Ubisoft is moving more of their PC titles to a free-to-play model, due to the fact that almost 100 percent of people pirate their games. That’s the rough estimate coming from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, who addressed the issue during Gamescom last week.
In a talk with GamesIndustry, Guillemot said that just as many people who actually buy physical copies of a PC title are the same amount of people who pay for freemium content:
“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.”
It’s the same song that we’re heard from many developers, as their big-budget PC titles move from single price tag models to a F2P and freemium content, like EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic and Activision’s Call of Duty Online.
In some cases, people won’t even pay 99 cents for a game if they don’t want to. Just ask the Dead Trigger team.
Guillemot also noted that while free-to-play games are the big market pusher right now, he expects that the next generation of consoles will move things back to people paying money for standard $60 titles. Like everyone else, he’s just waiting for the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 in order to get the ball rolling.