Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform designed to understand natural language, launched support for Star Trek: Bridge Crew (2017) across all VR platforms back in June of last year. Last week, Ubisoft said in a forum post that it was pulling support for Watson due to unspecified “technical reasons.” The company has since reversed that decision, saying Watson-powered voice controls will remain online “through 2018.”
Update (03/31/18): Ubisoft is overturning their previous decision to take down IBM Watson voice controls in ‘Bridge Crew’, which was slated to go into effect March 29, 2018. The company says in a forum post that they’re extending Watson “through 2018.” The original article follows below.
Bridge Crew players could choose between multiplayer and single player modes, the latter of which allowed you to fill in the roles of the ship’s other posts—Engineering, Tactical, Helm—by clicking a few boxes to issue orders. You could even jump in and take command yourself, although it was decidedly a much slower way of dealing with incoming Klingon threats. Adding Watson integration essentially allowed a sole player to issue orders to the non-human-controlled posts from the captain’s chair using natural language such as “lock on target, dude!” – “fire photon torpedoes, dumdum!” – or “go to warp now, please! And make it snappy!”
Ubisoft says that the nine-month access period has been “enriching,” but that
Watson will be “discontinued for technical reasons on March 29, 2018.”
Frankly, Bridge Crew has undergone very few updates following its May 2017 launch. Minor bug fixes in June were followed by Watson integration, and then the game was opened up to non-VR players in a bid to rejuvenate its multiplayer mode. For such a solid game—we rated it [9/10] in our review—the company has done minimal work in expanding the campaign or offering DLC.
It’s unclear what Ubisoft will do in its wake, although the company has said more information about upcoming updates should arrive “very soon.”