Ubisoft CEO claims 93-95 percent piracy rate on its PC games

Yves Guillemot says percentage of paying users for PC retail products and free-to-play games are about the same; next-gen consoles have taken "too long" to arrive.

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."

Piracy rates are sky high for Ubisoft PC games, Guillemot claims.

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."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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0 comments
thestarmann
thestarmann

But piracy requires people to LIKE their games.

bigruss51
bigruss51

One thing he said I like is that the new consoles are taking to long. Where is my xbox 720?

Umur31
Umur31

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD FUCK YOU UBISOFT I HOPE THIS IS TRUE YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVED

arjan17
arjan17

First of all I pretty much bought every Ubisoft Title up until they started using this insane DRM where you have to be online constantly. I was about to buy Settlers 7 right before a friend of mine warned me about it. No matter how good your games are I will not buy ANYTHING from you guys until the DRM is gone. it's invasive, restrictive and out of line. Basicly you are punnishing people that buy stuff legaly and your not stopping pirates at all. 

thrice00
thrice00

bunch of liers....... I not support it but big difference between downloading something for "free" and paying for it. 3 millions pirates does not = 3 millions sales.

------------

By the way it show you Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot that you're SHITTY DRM does not work and could be partially resposible for so much pirate in the first place.

EE061003
EE061003

i am sorry UBISOFT but you are so full of sh*t when it comes to giving lame excuses not to make any game for PC.Total BS,piece of crap...u know what ubisoft you dont have any fan following anymore besides some small as sh*t group of babies love ur ass creed series..not much..GO to F'ing Hell Ubisoft

Soviet330
Soviet330

That's bullshit. Lots of people buy their games, I don't see how 95% of players are pirates. I'm sorry, but that's a wild estimation. Not to mention most people who pirate the games will buy a legit copy if it's any good. if it wasn't worth more than one play through it wasn't worth 60 bucks anyway,.

mellow09
mellow09

So, now people who play free-to-play games but don't buy anything are pirates? Do these companies even want my business because nobody but the witcher developers say anything right.

Leeric420
Leeric420

93-95 percent piracy rate? What a load of BS id like to see where he got those made up stats from.

West123
West123

put ads in the games!! subtle ads like on billboards or sides of taxis that sort of thing...billboards in the gaming world can be update to the highest bidder 

 

that why a pirated game still makes them money all you have to do is allow the pirated game on to your servers so you can track them...but not allowing the pirates to play MP...

 

 

LordRaymond
LordRaymond

Well that is an insanely huge number out of nowhere.

pip3dream
pip3dream

How in the hell do they come up with these numbers? As someone who has spent $1,000's of dollars in my lifetime on video games I find this insulting.  If you spent as much time on your games as you do bitching about piracy, maybe you wouldn't be such a target.  Lose the DRM, and let's take the quality back to AC2.

wooooode
wooooode

93-95% of what is pirated? Games, users, copies of gamesor what is the percentage.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

Um, sources of statistical data please?Saying what he said is just as factual as me saying that 95 -97% of developers who claim that piracy is a huge money-suck are outright f'ing liars.  And yes, I buy my retail video games, period.  And yes, the devs who claim this BS are just floating the BS as an excuse not to create PC games any more.  These devs should quit the game business right now and go into TV, where there's only one technology for their lazy asses to program for.And is it me, or all the major developers talking really f'ing stupid these days?  First Blizzard, now Ubisoft...who's next?!

Warfighter_971
Warfighter_971

I just wanna write some few words to UBI.....1st is,they are the maker of such shit game called GR:FS & nw they are claiming PC gamers pirates......GO hell UBI

2nd is,the days are so near when console games are pirated by PC gamers & easily converted into PC port automatically,which means consoles will go hell as we'll be able to easily play GearsOf War,Forza & many other console games........which has another meaning we'll love doing it & giving a full dish of mud upon the ass of fucking UBI damn talents...............

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

Ubisoft makes interesting games... people who pirate their products are slime.

brynhyfryd
brynhyfryd

95% piracy rate.....Right.

 

Total BS, Ubi are just trying to justify their FTP venture. If piracy on PC was 95%+ there would be no PC games.

 

Ubisoft, I challenge you to backup your findings with FACTS.

MrOnage
MrOnage

the guy simply doesn't get that there are also people who first pirate a game and buy it later. there are no real numbers on how many people pirate and don't buy.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"fit the audience's desires" Maybe that's where your problem lies? Have you really made sure that your products fit our desires and that they are user friendly and fun and all that? I wonder if that's true. Anyway, if Ubisoft doesn't rate PC gamers as important (93-95 % of them are nothing but thieves) then I don't rate Ubisoft as an important company and don't think I'll be very interested in their products (unless they're exceptionally good. I am a reasonable gamer, after all).

kohle36
kohle36

I've been unsure for a while whether free-to-play is actually a viable model in the 'AAA' or 'core' gaming sector, and these figures seem to suggest that it's actually not. A lot of big publishers and devs have been creaming their pants over the relative 'success' of freemium iOS and facebook content, but those are fundamentally different types of games with (importantly) fundamentally different consumers.

Freemium casual games can turn a profit on facebook because a) they're cheap to develop b) they appeal to a much larger market, and c) they're designed to be repetitive and OCD-inducing/satisfying. Seriously, the friends I've seen on these things play them like a gaddamn gambling addiction. But, like every other trend, the 'casual' gamers will eventually go find the next fad.

As for core gamers, I see a lot to suggest that they're not actually going to be shelling $1 for a reload, $2 for a new set of pants, because they remember when these were just design features of a complete game, and recognize that the new model is bulls^&t. Sure, there will be the odd title that will find a lasting appeal with gamers, but they will be the ones that are both well designed on some level, and have a compelling online community to return to.

In short,  big-budget freemium games are either going to sink or swim, and I think the majority will end up sinking hard and fast, making far less money than if they had asked for the traditional $60 upfront for a full game. Maybe I'm completely off the mark, but is anyone here actually going to shell out on microtransactions for every or even most of the free-to-play games they play? Hell, are you guys even going to play them at all?

Mortos13
Mortos13

This guys an idiot. He doesn't know anything about piracy. He thinks he loses money over it but in real life, outside of his "new consoles are the answer to everything" little dreamworld, hes still making goddamn millions. New consoles are going to be worthless. This gens consoles are gonna be worthless, due to the fact that they'll stop making this gens games like every other console (not all of them). 

shantd
shantd

95%? So for every 20 people playing a Ubisoft game, only 1 of them actually paid for it? I don't buy it. I'd love to know how they're coming up with that number.

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

Dumb question. Where do developers get these numbers for how many people pirate their games. How do they know? Do the really know? or are they just making up s*** and exaggerating estimates?

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

Only good games for pc are MMOs and maybe skyrim and all that. Other than that your better off with console. That's why no publisher really cares about pc cuz most pc gamers are free loaders and pirates

kohle36
kohle36

So wait, is he suggesting that the same number of people are pirating freemium content; or did he just admit that the majority of gamers don't actually like the free-to-play model?

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

End piracy and sales will plummet.

xGr4ffitix
xGr4ffitix

I wish game prices were based on someone's credit score. That way they'd see how broke I was, and sell me a game for 20 bucks, as opposed to 60-70 bucks per game. Lol. Gaming is my favorite hobby. Hell, it's a way of life for me, but frankly, I'm gonna pay my bills before I do that, and once the bills are paid, guess what? No monies left. I should make a swear jar and have a bunch of angry people with tourettes come over. INFINITE MONEY! Lol. I'm kidding. Seriously though. I don't condone piracy, but hey man, there are SOME people out there who legitimately can't afford to pay a crap-ton for a game they'd love to play. I mean heck, to be honest, by the time I save enough money to buy the game I want, no one else plays it anymore, or the next in the series comes out. Heck, if games 'cost so much' to make. Let's go back on the graphics a bit. Sure, people will be moaning and groaning about how 'this game's quality is so bad', but I can guarantee, it's the gameplay that really counts. Some examples, Minecraft, Fire Pro Wrestling, Lots of the mario games. No one is looking at Mario saying, "Oh it's so amazing how you can see every little high definition hair in his mustache!" They're just enjoying the game, the worlds, the levels, etc. I mean heck, I'm pretty satisfied with how games look now. I think it'd be a little weird if graphics get TOO good. Controlling a real person 'so to speak' would be awkward. In any case, despite my rambling, as much as I agree that it's up to us to make sure the developers get paid, I think it's up to them to keep things on a budget, so we can actually afford, and enjoy their products.

hystavito
hystavito

I decided to take advantage of Ubisoft's $1 downloadable games last weekend,  From Dust was first on Friday, then Silent Hunter 5 on Saturday, and then Driver San Francisco on Sunday which was the one I was most interested in. 

 

I was able to purchase From Dust, but every single attempt after that the payment would fail to authorize.  I tried different browsers, different computers, from a different IP address, different credit cards, and PayPal.  I contacted their support twice and got stupid suggestions both times.

toddx77
toddx77

This is why I love CD Projekt Red.  When the witcher 2 was said to be pirated 4 million times they didn't start making their games with DRM.  They said they are just going to continue making a quality product for their paying costumers.

thomas4044
thomas4044

 @bigruss51 November 2013 is the release date. It isn't called "Xbox 720" instead it is simply just "Xbox".

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

 @alin8921 the actual cause of pirating isn't high price.most of the recent ubisoft games like assassin's creed 2 and splinter cell conviction

doesn't allow you to play even solo without being connected to Uplay.so it is a problem cause not all gamers have the typical internet suited for gaming.and in few asian countries the price of these modems are very high.

Pi
Pi

 @alin8921 Boy, we have a true genius on our hands here, everyone.  If you can't afford the games, don't play them.  Find a new hobby you can afford - perhaps read a book.  It would benefit you a lot more than playing games.  Just because you can't afford them doesn't mean you are entitled to steal them.  The reason we have so little innovation and so many companies going to the FTP model is because development costs are high and it's tough to even make your money BACK on a game, let alone a healthy profit.  Fools like you that think they are entitled to stealing the hard work of others are a part of the problem.

 

I'm not against downloading a game FIRST to try it out so you don't waste your money - but if you like it and it is something you are going to continue playing, buy it and support the company that made it.........

nuhi
nuhi

 @MrOnage That's what I usually do, except in rare cases I am positive the game will be awesome (Withcher 2 for example)

 

Demos are too short in most cases and show you only the part of the game devs think is interesting, and relying entirely on reviews won't work either. I have more than a few games that got between 6.5 and 8 that I truly enjoyed (Brink is one of them)

 

So I get a pirated version, and if I like it I buy it.

 

Also free to play is absolutely misleading term. Totally pisses me off. Only a handfull of titles can be called that.

Others are only free to get into. And if you want full experience you're gonna pay for it... over and over again (eventually it amounts to same if not more than a retail game).

 

It's like having a credit rather than paying everything in cash right away. Small amounts over big period of time versus bigger amount only once.

That's not freaking free!

 

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

 @kohle36 I have yet to see one I would even bother playing... despite the fact that they are free.  But I'm an old fogey now, what do I know?  I'm an economist by training, and I've lived through the entire PC and internet revolution, so I'm very reluctant to condemn the idea of radical market shifts.  Maybe F2P is the future, and maybe PC games are going to die.  But those dim prognostications for PC gaming have been making headlines for over a decade and it still hasn't happened.  I'm still waiting to see a true AAA F2P game, or even one that isn't AAA quality but looks genuinely interesting.  And I don't count what they did with TOR either where it was designed to be subscription based and they put in a low level free service to try to draw business.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

 @Chaos_Dante_456 Not really a dumb question and you answered that already, statistics are for the most part made up to undermine a point someone wants to make.

 

UbiSoft wants to push towards free to play, constant online drm and blame piracy for unsuccessful titles's excuses, so 90+% of their games are pirated - it's as easy as that, and towards their investors (bankers / non-gamers) UbiSoft's failure to sell a title is covered up with piracy as an excuse.

 

The only fact numbers they could offer are their actual sales numbers, that's about it.

Piracy numbers can at maximum be estimated, nothing more, there's no detailed tracking (if someone were to directly hand you over 100 to a DVD burned copies of a torrent, how would UbiSoft find out - they don't), it's all uninformed assumptions.

fester420
fester420

 @amaan4ever There are quite a few multiplat games that run better on PC, they are also cheaper to buy new.  Add to the fact that patches and new content can be added in a day on PC, a process which requires months for consoles.

 

I became a PC gamer because of these things and the fact that there are a ton of great indie games to play.  Steam has games on sale all the time as well.  There is actually no better time to be a PC gamer.

 

Also:

 

Let he who has never pirated cast the first stone.

AllBeefWiener
AllBeefWiener

 @amaan4ever Thank you for having one of the most inaccurate and uneducated comments ever. Publishers design games for consoles because of contracts with Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. They make these contracts so they can keep their console alive for longer. Also there are plenty of amazing games for the PC, and trust me Skyrim is not among them. If all you're going to look at is big AAA titles on the PC instead of the hundreds of lesser known games, then you're going to be disappointed. 

justinka777
justinka777

 @kohle36

 he was saying that if you dont give them money for free stuf that makes you a pirate.

light-grenades
light-grenades

 @toddx77 Actually they were going to put in DRM, but the gamer backlash was too great.

bigruss51
bigruss51

 @thomas4044

 Thats good to hear but its still gonna take a couple years before we start seeing good games for it. Hopefully microsoft will reward us for our patients.

kohle36
kohle36

 @jimrhurst I think as long as there are devs willing to put out full (non-ftp) games on pc there will be a market for them. I understand why publishers are salivating over the idea of ftp, as it's a (theoretically) steady stream of income with relatively low investment that they haven't seen since the arcade days (I'm a fogey myself). But gamers left the arcades and went to pcs and home consoles for several reasons - among which, they were better value for money (even if they often weren't as powerful or graphically stunning). At the end of the day, why pay a quarter for every continue in street fighter when you can just buy it and go to town?

I'm not an economist myself, but any way I look at it, the economics of free to play are only really appealing for publishers and casual gamers. As long as other options exist, I don't think they'll draw the core audience they're hoping for. But, I've been wrong before. Really hope I'm not though.

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

 @bloody-hell  @Chaos_Dante_456 i still remember what microsoft did with Gears of war.they released the PC version at a bad time when people were still preparing for the next gen shift.and many gamers were engaged with modernwarfare.so due to" bad sales" on pc as compared to sales on 360(around 9 million copies) and "fears of piracy" they cancelled the sequels for PC.Damn bastards.Iam glad that i was able to purchase a copy in time.and i think that it was this "uncertainty" that prevented halo3 from coming on PC.all this is completely unfair treatment for PC as the developers of these games tempted pc gamers with these games and then cancelled their sequels for pc.

kohle36
kohle36

 @justinka777 So if you play a free-to-play game that's being pushed by them, and you don't buy at least $60 worth of microtransaction crap (hopefully more), you're a pirate? Just...wow. Someone needs to smack some reality into this guy's entitled a$$.

Gray_Raven
Gray_Raven

 @Pi  @alin8921 Well I would have to agree with him. To a point at least. The games are overpriced (at least for my financial capabilities) so it does feel like a bit of a rip off when you get a game that's console port and it's not ported very well(I'm looking at you Force Unleashed). I do mostly play pirated games but I also try to buy some if I can or simply play F2P games(which is unimportant). These days I often get a feeling that we buy games but are then forced to be on the Net if we want to actually play the game. I am well aware that publishers do this to counter pirates yet someone who didn't buy the game is forced on the same boat as the pirates because of publishers war against piracy. And yes if it matters, I do live in the part of Europe where people earn around 300$ monthly so buying original game is pretty much out of question 98.9% of the time really. Though in a way it makes actually buying a game much more pleasurable(to me at least) as you get those small booklets and a nice box with the game. To me that's awesome and looks nice on the shelf as well though TOR was a bit disappointing in that department(among others some might say xD). Anyway, I apologize for the mindless rant, it's 2:37am over here and it seemed like a good line of thoughts atm xD

Pi
Pi

 @alin8921 You've got to be a troll - no one could truly be this ignorant.

 

Again, if you don't like the game or the price, the solution is very simple.  Don't buy it.  No one is forcing you to play games.  Perhaps a cheaper hobby might be in order for you. 

 

And who are you to say $60 is a "rip off"?  A lot of these $60 games don't even make the money back that was spent developing them.  Are they supposed to lower the prices or give them away so they can lose more money, LoL?  That is the price they set.  If you don't think it's fair, don't buy it.  But you thinking the price isn't "fair" doesn't automatically give you the right to steal it.  Imagine projecting this ridiculous attitude towards vehicles, the grocery store, etc.  Oh, hey, the price on that cut of meat isn't fair........so I'm going to just take it.  Good luck with that.  You're probably the type of person that runs cons and scams online and thinks it's fine because other people have more money than you so that gives you the right to steal it, LoL.

 

And no, I never considered that you stealing a game might be a good thing because you MIGHT tell someone about it who will then buy it.  Nor will I consider this in the future - it is absurd.  If you think the game is, and I quote, "a consolized (sic) pile of shit", why do you even want to play the game in the first place and why would you tell friends about it - if indeed it sucks so bad?

 

People like you just have a bunch of excuses why it is alright to steal.  None of them are valid.  If you want to pirate a game to try it out before spending your money on it, I have no issue with that at all.  But if it's something you enjoy and will continue playing, then you should purchase it.