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Wed Aug 22, 2012, 01:43 PM

PC gaming has "around a 93-95% piracy rate" claims Ubisoft CEO (PCGamer)

Source: PCGamer

Tom Senior at 05:34pm August 22 2012

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has been speaking to GamesIndustry International about Ubiís reasons for embracing the free to play model. He says free to play games are more cost effective to create because typical PC releases are so heavily pirated. He claims that "only about five to seven per cent" of players pay for PC games, "the rest is pirated."

Guillemot doesnít provide any evidence for this, but insists that the rate of paying customers for a traditional release is equal to that of a free to play game. He says that the free to play model lets Ubisoft "take content which weíve developed in the past, graphics etc," to make "cheaper games and improve them over time."

(snip)

"Itís a way to get closer to your customers, to make sure you have a revenue. On PC itís only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P, but normally on PC itís only about five to seven per cent who pay anyway, the rest is pirated. Itís 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."

It would be very interesting to learn where Guillemot has taken the "93-95 per cent" figure from, but a belief in that high a rate of piracy would explain the aggressive DRM strategy that Ubisoft have been pursuing for the past few years. Ubisoft recently announced that theyíll be charging into the free to play market with three new games, Anno Online, Silent Hunter Online and Heroes of Might and Magic Online.

Atricle: http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/08/22/pc-gaming-has-around-a-93-95-per-cent-piracy-rate-claims-ubisoft-ceo/

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As one of the commenters on the PCGamer site said "around 100% of Ubisoft CEOs are fucking morons". This follows from exactly the same data that the Ubisoft CEO cites (none at all).

It is not the first time that Ubisoft has made this sort of claim, and I don't remember ever seeing any shred of evidence for it. Every time the claim was made in defense of Ubisoft's always on-line DRM. Could it be maybe that people stopped buying Ubisoft games, because of that DRM?

I haven't bought an Ubisoft game in ages, and I have very poor impulse control during Steam sales! I don't pirate either, so I haven't played any of their recent titles at all. In this and other cases players who pirate games have much less hassles compared to legitimate buyers, who have to jump through endless hoops, and from what I've heard Ubisoft's UPlay system isn't bug free.

If what the CEO says is true, why is Ubisoft releasing PC Games at all? Ironically (again if what he says is true), if Ubisoft were to release their games completely without DRM their revenue would probably go up, since more people would be willing to buy their games... But they seem to go out of their way to discourage people from wanting to buy their games.

Piracy is only one of PC gaming's problems. A huge one is games being released as lazy console ports; I'm not referring so much to graphics as to terrible performance issues, checkpoint-only saving systems, no mod support, key bindings that can't be remapped (or only partially with a bunch of tasks being assigned a single key), or control responses optimized solely for gamepads and no other input method (driving in Saint's Row 2 on PC is a nightmare). If these things were addressed properly I think it would help sales a lot more than all the DRM in the world.

And if they think they're gonna make it in the free-to-play MMO market with cheap old assets, I doubt they'll get very far. That sector seems pretty unforgiving.

And, although I sometimes sound like a huge Steam fanboy, it took me a long time to warm up to it, and I'm still not comfortable with the control it has over a large portion of my games library. But in the end the sales are good, and it's mostly hassle free, so it's a compromise.

Ok, rant over.

Discuss.

8 replies, 1713 views

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply PC gaming has "around a 93-95% piracy rate" claims Ubisoft CEO (PCGamer) (Original post)
LeftOfSelf-Centered Aug 2012 OP
4lbs Aug 2012 #1
LeftOfSelf-Centered Aug 2012 #2
Aerows Aug 2012 #3
LeftOfSelf-Centered Aug 2012 #4
Hayabusa Sep 2012 #6
LeftOfSelf-Centered Sep 2012 #7
Shitty Mitty Sep 2012 #5
LeftOfSelf-Centered Sep 2012 #8

Response to LeftOfSelf-Centered (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 02:18 PM

1. There are several issues I have with computer gaming in general.

First, online download sites like Steam, which download content to your PC after you purchase an item, are still required to play the game.

Compared to my Unreal Tournament 2004 install, which is completely local, off of an actual purchased DVD-ROM, I still need an internet connection to play on something like Steam, and games off of steam.

I tend not to like to play MMO or FPS games against humans. FPS games like UT, Quake, etc. I prefer to play solo campaigns or deathmatch/CTF against bots. Or I just like to spectate bots or humans playing against each other.

So, a local install and no internet connection suits me just fine. I can play anywhere at anytime.

However, with sites like Steam, I still need to log on to Steam to play Steam-downloaded games.

That's a problem for me. What if I'm in a location that has no Wi-Fi or internet? I can't play certain games then can I?

I would rather Steam, and other DLC providers give an option to temporarily play a game without internet connections. Say for 8 or 12 hours. Which obviously gets reset when Steam/DLC provider can finally log in and verify the user/computer.

I think the current F2P and payable DLC model is closely mimicking the century old successful razor and blades sales model, where you give away or sell the main game for very little money (the "razor") and then users pay on a regular basis for extra DLC or features (or coins/credits), which would be the "blades" portion.

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Response to 4lbs (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 03:33 PM

2. Agree with pretty much everything.

It also took a long time for me to warm up to Steam. I used to live pretty much in the boonies in Italy and I only had dial-up internet access. So every time I installed a Valve game (back then I only used Steam for Half-Life etc.) I had to wait for it to install then download megs and megs (gigs maybe) of updates on a 56k dial-up before I could even play the game. I was not happy.

You don't need to go online with Steam to play a game, unless the game specifically requires it (like the Ubisoft games). Steam does have an offline mode, even though its completely illogical. When you're signed into Steam online you can go to the Steam drop down menu and select "Go Offline". Steam will restart in offline mode, and you can play all the games offline that don't specifically require a connection. It will start this way until you go back to the same menu and tell it to go back online.

The offline mode works, but it's really badly implemented, since you basically have to know when you're online that the next time you're gonna login you want to be offline, because you can only activate offline mode while connected to the internet. I made that painful experience on day when I came home and the internet was gone. I couldn't sign into Steam, because I couldn't go online to go offline! Somebody explain to me how that makes sense! Usually when you start Steam in offline mode it's because you can't go online!

I'm not much of a multiplayer gamer either, so I don't need my games to be online.

The problem with DLC is that they sell the main game at full price, plus you have to pay for DLC. I bought Saint's Row The Third in the summer sale and the amount of DLC for that game was absolutely ludicrous. A metric ton of extra outfits and cars for like Ä1,99 each (at normal price). No. Just no.

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Response to LeftOfSelf-Centered (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:01 PM

3. Uh, yeah

Everyone pirates WoW. Everyone pirates EVE Online. Oh wait.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 06:35 AM

4. Exactly!

And because all of the pirating of single player PC games (93-95%!!11!!ones!!) Steam is going bankrupt!

Oh, wait...

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Response to LeftOfSelf-Centered (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:33 PM

6. As long as they have their summer and winter sales,

I doubt that Steam will ever go bankrupt. How much money has been spent on pure impulse buys during those sales? Ooh, random independent game from five years ago is $5, IT MUST BE MINE!

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Response to Hayabusa (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 06:07 AM

7. Yeah, Steam isn't going anywhere.

As I said, I have terrible impulse control during Steam sales. I still have a fair amount of games to go through. And now I'm playing Black Mesa, which I didn't even have to pay for.

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Response to LeftOfSelf-Centered (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 10:28 PM

5. Wow, this is BS that rivals Limbaugh!

Ubisoft is crap today anyway

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Response to Shitty Mitty (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 06:13 AM

8. Seems like their changing their DRM ways.

http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/09/05/ubisoft-renounces-always-on-drm-for-pc-assassins-creed-3-confirmed-playable-offline/

There might be hope for them yet.

Although I haven't bought a Ubisoft game in a while. Not only because I don't like their approach to DRM, but also because I wasn't all that interested in any of their games. But now if things work out right, I might end up getting Trials Evolution when it comes out for PC, because it seems like fun. Unless you can only buy it from UPlay...

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