Over the past few weeks, PC gamers have been in an uproar about Watch Dogs and Ubisoft.
It doesn’t take much digging to figure out why PC gamers are so mad at Ubisoft: Watch Dogs was recently released for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 and its graphics were mysteriously downgraded for PC.
Making matters worse was Uplay, which is Ubisoft’s “digital distribution platform” that doesn’t seem to serve any real purpose. In fact, the only real purpose seems to be forcing legally paying gamers to walk through one extra step.
But back to the graphics issues. Here’s what happened:
-When Watch Dogs was first released on PC, gamers expected awesome graphics and beautiful environments. Many were disappointed by the subpar graphics.
-High-end graphic effects settings were deactivated for the PC release but found in the game’s installed files and folders
-In-code references suggested that these animations were meant for “E3 Mode”, which means that the graphics were boosted specifically for the conference
-A modder named TheWorse recently released a mod that activates the visual effects and makes the game look significantly better.
-Ubisoft released a statement on its official website saying:
“The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform, so the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we’ve set out to achieve. We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they’re released, striving for the best possible quality.”
-Ubisoft, however, didn’t deny that the graphic enhancements existed. Ubisoft continued by saying:
“The PC version does indeed contain some old, unused render settings that were deactivated for a variety of reasons, including possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality. Modders are usually creative and passionate players, and while we appreciate their enthusiasm, the mod in question (which uses those old settings) subjectively enhances the game’s visual fidelity in certain situations but also can have various negative impacts. Those could range from performance issues, to difficulty in reading the environment in order to appreciate the gameplay, to potentially making the game less enjoyable or even unstable.”
Basically, Ubisoft is whipping out its best corporate lingo to try to defuse the situation and patch over its relationship with PC gamers.
PC gamers, however, don’t seem to be buying it. Until Ubisoft releases a patch that re-enables visual effects on chosen systems, their relationship will continue to be on the rocks.
Personally, I’m waiting for Ubisoft to release a $10 DLC titled “Watch Dogs Graphics Boost Package”. I meant that as a joke but now I’m not too sure.