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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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150. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 28, 2012, 17:40 Mordecai Walfish
 
Not all pirates are consistent. I have a few friends who have come over from the dark side during a steam sale, and if anything is telling about why people pirate and what you can do to curtail this trend, I think the answers lay there, in effective and more broad-picture marketing.  
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149. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 26, 2012, 15:50 Spektr
 
If those numbers are true and they are considering free to play. they should consider bringing prices down 50% first. Video games are overpriced and have been overpriced.  
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148. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 25, 2012, 19:36 Mr. Tact
 
Never fails to amaze me how out of touch executives can be. Guy probably gets paid millions a year and doesn't know what a clue is, let alone have one.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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147. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 24, 2012, 10:54 Chromius
 

We the people should be able to sue them for spreading lies in the media. This type of BS is used as "proof" to try and hand over control of the internet to the govt and have regulations and censorship on par with China, in the form of CISPA ect.....

 
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146. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 24, 2012, 05:57 KilrathiAce
 
Overon wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 15:39:
Did the Yves guy twitter or clarify about those numbers?

no follow up anywhere about source of those numbers so this is still like reading bs.
 
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145. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 24, 2012, 01:19 raVen
 
When Ubisoft pisses off legitimate customers, the only customers they have left are pirates.  
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144. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 24, 2012, 00:48 Dev
 
IMHO, piracy mostly hurts the biggest titles in terms of lost sales, and probably helps the smaller ones with what essentially amounts to free marketing.

Kinda like what happens in music.
 
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143. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 15:39 Overon
 
Did the Yves guy twitter or clarify about those numbers?  
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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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141. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 14:58 saluk
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 20:19:
Alamar wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 19:33:
Overon wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 17:18:
I want to see the basis of the 93-95% piracy rate. What is his source? I want to see a robust and scientifically rigorous and methodologically sound study.

The 93-95% rate seems absurd on its face. How can a maximum of 7% pay for your stuff and you can remain in business?

I don't know if 93-95%, or even the other numbers we've heard over the years are close, but to answer your question...

Software isn't a physical thing... So stealing it doesn't affect it's sales (outside of the lesser desire to buy it at that point), as you're not taking the chance to buy it away from someone else (as opposed to the five finger discount in a store).

-Alamar

I don't think it's quite accurate to say that illegally copying software doesn't affect sales. Your point is that because there's no set amount of inventory, you're not reducing inventory when you pirate and taking away from sales in that way. Certainly a large number of people who pirate software would never buy in the first place. However, as Steam and Humble Indie Bundles show us, everyone has their price. If piracy was made magically impossible, certainly some people who currently pirate would pay for the software. So the sales are affected in that way.

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.
 
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140. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 12:51 Draugr
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 10:43:
InBlack wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 07:44:
Oh really? You work in the gaming industry. The one Yves works in. His numbers look about right?? Care to elaborate? Maybe pull a number out of your ass??

O rly? How about you set a shining example then and go right ahead and pull a number out of your ass that proves Yves and the dude you replied to wrong. Oh. Aw. You mean you can't? Well, then... how about you shut the fuck up and let the actual insiders do the talking and the numbers out of ass pulling? kthxbye. Moron.


So neither of you can site numbers, which apparently is okay for you but if he can't do it then it proves your right? Hardly

I think he was trying to prove a point - and that still stands, you have no way of supporting those numbers.

Which is why your response is to dismiss him instead of engage in discussion, which you clearly have no evidence to support your numbers.
If the figures did exist, you wouldn't need to be an 'industry insider' as you claim so yourself to access it.
 
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139. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 10:43 CJ_Parker
 
InBlack wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 07:44:
Oh really? You work in the gaming industry. The one Yves works in. His numbers look about right?? Care to elaborate? Maybe pull a number out of your ass??

O rly? How about you set a shining example then and go right ahead and pull a number out of your ass that proves Yves and the dude you replied to wrong. Oh. Aw. You mean you can't? Well, then... how about you shut the fuck up and let the actual insiders do the talking and the numbers out of ass pulling? kthxbye. Moron.

 
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138. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 09:53 Dev
 
A) Valve found with steam that a lot of markets (such as russia) that conventional wisdom said were closed off and no money to be made there because of piracy... well that was wrong and when valve tried, they DO make money there. Valve has talked about that topic before.

B) I'm surprised that I agree with Beamer But it mostly doesn't matter if the piracy rate number is real or not. The only point is what your actual sales are. I see this as admitting their always on DRM has failed. If they want to go after what they perceive as lost sales, maybe now its time to try carrot strategies, instead of stick strategies that mostly hurt legitimate customers such as always on DRM. For instance, stardock gave out free updates with additional content if you had a legit serial number. If ubi did some exclusive DLC that way, they'd probably get some extra sales. DLC you couldn't have in any other way except as a reward for being a legit customer. I'm sure there's other ways to use a carrot instead of a stick.
 
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137. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 07:44 InBlack
 
spacecadet wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 12:01:
As someone who works in the gaming industry I have to say his numbers look about right. Once you start considering countries like China and Brazil the piracy rates shoot through the roof. The entire comment is about those countries, but everyone here takes it as an attack on western gamers, that is funny in so many ways.


Oh really? You work in the gaming industry. The one Yves works in. His numbers look about right?? Care to elaborate? Maybe pull a number out of your ass??
 
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136. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 05:34 eRe4s3r
 
Or in case of Anno 2070 where apart from DRM they also dumbed everything down to a casual appeal. Or should I say, dumbed everything even MORE down.  
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135. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 04:28 Jerykk
 
What's really irritating is that Ubisoft doesn't seem to recognize the correlation between their own actions and the PC sales that result. Delaying a port of a multiplatform game almost always results in lackluster sales. This has been proven time and time again. It's also the reason why most publishers strive for simultaneous launches across all platforms. If you delay a port for 1-6 months and then release it with little to no marketing, what kind of sales numbers are you expecting? Everyone who really wanted to play the game has already played it on a console and most people don't even know that the PC port exists due to lack of marketing. Hell, even a one week delay is enough to sway many people towards the versions of the game that are already available.

Ubisoft's approach to F2P also seems equally misguided. They seem to think that they can just recycle existing games and make them F2P. While this may work for some F2P games, the most successful F2P games are the ones that are designed from the ground up for F2P. If you're going to enter the quickly saturating F2P market, at least put some effort into it.
 
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134. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 03:49 NetHead
 
People seem to be pointing the piracy finger at certain countries without any consideration of the wealth of those countries or it's people. In many of the countries having the finger pointed at them many people are living in conditions places like the US would consider destitute. Now if people in the US have problems with paying $50 for a game how do you think $50 looks to someone who has to worry if they have enough for next weeks food.

Even if the true number of piracy was 99% it doesn't change the fact that if there was no piracy sales number wouldn't change much, infact the only places sales number would really rise are in the wealthy countries like the US where people can afford such inflated prices.

Piracy does not mean a lost sale. This is not just some mantra against those that complain against piracy, it's a cold hard fact.
 
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133. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 23, 2012, 01:25 Veterator
 
Can't think of another business that can survive a 90%+ theft rate, I guess that's why copyright infringement isn't theft. You know, if you want to believe those numbers at all. I just wonder how many people on this planet they think play games on the PC.

I buy 342-567% of all games that have ever been created, thought of, or will be created.

 
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132. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 23:12 Fletch
 
Huh? If you claim a "93-95 per cent piracy rate", what makes you think those pirates want to play your crappy game now that it's F2P? All you are doing is milking more money from those few PC customers who, for some fucking reason I can't fathom, still buy/play Ubisoft games.

Make good PC games, sell more PC games. Drop the persistent connection bullshit, sell a lot more PC games.

 
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131. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 22:37 eRe4s3r
 
You are wrongly assuming that pirates don't also own and buy games... Imo, 95% is a fairly realistic rate (most are probably below), except it's not transferable to actual numbers. And ye really should not quote numbers from torrent-freak, who pull them as much out of their backside as this CEO.

Still, he probably meant it in relation to sales. And if a game only sells 100k, it isn't hard to get to a 90% piracy rate, particularly when he meant it as a relation (ie, on 1 sale come 9 non-sales. I think that is realistic. That Ubisoft causes this hatred themselves is not new. Anno 2070 is riddle with DRM, and now they had the gall to announce a f2p anno that's a cheap copy of 1404. If you want to make a community hate you, that's how you do it.
 
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