he explained.
However, the future is looking up for fans of the tactical shooter franchise. Sanders explained that the advent of free-to-play is offering developers reason to re-evaluate the platform.
"The emergence of online business models has brought back the opportunity to produce something dedicated to PC fans, rather than just ported multiplatform content."
Ghost Recon Online is due out later this year on PC, with a Wii U release to follow in 2012.
"Ghost Recon Online uses the recipes for fun that have always set Ghost Recon games apart from other shooters - which mostly tend to clump around the run and gun style," added Sanders.
"Pair that with high production values in a game conceptualised from the start to feel native to PC and it's a compelling mix. Ghost Recon Online having an attractive price point - free - doesn't hurt either."
Jun 23, 2011
The new Rainbow Six game thought to be in development at Ubisoft will feature a complex morality system that asks players to think carefully about the consequences of their actions.
According to a Kotaku report, this branching path feature is a key aspect of the revamped tactical shooter.
One particularly visceral sequence in the game reportedly sees your team attempting to stop a terrorist group from blowing up a bridge leading into New York.
The bomb is strapped to an innocent stranger and you'll have to choose between immediately killing the civilian to save the bridge or risk hundreds of lives by trying to rescue him.
The HUD apparently shows the blast radius of the bomb, how many people are in its range and where the other members of your team are located.
The report claims that one possible outcome has you pushing the man off the bridge, viewing some of his memories as he falls, and then witnessing him explode.
Kotaku's sources also managed to procure a couple of early screenshots, reproduced here.
Earlier this month word sneaked out that the back-to-basics game, which Ubisoft still hasn't confirmed exists, sees your team attempting to thwart a homegrown US terrorist cell hellbent on reducing Manhattan to rubble.
Jun 21, 2011
Ubisoft will deploy an open beta for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier in January 2012.
The company revealed news of the multiplayer taster via the game's official Twitter: "We know you have been asking about the beta. We're excited to announce that the MP beta will be launching in January 2012!"
Ubisoft re-confirmed to VG247 that the trial remains exclusive to Xbox 360. Splinter Cell: Conviction owners will get "early exclusive access."
Originally due last autumn, Ghost Recon: Future Solider has met with numerous delays.
A proposed launch during the first three months of 2012 was the last we heard.
Future Soldier was shifted to 2012 to avoid a busy autumn schedule, which includes FPS titans Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will support Kinect, and was shown doing so at E3.
Jun 8, 2011
In which, as you'll know if you read yesterday's roundup, Eurogamer's UK team picks their favourite E3 trailers of the last 24 hours. So who are today's winners and losers?
(NB: Anyone sitting at home watching Starhawk videos instead of standing in an L.A. bar having cocktails three feet away from Reggie Fils-Aime already knows the answer to this question.)
Top of the Pops
1. Introducing Nintendo Wii U
Where do you stand on Wii U? Amazing new innovation set to revolutionise the way we think about gaming, or what would happen if an iPhone mated with an Atari Lynx and its offspring got run over by a steamroller? This introductory video arguably raises more questions than it answers, but it's still pretty exciting stuff.
Video: The Wii U unveiled.
2. PlayStation Vita gameplay highlights
Never mind all that, the PS Vita boasts analogue sticks which MOVE INDEPENDENTLY OF HUMAN TOUCH. Or so this video seems to suggest. Eat that, Judith Hann. "I would like the epic orchestral opening music played at my funeral," says Gibson.
Video: Uncharted! LBP! Other stuff!
3. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
EG video wizard Tom Phillips went from six to midnight at the start of the Nintendo conference and stayed that way pretty much throughout, but this was his favourite bit. "I actually thought this was running on Café, it looks so crisp," he says, weeping.
4. Super Mario 3DS
It was a toss-up between this and Mario Kart, but Super Mario 3DS just wins out for being shiny and new. "Raccoon Mario suit!" says Phillips, vomiting on his own shoes.
5. Top Gun: Hard Lock
A Gibson pick. Obviously they've cheated by just nicking the first 30 seconds from the best film ever made, but still. Guitars! Planes! Explosions! Sunsets! "And it's called HARD LOCK, for goodness' sake!" says Gibson. "Actually I want this music played at my funeral."
And the worst...
Starhawk E3 Dev Diary Trailer
Starts off promisingly - nice arty shots, fancy lighting etc. But we challenge you to stay awake past the bit where Sony and LightBox gently fellate each other for a full minute, then pat themselves on the back for living in Austin, a city so cool they have billiard tables and arcade machines in the bars. The actual gameplay chat isn't much better ("Running around, shooting, but being able to build things, it's really dynamic and it makes for a really exciting experi-" AAAAAAAAA"). This goes on for over SEVEN MINUTES, by the way.
A special mention has to go to Nintendo for its Wii U: The Third Party Line-Up trailer. You may recall seeing this if you watched the live feed of Nintendo's E3 press conference yesterday. And you might have thought game videos shown alongside the unveiling of a new games console might be of games playing on that console. But, it transpires, you'd be wrong. Bit naughty, eh?
Jun 7, 2011
It's only day two of E3 and already the internet is awash with trailers. In fact, you'd have a job to watch the whole lot of them before Gamescom kicks off.
So to save you a bit of time, Eurogamer's top analysts (i.e. anyone too pregnant or knowledgeable about how the website actually works to go to E3) have picked the best trailers released in the last 24 hours. And the worst, just for good measure. So what do you reckon to our choices?
Top of the Pops
1. Assassin's Creed: Revelations
An elegant, intense trailer, saturated with levels of elegant menace and brooding wretchedness not seen since the video for Justin Timberlake's Cry Me a River. Extra points for sheer technical achievement and superb use of music. "Could only have been made by the French," observes Gibson. Douze points.
2. Halo 4
Short but sweet, and widely considered to be a fitting climax for Microsoft's press conference yesterday. "It's no Dance Central 2 though, is it?" says Gibson.
3. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Action! Adventure! Aeroplanes! Jokes! This trailer for Uncharted 3 has the lot. Not to mention a Helen Mirren lookalike. "Total GILF," says Phillips.
4. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
A Minkley pick, and a contentious one.
"I like it," says Gibson. "It's got opera and s***."
"Takes itself too seriously," replies Phillips. "The X-Factor's got opera." Which probably explains why Minkley likes it.
5. Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
Big rows over this one. Phillips plumped for Tintin ("Love the art style - real Uncharted for the kiddies vibe") while Gibson wanted Just Dance 3 ("If watching this does not make you happy, then you have no soul").
Minkley got the deciding vote: "Tintin does look incredibly charming. That JD3 trailer looks like they sent the work experience girl out at lunch with a camcorder."
And the worst...
UFC Undisputed 3
Bit of an obvious target, this one. It's too easy to laugh at the daft drums, floppy fists and baggy pants. S'probably all right if you like this sort of thing, and if you do, good luck with that, please don't hit us sorry thanks.
Truth is there aren't that many terrible trailers out there so far. But it's early days; if you spot one, do write in... And check back at noon tomorrow for a fresh new pick of the crop.