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Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95%

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot gives GamesIndustry International his outlook on free-to-play games as a way of combating PC piracy, explaining the difficulties presented by serving an audience they perceive to be 93-95% thieves:

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

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142. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 15:14 Beamer
saluk wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 14:58:
There are people who would have bought it in magical no-piracy land, but I'd be willing to bet a very small fraction of the piracy numbers are in that category. When I had no money, yes I did pirate some games. When I had money, no I did not. When things are free, you can download many more items than you ever would be able to afford. You can even to afford to download some terrible console port someone comes out with. Forced to spend money, these people are only able to legally purchase those items they really value.

Would the sales numbers really be affected by that much? If the people who downloaded the latest Assassin's Creed knockoff actually be forced to CHOOSE whether to buy Skyrim, or Batman, or Assassin's Creed? Somebody would have made a bit more money, but it probably would have been Bethesda and not Ubisoft.

Not to mention the large portion of pirates who in magical no-piracy land would simply not be gamers, because they wouldn't be able to afford it.

Sales numbers affected? You bet. But WHOSE sales numbers and by how much? Who knows.

I'd say it's a decent amount, as people would reprioritize, but agree with you that people who pirate tend to do it because they have less disposable income. And, like I keep saying and think most would agree, they're most likely already putting a good chunk of their disposable income into games, anyway. They feel they can afford X games per year and they buy X games per year, most likely at full price and often even waiting in line at midnight releases (I'd guess a ton of those diehards are huge pirates.) They just want to play X+N. So they pirate. And they tell their friends, who may actually buy. Or they gush on sites like this, and other people buy.

I'm in no way saying they're good for the industry, just that they're usually not malicious, cheap jerks. I mean, sure, some are, but I'd say that's a smaller minority than those that would magically start buying every game they wish to play instead of playing fewer games.
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