Assassin’s Creed 4 producer says optimisation less important on PCs than on consoles

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

By on November 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm

UPDATE: (8:48PM Sydney time) It looks like our source for this article may have taken Ubisoft’s comments out of context, according to screenshots provided in the comments section. Bearing this in mind, it seems that Trottier may have been referring to the development environment they work in rather than to the end-user environment. Original story follows.

ORIGINAL STORY: Assassin’s Creed 4 has just launched on PC, and is already copping a lot of flak from various sites and forums over its apparent poor performance on what should have been quite reasonably-specced rigs.

Now things may be about to get a lot more heated, with the game’s associate producer Sylvain Trottier claiming to EDGE Magazine that PC gamers aren’t actually all that fussed about optimisation.

“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,” said Trottier, as reported by Videogamer. “It needed to be adapted, but everything does.”

“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. Once you get on console, you can’t have this approach.”

There’s a good analysis of Black Flag‘s PC performance here at DSO Gaming.

We’ve been playing with both the Xbox 360 and PC versions as well; stay tuned for our thoughts tomorrow.

Source: Videogamer (thanks Stefan)

30 comments (Leave your own)

Now thats the kind of pig headed ness that is bringing the industry down!


That’s kind of obnoxious.

Nasty Wet Smear

*Jaw meets floor*

… Is he suffering from a brain tumor? Did someone smash him in the head with a bat directly before this was said? Were his testicles caught in the vice grip of a careless elephant lover?… What could excuse this kind of ignorant stupidity?

Oh, wait, I figured it out! :D He’s going to pay for our upgrades, guys! Thanks, Sylvain Trottier! Do we just bill you, or?…


Disregarding his comments… I’ve been playing black flag for a few hours now and it’s absolutely fine, especially with the new drivers. :/ I’m usually the first to scream when a game runs like rubbish, but AC IV runs smooth as a baby bottom with everything maxed, I even took a 10min video of it here:

Now I know I use a 690, but I’m running it on max, I haven’t read any of the articles or anything but I’d have to assume if they’re saying that, then it isn’t optimized well? And I just have enough horsepower to oversee that “fact”?


they are being lasy, beacsue the pc is harder to optimise(all of the diffrent configs) but it gives them no right !


And this is an easy lesson in how to annoy all the pc enthusiasts. Including me.


Fucking off PC Gamers 101: Optimization doesn’t matter, buy better shit. I’m baffled at how stupid this guy is.


I expect a redaction and “mah comments were taken out of context!!!!!!. I love PC gamersss!!” statement sometime soon.


On the box it says:

“Minimum” Specs:

CPU: AMD/Intel Quad Core CPU @2.8+
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: 1024MB DX 10 Compatible Video Card
Input: Mouse
OS: Windows Vista/7/8

Recommended Specs:

CPU: Get a bigger CPU/Motherboard
Memory: Get more RAM it’s cheap nowadays you PC tightarses
Graphics: Get a bigger GPU come on man, they churn ‘em out like butter.
Input: Get a mouse that makes you look cooler, and has 80 buttons.
OS: Should of got it on console sucka.


Once more, with feeling.

Open mouth. Insert foot.


The title seems a little sensationalized in relation to the actual quote, and there definitely seems to be an ‘air’ of PC gamers/enthusiasts upgrading GPUs often to ‘be the very best’ (dat PC master race). Obviously, you can’t upgrade the GPU in your console, so what he says isn’t wrong.

That said, I generally sit on my tech for about 5 years before rebuilding a new system, and when I finally decide to upgrade it is generally because the games I’m playing are no longer running smoothly at high-max settings; I’m sure I’m not the only one that upgrades like this. There also seems to be a lot of talk about 1440p and multi-monitor gaming, which I haven’t even thought about doing, however the push for these new ‘standards’ for PC gaming arguably supports his view of PC gamers investing highly into their GPU/the aesthetics of the games they are playing.

None of that is to say I support poor optimization, but please tell me you bought a $500+ video card to watch youtube clips and play games at 800×600 on medium settings (Diablo 2 flashbacks, lol). You bought an expensive card because you want high resolution, high setting experiences, which is fine, but that is what he is saying PC gamers do.


Well, he IS French.



There’s no shortage of dicks from many nationalities who say stupid things about PC gamers. Cliff Bleszinski and Phil Fish come to mind. I don’t get it – they really should know better by now. We’re a punching bag in the gaming industry, treated like crap sometimes, but people still want us to give them money.


How many PC gamers will upgrade their system, or expensive hardware like GPUs more then once every 4 years? I know I don’t.

This is the sort of uncaring that is really letting indies get a massive foothold in the PC market…something that will come back to bite the AAA industry in a few years when the indies become real studios and start churning out better games for less money then the current big guys.


I certainly don’t upgrade my GPU everytime a SINGLE game cannot be maxed out.
However I also expect some real world expectations to be met, knowing GPU’s that ARE powerful, are still getting no where near the performance they should be in certain situations, I have a great experience enabling everything except the highest AA levels on top of the MAX details, but the fps variance is a bit unforgiving… 40-60fps average, with occasional minimum avg’s of 15-22fps for a split second or two, then back up… obviously in heavy scenes.. seems to be more frequent that I’d like though..
But the last 4 games I’ve bought, have had shoddy performance at launch… so Its nothing I was not expecting.


The GPU is not the problem with Assassins Creed 4… Its the CPU… yes it uses more cores now but it puts 1 core to 100% and the othrs are maybe between 10%-25% usage… They haven’t optimised it properly for the CPU’s.


What a silly biscuit!


(sigh) and here I thought they were learning things about not pissing off people.


Bad journalism. It was taken entirely out of context. He was referring to developing/optimising the game. Lets just jump on the gamer ragewagon though because it’s more fun hey?


That DSO article isn’t exactly scientific, I wouldn’t pay much attention to it.

I’m going to play devils advocate here. I think everyone needs to chill out on this. it’s getting way out of hand. So many armchair experts with superficial knowledge about game ‘engines’ and how they’re ‘optimised’ not to mention how different engines utilise multithreading.

Comparing AC4 with all the options turned to max with say BF4 and all options at max is like comparing Apples with Oranges. They are completely different games with different renderers, post processing and different dynamics systems. AC4 has a lot more going on than BF4 has. Remember when GTA4 came out and absolutely smashed high end systems at max detail and high resolutions.

Have people forgot when id Software released a new title and you needed the very best hardware to get decent framerates at the highest details? How’s about Crysis?

I spent a few hours with it today on my System:
6970 x2
i72600k @ 4.5ghz
8gm RAM
30″ Dell 2560×1600

I played around with the settings a lot, I never felt like the engine wasn’t optimised because there is a lot going on when you crank everything up and the biggest hit is ‘Fillrate’ depending on your selected resolution. I was being optimistic that I would be able to run it at high details at 2560×1600. It looks beautiful though and had me reaching for my wallet for a 780ti.

So I decide to do some experiments with lower resolutions(1280×800) and maxing the detail out. I was able to get really smooth 60 FPS and it looks really good despite the pixel size. With MSAAx4 you get a really clean super sampled image. In the end I opted for a configuration that allowed me to run at 2560×1600 with no AA. I accept the 20 – 30 FPS in the built up cities like Havanah as it doesn’t really impact the gameplay at all. Else where it is pretty smooth.

Ultimately this game is going to scale with hardware advances going forward.

What was also great about AC4 apart from its rendering was the fact that it ran flawlessly, no crashes, only the odd physics related glitch or clipping here and there. Overall it is a rock solid game.

Leave a comment

You can use the following bbCode
[i], [b], [img], [quote], [url href=""]Google[/url]

Leave a Reply



Steam Group

Upcoming Games

Community Soapbox

Recent Features logo

Announcement: website closure

Website and forums to shut down on November 30.

Life Is Strange

Life is Strange complete season review: Your move, Telltale Games

The year's most heartwrenching game comes to an emotional conclusion.

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5 Guardians review: A boring game and a broken promise

343 Industries are back again with Halo -- but maybe they should have left it alone, says Joab.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone is a proper, old-school expansion

From a drunk, possessed Geralt to a battle against an enormous toad, Hearts of Stone delivers.

Streaming Radio
Radio Streams are restricted to iiNet group customers.

GreenManGaming MREC

Facebook Like Box