Ubisoft: gamers are ready for always-online

Yannis Mallat says consoles with network requirement need to provide "clear benefits" if gamers are to adopt them.

Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat has weighed in on the possibility of an always-online requirement for next-generation platforms. Speaking The Guardian (via Game Informer), Mallat said he believes most gamers are already prepared for such a mandate.

"Well, that's a question you should put to Microsoft and Sony! I would say that a lot of people are already always online through other devices," Mallat said. "I would suspect that the audience is ready."

The executive added that if an always-online console hopes to see mass adoption, it must "provide clear benefits" for such a requirement, like extra content or featured services.

Microsoft's Xbox 720 is rumored to require an Internet connection--and a Kinect unit--to function. If a network signal drops for three minutes, any running applications or games will cease to work, according to a past report.

Earlier this month, Microsoft creative director Adam Orth made headlines after saying, "Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an 'always on' console. Every device now is 'always on'. That's the world we live in." He then used the hashtag "#dealwithit." He is no longer with Microsoft.

Microsoft has not commented at all on plans for a future platform, though multiple reports have indicated the company will announce the next Xbox on May 21.

The PlayStation 4 does not require an Internet connection. No console in history ever has.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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2494 comments
Andrew_794
Andrew_794

Whoa since when are we "always online" through other devices? My phone, tv, laptop, blender, microwave...hell literally everything I own doesn't require an internet connection to actually work...way to put words in our mouthes Ubisoft.

If they want to introduce always online then by all means go for it, but don't make it required to actually make the system run

KioSasuke
KioSasuke

Yep and after that you will sell Item and Armor online for all your game . I would rather stop playing game no matter how good they are 

Necro_Fear89
Necro_Fear89

Just like how Adam Orth is no longer at Microsoft, anyone who attempts this will no longer have a job as well. You won't see business from me, I would rather wipe my ass with the money for a new console with these requirements than to continue to feed you selfish idiots.

hitechgraphs
hitechgraphs

Not so sure about it,not even if it came sfrom Ubisoft,the benefist are only for the companies not the consumers.PERIOD.[almost flamming]

kokonut1971
kokonut1971

Yannis. " How about NO!"


Gamers should have the freedom to choose how they use their products. The usage should not be dictated by companies who are trying every which way to stop piracy which is not going to happen anyways. If your company cannot cope with this fact of life i suggest you leave the gaming business and your "online " ideas to other companies who are willing to make products that will suit their need and not yours.


You are just shooting yourself in the foot !



there will always be ways around zeros and ones. Trust me!

megakick
megakick

Kinect and Online? Kinect will be free right? If this rumor is true I will not be buying the next generation console.

tim1935
tim1935

Or always online product launches that don't fail (hu hum, D3, Simcity)

koospetoors
koospetoors

Aaaand 10 years from now we "ready" gamers eagerly dust off our PS4s\720s to play a few of our always online favorites and- oh wait, can't play because they shut the servers down, at least we've got some pretty fancy coasters.

Ubisoft.... just... no.

yuenyugo
yuenyugo

i accept always online,
IF isp is free , it can be used in any goddamn places, doesnt have problem (like connection interupted ) , and it's fast!!

and i know, it cannt be happen in present time :p

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

I like how no one cares that their computer, ipad, mobile device, etc. is always online, but make my console always online?? "awwww hell no!"

It is only a matter of time before every console in the future will require this.  Sony is backing away from it now because it makes MS look bad with all the rumors floating around, but you'll see...it won't be up to sony.  Many game publishers will start adopting this feature built into the game and not so much the console.  There are already a handful of PC games that require a connection to play and this is mostly to combat piracy that runs rampant on PC games.  That isn't the OS dictating the internet requirement, it is the game publisher.  If MS is requiring this, more than likely, they have discussed this with game publishers already.  Don't be surprised if third party developers put on the box "PSN or XBL connection required"

LEALR
LEALR

If "always online" ever comes to reality, this will be my last generation of gaming.

spagyetti
spagyetti

hahahaha... WTF are they smoking?  In what F'ing world would we be "ready to sign-up" to not be able to use a console if the internet goes down?  That is just F'ing retarded.

TheGrumold
TheGrumold

I am no longer buying Ubisoft -- after the ANNO 2070 foul-up, I was quite upset

Assassin's Creed 3 was disappointing (same crap since AC2)

Now this?  Always On web to make sure the honest ppl are using legit games?

It's like penalizing simple folf at the airport becoz 'terrorists' may be waiting in line (when we all know they have their own "back routes",,,


*/sigh

I give up

Nemesis4747
Nemesis4747

damn ubisoft, trying to play farcry 3 and the uplay crap they made me download, corrupting the game install

SC-Genjisamurai
SC-Genjisamurai

If gaming is going to be always online. I'm going to be screwed when I am done school and have to pay for my own internet when i move out.

Twiztid-Maddox
Twiztid-Maddox

Electronbisoft needs to happen! Electronic Arts merges with Ubisoft sometime in 2020...

gplayer5
gplayer5

LOL I love the comments to this article. Once I saw the title, I just had to read them. xD

Ubisoft is such as fail...

tionmedon
tionmedon

us gamers regardless of preference speak with our cash do not buy their bulls**t.........

bakasora
bakasora

I might be ready. But are your servers ready? Are your servers able to handle 10 million users activities concurrently? Your servers must not have maintenance times, are you ready?

RivalRick
RivalRick

I'd like to point out, just as a fun fact, that I believe this is coming from a company who had a massive DRM fiasco with their PC version of Assassin's Creed some years back.  The authentication server wigged out and people couldn't play their SINGLE-PLAYER GAME for several days.  Yeah Ubi - we're totally ready for that kind of bulls**t on console now, too.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I don't know one gamer that has said, "Having an always-on console would be awesome!" It's not something we want or need.

iempire68
iempire68

Hmmmmm, so like today with PSN under maintenance, my console is a brick. If the PS3 was always on line I wouldn't have even been able to play a single player game. No thanks.

ry0uz
ry0uz

Always-on is just another way of forcing DRM down gamers throats. Companies don't want you buying used games, they want you paying full price for digital editions with no boxes, printed materials, media or shipping costs. They want to reserve the right to pull games off of your consoles and then re-sell them as HD editions, 3D editions and other such crap and gimicks  that are meant to milk the purse of the ignorant. Are gamers ready for 'always-on'? Only if they're playing an mmo.

hateyourface
hateyourface

Well YANNIS, the real question isn't "are gamers ready?" it's "do gamers even want this?"


Take a look at the response to Adam Orth's comments and see if you can't answer the question on your own.

neumanbr
neumanbr

What is wrong with Ubisoft??? First they say we want AC games every year, now this!???
They might think the company is made by people who can make the Jedi Mind Trick on us, apparently weak minded gamers.

Nepti
Nepti

It's hard to imagine any benefits that publishers could offer to entice gamers into buying into always on when there are so many real downsides to that paradigm for gamers.

-Dozens of stories about people being unable to play their games on release because of server issues.

-Dozens of stories about single player games going away forever because the publisher no longer supports the servers.

-Dozens of stories of people having their entire account banned because of saying bad things about a game on a publisher's forum

-Dozens of stories about people having their accounts banned due to a mistake

-Dozens of stories about people who do not have internet, or have unreliable internet, or have limited bandwidth per month to deal with

Always on seems to have a lot of perceived perks for the Publisher and at best, gimmicky perks for customers. If the future of consoles is always on, I guess I'll be one of those who will be left behind. Always on - no thanks - I know a bad deal when I see one.

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

@megakick rumor has it that the kinect device is going to be built into the new console.  But all of this is rumor as MS hasn't made any official announcement.

FenixNoT
FenixNoT

@koospetoors Exactly, can you imagine not being able to go back and play Metal Gear Solid, or Super Mario? Always online is a ridiculous notion and we should all just get past it instead of wasting time. If the consumers have shown anything it's that we are NOT ready for anything even remotely like this. Maybe in 50 years if advancements in mobile internet technologies allow high speed wifi everywhere in the world and you can't possibly be disconnected mid game then we might be on to something, but until then I want to be able to play my games when my internet cuts out, and that shouldn't be a privilege for which I have to fight. 

Necro_Fear89
Necro_Fear89

@spectreSE7EN Hey idiot! They're always on because you pay for the bill! Let's say mommy and daddy cut off your internet, well...your game sessions of CoD with the bros on XBL got postponed until you get it back! Let's play a game offline you say! Well...shoot, looks like you can't do that either...hmm..I'm just gonna stare at this now worthless piece of hardware then..

XAF1
XAF1

@LEALR I agree and you're not the only one that feels this way at this point. I think that a great deal of game companies and gamers that are new to the console market---mainly those who jumped on the online console ban wagon with the 360 and PS3 consoles' arrivals---think that a great deal of gamers can't live without being online.  That's a cocky idea, It's worked for PC but never really worked for consoles until this generation to such a great extent. It's a nice extra but not a have to have.  Most of us do it because it allows us to be social and make new friends but sometimes we just nuke the online feature for self play time. To not be given that option and told you have to be online to play a game period on a console, not a PC, could kill the experience for some. Lol. I even put my laptop in Airplane Mode at times because there is no need to waste the bandwidth if I'm doing something intensive in the background that doesn't require being online. I don't do pc games, I stopped back when the monthly video card wars began years ago. Playing a casual game on my tablet/phone is nice but there are very few games on those out there that have true quality multi-player online support. I think the Next Gen consoles might be interesting. More gamers might sit on the fence this time than buy rather quick depending on official announcements from MS.  Console gaming isn't what it use to be, it's lost some of its luster.

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

@LEALR everyone says that, but it is a matter of time before we're all drinking the cool-aid because we have to play the new Battlefield, Mass Effect, Call of Duty or whatever game franchise you enjoy.

RivalRick
RivalRick

@awhite33 Why don't any of these developers seem to get exactly what you point out?!  You can't TELL your consumers what they want, it doesn't work that way!

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

@Necro_Fear89 @spectreSE7EN  If you paid attention to my (admittedly long winded) post, I'm not disagreeing with anyone regarding a required connection for console games being horrible. Maybe I'm missing something, but I think we agree here. Requiring a connection to play games that you pay for is wrong, and I don't think I need to get into all the reasons why because they're obvious.  But just because I don't like it, doesn't mean I should be in denial of what is happening in the gaming industry.  It is going this way whether we like it or not.  Sony hasn't pulled the trigger on this yet, but they'll be on the bandwagon if not this gen, the next.  We'll have a choice...quit gaming or bite the bullet. But according to you, I'm an idiot.  At least I can always count on you to bring class and maturity to the conversation.  Way to go.

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

@mrboone01 @spectreSE7EN I never said everyone who games, does so with an internet connection.  As a matter of fact, this idiot right here thinks it will be a bad move for any gaming console to force an always on internet connection.  

I never once said that everyone has a broadband connection, but you drew your own assumption which is fine.   

I'm merely stating the inevitable.  If you don't think so, that's your opinion.  I never stated that it is a good idea or that I agree with it, but that's where the trends are going.  More and more PC games are requiring internet connections.  Console game publishers like EA have already started moving toward this trend with their requirement of an online pass to combat the sales of used games.  Whether it is the company that makes the console or makes the software, all of them are trying to make as much money as they can and doing everything they can to minimize their losses to piracy and used game sales.  All it takes is for a big company like M$ to go this route and over time, others will follow.

Call me an idiot all you like.  Just because I state the trends and you don't like it, doesn't mean that I'm wrong.  I'm just looking at the trends.  I'm not saying I like it or agree with it. These are trends and facts buddy.  At some point we'll all need to make a choice.  Bite the bullet or find alternate forms of entertainment.  You'll see.  This is only the beginning whether we like it or not.  

However, all the people such as yourself always bring up the point of how many people don't have internet or can't afford it need to consider something.  Priorities.  If you can't afford internet, then maybe your priority shouldn't be on owning a console that will cost at launch a minimum of $300-400, plus the cost of electricity to power the machine and display for hours, plus the cost of games which will be a minimum of $60-70 ea....  The cost of gaming isn't cheap, even if you can afford internet, so I have to ask, if there are so many gamers out there with no internet access, how much is their gaming costing them every month?  In reality they could afford broadband internet if they didn't play video games...I guess it depends on where your priorities lie.

megakick
megakick

@mrboone01 @spectreSE7EN My computer still functions if it is offline and my XBOX 720 should to, though a lot of PC games MMO you do need to be online to play.

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

@megakick @mrboone01 @spectreSE7EN Agreed.  I think it sucks for gamers and we should have the freedom to play games we own anytime we like, however we like.  There are two things you can blame for the way things are headed.  Piracy and Used game sales.  All lead to game companies losing more and more money each year and the majority of us who get our content legally are the ones who suffer from these regulations in the end.