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Ubisoft Explains The Crew Review Embargo

Category: Gaming
Posted: 08:41AM

Anyone following the latest gaming news has likely seen a number of pieces about troubles with Ubisoft titles, especially Assassin's Creed Unity. In just under a week, The Crew, an MMO CaRPG, is going to be released, but this week Ubisoft put out a blog post concerning the upcoming reviews.

The post states that the media will not be given copies to review prior to the game's launch, and that no embargo will be in place. It may seem odd or a bad omen for the game that reviewers will not have early access to the finished product, but that is actually the point Ubisoft attempts to make. Being an MMO with a focus on social gaming, the post explains that the optimal experience is had when playing with "thousands and thousands and thousands" of players, and not just the press and the developers. Some features, like Faction Wars rely on having large numbers of players, but also the game was built to be a "living playground full of driving fans." Further it points out that the developers used the four closed betas the game, and the current open beta on xBox One and PS4, to gather feedback to improve the experience, so the beta experience also may not reflect the game's release form.

Now I would like to do a little editorializing here, as someone with review and pre-release game experience. I have played games and game content prior to release and have seen major features changed and removed very shortly before release. If indeed The Crew is undergoing significant changes leading up to its release, then it would be an easy argument to make that it is irresponsible to review a pre-release version. Some games also see significant changes after release, which is one of the reasons I do the Years-Later Reviews. It may not be the case that twelfth-hour changes to The Crew are that significant, but they might be. Only a comparison between pre-release and the release versions would reveal this, just as only a released MMO can have the number of players in it as a released MMO. The people at Ubisoft always want their games seen and played at their best, and have certainly made these decisions with that motivation. One may disagree with these decisions, but one should still appreciate the motives and reasons behind them, which is no doubt why the blog post was made.

Source: UbiBlog

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cchalogamer on November 26, 2014 02:35PM
"One may disagree with these decisions, but one should still appreciate the motives and reasons behind them" Not really. Based on their track record of late this looks far more like a way to keep people pre-ordering to the last minuted and cut down on the canceled pre-orders that come with negative press vs. a real response. At this point anyone who isn't at least a little bit cynical about the outlook of an Ubisoft launch needs their head examined. I would LOVE to be wrong because this game very much interested me from the time it was announced but my money's not leaving my pocket until I see a working functional as described product in the wild.
Guest_Jim_* on November 26, 2014 02:42PM
Do not forget about the multiple (console) betas for the game, including the open one going on right now. It is not as though they are hiding gameplay here. They just want the reviews to best reflect the product people will actually purchase, which any and every company does. At least here they are being open about the situation, ahead of time.

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