from the got-there-eventually dept
One of the more famous, and my favorite, quotations attributed to Winston Churchill is: “Americans will always do the right thing, only after they have tried everything else.” My second favorite Churchill quote, by the way, is: “Dammit, I can’t decide between these three fingers of whiskey and this tankard of champagne!”
Anyway, the point of the message is that sometimes it takes an organization failing by doing the wrong thing before they eventually get to doing things the right way. Which brings me to Ubisoft. The gaming company unfortunately did an oopsie and leaked its own remastered version of Beyond Good & Evil to subscribers.
In an email to Kotaku, an Ubisoft spokesperson confirmed that the leak was all its fault.
“Due to a technical error, an early development version of Beyond Good & Evil – 20th Anniversary Edition was recently released to some Ubisoft+ subscribers,” the Ubisoft spokesperson said. “As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Beyond Good & Evil, we’re excited to share that the official launch is set for early 2024, and we look forward to sharing more with you in the new year.”
That response to the leak is obviously fine. In fact, while we have seen gaming companies absolutely mess themselves over and over again over leaks of game or game footage, we’ve actually promoted this sort of response in the past. You acknowledge the leak, thank your fans for being so interested in the game that they are gobbling up leaked information and footage, and then you remind everyone its not a finished product and to stay tuned for the actual eventual awesome release of the game. Simple!
And, that’s eventually where Ubisoft got publicly on ExTwitter as well.
I say eventually because that wasn’t Ubisoft’s first reaction. As the quotation goes, Ubisoft had to try everything else first, and that in this case meant attempting to put the leak genie back in the bottle via DMCA notices. DMCA notices that are not designed to bury material the company itself leaked.
Ubisoft making the game available was a total accident; however, that didn’t stop folks from sharing clips and screens of the BG&E remaster on YouTube. While the company tried erasing any evidence of this ever happening, copyright striking anyone who published footage of the leaked game, Ubisoft eventually gave up and announced this morning on X/Twitter that the remaster is real.
Now, while this is Ubisoft we’re talking about, perhaps such a clear-cut lesson will be finally learned. Trying to copyright strike leaked information about the game to hell was never going to work. And, in fact, probably would have had the opposite effect. Senorita Streisand, after all, is a resilient mistress.
And before someone eventually shows up in the comments suggesting that this was all a planned thing designed to get the game more attention… nah. Just nah. That’s not how Ubisoft operates and there is zero evidence that this was all some guerilla marketing approach.
Instead, this was almost certainly what it appeared to be: Ubisoft handling this the right way, only after it tried everything else.