Ubi: piracy rate on PC is at 95%
In a new interview, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has once again stressed how bad piracy on PC is. According to the man, 95% of all people playing the publisher’s games are playing them illegally. With about 5 to 7% of gamers who check out Free2Play games on PC actually doing microtransactions, the revenue for both are about the same.
“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.”
“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.”
It seems that for PC, Ubisoft sees a growth in margin rather than revenue. Games can be sold digitally in more countries, they’re cheaper to distribute, and by re-using existing material they’re also a lot cheaper to produce.
“We also take content which we’ve developed in the past, graphics etc, and we can make cheaper games and improve them over time. What’s very important is that we change the content and make it a better fit to the customer as time goes on.”
Although I do understand his points about free2play being cheaper to produce and distribute, the guy may also wonder why people might be pirating Ubisoft games so much. Many games are tailored for console, and when released on PC months later, suffer from consolitis. And then you get the added benefit of being able to enjoy Ubisoft’s “fantastic” DRM schemes, something pirated copies don’t have an issue with.
So all this reads: “we want to make games cheaper and improve our margin rather than actually invest in top quality titles that would sell millions of copies”. But you can’t really blame the guy, it’s a business strategy like any other and it’s up to customers to decide whether they want to go along with it or not.