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Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate Hits "93-95%"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Free to play, PC games, Piracy, Ubisoft

Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate Hits "93-95%"

Free To Play A Priority

Ubisoft's Gamescom press conference revealed a massive new commitment to the burgeoning free to play market, which is apparently in response to a shocking statistic. CEO Yves Guillemot believes that "93 to 95 percent" of PC gamers who play Ubisoft's titles obtained them without paying, making free to play a more attractive option thanks to its global penetration and ease of access.

And yes, I had to read that statistic twice.

“We want to develop the PC market quite a lot and F2P is really the way to do it," Guillemot told GI.biz. "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.”

“On PC it’s only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P,” he continued, “but normally on PC it’s only about five to seven per cent who pay anyway, the rest is pirated. It’s around a 93-95 per cent 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.”

That figure sounds ridiculous a little high to us - since digital PC sales figures are fragmented across multiple distribution platforms, we wonder whether Ubisoft are overlooking a sizeable proportion of their player base.

If true, though, Ubisoft aren't doing themselves any favours. Their draconian DRM engendered a huge amount of ill will in the PC community, from the earliest 'always-on' disasters to server outages and Anno 2070's finicky install issues. Though free to play is absolutely going to be a major player over the next few years - perhaps even the biggest gaming sector if its exponential growth continues - we can't help but feel that taking a leaf out of CD Projekt's book might be a good idea in the short term. Guillemot tempered their enthusiasm with a suggestion that companies need to treat the market with respect and caution rather than rushing to grab as much cash as possible, which is music to our ears.

Ubisoft announced several new free to play titles at Gamescom, including Might & Magic Raiders and Silent Hunter Online. Check out the details here.

Add a comment14 comments
Jaffo  Aug. 22, 2012 at 12:14

Great advert for the effectiveness of their awful DRM.

hurrakan  Aug. 22, 2012 at 12:26

I don't play Ubisoft games since their DRM - but I don't pirate ANY games either.

The last Ubisoft game I played was Far Cry 2 and that was a birthday/Christmas gift.

My brother plays the Assassin Creed games on PC but he bought them all legally via Steam.

davidpanik  Aug. 22, 2012 at 12:46

93 - 95% Where did they pluck that figure from, the 1990s? I don't know anyone that pirates PC games these days.

Korma  Aug. 22, 2012 at 12:53

Great advert for the effectiveness of their awful DRM.


Yeah, I think he must be including all those that bought the game but then cracked it to remove the DLC.

Either way, they're not learning the lesson and blaming something else.

socialjeebus  Aug. 22, 2012 at 13:14

93 - 95% Where did they pluck that figure from, the 1990s? I don't know anyone that pirates PC games these days.


Maybe piracy is not that rife back in Blighty but where I live, in Korea almost everyone without exception pirates. Korea is not a poor country, it's just people refuse to pay. And Korea is one of the biggest PC gaming communities (still have professional televised leagues based on the original Starcraft). EA have even made a Korea-specific, free to play online FIFA game.

RodM  Aug. 22, 2012 at 13:28

I haven't pirated games since the earl 2000s, but I know plenty people who do.

I can see how their games are pirated more than bought (although 90%+ is a bit hard to believe). After all, a lot of their PC games tend to be hilariously bad console ports (GRFS, to a lesser extent both R6 Vegas games), or when they re-engineer the game for PC, they have to outsource the work to studios like Grin in order to put out a decent product (GRAW 1 + 2 PC).

As for their DRM, if there was every a reason TO pirate a game, that'd be it.

The fact that their games get pirated a shitload doesn't surprise me. Their claimed statistic, on the other hand, is kind of hard to take seriously.

Last edited by RodM, Aug. 22, 2012 at 13:28
Jerec  Aug. 22, 2012 at 14:00

93 - 95% Where did they pluck that figure from, the 1990s? I don't know anyone that pirates PC games these days.


Maybe piracy is not that rife back in Blighty but where I live, in Korea almost everyone without exception pirates. Korea is not a poor country, it's just people refuse to pay. And Korea is one of the biggest PC gaming communities (still have professional televised leagues based on the original Starcraft). EA have even made a Korea-specific, free to play online FIFA game.


Is that North Korea?

phil16  Aug. 22, 2012 at 14:14

I don't play Ubisoft games since their DRM - but I don't pirate ANY games either.

The last Ubisoft game I played was Far Cry 2 and that was a birthday/Christmas gift.

My brother plays the Assassin Creed games on PC but he bought them all legally via Steam.


This. I buy lots of PC Games and don't pirate but I've avoid UBISOFT like the plague recently.

Try not treating your customers like scum and maybe we'll starting buying and playing your games again...

DivideByZero  Aug. 22, 2012 at 14:52

Wow... I find that offensive as a gamer who buys games.

Also, how the hell did they get this figure?
Worth noting that 95% of statistics are made up on the spot.

Last edited by DivideByZero, Aug. 22, 2012 at 14:53
gamestraderjames  Aug. 22, 2012 at 16:36

Ubisoft have a total lack of respect for their paying customers. In their attempts at stopping piracy via awful DRM they're losing more & more paying customers and angering the gaming community. Frankly, they can suck it. I hope 95% really do pirate Ubisoft games and continue to do so til this sorry excuse for a company washes down the drain.

MattGardner  Aug. 22, 2012 at 18:34

*cough* If we pulled figures and statistics out of our **** we'd get in trouble.

UncleFrank  Aug. 22, 2012 at 19:24

93 - 95% Where did they pluck that figure from, the 1990s? I don't know anyone that pirates PC games these days.


Unfortunately I know plenty, and it doesn't matter if it's a big studio or an indie developer; there's a lot of it going on. Sites like TPB have allowed for mass piracy at the click of a button. Still, I find 93%-95% to be a little difficult to believe.

Last edited by UncleFrank, Aug. 22, 2012 at 19:25
davidpanik  Aug. 22, 2012 at 20:12

93 - 95% Where did they pluck that figure from, the 1990s? I don't know anyone that pirates PC games these days.


Maybe piracy is not that rife back in Blighty but where I live, in Korea almost everyone without exception pirates. Korea is not a poor country, it's just people refuse to pay. And Korea is one of the biggest PC gaming communities (still have professional televised leagues based on the original Starcraft). EA have even made a Korea-specific, free to play online FIFA game.


That's a fair point, I wasn't thinking globally. You've still got places like Russia that sell pirated games and movies on the high street. Still think the figure's too high though.

Late  Aug. 23, 2012 at 10:01

I feel like a mug for not pirating, now.

Thanks for bringing to my attention my failing in that department, Ubifeller. I'll try to conform more in future.

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