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shadowphiar's journal
Probably the sort of person who hasn't just glued all his fingers together
Ubisoft. Worst QA in the entire games industry? 
1st-Jun-2011 01:43 am
Apparently one of the best PC games in the last few years was 'Assassins Creed II' by Ubisoft. For the last few months this has also been available on the Mac through Steam or the Mac App Store. (Steam is currently cheaper, even more so when it's on special offer as it was last week).

I had waited for a sale, because the game has bad reviews for poor performance (it's a TransGaming port, so all the API calls are DirectX translated at runtime into OpenGL, and apparently it only runs single-threaded). Unfortunately, it turns out there's an additional serious problem: if you are using a laptop, you can't use an external keyboard to control the game - only the laptop's built-in keyboard. This has been confirmed by Technical Support and no patch is planned.

This is a serious flaw and makes the game broadly unusable for me. If I'd paid anything approaching full price for this I'd be extremely annoyed (especially as it's virtually impossible to get money back from steam, and you risk permanently losing access to all the games ever purchased from the same account). Instead I am merely disappointed that, by and large, they get away with such contemptuous behaviour. I know the market for Mac games is not huge, but after Valve showed the world how well native cross-platform releases can be done, it's distressing to see Ubisoft throw out such a careless port. Surely paying more attention to detail would be more profitable for them, long term, than getting a well deserved reputation for the worst Quality Assurance in the industry?
1st-Jun-2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure the issue is QA in particular so much as a general contempt for their customers, given last year's always-on DRM fiasco. It's fair to say their reputation could do with a bit of work.
1st-Jun-2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
There do seem to be a lot of games released before they work. I assumed most of it was down to companies running out of money before they'd finished.

This is probably why I've pretty much only bought Blizzard games for the last decade - they have enough money to just put back the release date if they're not ready, and enough pride to cancel a game after years of development if it turns out to suck.
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