Chris Early at Los Angeles Games Conference

Jason Martinez

We recently attended LA Games Conference and got a chance to sit down with Chris Early, Vice President of Partnerships and Revenue at Ubisoft after his talk about The State of the Game Industry, and here’s what we learned: Chris and I talked about the different online scamming methods used to target gamers. In general, these scamming methods extract private information or compromise user accounts. These security breaches may affect someone’s ability to access their library or possibly even lead to fraudulent charges. Chris spoke to me about one of the steps Ubisoft is taking to safeguard our games; silent key activation. Early views Ubisoft’s development of silent key activation as a successful security measure to combat these scams. Ubisoft partnered with Genba Digital to develop silent key activation, which activates video games on platforms like Steam or Uplay automatically rather than giving out physical licensing keys to retailers and customers. When an individual buys Ubisoft games through an online retailer, the company’s servers communicate with each other, entitling the person’s Uplay account with the game automatically. As a result, the consumer does not have to memorize a licensing key and gains instant access to their respective video game library. Although no industry will ever completely remove fraud, Early views silent key activation as a step in the right direction. It’s no surprise that Ubisoft is partnering up with Google’s upcoming streaming service; Google Stadia. When asked as to why Ubisoft partnered with Google as opposed to other streaming companies (e.g., Microsoft, Sony, and Amazon), Early stated that Ubisoft has worked with Google for many years because Google’s excellent infrastructure has enabled Ubisoft to bring different games to trial; that said, Ubisoft is open to working with other streaming companies. He believes that modern streaming services provide publishers and developers with access to an audience size that would have otherwise been unlikely in the past. This potential audience provides companies like Ubisoft a reach that would typically not be possible on their respective desktop launchers or online stores. Streaming games also alleviates some of the more traditional hindrances associated with video games. For example, in order to play games at all–regardless of the platform–you need a physical hardware to do so. With Google Stadia, your screen of choice becomes the platform while Google Stadia does all the heavy lifting, processing-wise. This is often referred to by industry experts as screen agnosticism, which is kind of a big deal. As a result, gaming companies sometimes experience more than a 20 percent increase in purchases of their games. Ubisoft’s role as an industry leader has never looked better. Gaming companies might need to make sure that they are not making the purchasing process of a game too complex while combating piracy. For example, creating a complex purchasing process may frustrate consumers and might make them stop buying games from that company. References Ubisoft is trying to wipe out key reselling with ‘silent key activation’. Fortnite Scams Are Even Worse Than You Thought. … Read More