Ubisoft CEO: PC games have a 93-95 percent piracy rate

Ubisoft has put in DRM setups in many of their PC games that require an "always on" Internet connection, even while playing games in single player mode. This move has angered many PC gamers, who feel that Ubisoft's method are too heavy handed.

In a new interview at Gamesindustry.biz, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot talked about how the publisher is trying to release more PC games that are of the free-to-play variety, such as Ghost Recon Online, shown above. He states:

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 93-95 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 also says that free-to-play games can also be cheaper to make, including the fact that they don't normally require being distributed on a disc and sold in boxes.

The fact that Ubisoft claims that PC games are heavily pirated is certainly an excuse to put in "always on" Internet connections, but it is also a pain for PC gamers who buy games legitimately and have to go through these hoops just to play them.

Source: Gamesindustry.biz | Image via Ubisoft

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What a pile of crap - I can look on my shelf and I see DOZENS of Ubisoft PC titles I've purchased over the years. At a glance I see titles like Beyond Good & Evil, Brothers in Arms series, the FarCry series, the Silent Hunter series, Prince of Persia series, Tom Clancey's Ghost Recon series, Rainbox Six series, Splinter Cell series, EndWar, H.A.W.X., Call of Juarez, Assassins Creed series, IL-Sturmovick, Driver series, CSI series, Rayman series, XIII, Lock-On, the ChessMaster series and MANY more. And in many cases I've purchased both retail versions and Steam-distributed copies of the same games. And this guy has the nerve to claim that 93-95% of their games are pirated.

Seems like they owe me some money for having to put up with so much of their products being shipped broken and needing MULTIPLE patches before you have a stable product.

Listen - I've NEVER pirated a game in 30 years of computing (even back to my old Atari 800 days) and I've been hearing this crap from all these companies who somehow manage to make a pretty fair profit even though so much of their product is supposedly being stolen. If it's not the pirates, it's the secondary market (GameStop and places like Half Price Bookstores...) Do you know how many UbiSoft titles you see on those shelves? Perhaps if they made better quality games and didn't flood the market you wouldn't see so many titles that were originally selling for a premium price at Best Buy, CompUSA or Circuit City now with heavy discounts at the local Half Price Bookstore...

93-95% PC piracy rate really wouldn't surprise me at all. It's SO easy to download and crack games these days.

The only games not worth illegally downloading are those that are mostly reliant on multiplayer (e.g. COD, TF2, MMORPGs etc.), as the cracks rarely allow you to play on standard servers, at least without repercussions (such as being banned from Steam if detected).

Wonder if Ubi realizes that people might actually not trust them with their money -
I prepurchased two copies of Ghost Recon Future Soldier - gave Ubi my $100. From the release almost 2 months ago, could not play because of the poor quality port. Finally, with the 1.4 patch was released a week or two ago, it is playable. Makes me kind of wish I had pirated it (though I won't), as a sort of "try-before-you-buy-because-you-ain't-getting-a-refund-even-though-Ubi-totally-screwed-th-pooch" kind of thing.

Sure, more an annoyance than a life issue - but won't buying Far Cry 3 until after it releases, just because it's a little hard to believe they won't screw that up.

I highly doubt that number is right especially considering the majority of pc gamers play online multiplayer games that you need a legit serial/account for.

95% piracy of their games. I wonder if that could have ANYTHING to do with the sometimes draconic DRM measures they use, and the fact that pirated copies tend to circumvent said measures?

Either way, I'd love to see some facts to back up such claims. Most "facts", people pull out of their a$$es anyways.

So, with Ubisoft ending the 2011-2012 financial year with a $917 million profit (http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05...gamers-drive-rise-in-sales/)
- while having a 93-95% piracy rate... I reckon it's time they bring down sales prices drastically since they've clearly been ramming gamers from behind for far too long!

Having new releases for a quarter of the price won't only bring down the unconfirmed and frankly unbelievable piracy rate, but I think feel increase sales and perhaps even their profit margin.

Y0kenB said,
So, with Ubisoft ending the 2011-2012 financial year with a $917 million profit (http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05...gamers-drive-rise-in-sales/)
- while having a 93-95% piracy rate... I reckon it's time they bring down sales prices drastically since they've clearly been ramming gamers from behind for far too long!

Having new releases for a quarter of the price won't only bring down the unconfirmed and frankly unbelievable piracy rate, but I think feel increase sales and perhaps even their profit margin.


Actually given that amount of profit, I find the 93-95% figure highly suspect. Unless you figure they would have made about 20-25 BILLION dollars in 2012 alone were there no piracy. At 59.99 per title, that's over 400 million games that would have been sold by them alone.

Yeah, right...

I reckon this is just ubisoft games that are pirated because people don't want to play the DRM riddled games they release.

Also, download only games have been out years with ZERO drop on their price because they're cheaper to make...steam and origin are prime examples, games are for sale for 59.99 and 69.99 respectively and they're not in any cases or cds/dvds, if the greedy people making these games didn't think of reducing the download only price of games they may get more sales, games seems to be getting more expensive then cheaper the easier they are to make and distribute for them.

Of course, everything gets pirated. But for god sake, don't punish the people who aren't pirating. That DRM crap doesn't stop the pirates.

I bought Anno whatever AD and i was not able to play it cause your activation servers were down for 3 days....... Next time I will definttly download and crack your game instead

AJCrowley Esq said,
Maybe Ubisoft's are that high, because if you just download the cracked versions, you don't have to deal with their awful DRM.

And requiring an always on net connection, even for single player, is dumb.

And their 360/ps3 are about the same so why bother, most people I know have a JTAG'd 360 or a PS3 with some hack or other, they just update in order to continue playing downloaded games.

Yeah yours probably do. Because you've ****ed off any loyal customers you may have once had with your shoddy ports and restrictive DRM.

Still, I counter your claim with one word: Steam.

What a bunch of nonsense... And here I was thinking Ubisoft was starting to become more awesome lately. Won't be touching their games from here on out, that's for certain.

And for music it's probably even worse. However, insulting your customers and implementing ever more draconian DRM is only going to make matters worse.

At the end of the day Ubisoft has to work to the market. It would be great if there wasn't any piracy but that simply isn't the reality.

theyarecomingforyou said,
And for music it's probably even worse. However, insulting your customers and implementing ever more draconian DRM is only going to make matters worse..

Indeed. Nobody is claiming piracy doesn't exist or isn't a problem that needs tacking, but putting in even more ineffectual, inconveniencing, draconian DRM measures that target the paying customers only (pirates play a version with the DRM stripped out) just makes the problem worse by providing even more of an incentive to pirate. When will these idiot suits in charge of game companies realise this? It's a laughable joke when the pirates get to play a superior product without the inconvenience of DRM.

theyarecomingforyou said,
And for music it's probably even worse. However, insulting your customers and implementing ever more draconian DRM is only going to make matters worse.
Corporate greed creates these issues.
At the end of the day Ubisoft has to work to the market. It would be great if there wasn't any piracy but that simply isn't the reality.

Yeah that sounds fishy...though I would be curious to the difference in piracy for yearly release games (madden, call of duty, etc) vs stuff like half life, borderlands, and similar big titles

Fedr0 said,
I call BS. I'd really love him to back those numbers.

To be honest, I wouldn't even pirate Ubisoft games let alone buy them.
Same goes for EA - Has anyone even seen next years line up of 'new' games ? All rehash crap we've seen for the last 4 years again.

These companies need to wake up, stop forcing console crap down our throats, removing parts of the game and then trying to tell us PC users DLC. PC users have always favored the platform due to the ability to custom mod games. Pretty, much game that is popular on the PC is so because its been modded to how the PC game likes it. DRM protection with the like of ubisoft not only limits what PC games have always had but also forces on us stupid things like DLC.
I don't know how they expect PC gamers to pay for games that are not even feature complete, then not release a patch but instead charge us for their game updates that have been removed from the base game! On top of that, they are just providing us with low quality console ports. Really, its not the way to treat people and make them want to pay for the games.

This jackass is talking out of it. The only reasons console games are popular at the moment is because either mommy buys them a game because its in the charts, or its in the charts and mommy brought the game for the kids so its really the only one with multiplayers in it.