Valve has allowed interesting transparency with Steam with the use of user generated tags with the software their system provides. This gives a lot of freedom to the customer to voice their mind to the publishers through the tags. Unsurprisingly, these tags have become abused as of late. Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 have been tagged with some seriously harsh tags, such as Don’t Preorder, remember watchdogs and Uplay warning. I understand the last of these, as nobody wants to use Uplay. Then again, it’s just another layer of DRM on top of Steam itself, so it can be argued that the point is moot. I don’t really know who would want to preorder digital games, it’s not like it is possible to run out of digital goods. Artificially limiting the amount the distributor is willing to give out in digital products nothing short of stupid and strange. Watch-underscore-dogs is understandable, as the whole issue of keeping the better looks stashed away shows how little the industry thinks of PC nowadays and further shows how forcefully mixed and confused PC and console markets are.
Of course, the tags contain childish additions to boot. Tags like peasantry, casual and Kawaii are the closest thing you get of useless shit throw on the Internet for the mentioned games. They don’t support the claim the PC games should have; furthermore they undermine the little weight the developers put on negative customer feedback nowadays.
While the users, yours include, have an issue with modern Ubisoft titles and their forced Uplay, the way this dissatisfaction should be brought out in a far more constructive manner rather slamming stupid shit in the tags. As always, hitting Ubisoft where it hurts most is most effective. Refusal to purchase their products and spreading the information around is the best way to tackle their current game handling.
Granted, the whole tag function appears to be in some sort of beta stage and not wholly finished, and this sort of event just shows how a freeform system needs certain level of administration to weed out all the bullshit tags out. I am sure things will be changed when the final version of the tag system rolls out, but part of me does enjoy seeing things going like this to rather large extent. If Valve would care about the users, they would find a golden middle between the demands of the developers and the customers.
I wouldn’t mind if they’d favour the customer a bit more in their choice, whatever it is in the end.
It’s a good question whether or not PC is seen as a worthwhile system by Ubisoft. The thing is, both Assassin’s Creed Unity and far Cry 4 are, at their very core, PC games. If PC was the platform they would develop these games from the ground up, and only for PC, these products would eclipse their brethren. Of course, when console games are developed with the same mindset and the machines’ strengths are played out, the results should be something akin to the first Rayman in both success and popularity. Then again, perhaps Rayman is not the best example, as it was developed for Atari Jaguar.
I don’t really remember a time when Ubisoft’s PC games were not panned. It’s expected from Ubisoft to have a horrible PC port of their PC game on a console.
The current state of Steam tags is really interesting in another way as well. At this moment, they allow the users to add the very things they see describing the games most accurately in both negative and positive tones. A negative tag for one can be a positive to another, like No multiplayer.
It is expected that the developers want to control the tags they’re given. This is very foolish, in a manner of speaking, as it would also mean that honest interaction between the customers as well as the developers would be prevented. Tagging a game with something like Low FPS might be seen as a negative tag from the developers’ perspective, but it’s their damn fault such that tag is related to their games. Tags could be seen as one of the methods to do slightly invasive customer research, as the companies would see what sort of tags the customers value over others if done well.
It would be highly damaging if Ubisoft would come out and claim that these tags damage the image of their product. The thing is that of course it does; the customer decide the image of your product in the long run. Customers are fickle beings, especially on the Internet, especially in a place like Steam, and putting extra effort to meet their wants and needs are things that would need some attention.
In a perfect world, a good game would receive no bad tags but we know that’s not going to happen. We should also question if the tag system would need more emphasize on adding positive or negative views. For example, a tag could have plus and minus relations to a game. How this system would work in all actuality is a whole another issue, but it’s an interesting thing that might work if well designed. Could be a training exercise for future, I guess.
It will be interesting to see how Ubisoft will reply to these user made tags. I doubt that they will make any official statements and almost everything will be done behind the scenes. While I support the curtain between the provider and the customer, Valve’s transparency with the tags will pose some problems to the developers rather than Valve itself. It’s an interesting, and most likely unintentional, feature which can either give the developers a lot possibilities or fire back like as it has with Ubisoft.
Actually, screw that. Allow the users to put whatever tags they want and vote which tags describe the games most. Have few thousand people voting on Awful controls for a game as the most appropriate tag and let the developer sweat a bit. Perhaps this way the customer could put some pressure on the developers.