2014 has not been particularly kind to Ubisoft. Three major releases—Watch Dogs, Far Cry 4, and especially Assassin's Creed: Unity—all suffered from serious technical issues at launch, bad enough in the case of Unity that the publisher canceled sales of the season pass and offered everyone free DLC as a way of apology. Even so, the lead designer of the multiplayer racing game The Crew says he's confident that its launch will go smoothly.
"For The Crew, we’ve reaped the benefits of a long term beta program, designed specifically to push our infrastructure as far as possible in real world situations, with thousands of players from all over the world playing the game at the same time," Serkan Hasan told The Metropolist. "The launch of any online game these days has potential issues, but I hope that players will be encouraged by our open approach. If you had any doubts that we could pull this off, I hope that the betas proved our credentials and the game’s stability."
Hasan's confidence notwithstanding, Ubisoft is hedging its bets. In a blog post that went up earlier this week, the publisher said reviewers won't have access to the game until launch day, and warned that any reviews running that day will be "largely built around the preview sessions we facilitated during the past months or the limited content of the closed and open betas."
"The Crew was built from the beginning to be a living playground full of driving fans, so it’s only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world," Ubisoft wrote. "And by other, we mean thousands and thousands and thousands of players – something that can’t be simulated with a handful of devs playing alongside the press."
The Crew comes out on December 2.