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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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50. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 12:17 Prez
 
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.

I'm not a mathematician but still I have a pretty good grasp of how percentages work. If you consider that the largest western markets make a huge swathe of the global PC game market, which data I've read in the past suggests averages anywhere from 60% to 75% piracy (numbers, BTW, which are also inflated because of inaccurate accounting), what would the rest of the world have to be averaging to bring the global piracy rate up to the 93% to 95%? I'm thinking countries like Russia, China, Brazil, and others would have to have nigh 100% piracy to jack the number up that high. Even if true (as I understand piracy to be ingrained in the culture of some of those places), wouldn't that make more of a case for cessation of releasing PC games in those markets instead of whining and crying about numbers that sound utterly ridiculous to those of us in less piracy-infested countries?
 
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49. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 12:16 MajorD
 

Maybe it has already been asked/stated/posted (I quickly skimmed the posts - sorry), but does the 'speculated' 93 to 95% include the legit consumers that DID purchase their games, BUT disabled the POS DRM?

Prez put it best by calling it Anti-Consumer DRM, as it is certainly more that than Anti-Piracy DRM.


 
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48. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 12:16 RailWizard
 
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.


Yeah. I believe that falls into "they were never going to buy it anyway", and regardless, good-fucking-luck enforcing anything over there.

That is pure statistical bs. Are those countries UBI's target demographic? lol that idea is absurd, but obviously they are suggesting that punishing US for THIER sins is 'legit' apparently.

It pretty much boils down to trying to get blood from a stone. UBI's target demographic doesn't give them enough money, so they are whining about the savages not making up for it. Retarded.
 
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47. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 12:10 RailWizard
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 10:46:

No one said anything about pirating f2p games...


Well it's kind of hard to tell...so much bullshit spewing out between every word and all...
 
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46. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 12:02 Beamer
 
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.


Yeah, someone else mentioned that earlier, and you're right - as soon as you think China, Brazil and Russia it makes sense.
 
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45. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 12:01 spacecadet
 
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.

 
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44. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:57 Beamer
 
Bob wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 10:56:
Is he really saying that if you play F2P and _don't_ purchase something, they consider you a pirate?
No, he's saying the same amount of people play for free, so you may as well give it to them for free.

Which I disagree with, as those not playing for free may resent a nickel-and-diming, the entire development philosophy has to be changed in a way that's detrimental to most (but not all) games, and you're likely getting less per person on average.

Better to lower prices than go free. Or at least try that model.
 
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43. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:56 Creston
 
PC Players: Ubisoft bullshit rate 4-5 dismissive wanks.

At least he now mentioned the word "countries."

Yep, here in the US we get saddled with bullshit Ubi-DRM because Russia and China pirate shit like fucking crazy. (and before anyone cries, yes, I'm well aware that the US pirates shit as well, but I think the numbers here are nowhere near as insane as they are in the two aforementioned countries.)

Creston

 
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42. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:53 necrosis
 
Wesp5 wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 11:22:
DukeFNukem wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 11:01:
Steam seems to be have gotten it right.

What has Steam got to do with this? Steam is a kind of DRM itself and AAA games there cost the same as on retail, although they should be cheaper with no media and box and stuff. If you buy them years later or on a sale, the price has nothing to do with retail vs digital distribution!
(1) Steam does not set prices. The game companies do. Point your teen rage in the right direction at least.

(2) Steam DRM is NOTHING like Ubi DRM. Steam at most needs a one time online activation. But hell you need to download the game anyhow so this is basically not an issue.

So yes. Steam has found a good balance between keeping piracy down and keeping customers happy.
 
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41. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:48 Prez
 
Since we are pulling numbers right out of our asses without a single shred of evidence to back up ridiculous claims, here's one (and one that I think is FAR easier to believe) :

At least 65% yo 75% of paying customers (the ones who bought the DRM-infested game) play the warez version, not the crippled version.

Virtually everyone I know who buys Ubisoft games on Steam does this. I look at all of the Ubisoft titles in people's libraries with '0.0 hours played' and can be pretty damn sure they are doing the same thing I am.
 
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40. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:48 Kajetan
 
Verno wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 10:45:
I could believe those figures for China alone but internationally? Get lost, DD is massive now. Publishers love the idea of F2P because they want to micro-transact the audience until they have to sell their actual clothing to buy virtual wardrobes.
I could believe these numbers for every westen country. But ... it DOES NOT MATTER!

What matters is how many paying customers you have. Yes, there might be trillions of evil, evil pirates out there, but this DOES NOT MATTER. AT ALL! How many pying customers i have is important. How many customers are returning customers, because they were happy with their purchase is important. Piracy, shmiracy ... if a CEO still uses this argument to explain the descisions of a companies strategy, he is retarded and needs to resign immediately.
 
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39. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:48 Silvanus
 
I wonder what UBIsoft will do with "Rocksmith" for PC next month. It already requires a special USB cable to plug in your guitar. please no DRM.

-Silvanus
 
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38. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:42 Elf Shot The Food
 
Based on the article, I took his comments to mean that piracy was very high in certain demographics, ie China.  
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37. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:41 Rattlehead
 
I will continue to pirate every Ubisoft game released, regardless if I play it or not. I want to the add to the numbers.

These guys are a fucking joke. Take your shitty, useless DRM and just stick to fucking consoles, since your PC ports are terrible anyways.
 
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36. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:40 deqer
 
"Waaahhhh, no one is buying our games. It must be piracy!"

OR

"Waahhhh, no one is buying our games. WTF devs?"
"<Devs> It's piracy."
*Devs will say anything to shut their manager up and to redirect the heat from them to the users.
"Okay. It must be piracy!"

---

Sadly, no, it isn't piracy. It's because people just don't play your shit. And any piracy that takes place is because of spite against your DRM policies. Any piracy done is because to demo the game before they buy, and guess what? They didn't like the demo, and so they aren't going to buy it.
 
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35. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:38 DukeFNukem
 
I guess my point was that Steam is a success because, at certain times, it's the cheapest place on planet earth you can purchase a quality game. Before Steam came along, I would see a lot of older games priced very cheap on Amazon.com but the shipping charges kept me from ever purchasing any of them. The last game I bought off of Steam was "Jade Empire:Special Edition" for $2.49(bought about a month ago and haven't even played it yet). That's less than what it cost to ship a physical game.
But the only point I really wanted to make isn't specifically tied to Steam. But I will say again, at the right price people will purchase instead of pirate. Game publishers/developers need to realize this fact. Burn this data into their brain. Start thinking up ways to adapt and survive in the real world. Complaining about reality never changes the reality. So adapt, re-think, and make it work.
Maybe even publish a pricing schedule from the very beginning that explicitly gives people incentives not to pirate. For example:
Retail price for Warcraft IV:
Release-day through first 180 days $59.99
> 180 days $39.99
> 1 year $29.99
> 2 years $19.99.

This is actually the way it's pretty much done already but it's just implicitly done and not explicitly stated. I guess some people may always feel the need to pirate a game just for the thrill of it.

This comment was edited on Aug 22, 2012, 11:47.
 
Just because you aren't afraid of something doesn't it mean it can't kill you...
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34. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:36 Slashman
 
Prez wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 11:24:
nin wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 11:19:
Apologies for my crassness

Yeah, it is a crazy day here when Prez starts talking about fucking people "right up the ass".


It made me feel better - I may do it more often. Err.... that's "say" it more often.

That's not a Freudian slip right...? Wiseguy

Anyway. Even if the piracy rate was 99% and you can still make a decent profit from your game, what the hell does it matter?

I mean, lets say your game sells 3 million. Do you really care that 4 million people pirated it? Is the actual game profitable or not? If your games aren't profitable, then don't make those games anymore.

If you want to do F2P because you think single player games won't pay your bills, then by all means, go F2P. There are enough other developers around that will jump in to fill the void. Hell, I've got too many games to play now as is.

Whining about piracy when companies like Bethesda, CD Projekt, Amplitude etc. are doing just fine makes you look like a moron.
 
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33. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:32 steve bicknell
 
F2P say the people with the WORST EVER copy protection. I have to use cracks to stop my DriverSF from pausing every 30 seconds. IDIOTS, how are they gonna mess up F2P with their DRM ?  
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32. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:27 dheer
 
I haven't played an Ubi game since the first Assassin's Creed because of AC2's drm. Just because it gets pirated doesn't mean it's a lost sale. I am a lost sale for them.

That 95% number deserves to be in the ass pull hall of fame.
 
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I wonder if he reads them, or if it's just for show.
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31. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 11:26 Arithon
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 10:55:
Here we go again with the typical knee-jerk reaction of y'allz stealing faggots who feel like they got caught red-handed when numbers like this are presented. Yes, my dear friends. The realization that YOU are the problem may be a tough one but that's how it is. Stop stealing and maybe we'll see a trend to better PC games one day.


Such a display of I-bought-the-propaganda anal ventriloquism beggars belief!

The numbers are (as always) a made up figure with zero basis in any kind of fact. I can surmise with a fair degree of certainty that UbiSoft’s sales department simply added the number of seeders and leechers on every torrent site they could find and multiplied that figure by a random factor, then counted the number as “stolen copies”. Not even an accurate representation of true downloads. Let a alone a true figure of who *might* have bought a game they couldn’t download for free. If I offer you a no-strings-attached free Ferrari F40 I made myself, more than a few people would take one. That doesn’t mean if I withdrew the offer, that these people would then rush out and buy a $600,000 car. That’s at best, a laughable premise.

If his argument bore any validity, then I could argue using the same flawed logic that a million times the customers were lost to DRM than ever were to piracy.

Having been stung by Ubi’s draconian DRM on Ass Creed 2, being unable to play single player BECAUSE THEIR WEBSITE was down, I will never buy another game they publish. Nor, for the same reason, would I pirate the buggy crap they churn out!

If their sales have actually dropped 90%+ (a likely tale) then they should look closer to home for the cause.

Free2Play is pimping PC’s as advertising space and with each new title the revenue stream gets thinner. It’s a venture that’s born to fail.

The best selling PC games in recent years had little or no DRM, LAN support and single-player. If you want to sell 10-11 million copies of a title on the PC platform, then wake up and smell the coffee.


 
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