Ubisoft Accused of Demanding Good Assassin's Creed 2 Review

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Ubisoft Accused of Demanding Good Assassin's Creed 2 Review

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A German gaming magazine says Ubisoft demanded it give Assassins Creed 2 top marks or their review copy would be kaput.

According the German gaming publication Computer Bild Spiele, Ubisoft would only release an early review copy of Assassins Creed 2 if the magazine agreed to give the game its highest grade, "sehr gut" or "very good" in German. The magazine refused and audaciously decided to tell their customers about it as you can see in this poorly translated editor's note. Computer Bild Spiele plans to review the game only after it has been officially released.

It's important to note that we only have the word of Computer Bild Spiele that this was in fact how it went down. If it is true though, it might make customers in this country more apprehensive about the quality of the game than a potential bad review in a German games magazine.

A studio with any intelligence in its marketing department is wary of receiving unfavorable early reviews, as that kind of press can quickly kill a game. Attempting to insure that the magazine publishes a good review, however, is a poor solution. One would think that the publishers would believe that the merits of a game like Assassins Creed 2 could stand on its own.

It is unfortunate, but this kind of backroom deal happens often between game publishers and reviewers. For the record, it is policy at The Escapist to never accept any compensation for editorial coverage.

Unless it's cookies. We love cookies.

Source: Destructoid

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EA Marketing team: "*psst* Here is $10k for giving our game a good review."
Escapist: "No, it is against our policy to accept compensation for editorial coverage."
EA Marketing Team: "Won't take the money eh? How about this tin of COOKIES?!?!?"
Escapist: "Damn! They know our weakness!"

OT- Good for that magazine, and I am glad that they let everyone know that EA tried to do that.

Hmm..this is the second article of news like this accusing Ubisoft of this type of behavior i find it silly and stupid because it wont change my anticipation of it. I leave it up to me to decide whether AC2 is awesome or not so awesome

Sucks if it's true and it would represent something corrupt in the marketing machine but I don't think this in any way represents the game devs or the quality of the product. Seriously though if you have so little confidence in your product that you feel the need to pay people off for a good review then you should have rethought publishing it.

Blah. It's not a big deal. It's something the publishers are doing rather than the developers, most likely.

With a big company like Ubisoft, the people marketing and publishing are certainly different people from the devs.

And, who knows, it could be a silly misunderstanding or mistranslation. "We hope you guys give AC2 a very good rating. :]" There's nothing wrong with that. But meh.

Accusations like this are often made, and a German magazine doesn't seem like the most obvious target to me.

Woodsey:
Accusations like this are often made, and a German magazine doesn't seem like the most obvious target to me.

Seeing how this one (Computer Bild Spiele) is pretty much the biggest (read: most issues sold) gaming magazine we have in this country, it's actually quite an obvious target. I suspect that Ubisoft wanted the magazine to give AC2 the highest grade possible to compensate for the (most likely) less-than-optimal sales in Germany; you see, even the most braindead of gamers in this country have figured out by now that, aside from Australia, Germany is as bad as it gets regarding games censorship, so a lot of folks (such as myself) order their copies from Austria, where games are guaranteed to be released 100% uncut. I guess Ubisoft made the same realization and wanted the good publicity in order to make people forget that AC2 will only hit German shelves in a severely censored state and thus boost their sales figures on the German market. Guess their plan just backfired.

j0z:

OT- Good for that magazine, and I am glad that they let everyone know that EA tried to do that.

It wasn't EA it was Ubisoft.

Greg Tito:

It is unfortunate, but this kind of backroom deal happens often between game publishers and reviewers. For the record, it is policy at The Escapist to never accept any compensation for editorial coverage.

Unless it's cookies. We love cookies.

Glad to hear it! Speaking of which, I'll be sending you an early review copy of "Shit-Storm: an Open-World Third-Person-Shooter Action-Adventure Fighting Tournament Interactive Story (Patent Pending)." So far it only has distribution in third-world countries and will be coming out on the Turbo-Graphx 16 CD (a Hi-Def remix for 3DO is in the works!) Hopefully a very favorable review and promotional consideration from your website will expand our market reception! Make sure you don't leave the package sitting around too long, my grandmother's secret recipe chocolate-chip delights have no preservatives!

Sonicron:

Woodsey:
Accusations like this are often made, and a German magazine doesn't seem like the most obvious target to me.

Seeing how this one (Computer Bild Spiele) is pretty much the biggest (read: most issues sold) gaming magazine we have in this country, it's actually quite an obvious target. I suspect that Ubisoft wanted the magazine to give AC2 the highest grade possible to compensate for the (most likely) less-than-optimal sales in Germany; you see, even the most braindead of gamers in this country have figured out by now that, aside from Australia, Germany is as bad as it gets regarding games censorship, so a lot of folks (such as myself) order their copies from Austria, where games are guaranteed to be released 100% uncut. I guess Ubisoft made the same realization and wanted the good publicity in order to make people forget that AC2 will only hit German shelves in a severely censored state and thus boost their sales figures on the German market. Guess their plan just backfired.

Oh, well that makes it more obvious. I mainly meant that it seemed unlikely as your ratings board are huge nob heads, and think pixelated violence is the cause of all world problems. And if there aren't that many sales there, I'd of thought that making sure you kept up the high sales in America and here in Britain would make more sense.

I remain skeptical on the truth of the accusation.

They're demanding people give AC2 a good review.

That's pretty insecure of your product, guys...

Good on the magazine, isn't Ubisoft the one's who did this bullshit with Kane & Lynch too?

I don't want to buy this game anymore after reading that. If they're not sure of their own game, how can I be sure?

Woodsey:
Accusations like this are often made, and a German magazine doesn't seem like the most obvious target to me.

This is the second time Ubisoft has been accused of "paying" for a good review. But you know, I guess that is how people do business (magazines are going broke so they will accept anything). Besides they were kinda pissed that Assassins Creed was rated as only decent overall.

I'm thinking in the Kane & Lynch fiasco it was Eidos applying pressure on Gamespot.

i dont think ubisoft did this... but i could be wrong

I wonder if Computer Bild Spiele has an English issue...

If that's true then Ubisoft should be slapped.
If that isn't true then Computer Bild Spiele should be slapped.

I'd like to think Ubisoft wouldn't do something like this.

I was under the impression this happened most of the time with most games. :P

I can't blame them due to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

I'm sure idealists are shocked, then again, aren't they always?

j0z:

OT- Good for that magazine, and I am glad that they let everyone know that EA tried to do that.

Think back to your school days, elementary school to be exact. Was reading not exactly your "forte"?

BenzSmoke:
If that's true then EA should be slapped.
If that isn't true then Computer Bild Spiele should be slapped.

I'd like to think EA wouldn't do something like this.

It's Ubisoft. Seriously, why is it that whenever a company does something underhanded that is not Activision, people assume it's EA?

Aura Guardian:
I can't blame them due to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

That's a good point, but AC2 is still popular enough to get there without a good review.

It just shows Ubisoft's lack of self confidence.

BenzSmoke:
If that's true then EA should be slapped.
If that isn't true then Computer Bild Spiele should be slapped.

I'd like to think EA wouldn't do something like this.

IT'S NOT EA. IT'S UBISOFT. Christ.

Edit: Nevermind, someone already beat me to this one.

Sevre90210:

Aura Guardian:
I can't blame them due to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

That's a good point, but AC2 is still popular enough to get there without a good review.

It just shows Ubisoft's lack of self confidence.

Compared to how popular the Call of Duty franchise is? Especially Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.
They lack a lot self confidence after reading how much that game sold in one day.

Glefistus:

thebobmaster:

BenzSmoke:
If that's true then EA should be slapped.
If that isn't true then Computer Bild Spiele should be slapped.

I'd like to think EA wouldn't do something like this.

It's Ubisoft. Seriously, why is it that whenever a company does something underhanded that is not Activision, people assume it's EA?

Bad publishers deserve bad rep. Just my opinion though.

And EA has been trying to turn over a new leaf for the past few years, ever since they got a new CEO (I think Riccitello is new, anyways). I mean, they apologized for what they did to Westwood, admitted they screwed that up, started publishing original games (not that it's done them any good, since game fans are a fickle bunch that seem to demand creativity, but ignore original games because "It's not done right") and overall, have done a lot to try to improve their image, knowing that they were considered to be the worst of the worst in publishing. But that's just my opinion. I apologize for the rant. It wasn't aimed at you specifically, I just needed to get out the frustration I feel towards people who treat EA like they are still the studio-wrecking, Madden-and-nothing-else game company they were several years ago.

So... they're pulling an Eidos?

I call bullshit. The FRENCH trying to order the GERMANS around?

just doesnt make sense, is all.

Aura Guardian:

Sevre90210:

Aura Guardian:
I can't blame them due to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

That's a good point, but AC2 is still popular enough to get there without a good review.

It just shows Ubisoft's lack of self confidence.

Compared to how popular the Call of Duty franchise is? Especially Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.
They lack a lot self confidence after reading how much that game sold in one day.

I'm boycotting that game for Bad Company 2 anyway. I was in Game the other day and a bunch of little kids came up to me and asked me to buy it for them because of the 18+ rating. If it wasn't completely overhyped I would've, but I saved their souls!

Games are sold via reviews. Just like music is sold via the radio. The only difference here is that Ubisoft are being blatant dicks about it. And that games usually get better with sequels, unlike CDs. And movies. I guess thats two differences then.

I'm taking this news with a grain of salt, as really there's little hard evidence and the magazine can only gain sales from this.

my local magazine gave AC2 a 9.6/10 about a week ago. They even called the review "First one".

honestly, it trust them. Game is good, but since they managed to get past the review ambargo; it must be true.

Glefistus:

thebobmaster:

Glefistus:

thebobmaster:

BenzSmoke:
If that's true then EA should be slapped.
If that isn't true then Computer Bild Spiele should be slapped.

I'd like to think EA wouldn't do something like this.

It's Ubisoft. Seriously, why is it that whenever a company does something underhanded that is not Activision, people assume it's EA?

Bad publishers deserve bad rep. Just my opinion though.

And EA has been trying to turn over a new leaf for the past few years, ever since they got a new CEO (I think Riccitello is new, anyways). I mean, they apologized for what they did to Westwood, admitted they screwed that up, started publishing original games (not that it's done them any good, since game fans are a fickle bunch that seem to demand creativity, but ignore original games because "It's not done right") and overall, have done a lot to try to improve their image, knowing that they were considered to be the worst of the worst in publishing. But that's just my opinion. I apologize for the rant. It wasn't aimed at you specifically, I just needed to get out the frustration I feel towards people who treat EA like they are still the studio-wrecking, Madden-and-nothing-else game company they were several years ago.

I realize EA is working to improve their image, but then I remember DRM and all the old feelings come back.

not every game with secuROM was made by EA; I think the pc version of Bioshock had it too (though I may be wrong).

this is like that John Gertzman or Guzman or whatever thing all over again lol. Gamespot will give it a True rating and Someones gonna get fired lol.

ive never liked ubisoft since they turned into the greatest series killer ever. splinter cell rainbow six etc. good for that company for slapping ubisoft in the face and saying no.

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