Sylvain Trottier, associate producer on Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, has invited the ire of PC users with comments made in the latest edition of EDGE magazine. The quotes in question are in the magazine itself, but the interview in question is the one referred to here.
Talking about getting the game running on Xbox One and PS4, Trottier says “The new platforms are a lot closer to PC, so my engineers could do the R&D on PC and we knew it would work fairly easily on next-gen platforms.” So far so good, and this suggests that the PC port of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag would be pretty good, right? Most of the work is being done on PC, so it can be optimised well and … oh, hold on, he has more to say.
“It’s always a question of compromise about the effect, how it looks, and the performance it takes from the system. On PC, usually you don’t really care about the performance, because the idea is that if it’s not [running] fast enough, you buy a bigger GPU.”
Unfortunately, a whole lot of people with extremely big GPUs are complaining of poor performance in Assassin’s Creed IV and an inability to maintain 60 FPS even with various settings turned down or off. The irony is, this seems to be down to the port’s inability to make efficient use of multi-core CPUs. Graphics cards aren’t the problem here. It’s a case of poor optimisation for powerful processors. Given how much noise has been made about their partnership with Nvidia, this is a rather embarrassing.
Not the best time for a Ubisoft employee to be saying things like “On PC, usually you don’t really care about the performance … ” really. Unless that quote is being seriously misconstrued, it’s a boneheaded remark.