relationship with PC gamers has been strained for years.
, last-minute delays of PC releases, its insistence on
and CEO Yves Guillemot's
that nine out of ten PC gamers are filthy pirates have collectively made it a difficult publisher to love. But it promises that things are different now.
"We recognize the importance and needs of PC gamers, and want to continue to improve how we create and support games for PC," Alain Corre, the executive director of Ubisoft EMEA, told
. "As a percentage of our business, PC grew last year, from 11 per cent in 2012/13 to 15 per cent in 2013/14, which is an indication of the progress we're making."
That is perhaps a slightly simplistic way of looking at the situation, but the bottom line is that the PC's relevance as a game platform is actually increasing and that's something Ubisoft can't afford to ignore. Corre cited the change from always-on DRM to one-time activations, which he described as "a standard practice in the industry," as just one example of the company listening and responding to its fans.
"We're also doing our best to bring our games to PC at the same time as the console versions.
Assassin's Creed Unity
Far Cry 4
, for example, will be released simultaneously on console and PC, and this will continue to be the goal for all our major titles," he said. "Finally, we are committed to improving the optimization of our games for each platform on which they're released – including PC."
It sounds good, but words are easy, and given Ubisoft's well-established history of delaying the PC releases of its games at the last minute—consider
Driver: San Francisco
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
Assassin's Creed Revelations
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
—I think I'll wait a bit and see how things pan out before I offer any congratulations on a job well done.