Assassin's Creed Creator Says Nobody Cares About Discs Anymore

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Counterpoint from anecdote, Sir: I just had a hard drive fail, losing all the related media (unless I wanted to pay three times the cost of the not-inexpensive drive to recover it, at any rate) completely. I have few problems with digital games, but it's the same reason I still buy books in between buying digital ones--I want things on my shelves, I'm not one of those needlessly "efficient" people who are burdened by the 12 seconds it takes to change a disc, and, when the hard drive carrying the games fails and I can't recover them, I'd like to still be able to play them on a new drive. Admittedly not the strongest case, and the latter argument is more against things like install number restrictions and DRM, but neither of those are going to go away, and losing the ability to uninstall a copy of something means I'm permanently one short, and being one short can add up quite quickly. I can buy a game or a book, in its physical form, and I *own* that object. The underlying stink about Microsoft's presentation was the loss of consumer ownership in favor of licensing, and the sheer volume of outcry, and subsequent relief when Sony said they would allow the consumer direct ownership of their purchases, is very evident that whatever form it takes, people want to own what they buy. Only in media does this show up. If I bought a dress or a nice suit, I don't have a limited number of times I can wear it before the company asks me to buy it again. If I buy a car, I can drive it to my heart's content, neglecting it or meticulously taking care of it as I see fit (as long as I pay it off, of course). At no point does the manufacturer say I need to buy the car again because I've hit 60,000 miles.

There are books on my shelf that have been read so many times that they've needed repairing. There are games I have in disc form that have been uninstalled and reinstalled so many times I'm pretty certain there's a permanent data imprint on the various drives and equipment that runs them. I would love to see a world where I can do that with all my digital media, but as it is, I have to closely monitor these licensed issues to see which ones expire or only allow so many installs before requiring a new purchase, and which ones can be treated like a physical disc. To go all digital in and amidst this storm of ownership debates and DRM debacles would be like trying to fly with wax and feather wings off of a skyscraper--you might have a decent idea, but the execution is severely limiting, and end result might be more damaging than if you had waited and properly prepared.

Ok, allow me to explain to Ubisoft two factors that they have no control over. The internet and HDD sizes.

As one example, Uncharted 3 was 40GBs. At least the free version I got as a ps+ member was 40GB and required that I have over 15GB available beyond that. Moving on, that's the size of a particularly large current gen game and the next generation of games could/should be significantly larger than that depending on if they're willing to start shipping multiple disks per game or combining a serious download portion that is required to play the game. It is rumored that the ps4 will not be able to read the 4x layer bluray disks. That likely means the maximum game per disk will be around 50GB. Perhaps they'll start making the online multiplayer sections require downloading. If we're wrong and it can read the 100GB BDs then we could begin to see HUGE game files crop up. We may also begin looking at the introduction of BD disks that hold a lot more than 25GB per layer. Heck, didn't Sony invent something in 2010 that could hold 1TB in two layers? That'd be interesting.

Now, with a 500GB, this isn't an initial problem for a game here and there to be 20GB+. But when you're talking about a system you're going to use for years and if you're talking about removing a physical library then basically the library is VERY limited at this point and you may quickly having to decide which games you want to delete in order to play a new game. Depending on how you use your library, you may find this particularly infuriating.

Now, you may think that's not such a big problem. That you can just re-add the game if you ever want to play it again. But, this brings us into the discussion of downloading versus popping in a disk. For a 40GB game on a normal internet connection you're talking well over 12 hours of download time. Now, unless Ubisoft is going to offer me an FTP transfer of my game then that's not going to change until comcast or century link or sprint start actually competing along the lines of quality of product. Of if Google Fiber ever allows me the honor of giving them money. Uncharted was around 16-18 hours for me and I still have a 16mbps connection.

So the difference is in popping in a disk and waiting maybe 20 minutes vs. waiting for a day to play the game. And darn it if we aren't willing to pay for that convenience.

It takes a trivial amount of money to make these games and once a retail store has purchased the game, you've already sold it. You aren't taking a hit with it. How can you possibly attribute the existence of physical media as a detriment to your industry?

If the internet was fast enough to pull a game over in 20 minutes, then we wouldn't care. If HDD's were several TBs then we would care even less. Yeah, the almighty physical disk would be dead, maybe. There's still a lot of emotion behind owning a physical copy of the game that can still be plopped in whenever you desire. But largely, that's when we'll stop caring as much. It's still putting all our eggs into one basket (for example, if Sony or Microsoft ever drop their console business, why would we continue to expect to be able to access our games in 15 years?). How about you guys at Ubisoft do this. Have a game party in which one of you buys a physical disk of a large AAA game and the other one downloads. Let me know what sort of thoughts you have towards the experience.

Look up.

Also Jim Sterling is an awful source. All his points are one dimensional, barely any better than Glen Beck's views that Obama is Satan because "he feels he is."

Yeah, that's why I don't like him.

Anyway, I think the take home fact is that it's good... in moderation. If the populace wanted to go completely digital, they would have done it by now. Steam is nice, and digital distribution is convenient, but we're clearly not ready to give up physical discs yet... or else we would have. If you need any more evidence, look at this very thread.

The people had, have, and will have the final say in the matter. You can try to force your digital media down people's throats, but as long as they aren't complying, that shit isn't going to fly. And it won't sell either.

Steam is convenient, but it's also not the only source.

That's what I meant by my original post.


Chairman Miaow:


Tell that to steam's upwards of 50 million users and gigantic revenue.

But who cares about facts huh? Something that was 5 times bigger than WOW in its hayday doesn't matter huh? Or anything roughly the size of XBL and PSN?

Before you say things like that, watch the Jimquisition video on why Steam and the Xbone are incomparable.

The creator said that people don't care about discs anymore and want digital.

Which is fact.

If people cared about discs, things like Blockbuster would still be around. Digital =/= DRM.

Hulu, Netflix, Itunes, and Steam. That is the future.

The fact they are cheaper than the big retailers and distributors is the icing on the cake of death for discs.



Tell that to steam's upwards of 50 million users and gigantic revenue.

But who cares about facts huh? Something that was 5 times bigger than WOW in its hayday doesn't matter huh? Or anything roughly the size of XBL and PSN?

I don't really like Jim Sterling, but he has a pretty good piece on w-

Chairman Miaow:
Before you say things like that, watch the Jimquisition video on why Steam and the Xbone are incomparable.

Yeah, what he said.

Look up.

Also Jim Sterling is an awful source. All his points are one dimensional, barely any better than Glen Beck's views that Obama is Satan because "he feels he is."

Oh. hi love film, didn't see you over there. How are you doing all those people in this thread saying you like discs? My, that's a nice collection of discs you have over there everybody who has ever owned games ever.

Now you might find that -few- people ON PC care about discs. But on consoles? It has to be at least 90% of the traffic now, surely? That's one of the things consoles have over PCs. Or had, at least. Buy CD, pop in console, play. Simple. No install or download, just put the disc in and go.

I'd be happy to go all-digital if there was a price benefit. As it is now, a lot of services are just using it as an excuse to cut own consumer ownership and to that I say: Boo sir, boo.

The quote strikes me more as a remorseful stance than an Adam Orth situation. "I get it, but that's the future and there's nothing you can do about it".

And I have to agree with that. Not only does digital save so much in costs for the publisher and developer (which is the biggest factor at work here), but even someone like me who loves retail has steered away from it, because it's regressed - when's the last time you saw a nice meaty cardboard box? I'm not going to pay extra for tasteless plastic case with a DLC leaflet inside, I'll go on Steam or GOG and get a digital edition for a rock-bottom price, that offers worldwide accessibility and immediate patching. Retailers don't seem to get that and they think 20 types of pre-order DLC for every game is what's going to dig them out of the hole.

However I do hope that as the digital wave sweeps the industry, there will be more places like GOG that amplify the advantages for the customer, while removing the hurdles. I'm really worried by the possibility of developers tying down their games entirely to cloud and online-only services, sentencing them to death if those services ever go down. And DRM-free is a must, my doomsday backup hungers.

RJ 17:

"But, deep down, nobody cares about not having CDs any more. The future is digital, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Thanks, Patrice! God, I love it when you guys in the development industry tell us what we, the consumer, really want and don't really want. It makes it SO much easier to be a blind consumer whore that lines your pockets with as much profit as we can while getting minimal increases in quality in return! Being a lemming sure is a lot easier than having our own opinions on what we like and don't like!

Oh but you see, this is the new age of gaming where Publishers know and dictate everything:
They have the numbers on everything..the consumer's tastes, what they're willing to pay for, even their love of DLC!
They know everything down to the finest detail. And they're sad that we just won't accept the promise of endlessly convenient joy they offer.

Snark aside, statements like that always strike me as a veiled form of the message:
"Just take the pill, shut up, and don't think. You'll be happier that way."

"We all like space marines and shooters, but come on, we need to talk about something else," he continued. "Make games with a cultural point of view. We did a game, somehow, about the Muslim faith. We did a game about the Italian renaissance. [Ubisoft] did a game about the American Revolution. Having a cultural point of view will become more and more important. There is something about where I come from in the game I was making [1666: Amsterdam]. I think that will change the entire industry."

You made a series of games about a line of dudes who murder people for a living set in different time periods.
Don't pretend you're more cultured just because you made Grand Theft Auto: History Channel Edition.

I do not own one physical PC game and it's my primary gaming medium. I give no fucks about discs, but for consoles I think they're necessary. It has nothing to do with owning a physical copy of the game, rather the fact that there would be only one online store per console with total monopoly over game sales, and with no competition it could price games however it sees fit. There would be no way we would see the kind of sales like on steam or amazon download.

But that aside, some people like discs. I'm not one of them but saying NOBODY cares about discs is outright untrue.

People don't care about discs, this is true. People also don't care about digital, this is true also. People care about what the cd represents which is: the FREEDOM to do with it what I like with it. I can give it to a friend, I can use it in whatever Xbox I like and if it stops working one day it's my own fault for not looking out for it. (Of course it had to happen to the one disc that's impossible to get nowadays: Rock Band 3.)

People weren't really mad about CD's. People were mad about the restrictions digital content on the Xbox would mean and not unimportantly, the message the Xbox One had: "We don't trust the customers that paid hundreds of dollars JUST to get this console to not steal from us behind our back for more then 23 hours."

They are purposely misdirecting the debate to a "Go with the times, you geeeezers" discussion while it's more about how the video game industry sees and trusts his paying customers.

I would say that I care about disks, but given that I have more games on Steam than I do on my shelf I guess I don't care as much as I thought.

If games DO go pure digital, then there needs to be a safe and stable system for keeping old games. Say I download an HD-remake-collection on a next gen console (PS4/Xbone), then after the next, next gen comes out the files get corrupted and I can't play it any more. Will it still be supported? Can I get a fresh copy like I can on Steam? Or will I have to leave it and buy the UHD-reremake-PlatinumRay-super-collection on the next, next gen?


Hey! I'm a nobody and I don't care about Assassin's Creed. Suck on that, Desilets.

It's inevitable for developers that have gotten so used to sucking off a publisher to prefer their way of thought. Once they don't have to sell you a disc they can drop all pretenses of selling you a product and all that entails. And then daddy can buy them that new dress they always wanted.

A great deal has been made about physical media versus digital media. Certainly,
I side with those who choose a dvd over digital. What is being glossed over is the
assertion that AAA games will be more profitable once physical media is removed from
the equation. Printing dvds can't be that expensive. As a corollary, I've heard
print publishers say that the physical printing and shipping of books is a small
percentage of the cost for creating the book; I can only imagine that it is similar
for video game development (the physical printing of the software onto a disc is a
small percentage of the cost). [Sorry about my weird paragraphing, the "roll-over ad
is blocking a quarter of my post area, and I can't seem to close it].

Is the assertion that AAA games will be profitable when digital becomes the only way
to purchase games because publishers will be able to keep the cost of the game
artificially inflated? This occurs on the Xbox and Sony marketplaces--games that are
old tend to stay at $60 (or near it) even as retailers have begun to cut the price
of the discs. And this isn't about used games. A year after Demons Souls came out, I
bought a NEW copy at Target for $19.

I wish that those who say digital distribution is the only way to stay profitable would
explain in more detail [i]why{/i] they make this claim. Perhaps that would enable
those of us who cling to our discs to be able to come to their way of thinking. Of course
it may also have the effect of showing us just how terrible such a development would be
for consumers.


I'm nobody
who are you?
Are you nobody to?

Hey Nobody! Fancy seeing you here!
It's me, Nobody.

OT: Guess I can add him to the box of people I'm not going to listen to in the future.

I think Polyphemus wants a word with you two.

OP: Almost all my games bar the older ones are digital now. Sure, its a bugger to have to download them rather than install off-disk, but I live far away enough from a GAME store to make it worthwhile.

I care.

I have a lot of games and I like collecting them. There is no fun in having a digital collection. Also, if he thinks it will be profitable going all digital then he forgets that the price has to drop significantly to make people want to go all digital.

Also, the issue was never the fact that it was digital vs. disc based on the X180 so I don't know why he brings that up.

Oh... and for all you research people out there, I have over 100 games on Steam and 50 on GOG. I have never paid over $9.99 for any game on either service. And I won't. I won't gamble more than a rental price on a game I don't know about.

But the industry also needs to expand its scope beyond the usual fare, he said, noting that he's been to four E3 events and they've been dominated by the same things every time. "We all like space marines and shooters, but come on, we need to talk about something else."

Says the guy who only makes assassins creed games.

Yeah, duh, nobody cares about physical stuff anymore. That's why movies, books, comics, and music are all only available digitally now and nobody buys... oh wait, DVD's, Books, Comics, and Music CD's are still around? And they're still profitable? Potentially because the people who make those media have realistic views on how much money they can expect to make from a product and put money into projects accordingly instead of pumping too much money in and then blaming the consumer when 3.5 million sales is "disappointing?"

Huh. How about that.

Exactly what I was thinking. The industry's been taking the piss for the few years, lessening the rights of the consumer, making horrible business decisions and then blaming us when things don't go well for them. The sooner they crash the better for all of us.

I Think most people prefer hard copies to be fair. My internet is terrible so DL a game can take days!

Personally, I like this guy. I want all my assholes to be walking around, displaying their asshole-ness for everyone to see, that way I can tell from a mile away what I'm gonna get myself into if I try to have any dealings with said asshole. Those secret, in the closet assholes are the ones I can't stand.

So thank you Mr. Desilets, I know exactly what to expect from you whenever you open your mouth.

The more I hear about the game industry, the more I'm beginning to get worried about them.

Apparently, most of the higher executives seem to think the "average gamer" is some pampered kid or adult with an awesome Internet connection in some sprawling metropolis that can afford to buy all of the big titles at launch date and can afford all of the perks along with the usual online Internet fee AND the additional fee most consoles require for online play.

Sure, that does amount for a lot of gamers. Probably, like, maybe 10% of them. I know a lot of overseas gamers that do not have connections comparable to us US citizens, and rural gamers have it even tougher. There are even a lot more gamers that buy the console for the sole purpose of the single-player experience (see: Fallout, Skyrim, Dishonored, etc.) and are switching to computers or simply are just fading off the radar as a result of this vehement and violent backlash to their specific kind of gaming.

The industry is booming, but they're cutting their market size with each "advancement." Triple A gaming alone can't sustain itself on frat boys and spoiled brats who keep buying CoD. Either the entire industry goes "CoD" in an attempt to milk the cash cow for what it's worth, or the entire Triple A business cuts its market size to a point where it can't sustain itself, and it all comes crashing down.

I'm a PC Gamer so I rarely use discs and I put a lot of trust and faith in Steam, but... seriously, fuck this guy. Fuck him and his fucking vision of the future. Going all digital is a step that a lot of people are not ready to take yet. Seriously, I can't think of any other distributors besides Steam and GOG that actually did Digital right. So yeah, screw this guy for telling people what they like or don't like. "There's nothing you can do about it". And that's exactly why Microsoft backtracked and pulled the DRM right? Yeah. Fuck you. Asshole.

While I am fairly indiffrent towards the digital/physical debate, IF they are going all-digital, there are two things they must guarantee. Which they won't cause they view us as all-consuming mouths who will eat whatever we're fed and spit out money.

1) Lower the prices of digital sales. Not that difficult, they don't have to share with the retailer, have discs/cases made, they can even skip out on instruction booklets, because hey; all digital. But they won't do that, because the oppertunity to make MORE makes their mouths water.

2) For goodness sake, don't force us to always be online and guarantee the game will be playable after the developper stopped caring. But I really doubt they shall, because they seem to love to control every aspect of our 'experience' too much.

gamer for 33 years and i used to love discs but the last 2 years or so i have purchased everything pretty much digitally and i love the ease of use without being worried about where i put the discs, or worried if i scratched them.

steam is an ideal for me. just click download and it downloads, installs and patches automatically. no fuss gaming for me.

i also like the fact with digital distibution i have a choice of retailers, and can pick the best price. as a side note its also more environmentally friendly as well as there is no transport of a physical good nor manufacturing of a disc

So if digital is the future doesn't that mean that companies should start making quality products and services in order for them to be widely accepted, purchased and used by the consumer? It would seem that would produce more proffits in the long run. And isn't that what the big names of the industry are all about these days? Saying that they desperately need to make a buck because they are all poor and starving because of the evil consumer not blindly pandering to their poor busniness practices? This seems to be the approach instead. Say something that gives you domination is "the future of gaming" and then ram it down anybody who may have wanted something that comes along with your systems throat (like an exclusive) and tell them its nice and for their own good and they are a benevolent god for giving it to you.

The problem is that digital data is just digital data, but a disc is not just a disc.

I have, in my big racks still full of CDs, the two-disc special edition version of the best of James, my favourite band. The pro-digital argument wants to see those two discs as two folders on my hard drive containing 18 and 7 music files respectively that could have been downloaded from iTunes or Spotify or some torrent or whatever else, for all they care. I don't see them as that. I see them as the final result of four years trawling every record shop I went into, the length and breadth of the country, from Plymouth to Dundee and Manchester to Kings Lynn. I see them as a memento of a Christmas spent with a couple of mates in Nottingham. I see them as the joy and relief on my face when they had to get their trains back home and I had half an hour to kill so I thought I'd pop into a nearby MVC I spotted, where I finally found them.

I can tell similar stories about much of my CD collection. And my DVD collection; my Skins Series 3 box set isn't just ten video files, it's a twenty-three mile hike around Stoke-on-Trent. Digital data is disposable, something designed to be so intangible that it has no meaningful value. The majority of my discs have value to me far beyond their content. That's not something I'm willing to just throw away.

With the move to all-digital the companies will have an even easier time spying on the criminal scu-CUSTOMERS, making sure they're loyal every second of the day. And god forbid they want to play the game alone offline, in which case it'll delete all their saved games and render the game itself useless.

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