Ubisoft head Yves Guillemot has revealed to GamesIndustry International that the Assassin's Creed and Ghost Recon developer has endured a piracy rate of up to 95 percent on the PC. That's a lot of lost revenue, if the numbers are accurate, and apparently this revelation is what's causing Ubisoft's PC games to go free-to-play, like the upcoming Ghost Recon Online.
"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," Guillemot said. "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 to 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."
Ubisoft has been criticized for its approach to DRM, though clearly that approach is constantly changing. The company also just relaunched its digital platform as the Uplay PC storefront, social space and game launcher.
Is piracy really that big a problem? What can be done to fix it? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter.