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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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130. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 21:36 KilrathiAce
 
I think he mixed the numbers, thats often UBI games either suck, released in unfinished state and get no support. 95% of the time? Sounds right to me.

PS. If we are going to publish statistical numbers like this how about providing source of how those statistics were obtained? Otherwise anyone can say whatever % statistics they want to support their agenda. There is no mention of how those statistics were obtained and until that is provided this is BS.
 
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129. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 21:21 Denthor
 
Realistically tho, how many of those people would have bought the game(s). Something that i can't get my head around is that these "suits" kick up a massive shit storm over piracy numbers but have absolutely no conclusive evidence that piracy has had a large negative effect on sales. Their thought process seems to be "Oh look x amount are downloading my game that directly relates to y sales" - idiocy. Im sure there are some cases that piracy has hurt a game but im also positive that the opposite is true as well. How many of you here have pirated a game with absolutely no intention of ever buying it but being pleasantly surprised that the game was indeed worthwhile and then going out and making a purchase? I know that has happened to me numerous times (Borderlands, DA:O, Deus ex; Saints row 3, The Witcher that i can remember off the top of my head). Do they ever take that into account? Or does that simply not suit their agenda and is brushed aside.

AAA devs just seem so bogged down by the "suits". It just seems every freaking public company these days is so worried about quarterly reviews that they miss the big picture - its almost like a sleight of hand, real deal happening on the right meanwhile i'll misdirect you to this on the left. I just don't understand how CDprojekt is profitable selling only 1 - 2million copies of the witcher on the PC, yet something like DA:O was considered a bad investment and required such radical changes to produce the stinking poo pile that is DA:2.

At least the indies are doing great. Regardless on your thoughts of Steam it has effectively built the indie scene (context - opened up the doors for ease of access to a large amount of customers). Valve will always have my admiration for that. Just one company that doesn't live to the quarterly review, takes chances and has thrived because of it.
 
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128. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 21:08 2nd_floor
 
DukeFNukem wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 11:01:
Steam seems to be have gotten it right. People will purchase software at the right price versus pirating it. The days of paying $50-$60 for games may be diminishing because of the sheer number of choices available today. The number of games a person can choose to buy at any one time is increasing exponentially. The number of game sales is inversely proportionate to its price. The cheaper the game becomes, generally, the more the sales increase. These people complaining about piracy all the time need to start thinking smarter. Times are harder. More competition means it not as easy to get filthy rich like in the past but if you think smarter and find solutions it can still be done as many people are doing through Steam. I just can't see these arguments about piracy being valid when there are many success stories through Steam.
It's probably easier to sell a million copies of a game at $10.00 than it is to sell a 100,000 copies of a game at $60.00. There is a sweet spot somewhere. Stop complaining and figure it out.
I stopped paying $60.00 for games a long time ago. The most I pay is $10 now days. If I have to wait 2 years after its release so be it. I will wait. And I don't pirate it anytime before. Theres no reason to. There's enough quality $10.00 games to keep me busy the 2-years Im waiting on $60 games to drop.

I paid $60 for the disappointment that was Rage on PC. What a mess. "From the creators of Doom and Quake", such amazing technology and original games, and we get the bore that is Rage. $60 for 10 hours of near waste in Rage.

But I did buy it legally! 93%-95% piracy? If every game on Steam has been purchased legally (and I think this is basically true), then there is no way it is 93%! Who said it that they couldn't/wouldn't be in the business with numbers like that. Exactly. Running a grape/wine farm in France somewhere will be more profitable than the PC games business with numbers like that, he should switch professions!

They are basically saying they do not trust their customers!
 
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127. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 20:36 Saboth
 
NegaDeath wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 19:19:
If you average it out I wouldn't be surprised if it's correct. Doesn't compensate for the way Ubi treats paying customers though.

That's my opinion too. You have to create value for customers while also treating them with respect. Contrary to beancounters, your profit is not the bottom line. We could easily prevent 99% of crime in our society if we simply locked every citizen up along with every criminal. The problem with companies like Ubisoft's solution is it simply locks up the paying customers while the criminals continue on crime sprees outside the prison walls.
 
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126. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 20:32 Saboth
 
Flak wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 20:28:
djinn wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 20:08:
So who here has never pirated a game, ever? Purely out of curiosity.

I doubt anyone. That said, as an adult with a job, I've basically purchased every title I've ever pirated on steam. Yes it's after the fact (sue me, my 12 year old ass at the time had no money).

I have 200+ titles on Steam and dozens on other services, but little to not Ubisoft titles. Willing to drop money on 200+ games but not Ubisoft...I wonder why? Something about them shitting all over franchises that were ever worth a damn.

It's actually a shame that 100% of Ubisoft's games aren't pirated.

I actually can't think of ever pirating a game. Back in college when Napster first came out, I pirated maybe 50 songs, but it wasn't really called "pirating" back then, it was more like "hey, free music, from the...internet? Awesome."
 
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125. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 20:28 Flak
 
djinn wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 20:08:
So who here has never pirated a game, ever? Purely out of curiosity.

I doubt anyone. That said, as an adult with a job, I've basically purchased every title I've ever pirated on steam. Yes it's after the fact (sue me, my 12 year old ass at the time had no money).

I have 200+ titles on Steam and dozens on other services, but little to not Ubisoft titles. Willing to drop money on 200+ games but not Ubisoft...I wonder why? Something about them shitting all over franchises that were ever worth a damn.

It's actually a shame that 100% of Ubisoft's games aren't pirated.
 
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124. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 20:24 PropheT
 
Alamar wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 19:33:
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

...Do you actually believe that?

Of all the excuses and dodges I've seen to justify piracy that might be the dumbest I've ever read. Under that same logic digital distribution has no effect on retail sales, and I think we can all agree that would be a pretty stupid statement.

 
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123. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 20:19 jdreyer
 
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.
 
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122. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 20:08 djinn
 
So who here has never pirated a game, ever? Purely out of curiosity.  
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121. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 20:00 Julio
 
Ubi can't make decent single player games anymore and have crap DRM, so they're using piracy as an excuse for their numbers dropping. Installing a rootkit on your customers PCs is a great way to not sell any games in the future either.

As someone mentioned earlier in the thread, the shareholders of Ubi should really be looking for a replacement for Yves.

And thanks Yves for the comments, it reminded me to uninstall my only Ubi game (HOMM 6) after disabling uplay a few weeks back.

My PC is now Ubi-free

This comment was edited on Aug 22, 2012, 20:06.
 
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120. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 19:37 Beamer
 
WaltC wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 19:32:
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.


Your own post is actually pretty funny...;) In the original article I don't recall seeing the words "China/Brazil" mentioned even once. Everyone knows that in China, especially, that per-capita income is a tiny fraction of what it is in the west, so, yes, if Ubisoft thinks to sell games in China for $60 US a pop--the company deserves all of the Chinese piracy it can get.




From the original article:
The advantage of F2P is that we can get revenue from countries where we couldn't previously


Anyway, I don't recall it saying it expects the same per user across the globe, it just want something.
 
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119. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 19:33 Alamar
 
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
 
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118. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 19:32 WaltC
 
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.


Your own post is actually pretty funny...;) In the original article I don't recall seeing the words "China/Brazil" mentioned even once. Everyone knows that in China, especially, that per-capita income is a tiny fraction of what it is in the west, so, yes, if Ubisoft thinks to sell games in China for $60 US a pop--the company deserves all of the Chinese piracy it can get. Sheesh...The differences in the two markets are so vast that to lump them altogether in the same speech makes no sense at all--unless, as I suspect, UbiSoft's management is again trying to produce excuses for its poor management.

But UBIsoft's loony policy with respect to making PC games-- the categorical lie that they are 90%+ pirated--is reflected in almost every statement the company makes. Ubisoft makes no geographical distinctions while talking about these things. Everyone knows that isn't remotely true, with mega-seller after mega-seller topping the PC game charts in just the last two years alone--companies selling millions of copy's of PC games in 72 hours, etc. and doing press releases about the fact--recouping their entire game-development budget in a week, and so on.

But that happens when companies actually make PC games that PC gamers *want,* you see. Hanging out a sign and saying, "We are open for PC game sales" while selling game software that few people want has literally nothing to do with piracy. When movie studios spend $$$ making flops, the movies don't fail because of piracy, they fail because they are crappy movies few people want to go and see. It's the same with book publishing--exactly the same. Even celebrated authors who write duds take a shellacking.

And of course, anyone who publishes Free to Play games and thinks nobody "pays for them" because the FREE games are "pirated" is a dunce of the first order...;) Geez...who *hires* these morons?...;) Free to play games are supposed to bring in revenue by advertising and other such means--just like Free To Watch broadcast TV!

Game publishers have got to stop hiding behind the "piracy" lamentation, as any publisher who thinks his game is supposed to sell x-million copies simply because it ships, regardless of whether it's any good or not, is one of two things: a charlatan or an idiot. Ubisoft has been saying this for so long, in the face of dazzling PC game sales figures racked up by other companies on a regular basis, that I no longer believe the guy is an idiot--it's more likely he's just a petty crook out to fleece his investors with his perpetual whine about "piracy" to obscure the fact that his company doesn't know how to make a PC game that the market for PC games finds compelling enough to buy in massive quantities--like they do for companies like Blizzard, EA, Valve, and many, many other companies. The guy is seriously an idiot, though, if he believes that Microsoft became the largest software company in the world on the basis of 93% personal computer software piracy! What a first-class dunce! Doesn't he know that Microsoft also sells to Brazil and China?

Fact is, a publisher has no right to expect a customer in China to pay $50 US for a game when the per-capita disposable income is a fraction of what it is in the company's home country. Now maybe if the rank & file Chinese customer could buy the game for $5 US, or maybe even $.05 US, then maybe Chinese sales would go through the roof, too! The software publishing bizz has a lot of truly stupid people calling the shots, seems to me. With UBIsoft, it's nothing new at all.

Are there really people in finance who listen to some poor schmuck like this? Why is this guy in charge of a software publishing house? Do the investors in this company have a death wish? I mean, the "We're waiting on the next consoles" line--to do what, make a compelling game?--is as big a stall as Ubisoft's notion that they can't make a profitable PC title because of piracy. That's just so twisted since so many other companies manage to do it on a regular basis. There might not even be a "next console" at least as he expects it. These days you can buy a PC game platform powerful enough to blow the doors off a PS3 or a 360, for $399-$499, with user-upgradable components, too! Aside from that, console piracy is just as rampant despite propaganda that says otherwise. Ubisoft needs a major attitude adjustment if it wishes to survive, imo. PC gamers are not the enemy--*BAD SOFTWARE* is the bad guy here. Just because you hang out a sign, you aren't entitled to succeed, Ubisoft, and if you don't succeed it's *your fault*--the elusive, phantom "software pirate" is just your excuse for failing. It's really wearing thin, as so many other companies doing PC games are going gangbusters and doing great!




 
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117. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 19:19 NegaDeath
 
If you average it out I wouldn't be surprised if it's correct. Doesn't compensate for the way Ubi treats paying customers though.  
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116. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 19:18 Dmitri_M
 
I have no idea why someone who casually pirates a game is going to bother getting his credit card out for some dumb dlc addon microtransaction in a F2P title  
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115. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 19:10 eunichron
 
As others have said just take a trip around the world and you will see how believable that number is. Go to the Middle East, Asia, or South America and walk into any shop that sells movies or games, chances are 100% of the merchandise is pirated. It's not just because it's cheaper (in Iraq we had a haji shop that sold movies for $1, Xbox/PS2 games for $3), but in many areas it is the only way that consumers can purchase those goods. Don't disregard the number just because it's from Ubi, more than likely it is a pretty accurate statistic.  
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114. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 19:05 SimplyMonk
 
Scheherazade wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 18:21:
Globally speaking, I believe the number.

I believe that number is possible, but I don't necessarily believe it. That being said, your other points are solid, at least personally. I stopped pirating pretty much the instant I started making a solid paycheck.

If I do pirate now, it is usually old console emulators when I feel like some retro gaming or TV show episodes since I don't have cable and the episode isn't on Netflix or Amazon.
 
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113. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 18:21 Scheherazade
 
Globally speaking, I believe the number.

I have family/friends in Europe, and whenever I visited them, I didn't see a single copy of anything legitimately purchased...
But who knows, maybe there was a copy of something somewhere in their closet that they had bought.

And these are people that can afford to buy their software.
Then consider that most of the world doesn't have much money to spare...

(Although, I suspect that much of this piracy is easy-come-easy-go. Someone is bored, downloads a game, mucks around for 10 minutes, goes 'meh', and never plays it again. Which is the case with the vast vast vast majority of piracy I've known of.)

Personally, 'having a decent job' + 'steam' + 'fast internet' has essentially eliminated any inclination I could have to pirate.
Why bother hunting for a [decent] torrent [that I trust isn't infested with spyware], when I can tell steam to download a game, go make a sandwich, come back and start playing.

Today, piracy is a chore. The only people I can imagining pirating something are kids with no money.
...Which globally speaking is still a crap-ton of people - albeit people who wouldn't/couldn't buy the software anyways.

I would be more interested in the stats on : % of people who pirated that could afford to not pirate. And % piracy by region/continent.

-scheherazade

This comment was edited on Aug 22, 2012, 18:36.
 
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112. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 18:17 Asmo
 
No long post required, typical Ubi bullshit, disregarded...  
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111. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 18:10 Prez
 
No, it's not. Piracy should not be MY fucking problem. When I buy a game, I shouldn't automatically be considered to be a pirate. I put 50 or 60 bucks down for a game, so therefore I should be allowed to play it without having to hope that the server isn't down for some fucking bullshit reason, or that the DRM got upgraded with the latest patch and now doesn't recognize my computer, or that it won't install because of the DRM or yadda yadda yadda.

Piracy is NOT MY PROBLEM. And it has always baffled me that there are apparently still people who seem to think it's perfectly fine for publishers to take THEIR problem, and foist it off on US, the customers.

So much truth.

I buy my fucking games. Period, end of story.
 
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