Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag News for PC

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Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag screenshot
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag screenshot

Update: Assassin's Creed 4 associate producer Sylvain Trottier has provided VideoGamer with a statement clarifying his comments made to Edge.

“The statement that appeared online was very much taken out of context. I was discussing the process of developing for next gen platforms and, in particular, the R&D phase. Therefore, when I was referring to PCs, I was referring to them being used during the development of software for next gen consoles. I was commenting that when doing R&D, performance doesn't matter. What you want is to be able to measure, to see the best results you could potentially get, how the game could look and feel if you would have this tech in the game. For example, if you are trying to see how the naval fight would look with tons of particle effects, you ask your FX Artist to simply add tons of particles. If it doesn't run on your development PC, then you put a bigger GPU in the system and then you can see in game how it could look and feel. That doesn't mean you ship this in the final game! Once you have a better idea of the visual results you could achieve with these new techs, then you need to start compromising and optimizing. Very often you end up deciding to drop certain parts of the feature (even if they were really nice!), in order to be able to run the new feature in real time, on all the targeted platforms. There was no tech developed during the R&D phase that wasn’t optimized prior to shipping on each platform - PC included.

"We are very proud of the PC version of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag. The game runs well on low-end PC’s and lots of additional features were added for higher-end machines, allowing each and every customer to fully enjoy the experience on their PCs. Our partnership with Nvidia that saw our respective engineering teams work together to develop a highly optimised PC version also demonstrates our commitment to the platform. On top of this, additional features were implemented such as: keyboard and mouse optimized control, three screen support, higher resolution support including 4K support, unique effects and technologies, including NVIDIA HBAO+ (occlusion), NVIDIA PCSS, NVIDIA TXAA and NVIDIA GPU-accelerated PhysX in an upcoming patch."

Original Report: Optimising games to run more efficiently on PC hardware isn't important, Assassin's Creed 4 associate producer Sylvain Trottier has claimed.

Speaking to Edge about the ease in which the studio achieved results when working on the Xbox One and PS4, Trottier said: "The new platforms are a lot closer to PC, so my engineers could do the R&D on PC and we knew it would work fairly easily on next-gen platforms. It needed to be adapted, but everything does.

"It's always a question of compromise about the effect, how it looks, and the performance it takes from the system. On PC, usually you don't really care about the performance, because the idea is that if it's not [running] fast enough, you buy a bigger GPU. Once you get on console, you can't have this approach."

Assassin's Creed 4 is released for PC on Friday, November 22. Analysis

Assassin's Creed 4 has already come under criticism for poor performance on high end PCs, so could this attitude towards PC development be the reason?

Source: Edge #261

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User Comments

Nxs's Avatar


Who gives a *****? If everyone has such a problem with this, maybe they should stop buying Ubi's and every other publishers games that do not meet the standards of a PC gamer.

That is never going to happen though and we all know it. Every person that has bitched on this thread has bought a Ubi game on a console or played one. And we all know that they always release the PC version later and it is usually not nearly as well implemented as well as the console version.

Care to take a stab in the dark as to why that is? Could it be that every able bodied gamer buys it for the consoles for $60 without a thought?

Why make the PC version better and cheaper when they can suuuuuuck money out of you on the consoles? I mean seriously, when is the last time anyone paid $60 for a PC game?

You want things to change? Then make them change!
Posted 01:24 on 22 November 2013
Justice's Avatar

Justice@ UbiGabe

The problem Gabe, is that statement is a cop out. Every single Ubisoft game that I have bought has resulted in poor optimization and bugs either when trying to even start the game or use a specific feature like...multiplayer.

Ever since you started porting games from console to PC your production values for PC ports have gone waaaaaay down. Yes, Ubisoft cares about PC gamers....just enough to fill their pocket books with our money and then move onto the next new thing.

Starting from the most recent Ghost Recon: Future Soldier to the original Rainbow Six: Vegas port to PC, issues have followed pretty much every single title you have brought to PC in the past decade or so and they aren't just issues, they are glaring issues, game breaking bugs that make your game unplayable for weeks while we have to wait for your people to fix it.

Obviously something in your process stinks and needs revisited as far as how your company handles development on the PC.
Posted 00:45 on 22 November 2013

KamSage@ UbiGabe

So you're saying GPUs were upgraded mid production of the game? Can believe that especially with crossover to next gen capabilities, devs would need that upgrade.

That's pretty much the crux of the problem, the interview doesn't seem to be specific enough. As far as I'm aware, Orry hasn't deleted or added words unless stated, so in context what Trottier says is not very clear. All we needed was to know it was the devs upgrading and not consumers that affected optimisation.

Of course, the PCverse will be dealing with problems, every game (especially open world) has problems. Patches will hopefully deal with them.

And no offence, but may I have some confirmation you're actually the proper Gabe instead of someone making an account called UbiGabe?
I'd believe you are just because you replied in a calm manner and haven't insulted me... yet. Ha.
Posted 18:03 on 21 November 2013
bardolious's Avatar


I hope there will be a patch for this game soon. I have an overclocked 780ti, an i7 3770 k, 8gb ram and it Black Flag doesn't run as well as it should. I have to give Ubisoft credit though for doing a great job on Splinter Cell Blacklist. That game even ran beautifully with a GTX 770.
Posted 15:59 on 21 November 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ UbiGabe

Are Ubi going to pressure for a rewrite or an update of this story? Seems to be the logical course of action.
Posted 14:46 on 21 November 2013
UbiGabe's Avatar

UbiGabe@ KamSage

That's not what Sylvain was saying, though, which is why the quote was taken out of context. We need to update our video cards in the studio just like everyone else on the planet, it's not like we build them ourselves.

You don't lead with optimization, that would be crazy. You lead by trying prototypes to see what's possible, knowing that over the course of a two or three year development cycle, technology will change considerably.

If we didn't care about PC, we wouldn't bother making our games work on the platform at all. That would be not caring.

In regards to the Neogaf complaints, we're aware of these issues and are working to correct the ones we can as quickly as we can. With the great variety of PC hardware available, issues arise that you don't see until post launch (you see this with consoles too, even though the hardware is fixed/static), and while this is regrettable, it's unavoidable.
Posted 14:10 on 21 November 2013

KamSage@ Rohithkumar

Gabe says this is shoddy journalism, then links to an article that's riddled with complaints but takes the best compliment and quotes it, and paraphrases it I might add.

Sure I can believe optimisation doesn't come till later in development, and that the consoles take a 'hit' in regards to capabilities compared to the PC. But Trottier mentions upgrading Graphics cards which, as far as i'm aware, has nothing to do with R&D since they'd already have access to the best GPUs. Trottier nor Gabe explain that comment.

It sounds very much like he's saying if it isn't optimised enough with your current build, the consumer just buys a new GPU to make it work better. Until that GPU comment is cleared up, i'm with Orry here, it sounds like they don't care about PC.

Also, they don't address the NeoGaf complaints. Though that's not solid evidence since lots of companies try to ignore them, if fans are complaining about the PC performance, it says something might be true in the article, at the least.
Posted 09:44 on 21 November 2013
Xeddicus's Avatar

Xeddicus@ Rohithkumar

The community manager/whoever is just lying to try and cover up the truth. You don't BUY A VIDEO CARD in development to optimize the game, you...optimize the game. The quote meant what it said (Unless it didn't bah, see below...), it wasn't out of context. He said you optimize the game for consoles because you have to, PC gamers just buy new cards. Maybe Ubisoft doesn't do that, but that's what he said.

On the other hand, maybe the quote is misinterpreted. He may have meant "you" as in the user, us. That would make sense, not the development process. So either the Producer is dumb, jumped from development talk to user experience or the PR drone is lying, one or more of those.
Posted 06:31 on 21 November 2013
Rohithkumar's Avatar

Rohithkumar@ eduardvictor

Click for Image
Posted 05:37 on 21 November 2013
Rohithkumar's Avatar


Alright calm down , i just contacted the community developed for AC 4 BF
here's what he had to say
Original source

Click for Image

"Gabe Graziani : This quote is taken totally out of context. He's talking about when working in the development environment on R&D... optimization doesn't come until later. Shoddy journalism, to say the least. It's really disappointing to see this, especially after the team put so much work into the PC version.
Can't wait to see which other journalists are bad at their jobs when articles are replicated based on this one without a cited source.

Gabe Graziani : Meanwhile, you've got Rock Paper Shotgun saying this is "the best Assassin's Creed yet!"
Posted 05:33 on 21 November 2013
morbiddesire's Avatar


Why do they pay their employees for PC ports? Better fire them all.
Posted 05:10 on 21 November 2013
eduardvictor's Avatar


And this is why I am not buying a single Ubi***** game ever again.

Just because I have access to 1000 dollar GPUS and 1000 dollar CPUS and other expensive as ***** components, doesn't mean that I can afford to buy them on a whim just to run games that were optimized like *****.

I have a 6 year old PC that I upgrade about once a year with a new component or 2, this idiot pisses me off.

*****. You. Ubisoft.
Posted 22:25 on 20 November 2013
Manguy17's Avatar


It's a shame that they have that view. Maybe they are still upset with PC players after the drm incident (even though it was their fault to begin with..)
Posted 22:13 on 20 November 2013
mysterymeat3's Avatar


What can you expect from a producer that's milked this series so hard its breasts are dry?

I'm glad you' re so flippant about not spending the time to optimize my game. Because I'll be smiling broadly when I'm playing your game without spending any money on it.
Posted 21:48 on 20 November 2013
davidov92's Avatar


OK, so much for buying AC4. This is not the type of dev I want to support.
Posted 21:45 on 20 November 2013

Game Stats

Release Date: 22/11/2013
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 712 25
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