Ubisoft says PC gamers pirate, therefore they’ll go F2P

Wow, I had no idea the pirating rate was that bad for Ubisoft’s PC games. The company has claimed that 93-95% of their PC games are pirated. CEO Yves Guillemot responds to this by having Ubisoft go the free-to-play route.

“The advantage of F2P is that we can get revenue from countries where we couldn’t previously — places where our products were played but not bought. Now with F2P we gain revenue, which helps brands last longer,” he told Game Industry. “It’s a way to get closer to your customers, to make sure you have a revenue. On PC it’s only around 5-7% of the players who pay for F2P, but normally on PC it’s only about 5-7% who pay anyway, the rest is pirated.”

“It’s around a 93-95% piracy rate, so it ends up at about the same percentage. The revenue we get from the people who play is more long term, so we can continue to bring content.”

Ubisoft has favored the console market more by usually releasing the PC version afterwards. This is the case with Assassin’s Creed III, with the PC version coming out a month later. The company has also been fighting pirates with its DRM strategy that forces players to be constantly online. Apparently it’s not working, since we’re still getting a lot of people pirating its games according to Guillemot.

I’m just wondering if there’s a source that’s dedicated to collecting piracy statistics. Sure, we can get statistics for sales, but are pirates out there collecting information and announcing that the ratio for paid and pirated are in their favor? And since the DRM is already pissing off PC gamers, is it really worth it to piss off the small percentage that actually do support Ubisoft PC games?

Let’s use Ghost Recon: Future Soldier for example. It’s sold 1.3 million units globally so far. If Guillemot is saying that 93-95% are pirating, that would mean that around 19 million PC gamers are playing it illegally. Wow, that’s pretty impressive for the pirate community if that were true.

So what free-to-play PC games are in the works? During Gamescom, Ubisoft has announced Silent Hunter Online, Anno Online, The Settlers Online and Heroes of Might Heroes Online.

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John Nguyen
John Nguyen 10222 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.