Publisher Ubisoft has had a bit of an on-again-off-again kind of relationship with PC gamers. It started off really well, but once that honeymoon period ended, Ubisoft became convinced that PC owners were cheating. In response, they decided to treat all PC owners like cheating scum by implementing always-on DRM requirements for their titles; this despite the fact that many PC owners were doting lovers who always paid for the things Ubisoft had on offer.
The relationship soured and it became clear to PC gamers that Ubisoft was in fact way more in love with the console crowd, which is why the Xbox and PlayStation fraternity got Ubisoft games months before the PC crowd.
Realising that the PC crowd was in fact their first real relationship, Ubisoft has begun to try to win them back. It started with the scrapping of always-on DRM; a move that was welcomed by absolutely everyone who has ever bought a game on the PC. Then they released Far Cry 3 on the same day that the consoles got the game; they also included numerous customisation options and MOD support in the PC version. It was a step in the right direction.
Now, attempting to build on all this positivity towards the PC platform, Ubisoft has opened the gates to their Uplay store and allowed third-party publishers into the digital shopfront. Games like The Walking Dead episodes, Orcs Must Die 2 and a plethora of EA titles are now all available through Uplay.
“Announcing all these partners for Uplay and a wider choice of PC games, it shows our commitment to PC, and we want to improve our relationship with the PC community,” explained Uplay director Stephanie Perotti. “We are always seeking to improve. We took a lot of that feedback on board. With every game on PC we are improving. Far Cry 3 and Assassin’s Creed III on PC were very high quality.”
Ubisoft really does have a lot of work to do when it comes to convincing PC gamers to give them another chance. The publisher did a stellar job destroying their reputation on PC, but there’s definitely a concerted effort to improve that’s on display of late. Offering third-party titles via Uplay might not be what every PC gamer wanted, but it’s part of a renewed approach toward the platform.
Baby steps, Ubisoft.