Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot likes free-to-play (a slight misnomer often shortened to F2P). He likes it because it makes him money. That's good. He's now comparing it to Pay-to-Play-via-Boxed-Games (P2PVBG), which he doesn't like due to the 93-95% piracy rate, a figure that he can't possibly have plucked out of thin air.
"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," says M. Guillemot. All fair and good but then...
He explains to Gamesindustry
, "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."
Let's look at that again:
"...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..."
Now, this figure - if it was possible to audit - surely proves that Ubisoft's much hated DRM is pointless; an expense to the company and an encumbrance to consumers who do pay? The question is, however, how is it possible to accurately audit lost sales? Possibly M. G' means "of games played in multiplayer on our servers"? because this is realistically the only way of knowing?
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