Ubisoft today posted on their UbiBlog about Launch Day expectations and when reviews for the game may be expected, and the news may not be what some wanted to hear. Stating that, "the success of its open beta reaffirmed that it’s best experienced with an active community," Ubisoft has announced that reviewers will not receive any copies of Steep until launch day.
In the post, they explain it a bit more with the following paragraph:
To ensure a complete experience, Steep reviews will commence when servers are populated with actual players. With that in mind, reviewers will receive their copies of Steep on December 2 when it’s released, enabling them to experience Steep’s essential multiplayer functionality with a larger pool of online players.Additionally, they announced the pre-load times for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and UPlay digital purchases to be set for 9AM PST/Noon EST/6pm CEST on Wednesday, November 30th, that way everyone can start exploring when it hits midnight December 2 in the Pacific time zone. It appears that this will be the universal unlock time for everyone, as that is when the servers will open for play.
Steep is a project by Ubisoft Annecy, who were originally titled Ubisoft Simulations and specialize in that and multiplayer play. The first project they supported on was Rayman 2 The Great Escape, and they worked on multiplayer portions for the Splinter Cell series and developed the online component for the Assassin's Creed series, most notably with Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag. They worked in a support role for the last two Assassin's Creed titles, as well as The Crew, The Division, and Ghost Recon Wildlands; Steep is the first title that they have taken the lead on.
Steep is described by Ubisoft often as an "open world action sports game" with a focus on winter sports. It was announced at E3 earlier this year and releases on December 2nd for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Quick TakeThere's nothing that can go wrong with that is there? I mean we haven't just seen a AAA game come out without reviews that had major performance issues ... oh wait Dishonored 2 did that. Well that's not a Ubisoft game, it's not like they've had bad launches before ... oh wait, The Division, Assassin's Creed Unity, and others all did that.
This isn't to say Steep will be bad. Just like Doom showed we don't know at this point. It is, however, a warning sign and a reason to be VERY cautious with supporting this. It wasn't that long ago that Ubisoft set up post-launch embargos to force reviews to come after day 1 buys, and this is more of the same thing. Publishers are doing this because they want people to buy the games early without knowledge of them.
What do you think of Ubisoft's decision regarding Steep review copies? Are you interested in Steep? Did you play the open beta? Share your thoughts in the comments below!