is in hot water right now over its rather disastrous launch of Assassin's Creed: Unity, which wasn't helped by strict press embargoes that could otherwise have warned of serious technical flaws.
Now Ubisoft's upcoming massively online racer The Crew is being embargoed with no review copies being offered to press before it launches, but they have a legitimate reason this time?
A senior communications manager from Ubisoft issued the following:
"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. 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."
Now this is maybe a 'good' reason to perhaps consider an embargo as The Crew is really about those hundreds or even thousands of other players competing and co-operating. However given Ubisoft's recent actions and the huge suspicion they've drawn with Unity's launch...
Embargoes do help press on occasion as they help ensure everyone can publish their coverage together, not giving certain bigger outlets a clear advantage. Abuse of the system has also become a serious problem over the years with certain titles having review embargoes very tight to their release, only for middling scores to pour out.
In truth the real issue are pre-orders and how so many have become enthralled by the notion of 'getting their copy reserved', even when so many purchases are through digital store fronts with no actual physical stock. For embargoes to not have the bite they do we, the consumer, need to start being a bit more patient and not pre-order everything in sight.
As to whether The Crew is another Unity, we won't know until everyone knows, so until then...
The Crew releases on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Xbox 360 December 2nd.