Speaking at a Gamescom event last week, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot estimated that piracy levels of their standard boxed PC games is currently sitting between 93 percent and 95 percent. This is one of the reasons why the company is now focusing on the free-to-play (F2P) model for the PC market:
Guillemot says that the free-to-play model (F2P) has been a great tool for Ubisoft to market their products to areas of the world where piracy of PC games is at such a level that turning a profit has proven impossible.
“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.”
An interesting observation from Ubisoft is that the percentage of pirates on boxed products seems to match exactly with those who chose not to pay in the free-to-play model:
“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,” Guillemot said.