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Ubisoft Hands Out Nexus 7 Tablets At a Game's Press Event

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the you-must-be-new-to-this dept.

Games 43

An anonymous reader writes "With Watch Dogs launching next month, Ubisoft is ramping up the promotion. That includes holding press events to show off the game to journalists, many of whom will end up reviewing Watch Dogs. One such event was held last week in Paris, and it has been revealed by attendees that Ubisoft decided to give everyone who turned up a Nexus 7 tablet. Why? That hasn't been explained yet, but in a statement on Twitter, Ubisoft said such gifts were 'not in line with their PR policies.' You can see how it would be viewed with skepticism; after all, these are the individuals who will give Watch Dogs a review score, which many gamers rely on to help them make a purchasing decision."

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More Shocking... (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#46761571)

...it would have been more shocking if they hadn't been doling out swag bags to their press events.

This is news?

Re:More Shocking... (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#46761909)

Even if we view this as blatant bribery to game reviews, above and beyond the usual swag, how is this news? Do we not understand how the game review scene works? Few reviewers start with any but the best intentions, but the machine to subvert them slowly over time is very fine tuned.

Re:More Shocking... (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46767691)

I am much more concerned about the conflict of interest of these magazines/sites having advertising from these same game developers as their primary source of income. If you think you're going to get an honest review for a game on a site who gets a lot of money from selling ads for said game, then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Re:More Shocking... (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#46770687)

That's just one of many angles. The biggest may be early access to games for reviewers. A game review is of course more valuable if it's out before the game is, but that requires playing nice with the publishers.

Re:More Shocking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46762553)

Game reviewers occasionally like to pretend they're real journalists and not just subjective, easily-influenced bloggers. In that context it is news because with bribes like these they're obviously at best the latter.

Alright, let's make it rain up in here! (Fling!) (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 5 months ago | (#46761615)

What the..Oof! Ow! Ouch! Merde! Zut Alors! Sonova..Oh, nice one.

.

Anyone who's seen the Veronica Mars Movie Knows (1)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | about 5 months ago | (#46761645)

The tablets are going film you, and put you on the net.

It was effective PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46761671)

We're talking about it and thinking about it, aren't we? The game is about hacking personal devices and the failed attempts at retaining privacy in the digital age. At the event they hand you a device pretty similar to one in the game. Maybe you even heard on the news how the NSA can tap your phone quite easily. And people willingly give their information away because the service is free.

I'd say the choice of promotional swag is right on the money. Unfortunately it looks like bribery.

Re:It was effective PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46761793)

Or they're making an alternate statement that tech is now so cheap and ubiquitous that it's *not* viewed as bribery....

Re:It was effective PR (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 5 months ago | (#46761839)

agreed, it says to me that there is little perceived value in an android tab, so UBI probably thought it was like giving away coffee or something.

I went to see WATCH_DOGS at PAX East (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46761789)

And all I got was this stupid lanyard.

Ahh well, at least it's something. Although I'm amazed that the various companies there don't do something more substantial that would actually help their sales. One example I've rarely seen there is giving out a coupon for a decent discount off the retail price of the game. To the person interested in the game, it's worth, say $20 cash in hand. To someone lukewarm on the game, a lower price might encourage a purchase. And to the cheapskates pirating it, well, they're not your customers, are they?

For the rest, they never went to the booth to start with.

Heck, I saw Bethesda giving our messenger bags for playing Wolfenstein. I shouldn't complain because that's awesome, but in the end, it's also kind of silly since a number of people just waited in line to get a free bag and really, really don't care about the game at all.

Re:I went to see WATCH_DOGS at PAX East (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 5 months ago | (#46761825)

yeah but how can you give people a "one time use" coupon that they can't post on to facefart or something like that?

Re:I went to see WATCH_DOGS at PAX East (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46761985)

3d printing of Bitcoins from a Raspberry Pi.

Isn't that what the blockchain is for??

right?

(Sent from my mom's basement)

LOL, captcha: Useless

Re:I went to see WATCH_DOGS at PAX East (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 5 months ago | (#46762037)

One time use codes aren't uncommon. They could give out codes that are useable either as a Steam/Amazon/Play store/whatever discount code, or via a mail-in rebate type of mechanism. Either that, or post a reusable code and take the gamble that you'll pull in more customers with the lower price than you'll lose in per-purchase profit margin.

Re:I went to see WATCH_DOGS at PAX East (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about 5 months ago | (#46762085)

Give a discount on a digital download. Generate unique discount codes (random numbers) and allow each number to be used only once by keeping track of which numbers have been used.

Alternatively, accept the fact that the code will be shared and make it a small discount and/or only valid on launch day, to stimulate impulse buys. People will feel they got a good deal by outsmarting your system, while it was calculated from the start.

Computers are now giveaways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46761917)

How long until you can put a dollar into a vending machine and get a computer when you need one?

Watch Dogs app pre-loaded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46761979)

Watch Dogs is supposed to allow interaction between smarphones / tablet app users and console / PC players. (i.e., the police helicopter following you is flown by a smartphone user, not AI, etc.). I assume they had the app pre-loaded on those tablets, no? So still kind of sketchy, but not totally unreasonable.

Re:Watch Dogs app pre-loaded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46762113)

Nope no apps preloaded exept some PR stuff like video's and other promotional material

Modern Day Ass-Creed (1, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 months ago | (#46762007)

I predict a sucky game.

Saving face (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46762027)

It's intresting the people attending the press event had to sign a NDA and when it came out that press got a goodie bag with a tablet in there Ubisoft quickly says "its not sanctioned".

To me it looks like saving face because 20.000 dollar worth of tablets have to be vetted somewhere in the chain.

Also remember a couple of weeks ago when ubi got caught with doctoring images and they replied with "well those images where the vision of what we had not actual game play" but at the time they where saying it was game play.

Ubi shows it's shady business practices again.

thanks , will avoid all ubisoft games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46762059)

thanks , will avoid all ubisoft games from here on.

If only PRESS events yielded bloody diomonds. (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 5 months ago | (#46762101)

This is the only game I really care about right now: Planetary Annihilation. [youtube.com]

There are others, but really, nothing else matters to me besides my own experiments. I really tried to care about some 1st world problems concerning about who got what tablet that will be burning in a waste pile in Ghana in two years, but I just really couldn't bring myself to do so. I mean, don't get me wrong. I can love me some games, but I just can't give a flying fuck about who got what data on which Starfleet PADD. [memory-alpha.org]

Know what I do care about on games.slashdot.org? Actual games. It's in the subdomain, damnit. This isn't reviews.accountability.tard, we all know journalistic integrity in game reviews does not exist (seriously, if you don't give them at least a 7 (or 6 at the worst) then you don't get a review copy of the next game and everyone else scoops you). SO FUCKING WHAT. I don't go to theaters based on movie reviews. I don't go to museums based on art critics reviews. I don't play games based on advertising either. What's the big deal?

I suppose next you'll be whining about how the mainstream news is just a bunch of filtered statist propaganda messages? [youtube.com] No, that's decades old not news, you dorks. We know the slant is there. The real news would be if there were some form of actual integrity springing up in game journalism. [p4rgaming.com]

...Includes DRM that bricks the tablet. (1)

BeCre8iv (563502) | about 5 months ago | (#46762273)

nm

Bribing Journalists = Bad Game (2)

DrGamez (1134281) | about 5 months ago | (#46762375)

The game will be bad, or is being completely oversold.

I'm trying to think of a case where this level of PR blitz/buying people off has ever resulted in a truly "good" game.

Re:Bribing Journalists = Bad Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46778423)

I fell for it. Prepaid mine yesterday, and cannot wait. The gameplay video I've seen is enough.

This news how? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 months ago | (#46762415)

From TFS: "You can see how it would be viewed with skepticism; after all, these are the individuals who will give Watch Dogs a review score, which many gamers rely on to help them make a purchasing decision."

Come on, we're all adults here. We all know the industry gives perks to reviewers in exchange for favorable reviews. This is just more blatant than most.

Because nobody wanted the crummy battery life?? (1)

Maltheus (248271) | about 5 months ago | (#46762561)

While I love my Nexus 4 and especially the, now discontinued, Nexus 10, the 7 is a piece of junk, IMO. I run the same software on all of them (actually, less on the 7), and I have to charge it as often as the 4, which I use far more and is also receiving a cell signal.

The 10 is pretty sweet though. I can get almost two weeks, as compared to one/two days from the 7, with similar usage. I've wanted to throw the thing away myself. I don't blame Ubisoft.

Re:Because nobody wanted the crummy battery life?? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#46763327)

While I love my Nexus 4 and especially the, now discontinued, Nexus 10, the 7 is a piece of junk, IMO. I run the same software on all of them (actually, less on the 7), and I have to charge it as often as the 4, which I use far more and is also receiving a cell signal.

The 10 is pretty sweet though. I can get almost two weeks, as compared to one/two days from the 7, with similar usage. I've wanted to throw the thing away myself. I don't blame Ubisoft.

Sounds like theirs something wrong with your Nexus 7.

I've never heard of battery problems with any Nexus 7 and I did a metric crapload of research before plonking down A$440 for the LTE variant of the Nexus 7. I realistically have to charge it once a week with normal usage or once every 5 days with heavy usage.

You've probably got a rouge app that keeps draining your battery life.

Re:Because nobody wanted the crummy battery life?? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#46765403)

Sounds like theirs something wrong with your Nexus 7.

I have the same experience with a Nexus 7 2013, but only since upgrading to kitkat.

Re:Because nobody wanted the crummy battery life?? (1)

Maltheus (248271) | about 5 months ago | (#46767745)

It has less apps on it than the other two. And there are actually many threads out there on the Nexus 7 battery problems (which I only discovered after running into the problem). It might be more limited to the 2013 models though.

Re:Because nobody wanted the crummy battery life?? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 5 months ago | (#46764999)

The 4 is made by LG, the 7 by ASUS and the 10 by Samsung. So aside from the software they run, they could all be wildly different in their performance characteristics. Of the three I think ASUS is the one which I would trust the least with its quality control and parts.

Watch Dogs Tablet App... (3, Informative)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 5 months ago | (#46762607)

Rather than bribing journalists, it may also have to do with the Watch Dogs tablet/smartphone offline game play features [videogamer.com] :

This time, however, the demo concluded with a demonstration of a real-time iPad app that supports a kind of meta-game - much in the manner of Microsoft's Xbox SmartGlass.

Here players were presented with a wireframe map of futuristic Chicago, drawn in a similar style to the one that used in the press conference demo. The map can be scrolled and zoomed, with pop-up boxes and icons providing real-time information about the game in progress.

"As we said, everything is connected - and we've extended that to mobile devices," said the Ubisoft demonstrator. "We have Chicago in the palm of your hand. Everything that you've seen in the game will be accessible, so different shops - pharmacies, gun shops - will also be available here. You can see everything."

Oh, I get it (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46762975)

I figured it out. All Ubisoft games are underbudgeted, glitchy DRM shitstorms so they gave them tablets to enter the rating immediately upon arriving since it was a foregone conclusion.

Re:Oh, I get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46764665)

Stop shilling for Ubisoft, they're not even paying you.

Re:Oh, I get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46766011)

5 stars (10/10).
There is no way for a big budget game to score anything else.

Only for british journalists (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 5 months ago | (#46763075)

Here is more complete coverage [arretsurimages.net] (in french, since Ubisoft is a french company and the event was in Paris, but you will manage to translate)

In short, the Ubisoft person responsible for British PR decided to offer tablets to British journalists. No-brits had nothing, which suggests this is indeed an individual move

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46763759)

I always knew IGN was bribed for their reviews and even made a point of underrating great games from companies that didn't pay the review tax (bribe).

But this is absurd. So open and blatant about it.

At least hide it and lie to me and do so convincingly.

I don't hate being lied to nor do I hate corruption. I hate being lied to poorly and blatant in-your-face corruption.

A reason why they SHOULD have... (1)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | about 5 months ago | (#46763901)

Giving away Nexus 7's seems hard to explain away. I mean, I tried to think of any reason why they might have wanted to give them all 7" Android tablets, like maybe an interesting way of distributing a multimedia press kit or something, but that could have just as easily been handled by $75 Chinese-made Android tablets.

That did make me think that that'd be pretty cool though; imagine buying a bunch of modestly-spec'd 7" Android tablets from China wholesale, and using them as giveaway items to distribute really dynamite multimedia presentations.

I actually picked up FOUR 7" Android 4.x tablets from DealExtreme for ~$35 each last year, during a half-price sale...and I doubt they'd let even such a sale as that rob them entirely of profits... So I imagine if you're a company buying tablets like that wholesale, you can get some pretty sweet deals, AND get them all custom-branded.

Re:A reason why they SHOULD have... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#46765409)

I actually picked up FOUR 7" Android 4.x tablets from DealExtreme for ~$35 each last year, during a half-price sale...and I doubt they'd let even such a sale as that rob them entirely of profits...

Dealextreme is like BG Micro. Sure, they buy stuff to stock and sell, but much of what they sell is some crap that someone else couldn't sell, which they got for a song. Just because DX got a bunch of tablets nobody wanted to buy in a store for $20/piece doesn't mean someone will sell you new, supported ones for that.

Because no UPlay on Android? :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46764703)

Maybe it's a cunning plan to get reviewers to forget to mention the UPlay piece of shit.

This isn't a new practice (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 5 months ago | (#46764977)

It might be an overt bribe but the entire games industry runs on greasing the palms of journalists. Those "exclusive" previews and reviews. That expenses-paid trip to Rockstar / Konami / whoever's HQ to see work in progress. That expensive invitation-only junket at the games show. The mountain of crap like t-shirts, posters, backpacks, figurines, pens etc. that are sent out. The lucrative advertising campaign which just so happens to run the same as the review goes out.

Woe betide any outfit which angers a games publisher. All that free shit, exclusives and the advertising will be pulled in an instant. The journo and the site will be blackballed and will have to wait outside the tent like everyone else.

Which is why people with an ounce of sense and self restraint wait for a game to be released and for a general concensus to form before making a purchase. Don't believe exclusive reviews, don't believe some bloggers pants wetting hyperbole after their all expenses paid jolly, don't trust a site which is festooned with ads for the game being reviewed. If a game is THAT GOOD, then it'll still be THAT GOOD a week or two down the line.

Re:This isn't a new practice (1)

Kinjin (1340519) | about 5 months ago | (#46769055)

Gamers know these so-called journalists are purchased just like the current game they are slinging. What they should have said was "which almost no gamers rely on to help them make a purchasing decision." That's why "Let's Plays" are so popular. Gamers go to places like twitch and you tube to get a look at the game and advice from someone who has no motivation to lie to them about how good or bad a game is. So gaming companies are trying to slap copyright and content complaints against let's play presenters. Those Nexus 7's cost a lot of money especially why no one relies on their shills for purchasing decisions any longer.

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