Talking to GamesIndustry International, Yves Guillemot, the boss at Ubisoft mentioned that his company has suffered 93-95% piracy rate on the PC. To counter this they are now planning on focusing on a Free-To-Play model for PC games.
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.
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 to 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.
Ubisoft has previously tried hard at countering PC piracy. Their efforts have also resulted in them taking a lot of heat for it’s DRM efforts. For some time they have also been releasing the PC versions after the consoles release.
This year it’s happening again with the PC version of Assassin’s Creed 3 coming two weeks after the consoles.