Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has told Gamesindustry International that paying players for its PC retail games and its free-to-play products are roughly equivalent. The executive said about 5 to 7 percent of free-to-play gamers purchase content from its games, which he claimed is about the same as paying users for its PC games, given a "93-95 percent piracy rate."
Guillemot went on to explain that free-to-play offerings tend to be cheaper to produce and distribute, but noted that these projects must still be made to fit the audience's desires.
"We also take content which we've developed in the past, graphics etc, and we can make cheaper games and improve them over time," he said. "What's very important is that we change the content and make it a better fit to the customer as time goes on."
Elsewhere in the interview, Guillemot cautioned that its free-to-play business, despite being a major area for potential growth at Ubisoft, is not going to replace its core sector. He said that when next-generation consoles roll out, which he claims are overdue, the market stands to regain strength.
"We must be careful because the consoles are coming," he said. "People are saying that the traditional market is declining and that F2P is everything--I'm not saying that. We're waiting for the new consoles. I think that the new consoles will give a huge boost to the industry, just like they do every time that they come. This time, they took too long so the market is waiting."