Abraham Lincoln once said, “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” I don’t think Abraham Lincoln actually said that, but that in itself makes a good point. And bearing that in mind, we should take rumors like these that surface on the web with a pinch of salt.
Rumors have been circulating on forums and on gaming news outlet sites that an anonymous source disclosed details on some questionable practices by Ubisoft. A supposed developer working on Ubisoft’s upcoming game The Division revealed the practice of visually downgrading their games to accommodate the lower graphical capabilities of next gen consoles.
“Currently as it stands, there is definitely a lot of push coming from publishers to not make the experience so different on consoles as to alienate people into thinking that next generation is not as powerful as PC.” – Anonymous Source
The worrying aspect arising from these rumors is that in-game trailers shown by Ubisoft, that display visually impressive games, are in essence lies that don’t match up to the final build of the game that is shipped. A recent example of this appears to be a mod for Watch Dogs that allowed owners of the PC version to ‘unlock’ visuals that were on par with the E3 2012 presentation of the game. People are now questioning whether or not The Division will share the same fate, with the game eventually looking visually much worse than builds we’ve already seen.
Ubisoft’s defense for visually downgrading their final product is for stability reasons, however the supposed anonymous Ubisoft developer states that this “is often a lie as you can tell by the post-issues.”
Would this be considered false advertising? The not-so-well received Aliens: Colonial Marines released by Gearbox Software last year did attract lawsuits on the bases of false advertising. However, it seems on the most part the industry can get away with misleading gamers. Hyped up trailers and notorious ‘bullshots’ are a part of the industry that gamers will have to put up with, as marketing reigns supreme in any entertainment industry.
Ubisoft will undoubtedly come forward with a statement of reassurance, but overall the topic of misleading consumers should be addressed.
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