PC Piracy is at 95% – free to play is the way to go, says Ubisoft

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Another day, another major publisher and developer believing that freemium games are the future of the industry. Ubisoft is joining that list of believers, as it believes that the amount of people playing their games illegally is at 95% now, and that free-to-play is the only real solution to this problem.

Talking to GI.biz, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot believes that working with free games and micro-transactions may be a more viable alternative for the company, as it affords several benefits along the way. “We want to develop the PC market quite a lot and F2P is really the way to do it”, Guillemot said.

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.

On PC it’s only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P,” Guillemot continued, “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.

Guillemot still wants to take a cautious approach however, so don’t expect a free version of Assassin’s Creed 4 any time soon, where you could purchase premium memories to explore. With new consoles looming in on the industry, there’s still plenty of cash to be made in the next generation of gaming, with premium titles.

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Last Updated: August 22, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

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