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Ubisoft FAIL: Star Wars Outlaws Requires Internet To Play

In a galaxy not so far away, the anticipation for Ubisoft's latest venture, Star Wars: Outlaws, is mounting. Set to release on August 30, 2024, this open-world game promises to immerse players in an untold chapter of the Star Wars saga, occurring between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. As Kay Vess, players will navigate the underworld, facing off against the galaxy's most formidable crime syndicates .

However, a detail that might seem minor at first glance casts a long shadow over Ubisoft's approach to game distribution, particularly when juxtaposed with practices from another gaming giant, Square Enix.

Unlike Square Enix, which for titles like Final Fantasy VII Remake and Rebirth provided players with two discs—one for installing the game and another for gameplay—Ubisoft has opted for a path that requires an internet connection to download Star Wars: Outlaws. This decision, seemingly inconsequential to some, sparks a conversation about cost-cutting measures and consumer convenience... and for me, the place where I draw the line.

The Cost of Convenience

The modern era of gaming has increasingly embraced digital downloads, a trend that offers immediate access to games at the expense of physical ownership and, in cases like Star Wars: Outlaws, mandates an internet connection even for physical copies. Ubisoft's decision not to include a second disc for game installation might appear as a step towards digital efficiency, but it inadvertently highlights a stark contrast in consumer experience compared to Square Enix's approach.

Square Enix, with its dual-disc offering for the Final Fantasy VII series, not only honored the tradition of physical media but also respected the varying internet access levels of its player base. By ensuring that players could install the game directly from a disc, they provided a level of accessibility and convenience that Ubisoft's model seems to overlook.

The Perception of Value

Beyond the practical implications, the choice between including a second disc or requiring an internet download speaks volumes about a company's perception of value and its relationship with the consumer. Square Enix's decision can be seen as an investment in player satisfaction, offering a tangible product that feels complete and respectful of the user's time and resources.

In contrast, Ubisoft's strategy with Star Wars: Outlaws—requiring a download for what could potentially be a massive game file—may come across as taking the "cheap way out." This approach not only demands more from the player in terms of bandwidth and data but also risks alienating those with slower or limited internet connections, thus impacting the overall accessibility and enjoyment of the game.

The Bigger Picture

Ubisoft's Star Wars: Outlaws is poised to be a significant entry in the Star Wars gaming canon, offering an original story that enriches the beloved universe. The game's Gold and Ultimate editions even promise early access and additional digital goods, aiming to enhance the playing experience . However, the decision to require an internet download for the game inadvertently shifts the focus from these positive aspects to a debate about physical media's value and consumer respect. What happens if (ok lets be honest... WHEN) Ubisoft goes out of business?

In an industry that increasingly leans towards digital distribution, the approaches taken by Ubisoft and Square Enix represent two sides of a broader conversation about accessibility, value, and the importance of keeping all players in mind. As we move forward, it will be interesting to see how these practices evolve and what they signal about the future of game distribution and consumer expectations.

Ultimately, Star Wars: Outlaws will likely be a must-play for fans of the franchise and open-world adventures alike. Yet, as players prepare to embark on this journey, the discussion around its distribution serves as a reminder of the ever-changing landscape of gaming and the ongoing dialogue between those who create games and those who play them.


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