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Ubisoft Says 93-95% of Their PC Games Get Stolen by Pirates

Illustration for article titled Ubisoft Says 93-95% of Their PC Games Get Stolen by Pirates

Few video game companies' PC release practices are as reviled as Ubisoft's. From titles that require always-on internet connections to security-compromising DRM, attempts by the Assassin's Creed publisher to stop people from illegally obtaining or running their games on PC have met with strong criticism. Their responses haven't always helped.


However, Ubi CEO Yves Guillemot says that most people playing the company's games on PC don't pay for them. In an interview over on Games Industry International, Guillemot explains how the desire to circumvent piracy is shaping their development on PC:

"We want to develop the PC market quite a lot and F2P is really the way to do it. 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."

"It's a way to get closer to your customers, to make sure you have a revenue. On PC it's only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P, 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."


Of course, not every publisher shares Ubi's views on piracy. Paradox Interactivepublisher of War of the Roses—have been vocal before about their opposition to DRM. This morning, Paradox producer Shams Jorjani tweeted his take on Guillemot's comments:


Ubisoft's newest PC strategy is to launch their own uPlay client, which would be a storefront/launcher combination like EA's Origin. It's too soon to say if uPlay will change how many people pirate Ubisoft titles. But it's fair bet that uPlay will be the distribution pipeline through which Ubi tries to make money off their free-to-play games on PC.


Guillemot: As many PC players pay for F2P as boxed product [Games Industry International]

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"It's around a 93-95 per cent piracy rate, so it ends up at about the same percentage. "

What a complete and utter BS statistic that is. There is no way their titles get pirated that much, though their DRM methods do get more people to use cracks around the DRM...but what puzzles me about their piracy arguments is they act like the people pirating would even buy their game if they couldn't suddenly pirate. Many pirates are not "lost customers", but instead are "never would be customers", that are trying out the game because it costs them nothing at all but time.

Whatever, they're welcome to try F2P, which I hope they do fairly instead of trying to string money out of the consumer...and I guess it's better than them going down the dark road of oppressive DRM that is just convincing PC players to buy their games on other platforms, or worse feel justified pirating because Ubisoft is a douche about it.