Assassin's Creed Syndicate free with Samsung purchase, plus avian camerman action

Ubisoft partners with Samsung to offer free PC downloads of Assassin's Creed Syndicate with a handful of SSDs and monitors.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate hits stores next week on October 23rd. The PC edition launches after, on November 19th. For those waiting to play without a console device, Samsung will be offering a limited time deal that pairs a free Syndicate download code with the purchase of select SSDs and monitors.

Samsung's partnership with Ubisoft saves consumers those precious extra dollars if they're in the market for a solid state drive or PC monitor. Not every device they offer fits the bill, though. Products that support the promotion are:

  • Portable SSD T1 (500GB, 1TB)
  • 850 PRO 2.5" SATA III SSD (512GB, 1 TB, 2TB)
  • 850 EVO 2.5’’ SATA III SSD (500GB, 1TB, 2TB)
  • 850 EVO mSATA SSD (500 GB, 1TB)
  • 850 EVO M.2 SSD (500GB)
  • 950 PRO SSD (512GB)
  • UE590 UHD Monitor (23.6-inches and 28-inches)
  • SE590CS Curved Monitor (23.5-inches)
  • SD590C Curved Monitor (27-inches)
  • SE591C Curved Monitor (27-inches)
  • SE790C Curved Monitor (29-inches)
  • SE590CS Curved Monitor (31.5-inches)
  • SE790C Curved Monitor (34-inches)

There's a time limit on this deal that starts ticking down November 1st and ends January 2nd, 2016. It runs the length of the holiday season, for all those interested.

Desperate promotional technique or tried and true method?

This isn't the first time Ubisoft partnered with Samsung to attract players with the tantalizing promise of "free". The last installment in the series, Assassin's Creed Unity, still has a promotional page on Samsung's official website with its own qualifying product list, though the promotion has since expired. Ubisoft's return to this tactic could indicate more panic and desperation than a pure profit strategy. In all fairness, it could also demonstrate confidence in the game and the willingness to distribute it widely and ambitiously. Ubisoft obviously intends to come back from the initial reception of Unity, after all.

The qualifying list of Samsung products has grown between Unity's release and the impending launch for Syndicate. This acts as another subtle nod to the controversial reviews Unity received due the necessity of massive patchwork, which followed last-minute delays to the game's release.

Ubisoft needs the newest game in player's hands without taking a huge hit to sales, but weariness grows when gamers feel betrayed. The increased opportunity to snag a free download is a decent ploy to draw some fans back onto the company's side.

Free means safe, trust us.

The download code does not guarantee early access to Syndicate for PC gamers, if Unity's promotional page is any indication. The old ad features a small catch under the terms and conditions: "Game will be available for download on the day Ubisoft launches the game (November 11, 2014)". This possible added benefit is thus debunked.

Here comes the bird tactic.

Ubisoft's promotional techniques for new Assassin's Creed titles aren't only repetitive, but downright odd. The company recently released an attempted salute to the series' eagle vision motif. They strapped a 4k camera to a live eagle and set the bird loose in London. A publisher explained this baffling move:

"This project was undertaken to showcase a feature in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, where players can use ‘Eagle Vision’; a tool enabling players to have an Eagle-Eyed perspective and vision to locate enemies and key features at distance."

One particularly compelling image of the back of an eagle's head.

Nevermind that eagle vision has nothing to do with warging into a bird like a lost Game of Thrones character, but these photos mostly captured the eagle's admittedly majestic head blocking parts of London. What this has to do with the adventures of Jacob and Evie Frye, I can't begin to guess.

Personally, I still adore the Assassin's Creed franchise. Despite this bias, I can't deny the lackluster performance of Unity (even given my geeking out at historical landmarks and gorgeous stained glass windows) or an absence of enthusiasm for London crime meeting up with the assassin's order. What is clear now is that Ubisoft feels the pressure of its fanbase. When this results in making birds professional photographers, I can't help but wonder were the company will go next.

Can you think of any promotional techniques that might benefit Ubisoft? Are you interested in the Samsung deal? Are you already pumped to pick up Syndicate next week? Share your thoughts and I promise I won't send camera-bird cyborgs after answers.

Published Oct. 15th 2015
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