Stolen Pixels #189: Eeevil!

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Apr 27, 2010

Filed under: Column 39 comments



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39 thoughts on “Stolen Pixels #189: Eeevil!

  1. Drakey says:

    Its refreshing to see the new Face of Evil. Ea’s had the throne so long, its time Ubi and Activision take a turn. Go badguys!

  2. krellen says:

    It’s your blog/webcomic, you can rant about Ubisoft if you want to.

  3. Eltanin says:

    Please don’t shut up about Ubisoft. Especially when you still have hilarious comics like that one rattling around inside of you.

    1. neothoron says:

      I agree with the guy above – I didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did.

      Please continue. :)

  4. Psithief says:


    Six times is enough for anyone, right?

    1. Jarenth says:

      He’s just doing it for the comments, you know.

      Making a joke about him making a joke about Ubisoft is bound to bring in comments on the matter, and I’ll bet Shamus just loves to watch that number soar to new unreached heights with every iteration.

      No offense meant, ofcourse.

      1. Psithief says:

        If my outrage was real I would not copy Shamus’ style.

        1. Jarenth says:

          If your outrage was real, I would have probably tried to make a joke at your expense instead of being mean to Shamus.

  5. Irridium says:

    Shamus, never stop. Keep complaining about Ubisoft and this crappy DRM. Eventually if you complain loud enough, people will hear. And hopefully things will change for the better.


  6. Teldurn says:

    That was actually really funny! Also, hooray for bringing back mister Overlord.

  7. Meredith says:

    I’m so glad you decided to install AC2 so we can watch you be annoyed by it; it’s always so entertaining.

  8. Ross says:

    Spectacular. A true level of evil that could only be equaled by health insurance companies.

  9. Daimbert says:

    Good comic.

    Typo in the second panel, where you meant “Sire? I did CONTACT them …” instead of “contect”. I wouldn’t have pointed it out except that I had to think for a minute to parse that sentence …

    1. NeoSonic says:

      Yeah. The only problem with it is that, for a second, I heard Chekov talking. Well, okay. ‘Problem’ is debatable.

      Heh. ‘Nooclear contect’.

  10. Kdansky says:

    I recently realized that it would not actually bother me all that much if PC-games really did all but disappear. I do not like the direction games have taken during the last few years anyway, and I have bought and played less (unique) games than ever before, even though I buy (nearly?) a hundred percent of all the games I now play, due to finally having disposable income, which is quite the opposite from when I was a kid at school. The thing is, that I did not “grow up” at all (because I still play games), but I got very choosy. Mass Effect 2 or Dragon Age do not make the cut, because their story is too boring to me. I cannot stand “sandbox” games (as in: “Lots of sand but nothing to do”) such as GTA4 or Just Cause 2 beyond five minutes of play, and Supreme Commander 2 was so simple and crippled as to be insulting.

    So yeah, Ubisoft, just leave me alone, the Indy community makes better games than you anyway. Aquaria, Torchlight, Braid, Spelunky, World of Goo any many others have impressed me way more. And those five were similarly expensive together as Assassin’s Creed by itself to begin with. It also takes less time to install all five. They also run way faster, and on steam I frequently buy older games for dirt-cheap. Psychonauts for 3 Euro? So totally worth it!

    Valve and Blizzard will continue to make great games for the PC (why would they not? Their last games have all sold multiple millions of copies) too.

    1. Axle says:

      I feel the same as you, Kdansky, except that it would bother me if PC games disappear. And when I say PC games, I don’t exactly mean exclusive games for the PC, but rather games that focus more on story and challenge than on pure action. Not just pretty shells of graphics and animation…

      I hope that PC gamers will not be left with just MMOs and indy games. As great as they are, they will never be the same as good AAA titles like Planscape:Torment, BG2, HL, HL2, NO one lives forever (1 and 2)….
      I can’t remeber the last time I played a game that I can call “Great”.

      Regrding Blizzard: Right now I think I will skip SC2. Paying 60$ for a third of a full game is really not something I want to support. Unless I will be positivly surprised and they will make each campaign epic and fullfiling as a whole game….

      1. pkt-zer0 says:

        The entire reason that SC2 only contains the campaign for one race is because they want to make it epic. There’s thrice as many missions per race now, and there’s greater variety among levels than in SC1 even in just the few maps that have been shown off.

        Anyhow, I don’t really get the rage against SC2’s supposedly low value-for-money ratio. Dawn of War had three expansions, the base game only had 10 or godawful singleplayer levels for a single faction, and people weren’t up in arms. Are expectations for non-Blizzard devs really that much lower?

        1. Blackbird71 says:

          No LAN = useless to me

          I’ll have to stick to SC1

        2. Axle says:

          When you are making a sequel to one of the best games ever created the expectations tends to be high.

          After 12 years they are higher.

          When you split that game into 3, separately sold, titles they get even higher.

          So, yes. People expect more from Blizzrd than from any other developer.

          Regarding the epicness of the title:
          Is it going to be more epic than a Final fantasy game? more epic tha Dragon age? Mass effect? Any of the elder scrolls?

          To justify the (very) high pricing (the first part only will cost 60$) it will have to be…

    2. Bobknight says:

      I don’t know, I’m pretty hopeful. I am seeing alot more custom content community sprouting up everywhere(and more importantly, user made content support). example: NWN, Galciv2, SoSE, Dragon age, Witcher(though this one did not take off as I had hoped), SC2(really excited for the editor on this one).

      edit: how could I forget? Fallout 3 (and.. well, the last 3 Bethsoft games really. They should just make a 1000×1000 blank map and focus on making that toolkit.)

  11. Oh, Shamus, by the way, you know that Capcom has been infected by Ubisoft’s DRM stupidity and has started including it on games being released on PlayStationNetwork – specifically, Final Fight: Double Impact.

    My Source

    1. Irridium says:

      DRM is now coming to consoles. It will be slow at first, but eventually it will snake its way in there. It will be interesting to see how the console community reacts when it becomes standard.

      I swear, the publishers are acting like they want to kill PC gaming. And if things keep going the way they are, they’ll take console gaming with them.

      Becoming a business has been both the worst and best thing to happen to gaming.

      1. Garden Ninja says:

        DRM is now coming to consoles.

        We already have it, at least on Xbox 360, but right now it only applies to downloaded games (and DLC). Anything you buy is tied to your Xbox Live account, and the console you downloaded it on (that part can be transferred). That’s why I don’t buy from Xbox Live Marketplace very often. $10 for a disc game, that I can sell (not usually worth it at that price), or, more importantly, lend to friends is a no brainer, even for games that look marginally interesting. A $10 download only title is a much harder sell.

  12. wtrmute says:

    I’ve been thinking about this, too, and I agree; it’s not like anyone’s putting a gun to Ubi’s board of directors forcing them to do titles for the PC. Sega, for instance, doesn’t do any titles for PC, I think. And they’re chugging along fine! Since piracy is such a blight for Ubisoft, go and develop on the PS3 exclusively, since those Blu-Ray DVDs are so huge that it’s not economical to pirate them yet.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Well ubisoft did back out on starforce when releasing heroes of might and magic 5,so it is possible to change their minds with enough complaints.So,complain away.

  14. Yar Kramer says:

    Hmm … I dunno, it’s funny by itself, but I think when you’re making “political statements” it’s better if you actually refer to things which Ubisoft has actually done (outside the commentary-sidebar, which doesn’t really directly refer to it at all). Making a game that’s hard to install isn’t the same thing as burning down villages in an over-the-top manner, nor can you extrapolate one from the other. It just smacks of being like the “lol, Bill Gates is the Devil” jokes from people who don’t actually understand why what Microsoft does might be considered bad. (Or maybe I’m just jaded from the propaganda-videos they show at Wal-Mart’s new-employee orientations.)

    *waits patiently for any discussion about this to be completely derailed by people who respond only to the Microsoft comment*

    1. acronix says:

      Comparative exagerations serve the purpouse of showing resemblances between the comparated objects in an extreme, often not precise, way. Because making a hard to install game is in the evil line, the extreme of that line is burning a village in an over-the-top way. Another way to say “Next stop in Evil Line: burning a village!”

      And yes, Bill Windows is the devil!

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I dont know.Lots of those things mentioned in the comic can be linked with what ubisoft does.They burn down your enthusiasm,make you register when you try to lift it,then charge you for internet connection theyve made you use,then will revoke your right to use your purchased game once they get tired of maintaining the servers.See,its just slight exaggeration.

  15. “What’s the point in going to all the trouble of porting a game if you don’t actually want people to play it?”

    Oh, but you see, they don’t care if people actually play the game as long as they buy the game. It’s not the same thing. They will not stop these tactics until people start voting with their wallets and simply stop buying.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    What boggles the mind is that there is still no law suit against ubisoft.When sony went too far,people rebelled,and got their money back.Ubisoft keeps loads of people from using their purchased product with unstable servers,yet people just complain on the web.

    1. RR says:

      A lawsuit will happen eventually. This abuse of customer rights by game publishers can’t continue. There need to be new consumer protection laws to protect people from this kind of horrid crap that Ubisoft is foisting on PC gamers.

      And lest people think they are safe on consoles, refer to Alexander Case’s comment about Capcom. DRM is coming to a console near you, soon. The PC is just the proving ground for this.

      Shamus, I’ll echo the sentiment: please don’t stop talking about issues like this. We all need to keep up the pressure on Ubisoft until they relent on this idiotic DRM scheme.

      Obviously they are not going to drop this system tomorrow, or even in the near future. First, they really want to see how far they can push us. But second and more importantly, they don’t want to admit they are wrong. The people who make these kinds of decisions at Ubisoft are human too (though possibly eeevil humans :) ), and their egos won’t allow them to admit they made a bad decision.

      Not to mention, whoever is responsible for this could lose their jobs if they admit defeat. So they will cling desperately to their latest ham-fisted DRM implementation for as long as possible.

      And I, too, feel the same way as Kdasnky. The quality of gameplay in game titles over the last few years has declined dramatically. It’s all flash now, and no substance. The industry is slowly circling the drain at this point. There’s going to be another “video game crash”. I actually expected it to have happpened already by now; but the industry seems to be going out kicking and screaming, somehow managing to prolong the inevitable.

      1. Axle says:

        I believe that we are very close to a point where, in order to convince us to buy a new and shiny game, they will have to spend more money on advertising and PR (“kicking and screaming”:) than on the game development itself, so the final product will have to be a step back from previous installments. (Just think how much it costs to advertise Crysis 2 in time square).

        And when that happens – people will stop beleiving the hypes, that the PR people are making, and will start buying older games they missed in the past, because they are much better and cheaper than new ones. Even today, when you look at steams “Top sellers” chart, you can see that the titles that dominate the charts are the ones that are currently on sale.

        And that, I believe, is the gaming crash that will save the industry from its horrible state. And hopefully the ball will go the the indy developers field which, hopefully, are making enough money today to create the AAA titles of tomorrow. (I have a good feeling that Torchlight 2 will be a good competitor to Diablo 3).

  17. James Pope says:

    I wonder, once the PC market is well and truly dead and the console manufacturers keep on with their push to use more commercial off the shelf components for their dork boxes, how long it will be before the PC rallies back with “I’ve got six processors and external HDs. Screw this, I’m running your 360 game whether you like it or not.”

    Because as far as I can tell, the only reason the pirates haven’t made a virtual 360/PS3 already is because they haven’t had to. Is there some sort of super-duper hardware reason that PCs can’t pretend to be these things?

    1. Miral says:

      Processing power, mainly. A dedicated games machine has a lot less cruft running in the background, and has hardware optimised for the purposes of playing games. Whereas a PC emulating that behaviour will have more stuff going on in the background *plus* it has to implement virtual hardware, which is always slower than real hardware.

      Give it time, though. PS1 emulation runs better than most real PS1s now. I haven’t seen a really good PS2 emulator yet, but they’re coming along. And it’s probably easier to emulate Xbox hardware than PS hardware, since they’re more similar to PCs to begin with.

      1. Roll-a-die says:

        PCSX2 is doing fairly well. It’s got decent speed on my 6 year old machine now. Only thing that needs work, really, is the GFX emulation accuracy. I’m using it for persona 4 right now, because I was smart and saved a backup ISO before my dog decided to carve a gouge in the disk. Only really bad things are the graphics glitches which are tolerable and the very rare sound pops.

        Whatcha gotta understand is that it’s not gonna just work immediately on all systems. It’ll take some time to find the right settings.

        GBA emulators are doing quite well as well. I’d rather play a GBA game on an emulator than on a handheld simply because my hand’s don’t fit well on a PS2 controller so there’s no way they’ll fit on my SP well.

        This doesn’t hold true for a DS though, give it a year.

  18. Blackbird71 says:

    Fantastic Shamus, you read my mind!

    Seriously, the other day when you listed the different types of Stolen Pixels that you do, I was thinking to myself “I wish he’d go back and do more with Overlord, he makes a great vehicle for the evil of the non-EA companies.” I figured you’d stopped with Overlord because it’s been so long since the game came out, but here we are, and once again the master of evil finds himself upstaged by another game company!

  19. Daf says:

    (C)opyright 2009? How far ahead is your buffer, Shamus? o.0

  20. Sheer_Falacy says:

    One example of a (somewhat) different view on the DRM situation is at

    (He’s mentioned it a few times before, too)

  21. Arquinsiel says:

    I have to lol a bit that the last “game” in the picture about PC gaming not dying is Duke Nukem Forever….

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