Ubisoft: Piracy to Delay PC Release of EndWar

According to videogaming247, the PC flavor of EndWar will not launch at the same time as its console brethren.

The website quotes Ubisoft Shanghai creative director Michael de Plater:

To be honest, if PC wasn’t pirated to hell and back, there’d probably be a PC version coming out the same day as the other two. But at the moment, if you release the PC version, essentially what you’re doing is letting people have a free version that they rip off instead of a purchased version. Piracy’s basically killing PC… You know, the level of piracy that you get with the PC just cannibalizes the others, because people just steal that version.

GameSpot reports that Ubi has a track record for this sort of thing. The publisher delayed the PC versions of the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter series as well as Assassin’s Creed.

GP: So, PC piracy is affecting sales of console editions in a significant way? Does that even make sense?

Did game consumers throw down $300-600 for Xbox 360s and PS3s in order to play bootlegged versions on their PCs?

Color me skeptical.

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  1. zel says:

    I bought Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow for the PC a few years ago, and that is why I don’t like most ubisoft pc games anymore. They aren’t made for the PC, not even properly ported to PC. The controls felt like i was manipulating a gamepad thumbstick with my mouse. Why do their PC sales suck? They’ve alienated the PC gamer, it’s not the piracy.

    PC DRM has just gone nuts too, I remember I bought FarCry and Painkiller, and somehow their DRM screwed each other up and I wasn’t able to play Painkiller anymore even after uninstalling FarCry. I had to go find a Painkiller DRM hack to be able to play it, wonder why we hate DRM?

    Honestly PC and console gamers really are different crowds, some people prefer the ease of a gamepad other prefer the precision of a mouse. neither is really right or wrong imo, its more preference.  So if you’re gonna port a game over from one to the other you should be testing controls throughly, since poor control of the game will kill it even if it was a total success on it’s original system.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  2. thefremen says:

     if there were no pirates


    LOL. That’s like saying "pharmacutical ads and bribes for doctors wouldn’t be necesary if there were no generic medications". It’s a problem to overcome with various strategies, just like advertising, publicity, distribution, rising costs of media etc. There are various solutions to all these problems. Everything from using Starforce or securom with install limits to using digital and traditional distribution methods while inbedding no DRM. 


    If I were Ubisoft I would look at what strategies are currently working for my competition and take that into account. Perhaps not ape them (EA attempted to ape Valve’s strat of creating a new digital distro and it hasn’t worked very well so far) but at least look at why their methods are sucessful while ubisoft’s is not.

  3. GoodRobotUs says:

    Why would they develop cards and technology if there are no games that require it? It’s the ever increasing demand of PC games that powers the development market.

    The 360 doesn’t use a PC Processor, but the millions spent on developing the technology it is based on was mostly spent in the PC Market, it’s an end product, but most of the research and testing was done on Home Computer technology.

    As for testing game cards on the open market, you need to remember that some cards bombed for various reasons, others flew, that kind of ‘natural selection’ is what hones and perfects the gaming technology, what is required and what is redundant, without it, there’s no steady rate of growth and no definition of consumer requirement.


    Without games, the only impetus to develop graphics on the PC is for OpenGL support for previews on programs such as Lightwave or 3DS Max, and those interfaces have a completely different set of demands from games software.

  4. MechaCrash says:

    Someone might want to gently give these people a nudge towards the news. The PC version of Fallout 3 is still tightly under wraps. The 360 version was leaked twenty days before release.

  5. Dark Sovereign says:

    I doubt that the PC market will ever actually die. Shrink, sure, but not die, It might just see later release dates as companies focus on consoles first and then port to PC after.

  6. Dark Sovereign says:

    PC games are unecessary to the process. The PC market would still offer better and better drives and cards, just to keep even/ahead of the competition. Whether or not games are invovled is really irrelevent. Companies would still have to jump their technology from console gen to console gen, becuase the new gen needs significant improvement in order for it to be taken seriously. The game cards don’t actually have to be tested on the open market before they make it to consoles. In fact, the 360 uses a processor that isn’t used in PCs.

  7. GrimCW says:

    if i have a choice between PC and console, i choose PC.

    its $10 to $20 cheaper in every case, and we get better FX and quality even if the games crappy.

    i wasn’t going to get this one anyays, but mostly cause like EA i’m off Ubi games outside of second hand and used since Ubi is butchering everything good by making it another R6V clone (BiA HH anyone?) and EA’s just being tards about DRM.


    PC piracy isn’t the problem, its stupid companies complaining about it. i mean, is it really any worse than it was 5 years ago? what about the 80’s when bootlegged nintendo cartridges were a dime a dozen? did that kill nintendo? nope, not even close.


    not to mention if they’d stop making and rushing out shoddy games and ports, people may actually be willing to BUY the games again.

    its kinda hard to want to buy something like Splinter Cell Double Agent or Rainbow Six Vegas  on the PC when they are only half complete ports that barely function even on computers that can run crysis clean maxed out.

  8. Muetank says:

    Didn’t Epic pull the same thing? Releasing gears of war on the 360 a year befor the PC version and saying the poor sales were due to pirates?

    Oh no! They are biting him… and stealing his pants!

  9. GoodRobotUs says:

    Exactly, and a great deal of that development takes place in the PC Market. Consider the graphics card and how it has evolved over the years, would that development have been nearly as complete and advanced as it was without years of gradually changing and improving technology in the Home Computer market? Consoles are, as it were, a ‘slice’ of technology that has been tested, refined and perfected on PCs or Macs, with the exception of the Wii controller which is, admittedly, unique in its own way. Remove the gradual curve of improvement on PCs and you will cripple the abilty for consoles to jump from one generation to the next.

  10. Dark Sovereign says:

    The impetus for change comes from the competition between the three major console companies. Each console has to stick out in some way: the PS3 has marginally better graphics, the 360 has removable hard drives and the the best online modes, and the Wii has it’s gimmicky controls. Each new generation must have something new and improved in it, or nobody will buy the new consoles, and there needs to be new consoles, because eventually nobody will need a console anymore and sales will stop.

  11. GoodRobotUs says:

    No offence, but I wholeheartedly disagree, the whole idea of shying away from the PC Market for some of the reasons you descirbed would kill the console market, or, at the very least, stagnate it.

    Allow me to explain, in truth, Consoles don’t suddenly leap in technology from generation to generation, the hardware on them is part of a curve of ever increasing and changing hardware, the very hardware that coders complain about, and that growth is only possible with the upgradeability of PCs, if it hadn’t been for the gradual development of PC hardware, Consoles would not have anywhere near the abilities they have now, remember, every part of an XBox or PS3 is based on PC/Mac Tested technology.

    If the PC Gaming market dies, where is the impetus for change? Where is the research and development of new and better tech? Kill the PC gaming market, and the hardware development that goes with it, and a few years down the line, the console market will be stagnate, with no new technologies available for a new generation, either that, or you will see new generations of consoles appearing at the rate that PCs currently get new technology, and that would just lead to exactly the problem you are already concerned about.

    So, my opinion is that killing the PC Market would be very very bad indeed for software companies in general, possibly even fatal.

  12. Zaruka says:

    im sry

    Thanks Zaruka


    ps most console RTS suck anyway ……that why i dont want to get halo wars lol

  13. Spartan says:

    I guess the real question is when is Ubi & EA going to merge? It seems like a perfect match to be honest.


    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion" – R. Dawkins

  14. Roundling says:

    Well, I for one quit the PC side of the industry and now develop for consoles.  There are several reasons that PC gaming is failing in my opinion.  I consider them to all be contributing factors.

    1.) MMO’s are ruling the day on PC.  Other games have to compete with WoW and the others for time, and since MMO’s require a lot of time invested, there is not much time left for other games.  MMO’s have effectively shrunk the PC game player base for other genres.  This is a market force that afects the number of people who will play your game.  They may be happy with their MMO and don’t want another game.  MMO’s are not games in the typical sense.  You can play these games for years.  They aren’t games, they are lifestyles.

    2.)  Consoles now rival the PC in terms of graphics.  That was not the case until this generation.  This helps justify the purchase of nice HD televisions to go with the console.  If you have a HD TV, especially a large one, why would you buy the game on PC if you can lounge on your couch and play your game on a larger screen?  There are a few games I’ve purchased for my consoles that were available on the PC for this reason. 

    3.)  The hardware on consoles is constant.  Trying to make sure your game runs on a multitude of hardware configurations costs money that doesn’t need to be spent in console development.  You know the install base of consoles, and you know everyone of those people can run your game.  This is a factor in choosing what platforms a developer will target.  Also, no matter how hard you work at it (and I’ve been involved with another programmer on a 2 month quest to make sure our game ran on as many configurations as we could test), your PC game will fail on some configurations, and the internet crowd will accuse you of piss poor development.  That’s 4 months of engineering time that didn’t need to be spent on the console development side.  It still didn’t make everyone happy.  I’ll personally never spend 2 months of my life testing and fixing PC configurations again.        

    4.)  DRM.  I didn’t buy Spore becasue of the 3 (now 5) install limit.  I want to own what I buy.  I also develop on my machine at home and I don’t need DRM mucking up my system.  Having to have the CD/DVD in the drive is as far as I go with DRM.  Having said that, I don’t hold it against companies that want to go further.  Whether they are losing the sales being claimed by the industry is irrelevent.  You lock your front door to keep people out of your house.  It is an inconvenience to unlock it, but you do it anyway.  It doesn’t matter to you if a thief only steals 1% of your stuff or 10%, you are still pissed when it happens.  The only difference is that people don’t think of a game company as a group of people who don’t want their effort stolen.  It’s just "EA" or "Ubisoft".  Not the people just like you that work for these companies that don’t want their house broken into.  DRM doesn’t always work, neither does locking the front door on your house.  If it bothers you that much, don’t buy the game.  But don’t get upset at other people for trying to protect their property just as you do. 

    5.)  Piracy.  Where as DRM is causing lost sales of PC games (at least one that I know of) , piracy, or more to the point, fear of piracy is also pushing developers toward the consoles.  It doesn’t matter whether low sales are really caused by piracy or the game you made just isn’t as good as you thought.  It is the perception that piracy had something to do with it.  It is an unknown, and anyone with enough business savvy knows you try to eliminate your risks.  PC development is now seen in this industry as a risk.  So you develop for consoles, and when you have made your money from the console sales, go ahead and release it on the PC when it doesn’t matter who pirates it, or who can’t run it.  The games reputation was already made on the consoles.  In my opinion, Ubisoft has a smart business model.












  15. Dark Sovereign says:

    Consoles have DRM built in.

    Why do they "have" to pirate the game because there is DRM? Not all DRM is intrusive, and you don’t "have" to pirate anything. Responsible consumers would simply not partake in the product if they disagreed with the DRM.

  16. axiomatic says:

    Come on guys. This is Ubisoft we are talking about. The PC version is going to be dripping with DRM and rootkits. Avoid this game like the plague. Ubisoft is a known user of SecuROM and Starforce the notoriously worst DRM for your PC on the planet.

    I respect their desire to protect their IP but rootkits are not the way guys.

  17. Paper-Cut says:

    This is the type of shit that pisses me off. The real reason this is being delayed is because they’re either:

    A) Having trouble porting it

    B) Have an dev team who is incompetent to PC game design

    C) Are looking for a DRM to bundle with the game

    Seriously, what the hell? I don’t think they realize that their so-called "tactics" are what is hurting PC gaming the most. If the majority of the games released on PC these days weren’t shitty 360 ports who look worse than my dead grandma in a bikini, then people might actually PAY for them. One solution I think that they should use (assuming that the game has a worthwhile singleplayer), is to do like FEAR did. Release the multiplayer online free. The entire thing, with some limitations, say maybe a 10 hour playing time and then you have to purchase the game or enter the key from the already purchased version.

    Also, and I know I know, Steam games get pirated as well, but why the hell don’t more devs use Steam? Is it because the publishers don’t have anything to do once it’s released on Steam? Steam is the way to go. Its DRM is very secure, and is reliable. It just seems like an easy choice: Have our games pirated out the ass, or we can put them on Steam and sell 300% more. Let’s think about that one..

  18. Azhrarn says:

    1) This is a console RTS (those usually don’t do very well on PC to begin with)

    2) No doubt the PC version is going to be a rather shabby over-demanding port of the 360 version.

    3) Claiming Piracy did it is bad form, i admit that it is a problem, doing things like this is only going to make it worse, not help protect you. Anyone want to place bets they’ll blame piracy when their delayed version for PC sells rather poorly?

    Overal the publishers are getting more than a little ridiculous in their  "piracy is the source of all the worlds problems" routine, yes it happens, it sucks. But acting the way they do is silly. If their product is good and offers value for money people will buy it, even if they checked out a pirated version first because there was no demo.
    But the current crop of games tends to be rather aweful, most of it being shabby ports from console games. Those that are not tend to be so demanding on the hardware that no sane gamer would shell out the $300-400 required to get his PC to even run it at a half decent pace.

    In my opinion there is only one thing that is "killing" PC gaming and that is the publishers who because of their rather shady marketing/advisor idiots pull the piracy card at every opportunity, especially since it is so rarely justified to do so.

  19. J.Alpha.Gamma says:

    *facepalm* Way to go, Ubi. You’ve pretty much guaranteed that your game WILL be pirated, now.

  20. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Lets see…delay the launch on PC for a year….then release a shabby port …then complain about pirates, that wont work for you? then blame pirates first….ummm… a lie told a thousands times is still a lie.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  21. Parallax Abstraction says:

    I was actually surprised to hear EndWar was coming to the PC at all given that it was designed from the ground up for consoles. Ubisoft has a history of doing lousy PC ports of games that didn’t lead on PC. I think Far Cry 2 will be good but titles like this are awful. I still remember playing the Blazing Angels demo on the PC and the tutorial referencing the Xbox 360 controller. If they can’t do a decent job porting them to PC, then they just shouldn’t bother. I know there are many PC gamers out there besides myself who don’t buy Ubisoft PC games specifically for this reason. What’s that doing for their market share they claim piracy is responsible for killing?

  22. Geoff says:

    Stop drinking the kool-aid Ubisoft.  You’ll get nothing but resentment from the gamer community.

    And honestly this just seems like a ploy to increase console sales.

    I’m really hoping that when Fallout 3 comes out, which only requires disk authentication, it sells a sh*tload of copies for the PC.  That way all of us legit PC users can point at it and say "Hey, look, they didn’t use any intrustive DRM, they released it as the same time as consoles, and it sold very well on the PC.  Stop feeding us BS."


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  23. KayleL says:

    I am very interested in this game, so I might buy it. I hope it comes on Steam, and only use the Steam DRM. If it still comes with the Ubisoft DRM, or there is no Steam version in the near future, I would buy the game from Gamestop, then use cracks to remove the DRM. I hope that sends a message.

    Ubisoft… DRM is the killer of the PC market, not the saver. Learn from other companies that have good/no DRM. VALVe has a good system, and they are probably making the most money in the whole PC market besides World of Warcraft.

  24. Vake Xeacons says:

    Um…piracy isn’t the one holding the game for release. Ubisoft: you’re the one killing the PC market  

    I got an idea: don’t pack it out with DRM, give PC gamers a fresh, clean version like the consoles, and people won’t have to pirate the game. What a concept!

  25. thefremen says:

     Sins appeals to PC gamers, whereas every game that sells poorly and the publishers complain of piracy does not. Amazingly enough, when you sell entertainment the content of that entertainment matters.

  26. thefremen says:

     It’s odd because you’d think they’d look at the research, look at the polls. The Demos for PC and Consoles are different in every measurable way. PC skews older, looks for more customizable games, prefers different genres (sins of a solar empire wouldn’t even sell 100k copies on xb360) and the audience has different tastes in storylines.


    On a system like PS3 where it costs over $9000 to have a nice setup (including insanely huge HDTV) they have to justify the purchase by buying some games. Only 5 or 10 PS3 games come out every year so naturally they can have better sales no matter what shit they push out.

  27. NovaBlack says:

    riiight… riighht..



    and DELAYING the pc version, so that when its released , most people have already played it on 360 or ps3, will make it sell better? …. right.


    Not to mention that the thing that is killing pc gaming isnt piracy, its the fact that EVERY game coming out right now seems to be some multiplatform piece of crap, that has bad consolised control schemes, lack of options, bugs, poor graphics (compared to what most decent gaming pcs can do, with about 3 options.. ‘low’ ‘medium’ and ‘high’ , which is NOT appropriate on a pc)



    sorry developers, just because console gamers find run and gun , auto aim fps shooters with simplistic constrol schemes fun, etc doesnt mean it’l sell equally well on pc. Its like trying to sell us an inferior version of something we’ve had done (a lot better) lots of times before! (yeah i know this particular example isnt an fps.. but its the general point that multiplat games are generally crap when compared to pc only titles in the same genre, so its no wonder they sell bad)

  28. thefremen says:

     SC:FA then. Totally different game. Either way, the shift button is the one used to string commands together, btw.

  29. DeepThorn says:

    I built mine to last at least 4 years, and up to 8 with upgrades that will most likely only cost $250 given current cost of parts.  It was $1,400 with monitor and excessive parts that  I didn’t need, but knew it would last longer as a good computer if I had them.  (SLI bridge of 2 video cards [Could have done 3, but I set my budget at $1,500, but exceeded my expectations on parts anyways.])

    You could really get one hell of an expensive computer though, and it would last you a solid 6 years, but I think a $1,000 computer (not counting monitor) and is more than enough to get yourself preped and ready for the future. 

    If you get a motherboard that supports 32GB of RAM, and bridges 3 video cards and supports an 8 core processor, you will be golden.  I dont think a motherboard like that will be made for another 6months though.  It would last you a long time though.  Just go with one really nice video card to start, then add 2 more once they get cheaper, and add ram as it gets cheaper.

  30. Geoff says:

    Depends on the game, really.  Well-scaled games like TF2 will look really nice on a PC without the need for a high-end graphics card.  A bloated behemoth like Crysis requires a high-end graphics card just to not look like ass.

    A decent PC costs 1k with a monitor.  Without one you can get a decent PC for under 1k or a good PC at 1k.  The other thing is that that’s the intial cost of the PC.  After that you only need to worry about an upgrade every two, three years if you built it right.  By the time the next generation of consoles come around, the amount you’ve spent on upgrading the PC probably equals about the amount for one of the new said consoles.  (Possibly less if the next generation of consoles ends up being even more expensive than the current gen.)  So it’s something of a long-term investment.

    Whether or not you want to go through with all of that, though, depends on how much you like PC gaming.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  31. Dark Sovereign says:

    "More players in multiplayer, better graphics"

    If you can afford them. Better graphics than consoles is expensive. Even more so when you consider that a decent PC will cost you at least $1k

    I was never a fan of mouse-and-keyboard. Took all the fun out of it for me. But that’s subjective. As is your "better than consoles" schtick.

  32. linenoise says:

    I think you nailed it.  Especially for FPS games, a PC version is generally better – often more players in the multiplayer, better graphics (at least than the 360), and you just can’t beat mouse+keyboard.  Given a choice between PC game that’s cheaper and "better", or a console game that costs more, I’m sure there’s a measurable loss of sales to the PC version.


    In a way, he’s right.. the PC version DOES cannibalize the others, but not because of piracy.  Rather than go for the fear aspect, he should be pushing back on the console makers to have them fix their shortcomings.

  33. DeepThorn says:

    Edit:  Hang on a second.  Aren’t PC games selling $10 less than console games.  Now we know exaclty what they are doing this….  assholes…  Screw these companies, I am sick of their shit.  They can call go to hell.

    You know, I guess for 20 people in the whole world, this might happen, but most likely they also pirate the console version (not that hard to do if you have the right stuff).  People will always prefer console version if the game was initially designed for the console in mind. 

    You dont have to worry about hardware failures at much, you dont have to worry about viruses as much, and you dont have to worry about having to reinstall the game, or not having the right driver.  On top of that, you dont have to worry about a virus getting on your comptuer because of downloading an illegal copy.  So I have to say that smoke is being blown up our asses as if we were a chimney on Christmas.

    You are right too, shelling out that much money for a console, just to get the PC version for free.  I can not see many people doing that.  Too many things work against the logic used here.  Publishers are just trying to pinch every penny they can.

  34. thefremen says:

     Why the hell would I buy a gimmicky piece of shit RTS when I can play Sup Com, C&C 3 or Sins of a Solar Empire?

  35. SeanB says:

    well granted, mainstream FPS PC games are pirated at a much higher rate than other games, the low sales are no doubt due to the amazingly high requirements for the game to run at a decent Framerate. I’m not even going to pirate Crysis, because even though i have a AMD 5200, with 2 gig’s of ram, i know it wont run on my onboard video card. So this $60 video game is now a $200 game+upgrade.

  36. Cerabret100 says:

    Piracy is real and a real problem, that i don’t doubt.

    But it’s also a convieniant scape-goat for the graphic whore games to justify low sales when the real issue is that the common individual can afford the power, and therefore don’t buy it.

    I’m pretty sure that’s the real reason crysis ended up not selling like coke encrusted hotcakes some people thought it would.

  37. SeanB says:

    Yeah, sins of a solar empire had NO copy protection, and the makers have made it clear that they dont care about piracy.

    Yet, Sins still sold what, 600K copies on launch? Yeah, piracy is totally killing PC.

  38. Kevin says:

    I’m getting the point where if they delay the PC version I will not buy any version.  Nor will I pirate it.  There are enough other games with developers that have more respect for gamers that I don’t need to fight with them.

    (This stance would likely be more effective if EA stopped making such awesome looking games and then putting crazy protection [Spore] or delays [Mirror’s Edge] on it.)

  39. Anomalous says:

    Y’know, looking at their attempts to curb piracy, I am tempted to pirate this game just for the heck of it.

  40. kagirinai says:

    The beliefs held by the industry on piracy are becomming more visibly irrational.

    We’ve already had one study, just the other day, the implies piracy numbers are bunk — with the amount of noise made about it, I imagine we’ll have more, similar studies over time and in the not-so-distant furute. Developers are going to be made fools of for these ridiculous beliefs, but the trustless, adverserial relationship of producer vs consumer will continue.


  41. swphreak says:

    These people are in denial.  I’ve seen several console games leaked online before they even went retail.  I’d be surprised if EndWar weren’t pirated before or on the day of release.

    Besides, EndWar isn’t that special anyways.  What I’ve played was horrible.

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