A forum post, locked and pinned to the top of the game’s forums, has for the last 24 hours had Splinter Cell fans thinking that they were in for some drastic punishment if they continued sending in support tickets.
Ubisoft representatives now tell Kotaku that the post had been written by a user impersonating a Ubisoft employee, not a member of the support staff. It has been deleted, with the player responsible for the comments now also banned.
We regret the error, and apologise for the confusion. The original story follows.
Original Story: Splinter Cell: Blacklist was the last proper Splinter Cell game to be released and, I’m sorry to remind everyone, that was eight years ago. Nevertheless, it still has some fans, who have banded together enough to really piss Ubisoft’s customer support off.
The game’s multiplayer servers are broken at time of writing, and have been for some time. Ubisoft is aware of this, and has little interest in fixing them, since the game is so old. But that hasn’t stopped fans from continually asking about it anyway.
What’s notable about this case in particular (since this must surely happen all the time with classic games) is that Blacklist fans seem to be spamming Ubisoft customer support with requests to have it fixed. So much so that a company representative has posted that Ubisoft are going to start banning players for submitting support tickets about the servers.
In a post titled “Regarding Online Connectivity Issues,” stickied and locked at the top of the game’s forums, the head of the Ubisoft Customer Relationship Center writes (emphasis theirs):
Hello Splinter Cell Blacklist Fans,
It has been brought to my attention by one of our team leads here at Ubisoft Customer Support that many users have been reporting issues connecting with the Splinter Cell Blacklist services when attempting to access the multiplayer or cooperative features of the game.
Rest assured, we are aware of the issue. However, given the age of the game in question, and the relatively inactive player base, the game team has decided not to devote any further resources into rectifying this issue.
It is for this reason that I must ask you, our loyal players, to refrain from opening any further support tickets regarding this issue. My team and I have no input into the decision making process of the game teams, and by continuing to weigh down the support team with well-known and unsolvable issues only serves to prevent other innocent players from receiving the prompt problem solving they deserve.
Any support tickets submitted regarding this issue in the future will be met with a 7 day ban. During this period, you will be unable to make purchases through the Ubisoft store, log in to Ubisoft websites, log in to your Ubisoft account or play through the Ubisoft Connect client. However, you may still play offline. Customer support will not be able to lift this ban.
Further offenses will be met with a permanent ban.
In addition, any users found to be intentionally using an earlier version of Ubisoft Connect or Uplay launchers in order to workaround the issue will be banned. Older versions of Ubisoft Connect are no longer secure, and continuing to make use of them could result in security breaches to your Ubisoft account or Ubisoft as a whole.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Look, as someone who works for a video games website, I’m about as sympathetic as anyone can be here to the Ubisoft support team’s plight. When a corner of the internet decides to slam you with messages it can be an enormous pain in the ass, if only from an administrative point of view (as the post says, in this case it’s diverting people’s time from more actionable requests).
But banning fans for seven days? And then threatening them with permanent bans, which would lock them out of not just the store but every online component of any and all of Ubisoft’s other titles? I get it, Blacklist is eight years old and nobody was actually playing it, but that is some bullshit.
If the support team really has “no input into the decision making process of the game teams,” then hopefully the game teams can see this now and, if they’re not ever going to fix them, just turn the servers off, saving everyone involved a whole lot of heartache.
Update November 25, 1:00am - The post, having originally been stickied and locked to the top of the game’s forums, has now been removed.
Update 2, November 25, 1:10am - An Ubisoft representative tells Kotaku that the post was made by an imposter, and has been removed. The original headline, and introduction to this story, has been changed to reflect this.