For Honor was Ubisoft's big new IP for 2017 that made headlines for all the wrong reasons. First, there was just how much money you had to spend on microtransactions in order to reach Max Gear level, and then came the wave of player count stories suggesting that For Honor players were flocking away from the title. According to Ubisoft, though, that's "fake news."
Yes, the biggest buzzword of the last year has made its way into gaming yet again, during For Honor's weekly Warrior's Den livestream. While talking about delivering 3-Day Champion Status to players as compensation for a server outage, Community Developer Eric Pope said "That is rolling out now, over the course of the day - it takes a few hours to get to everybody. We have a lot of players in For Honor - believe it or not, fake news people, we have a lot of players in For Honor - to roll it out to." You can watch the clip below.
This is likely in response to the slew of articles covering a report by the player-count tracking website GitHyp, which also tracks streaming statistics as well, that showed how For Honor has lost 95% of its playerbase on Steam. This report also outlined how the game had lost 62% of its viewers after just one week.
It was not a pretty picture for For Honor, nor was it a promising sign for Ubisoft's first IP, which was an incredibly fun and in-depth experience unfortunately bogged down by pay-to-win microtransactions.
Even when Ubisoft tried to change dramatically, increasing the amount of in-game currency players can earn without buying, the player count saw only a modest increase, according to GitHyp, and it quickly returned to its normal, low numbers.
Players may have seen this as slightly disingenuous, as Ubisoft only agreed to make these changes after the entire sub-Reddit for For Honor threatened to "blackout" the game by not playing for an entire day. While the developers didn't say this was in response to the protest, it did come just after the protest plans were getting attention.
Like many claims of "Fake News," this one directly contradicts readily available data. GitHyp puts For Honor's average player-count per hour at around 1,000 to 2,000 players, which would need to double to even crack to the top 100 Steam Games in daily peak players.
It is true that GitHyp only tracks Steam users and there isn't a co-relative for GitHyp on consoles, so perhaps it was only PC players who left in droves. But even if that is true, is Ubisoft really brushing off the loss of tens of thousands of players over the course of five months? That still happened, regardless of whether or not it was only on PC.