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If you were hoping that you could grab the free game Ubisoft is handing out over the whole broken Assassin's Creed Unity fiasco, and ride off into the sunset with lollipops and rainbows, think again. There's a pretty heavy price to pay if you opt into taking Ubisoft's free game.
Game Informer did the due diligence of reading through the entire user agreement for anyone who picks up the free game (only available with the purchase of the season pass) and noted that there is a troubling disclaimer by Ubisoft for anyone who goes through with the agreement.
According to the Ubisoft redemption site...
“You hereby irrevocably and unconditionally RELEASE, WAIVE, AND FOREVER DISCHARGE AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE Ubisoft Entertainment S.A., and each of its past, present and future divisions, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, predecessors, successors and assigns, together with all of their respective past, present and future employees, officers, shareholders, directors and agents, and those who give recommendations, directions, or instructions or engage in risk evaluation or loss control activities regarding the Campaign (all for the purposes herein referred to as “Released Parties”) FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY TO YOU, your assigns, heirs, and next of kin FOR ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, DEMANDS, CHARGES, LAWSUITS, DEBTS, DEFENSES, ACTIONS OR CAUSES OF ACTION, OBLIGATIONS, DAMAGES, LOSS OF SERVICE, COMPENSATION, PAIN AND SUFFERING, ATTORNEYS’ FEES, AND COST AND EXPENSES OF SUIT, KNOWN OR UNKNOWN, SUSPECTED OR UNSUSPECTED, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THE PURCHASE, ACQUISITION, RENTAL, POSSESSION AND/OR USAGE, AND/OR THE INTENT TO PURCHASE, ACQUIRE, RENT, POSSESS AND/OR USE, THE ASSASSIN’S CREED UNITY VIDEO GAME AND/OR THE ASSASSIN’S CREED UNITY SEASON PASS ON ANY AND ALL PLATFORMS, AND/OR RELATED TO THE CAMPAIGN, WHETHER CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASED PARTIES OR OTHERWISE.”
Now let's break this down a bit: the very first sentence makes it known that gamers are forfeiting their right to sue Ubisoft in a class-action lawsuit if they accept the free game. They also make it known near the middle that anyone you know, your heirs, your kids or your relatives are also exempt from having any right to sue Ubisoft in a class-action lawsuit on your behalf if you accept the user agreement.
In other words, if you purchased the Assassin's Creed Unity season pass and decided to accept Ubisoft's olive branch of a free game, you're effectively giving up the right to sue the company if/when a class-action lawsuit gets underway. It's one of those situations where Ubisoft is using this opportunity to weasel their way out of any potential massive consumer lawsuits that could result from them selling a broken product on day one.
Now there are a lot of people who sue for a lot of silly reasons; like this latest lawsuit over KillZone: Shadow Fall resolution situation is kind of silly. Someone suing because a game is 1080i instead of 1080p in multiplayer is ludicrous. People suing Gearbox and Sega over falsely advertising Aliens: Colonial Marines as being a game that it was not is definitely justifiable.
In the case of Assassin's Creed Unity, this game launched right out of the gate flat-out broken. The day-one issue of the internet was the game's frame-rate problems. Now, opposite of resolution, if a game has bad frame-stutter or a bad case of dropping frames, it WILL impact the playability of the game. Basically the reaction time from a controller input (or control latency) is directly tied to the refresh rate or fluidity of the on-screen gameplay. If you're trying to make moves and you can't see when those reactions are taking place due to frame-skipping, stutter or drops, then you can mistakenly input the wrong button combination. It's a frustrating and debilitates the ability to play the game effectively.
Ubisoft has been rolling out patches left and right since the game's release, with nearly one major new patch coming for each week since the game has been made available. And yet here they are trying to protect themselves from a lawsuit because they launched too early and didn't fix the game properly to sell to consumers.
Just keep in mind that if you want the free game, you can do so at the cost of being ineligible to participate in a class-action lawsuit should one appear.