Ubisoft Says 93-95% Of Its PC Games Get Stolen By Pirates

Few video game companies are as reviled as Ubisoft when it comes to PC release practices. From titles that require always-on internet connections to security-compromising DRM, attempts by the Assassin's Creed publisher to stop people from illegally obtaining or running its games on PC have met with strong criticism. Its responses haven't always helped.

However, Ubi CEO Yves Guillemot says that most people playing the company's games on PC don't pay for them. In an interview over on Games Industry International, Guillemot explains how the desire to circumvent piracy is shaping their development on PC:

"We want to develop the PC market quite a lot and F2P is really the way to do it. 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."

"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."

Of course, not every publisher shares Ubi's views on piracy. Paradox Interactive -- publisher of War of the Roses -- have been vocal before about their opposition to DRM. This morning, Paradox producer Shams Jorjani tweeted his take on Guillemot's comments:

Ubisoft's newest PC strategy is to launch its own uPlay client, which would be a storefront/launcher combination like EA's Origin. It's too soon to say if uPlay will change how many people pirate Ubisoft titles. But it's fair bet that uPlay will be the distribution pipeline through which Ubi tries to make money off its free-to-play games on PC.

Guillemot: As many PC players pay for F2P as boxed product [Games Industry International]


    I know people that refuse to pay for an Ubi game on principal because of how they treat their customers. And these are people that always have games pre ordered as soon as possible.

      I dont play their games at all - but if I did, even were I too pay for the games, Id then download a crack to plqy them.without hastle.

        Actually when Windows Vista came about, the StarForce DRM didn't work with it. My PC copy of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was rendered unusable when I migrated to Windows 7. Upon looking up a fix for the issue, I came upon many people with the same issue. Some of them had contacted Ubisoft support. The response they got was "use a crack" or "purchase it again from Steam".

      Do they pirate the games they don't pay for, though? Boycott all you want, but don't play it without paying.

        Ubisoft have been using dodgy DRM for ages, I remember trying to install my copy of Beyond Good and Evil recently but it wouldn't work. Turned out the only reason it wouldn't install was the setup tried forcing TAGES protection (on a x64 system), causing the entire process to terminate.

        I understand its an old game, but it pissed me off that the only reason I couldn't play it was of crappy DRM, ended up getting a DRM free copy of GOG.com.

      Yup. I'm one of these people.

      I don't pirate the games, I just don't play them.

      Their support is absolutely horrible.

    I think this is just another company's excuse for poor after sale support.

    What I would like to know more is how Ubisoft plan to award those who legitamately purchase their games.

    Why cut off the nose to spite the face?

    GEE UBISOFT, I WONDER WHY NUMBERS ARE THAT HIGH. MAYBE BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS TO PAY FOR BEING TREATED LIKE A CRIMINAL? On another note, I would be interested to know how many of those pirates merely downloaded a crack to avoid dealing with the DRM? I know I did.

      Yep those numbers seem inflated.

      I would say a lot of ppl don't want to deal with there drm. funny how some company's can make a profit on pc at all *rolls eyes*

      by paying for there game and cracking it anyway you are supporting there DRM.

    I call shananigans on the percentage figure. It's a spit in the face that don't pirate their games on the PC.

    And so how does a company like Steam survive if the PC market is ostensibly pirates?

    Ubisoft have only themselves to blame for this. Uplay DRM that they use was recently out for along period of time over a weekend (48 hrs or more) with no announcements or apologies which meant people who PAID FOR an ubisoft game could not play them - yet the people with pirated versions when on playing ... So really ubisoft are to blame for their OWN miss fortune . I have decided not to buy any more PC ubisoft games on the account they treat the purchasing customers like criminals forcing us to you DRM like uplay that hinders the player from actually playing their brought game.

    I can see why they complain piracy on their games its so high is from the way they treat paying customers. I couldn't play my paid for games when I moved house and had no internet. Their stupid always online drm kept me from playing their games. Never buying uni soft again and they have themselves to blame for that.

    Now because of my experience, I refuse to buy any uni soft game regardless of platform.

    I pirate - if I like I usually buy.

    I can't afford to buy games that turn out to be weak and and shallow (especially if the demo doesn't show these faults). also I won't play ball with their pricing constructs. $100AUD for a new title, fuck off.

    I'm waiting for a gold mass effect so I can get it all in one huge package and then I'll wait for it to be discounted. then I might buy it.

    till media creators realize that buying/selling is a two way street then its not possible to treat these people in a reasonable fashion.

      I was the same. In high school and uni I couldn't afford AA A titles at $80+ each. Thus I pirated. And I used to be quite good at it.
      Now I have a full time job and other causal work, and with sites like ozgameshop offering brand new titles for $40-50 I simply don't bother pirating any more. It's literally not worth the effort for me. If I want a game a bit quicker, I'll bay the extra $20 to get in on steam.
      Obviously there are sales too, but I'm talking about full price released and pre-orders here.

      TV shows.... that's another matter.

    I wonder how much money Ubisoft pisses away with these bullshit anti-piracy measures

    I bought a Ubisoft game, once. This game required me to make a uPlay account. I uninstalled said game.

    Honestly, if the DRM/platform annoys me, I just won't play it. Piracy isn't the answer.

    However, with that been said, if Ubisoft were to publish a modern recreation of Settlers 3 or 4, I'd buy that pretty much straight up, regardless of DRM. Modern, 'Die Siedlers' games, have deviated from what I originally like about the series. One can only dream...

      ^ With you on that one. Settlers 4 was the shit (Never played 3). Settlers 5 was disappointing.

    Im surprised its not 100%. If im reading this right there stating the percentage of all their games that actually get pirated, not the percentage of people using pirated copies vs. legit copies.

      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.

      No they are claiming that on average only 5 % of people who play their games have purchased it

      I agree with you on this - misleading title.
      It's saying that 93-95% of their GAMES are pirated. Implying that 5-7% do NOT get pirated.

      It does not imply that 93-95% of PEOPLE who play their games pirate them.

    I wondering what percent are actually pirating and what percent are people who paid but use a "crack" to get around the DRM. I'll be the latter if I decide to I want to try AC3

    if they released their games on steam, $40AUD off the bat id whip out my wallet

      Fun story, Far Cry 2 is an Ubi title and is available on steam, with NO hassles whatsoever.

    oh, the sweet, sweet irony

    Ubisoft wondering where all the dollars are going and blaming piracy instead of fund mismanagement and greed? I smell layoffs, another day in the games industry.

    and this is why I love paradox.

    every game i've "pirated" from them, i've ended up buying after 1-2 hours of gameplay. The forum support is excellent, and i've thoroughly enjoyed each game.

    I bought Anno2070 from Ubi as well, I really enjoyed it, I like the always online as it adds things to the game (world council etc). What I don't like is getting home and not being able to play it because their servers or what have you are offline.

    93% of their games are stolen...? Where the fuck did that statistic come from?

      Why didn't the interviewer demand he provide evidence for his statistic? Well, I guess this is video game journalism, they have to be careful how they treat folks they interview, lest they refuse to ever speak to them again.

        Journalism??? i think you are confused between eurogamer and kotaku US.

      I think they mean, 93% of our releases have been illegally downloaded at least once each.

        So if I download all their Xbox releases that would make the Xbox look less attractive to them?

        One man can make a difference!

    Ubisoft says stupid thing. Everyone laughs.

    More news at 11.

    Ah, so that's why they make so little money.

    Waiiiiit a minute...

    coming from someone who pays for their games, even their ridiculous over priced new release prices being treated like this doesn't help their cause.

    death to DRM and screw you ubisoft!

      Isn't it great to be called a thief by the company you've actually given your money too on several occasions?

      Gives me a warm feeling in my heart...

    The reason your games get pirated as much as they do is because of:
    1. Invasive DRM

    Ha Ha! I bought assasins creed on disc for $1 from St vincent de Paul. take that evil Ubisoft!!

    I WISH I'd pirated Splinter Cell: Conviction, still haven't actually played it since buying it on steam because Uplay is such a bitch to run.

    On the topic of pirating, I am now trying to make a conscious effort not to pirate.

    Now all my games and software are 100% purchased, I am next working on my music collection which I am now using subscription based services (spotify etc) . And the last but hardest is movies and TV series, I'm not sure how to handle that just yet, maybe a subscription service again. All in all from being a pirate for so long it is very difficult to switch back to a legitimate lifestyle.

    One point I want to make is that I hear 'That company sucks' or 'I don't like them so I am not going to pay for the game' all the time... if you have such disrespect for the company and hate how they use DRM, don't purchase their games and don't pirate their games. It is a pretty simple concept.

      I pirate when no demo is available for a game. If I like the game I happily pay for it. If I do not then I do not. And these days I tend to be more picky about what I like and actually play for more than a few hours. So paying $50+ for a few hours playtime is not worth it imo.

        That's a fair point, I've actually found lately that there aren't many demos out there. I think the whole try before you buy approach (with demos) would assist in reducing piracy.

      I'm the same.
      Regular income helps heaps. If I get 8 hours of entertainment from a $40 game that's $5 and hour. Beats the hell out of a $20 movie ticket.
      Sure a 8hour game sounds crappy and short but for that price it's simply worth it.
      Just like with Diablo3, people complain about all the faults, which I agree are there, but I still enjoyed about 90 hours of it, so in my eye it was worth it... perfect? no, worth it? yes.
      I love Spotify (though some of the bands I like aren't) , and I'd love to see a Spotify for TV shows.

        Exactly. I loathe Diablo 3 and what it has become but in saying that I did get my moneys worth. I just wish I had gotten a lot more out of it.

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