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Ubisoft driven to F2P market by piracy rates of 93-95%

Ubisoft driven to F2P market by piracy rates of 93-95%

Guillemot also cites lower production costs as an attraction to the F2P model.

Ubisoft is pushing into the free-to-play market due to exceptionally high piracy rates on its PC titles, according to the publisher's chief executive Yves Guillemot.

Speaking to Games Industry International, Guillemot claimed that only 5-7% of people that play the company's PC titles have actually paid for them with the remaining 93-95% resorting to piracy.

He argues that this is a similar proportion of players who statistically pay for free-to-play games, with the benefit then being that this group will then continue to add funds to the titles.

Guillemot also attributes cheaper production and distribution costs as an additional factor for the move.

At Gamescon last week, Ubisoft announced its initial foray into the browser-based free-to-play market with new entries in three of its long running franchises. The Anno, Silent Hunter and Might and Magic license will all have free-to-play browser-based titles launched within the next year.

Ubisoft is notorious for adding controversial always-online DRM to its PC titles, requiring a constant internet connection even when playing a single player mode for the game to function. The practise started with the PC edition of Assassin's Creed II which launched in 2010 and according to a Ubisoft spokesperson talking to PC Gamer last year, its DRM has resulted in a clear reduction in piracy and has been successful.

Which metrics Ubisoft uses to measure its piracy rates is unclear at present.

80 Comments

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ADJB 23rd August 2012, 10:11 Quote
So there loathsome always on DRM was successful when it fails 95% of the time. I would hate to see one of there products that didn't succeed.
MSHunter 23rd August 2012, 10:17 Quote
the metric used is called greed. Like other industries they believe that each person that pirated would of bought the game if the could not pirate it. Sadly this is far from the truth.

I do not support piracy, I do how ever support logical thinking. :D
Valinor 23rd August 2012, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter
the metric used is called greed. Like other industries they believe that each person that pirated would of bought the game if the could not pirate it. Sadly this is far from the truth.

I do not support piracy, I do how ever support logical thinking. :D

Yeah, I'd imagine that 93-95% of people who pirate games wouldn't pay for it if they were unable to pirate it.

Also, he was misquoted on PC Gamer as saying the 93-95% figure was for the whole PC Games market. If it was just referring to Ubisoft games then I guess I could understand that ;)
Greenie 23rd August 2012, 10:21 Quote
I can't even begin to say how annoyed this article makes me. Those figures sound like complete crap.

I seriously doubt I'll be playing any of their F2P games, just because the quality is generally so much worse than a 'proper' game.
mighty_pirate 23rd August 2012, 10:39 Quote
Might & Magic & Assassins Creed are the only Ubisoft PC titles that have ever been any good. If 93-95% of people don't pay for their games (which seems unrealistically high & without them providing back up, I'm calling bullshit) it's because their games just aren't worth buying.
Personally I won't pirate anything at all. But some will pirate the things that they don't think are worth the asking price, just to try it out. If I was one of those people then I'd pirate pretty much everything in the Ubisoft catalogue, because I think very little of what they do is of a good enough quality to pay for.
I have near zero hopes for their FTP titles.
Spreadie 23rd August 2012, 10:41 Quote
Quote:
Ubisoft is notorious for adding controversial always-online DRM to its PC titles, requiring a constant internet connection even when playing a single player mode for the game to function. The practise started with the PC edition of Assassin's Creed II which launched in 2010 and according to a Ubisoft spokesperson talking to PC Gamer last year, its DRM has resulted in a clear reduction in piracy and has been successful.

Really? Claiming 95% piracy rates and that their hateful DRM was successful!?

I call BS on this whole article.
liratheal 23rd August 2012, 10:51 Quote
Um..

Yeah. Mirroring the sentiments so far in these comments - What are you talking about, Ubisoft?

I have, in the past, bought your games. I still do, on PC. Ghost Recon Future Soldier being the most recent. I was really looking forward to it (Call me a gun nut, I love that Gunsmith bit), only to have it ruined by their DRM system.

I resorted to piracy on that one, because it was the only way to enjoy the game that I had bought.

Ubisoft are getting their information pools mixed up - Their DRM does nothing but push players towards piracy with their archaic systems. The same could be said for a number of other publishers. They are, effectively, their own worst enemies.
PingCrosby 23rd August 2012, 11:07 Quote
Its quite simple really, make a game worth playing and people will buy it, Skyrim, GTA,Fallout etc
Necrow 23rd August 2012, 11:13 Quote
This Ubisift article stinks.
It's the crappy DRM that pushed people to use the cracked versions. I think that they should just put their games onto Steam, reduce the price and then and sit back and enjoy.
Also if we look at DICE and the BF3 Battlelog model used to launch the game (even if it uses Origin), it's far superier than the DRM that Ubisoft forced onto us.
My guess is that 99% on multiplayers on BF3 are using a proper paid for version and are also paying for DLC either individually or through BFPremium.
Hustler 23rd August 2012, 11:26 Quote
UBI Soft are full of it, right up to their necks...

cause & effect in action UBIsoft....cause & effect.
Jhodas 23rd August 2012, 11:33 Quote
Had my first experience with bad DRM recently (I've just done a rebuild).
Bought Bulletstorm from a shop. It only started up after the 3rd installation attempt because GFWL's anti-piracy gubbins wouldn't let it. Then it wouldn't let me play without updating, but the update crashed because of GFWL's anti-piracy gubbins... Pattern?
I took it back and bought a movie.

I have friends who are game devs, so I understand why DRM has to exist, even if it's only for the placebo effect. Modern games take dozens, even hundreds of people several years to complete, they're a phenomenal investment. Shareholders are going to ask what you're doing to protect that investment, even if most of the time it's like wrapping a bus in clingfilm before you push it off a cliff. Hey, it feels safer...

TL: DR
DRM is a good idea executed badly.
[USRF]Obiwan 23rd August 2012, 11:43 Quote
Well If PC game developers have so many troubles with getting their games pirated and then played by people unwilling to pay. Why don't they use a Kickstarter mechanism to create PC games. Let the gamers pay for development. Those who payed will get a copy. Those who didn't but want to jump in have to pay the normal going price. Even if it is pirated after release you didn't loose any money because the people who wanted it payed for it anyway.
Redd13 23rd August 2012, 11:44 Quote
That statistic cannot be accurate. ive never pirated an ubisoft game... For a start how do you even measure how many people illegally play a game? its another predicted bullshit number that accountants suggest invasive drm should solve.

Piracy doesnt harm game sales... its free advertising from people who would NEVER buy the game.
Retarded DRM and bullshit from game developers are the real risks, but then what do you expect from a company more interested in profits.

Hope Ubisoft goes under. We need artists making games not accountants.
r3loaded 23rd August 2012, 11:48 Quote
It might help if Ubisoft made some decent games for people to buy.
Paradigm Shifter 23rd August 2012, 11:58 Quote
Their DRM doesn't seem to be doing much, if the piracy rate is that high. Kind of makes you wonder why they bothered, ne?

This article reads like Ubisoft "woe is us" propaganda and FUD. Like if they say something enough, everyone will believe them.

...

I've got a great idea: if PC piracy is so high, they should just release everything they've already made for the PC DRM free on something like GOG.com, and pull out of the PC market entirely. Sell their PC IP to someone interested in it and just walk away.

Then I'm sure they'll start complaining about piracy on consoles...
Sensei 23rd August 2012, 12:25 Quote
I just stopped buying Ubisoft games. If thats how they want to treat PC gamers then f@*k them. The sun doesn't shine out of their gaping uplay arse.
mighty_pirate 23rd August 2012, 12:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF
Obiwan]Well If PC game developers have so many troubles with getting their games pirated and then played by people unwilling to pay. Why don't they use a Kickstarter mechanism to create PC games. Let the gamers pay for development. Those who payed will get a copy. Those who didn't but want to jump in have to pay the normal going price. Even if it is pirated after release you didn't loose any money because the people who wanted it payed for it anyway.
Not many people want to put money down up front for things though. The reason Kickstarter works, I believe, is a combination of the facts that it's a novelty, it's not used for many games in the grand scheme of things & that those devs that do use it are small time; people are more willing to support an underdog.
If Kickstarter were used for everything then people would get jaded over it & if the big dogs started using it people would resent that they had to give money up front to someone who already has a lot more money than they ever will.
MachineUK 23rd August 2012, 12:30 Quote
The truth is probably something like: People pirate the game to try it out (if there is no demo) to find out how buggy it is!! Mostly very poor console ports in Ubisofts case.

I did buy ghost recon FS. Within two minutes of playing I wish I hadnt. The mouse and keyboard didnt work....at all........why shoud PC gamers buy games that are broken.....day one of purchase!!
Draksis 23rd August 2012, 13:12 Quote
That 95% is abolute bull! Ubi inflatted that number so that they look like the poor little victim and that they have no other choice, when in reality it's only ever been thier DRM that have pushed ppl away from thier games.

And now?! We get F2P games that have allways on DRM! Big f**kin difference Ubi!!! Thanks for that!

:(
fix-the-spade 23rd August 2012, 13:18 Quote
Does Ubisoft note how many sales their DRM system has cost them?
They certainly lost mine (for ever and all time), perhaps that piracy figure reflects on a drop in paying customers as much as an increase in piracy, of which I imagine there are both.
V3ctor 23rd August 2012, 13:47 Quote
I don't buy their games, and never will with that crap DRM they have... hell, I don't even pirate games, and never will pirate Ubisoft's games :D

It's just a waste of bandwith to me...
Harlequin 23rd August 2012, 13:52 Quote
maybe ubisoft should talk to blizzard about allways on drm and making games work with it....
alpaca 23rd August 2012, 14:02 Quote
I call BS on you guys.

The Ubisoft DRM is not that bad from a practical point of view. The system works like Steam does, abeit less streamlined (not everybody can make the same interface): you log in, you download your game, you play your game, you download DLC, you play some more.

Yes, you have to stay on line. But hey, how many of you are not connected to the internet when gaming? Yes, that's right, a minority. I also think 95% is a bit much, but you can be sure that significantly more than half players pirated the game. That are not the nice guys who paid for the game but couldn't play it due their specific situation (interrupting internet connection, no connection available, etc) and so pirated it so they could rightly enjoy the game they bought. Also, my Steam refuses to start up in offline mode (i'm not alone), so it's requiring the connection too, except camouflaging it as a bug.

Yes, sometimes their servers are overloaded (you hear about it, but I never experienced it...) , but same argument like above: that's a non-normal situation, and the people who bought the game and found they couldn't play and pirated it for that reason are also a small minority.

The big majority is those who were either to cheap to buy the game, or couldn't (that's another debate, right guys?), and so shouldn't be playing it in the first place. The notion that every pirated copy is a lost sale is a wrong one, but I firmly believe a decent minority would have paid if they had to. If the distribution is 40/60 paid/pirated, and if only one in six would still pay for the game if it wasn't this readily available for free, they gain 25% sales. That is a lot. And it may encourage gaming studio's to try out some concepts that are not so mainstream. Because that is what you guys all want, isn't it? None of this well-selling MW3 crap, but more of the semi-flopped Mirrors Edge? Or pirated to death World of Goo? Hands in the air for those who played the last two longer than the first.

As for their games being bad or buggy or not to your tastes, they are not inherently worse, buggier or less to your taste than any other game from any other publishing company. And even if they were, that is no reason to exuse or even explain piracy. If you don't like it, don't use it. You not liking something someone worked on, doesn't give you the right of using it for free.

If Assassins Creed sucks, don't buy it, don't play it. It is not neccesairy to your survival, not even to your wellbeing.

I will get a lot of flak for this... :(
Fat Tony 23rd August 2012, 14:11 Quote
That does sound like an extraordinarily high rate of piracy - how are they measuring this ?
benji2412 23rd August 2012, 14:12 Quote
I doubt a Chief Exec of a company like Ubisoft could come out with something this stupid.
MjFrosty 23rd August 2012, 14:19 Quote
Sounds like an honest, or in this case dishonest case of conversation filler. I don't think he's pulled those figures from any statistics. Just opened his mouth and used the first numbers that came into his head.

I'm so unsure of Ubisoft these days, they can produce some really good games. I remember BUYING (note that) Splinter Cell Conviction, and really enjoying it. I must be in the small percentage, go me. On the other hand the new Ghost Recon looks awful. So awful I wouldn't even contemplate pirating it.

If the games decent, the majority of people will pay for it. Just please stop plastering your games with this awful DRM.

Also, Ghost Recon online; note free to play? I won't be playing it. I had a beta key, it's terrible.


F2P might not be your best avenue mate.
Glix 23rd August 2012, 14:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
I call BS on you guys.

The Ubisoft DRM is not that bad from a practical point of view. The system works like Steam does, abeit less streamlined (not everybody can make the same interface): you log in, you download your game, you play your game, you download DLC, you play some more.

Yes, you have to stay on line. But hey, how many of you are not connected to the internet when gaming? Yes, that's right, a minority. I also think 95% is a bit much, but you can be sure that significantly more than half players pirated the game. That are not the nice guys who paid for the game but couldn't play it due their specific situation (interrupting internet connection, no connection available, etc) and so pirated it so they could rightly enjoy the game they bought. Also, my Steam refuses to start up in offline mode (i'm not alone), so it's requiring the connection too, except camouflaging it as a bug.

Yes, sometimes their servers are overloaded (you hear about it, but I never experienced it...) , but same argument like above: that's a non-normal situation, and the people who bought the game and found they couldn't play and pirated it for that reason are also a small minority.

The big majority is those who were either to cheap to buy the game, or couldn't (that's another debate, right guys?), and so shouldn't be playing it in the first place. The notion that every pirated copy is a lost sale is a wrong one, but I firmly believe a decent minority would have paid if they had to. If the distribution is 40/60 paid/pirated, and if only one in six would still pay for the game if it wasn't this readily available for free, they gain 25% sales. That is a lot. And it may encourage gaming studio's to try out some concepts that are not so mainstream. Because that is what you guys all want, isn't it? None of this well-selling MW3 crap, but more of the semi-flopped Mirrors Edge? Or pirated to death World of Goo? Hands in the air for those who played the last two longer than the first.

As for their games being bad or buggy or not to your tastes, they are not inherently worse, buggier or less to your taste than any other game from any other publishing company. And even if they were, that is no reason to exuse or even explain piracy. If you don't like it, don't use it. You not liking something someone worked on, doesn't give you the right of using it for free.

If Assassins Creed sucks, don't buy it, don't play it. It is not neccesairy to your survival, not even to your wellbeing.

I will get a lot of flak for this... :(

No one here said they pirated Ubisoft games...

Ubisoft's drm started off as ALWAYS ONLINE drm, ie you lose connection for anything and your game progress would be lost, Steam's solution doesn't work like that.

Are you a Statistician? If not, stop trying to model the number of people pirating games to the number buying games as you have no idea of how distribution works in statistics.

Mirrors Edge and World of Goo are both niche products, which were both successful and unsuccessful for their reasons. You can't compare games like for like to a popular easy to access game like Call of Duty. So I don't see why you mention these games by name in your post.

Buggy ports and poor performance even when your pc meets the minimum spec are a good reason to try a game before you buy as how are you meant to know if it will work on your current set up with out trying? Why should you be out of pocket for being missold a product which you can't even return?

Get your coat. :p
Instagib 23rd August 2012, 14:34 Quote
I'm not having that. They mean to tell us that they only recieve revenue from 5 - 7.% of their games being played? How the hell are they not declaring bankrupt? Utter bollocks.
Niftyrat 23rd August 2012, 14:40 Quote
Why do people in these comment threads always blame accountants? As one it annoys the crap out of me. I know that if you presented statistics that showed money was lost on making pc games then the recommendation would be to stop making them. I can't imagine a business case for invasive DRM that requires servers, licensing fees, staff etc. truly being justifiable by a potential increase in sales.

Heck try producing a good good quality game that innovates and doesn't have a load of annoying bugs (Vegas 1 & 2 machine gun sound loop problem, let alone the broken terrorist hunt spawning system) at a price that maximises the profit without the drm costs and accept that piracy exists for both PC and console games but that most of these would not have purchased anyway.
alpaca 23rd August 2012, 14:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glix
No one here said they pirated Ubisoft games...

Ubisoft's drm started off as ALWAYS ONLINE drm, ie you lose connection for anything and your game progress would be lost, Steam's solution doesn't work like that.

Admitted, they are not as perfect as steam is. But that doesn't mean they're awful.
Quote:

Are you a Statistician? If not, stop trying to model the number of people pirating games to the number buying games as you have no idea of how distribution works in statistics.

Can I derive you are neither a statistician? No, I have no idea of the actual numbers, only that they are big enough to warrant investing in DRM (yes, that costs them too, and as any company subject to the kapitalistic system, they wouldn't do that if it didn't bring in more gains, in one form or another) . And so I demonstrated my argument with some numbers that looked reasonable to me.
Quote:

Mirrors Edge and World of Goo are both niche products, which were both successful and unsuccessful for their reasons. You can't compare games like for like to a popular easy to access game like Call of Duty. So I don't see why you mention these games by name in your post.

Ah but yes, that is the point of my argument: Call of Duty is big and accessible enough to be profitable, even with significant piracy. Niche games like the two others are not.
Quote:

Buggy ports and poor performance even when your pc meets the minimum spec are a good reason to try a game before you buy as how are you meant to know if it will work on your current set up with out trying? Why should you be out of pocket for being missold a product which you can't even return?

That argument makes sense too. And I'm sure most readers here would instantly buy a game if they have played the first level of a pirated game and found it to their liking, instead of just playing until the end (because they don't have time or money right now to go to the store) and then reasoning that since they already finished it, giving away money would be a waste. If only the world was one big bit-tech community.
Shirty 23rd August 2012, 14:46 Quote
Intrusive, always-on DRM wins again!
Woodspoon 23rd August 2012, 14:54 Quote
Rofl how can the DRM be working if piracy is that rampant?
Shirty 23rd August 2012, 15:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspoon
Rofl how can the DRM be working if piracy is that rampant?

If that was in response to me, I guess I forgot the [SARCASM][/SARCASM] tags ;)
faugusztin 23rd August 2012, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
Yes, sometimes their servers are overloaded (you hear about it, but I never experienced it...) , but same argument like above: that's a non-normal situation, and the people who bought the game and found they couldn't play and pirated it for that reason are also a small minority.

Sometimes :| ? Overloaded? You probably meant to use the word Offline.
Bloodburgers 23rd August 2012, 15:06 Quote
Agreed and how much of the piracy rate has been produced by alienated what would normally be paying customers.

What i find ridiculous is that you have to have Uplay and log your game to one account after purchasing it through steam with their own drm.

It all seems little loopy if you ask me.
Woodspoon 23rd August 2012, 15:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirty
If that was in response to me, I guess I forgot the [SARCASM][/SARCASM] tags ;)

Lol no, not directed at you
Shirty 23rd August 2012, 15:12 Quote
I had hoped not :D
Toka 23rd August 2012, 15:14 Quote
Pirated Anno 2070

Quite liked it

Went and bought it, installed and saw the DRM...

Threw the bloody thing behind the sofa and went back to the pirated version.
alpaca 23rd August 2012, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodburgers
Agreed and how much of the piracy rate has been produced by alienated what would normally be paying customers.

What i find ridiculous is that you have to have Uplay and log your game to one account after purchasing it through steam with their own drm.

It all seems little loopy if you ask me.

Ubisoft is not the only company doing that. (GFWL comes to mind).
Mind: I don't like the DRM neither, but I don't think it deserves the bashing it gets. If you don't like part of a program (the DRM in this case), it may alienate you from it, fair enough. But that doesn't give you the real or moral right to get the part you DO like for free. So I suggest buying the game, putting it on the shelf, and pirating it to get around the DRM. If you buy a case but don't like some part from it (say, the color), the company selling them is not going to pay for the modification(e.g. your paintjob). But you can see too this is a less-than-optimal solution? Whereby the true solution would be no piracy, and unnatainable.

EDIT: much like Toka said.
Chicken76 23rd August 2012, 15:40 Quote
This is utter crap!

Although those figures might be close to reality in 2nd-world countries, that does not simply translate into lost revenue. If people could not pirate their games, they would simply not buy them, thus never experiencing how much (or little) talent was involved into making them. And that means people will never hear about you, and when their financial situation changes, they won't buy your games, but those they liked and pirated in the past. I believe it was Bill Gates who said "I'd rather have them pirate my software than someone else's" (he was referring to the Chinese market, which faced similar piracy rates), and then a few years later, managed to turn a hopeless case into a very profitable market.

Let's take another example: Blizzard. It's by far the number one seller of PC games in my country. Why? Because they offer the players something worth their money. When you have very little money to spend on non-essential things, what would you buy, a Blizzard game or an Ubisoft one? ;) Exactly!
Now why did gamers in my country buy Diablo2, Starcraft1, Warcraft3? Was it because they couldn't find pirated copied of them? No! It was because a genuine copy allowed them to play on Battle.net, which was a totally different experience, and people raised up the cash to buy the games that a) they already finished several times in single-player, b) had countless nights of playing with friends in LANs and c) weren't even recently released titles. Now that is a success story!

Long story short, here's two golden rules to lower piracy rates and make money out of developing games:
  1. make something worth buying, interesting, innovating, tasteful and smart.
  2. release demos. When you have little money to spend, you're not going to buy a game on the chance that it will turn out to be fun for you (something no review can guarantee), but you're going to look for a pirated copy and see for yourself.
schmidtbag 23rd August 2012, 16:52 Quote
This is a real shame to me. Ubisoft is one of the few larger game corporations that don't suck at everything they do. I feel like piracy is definitely stoppable but companies are just too lazy to do anything about it. I have a few ideas of my own that would work but being a nobody, that isn't going to happen. At this point I feel like the only way to stop piracy on PC is to stop selling to it, which sucks but considering the statistics, its fair.
Adnoctum 23rd August 2012, 16:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
Also, my Steam refuses to start up in offline mode (i'm not alone), so it's requiring the connection too, except camouflaging it as a bug.

For 5 years Steam would drive me nuts because I could never get it to work in Offline Mode when my Internet connection was down (which happened reasonably often, sadly).
I tried everything, including removing my computer from the network and disabling the LAN ports. The issue persisted all through the life of my computer, through multiple WinXP/Win7Pro installs, driver versions, and even HDDs/SSDs, CPU and GPU changes. Another near identical computer with a different motherboard but the same chipset had no problems and the same with my low-power computer running WinXP,.

Then I bought a new motherboard and DDR3. Bingo. Steam now runs fine in Offline Mode. So all along something about my motherboard would piss off/confuse Steam so it would never go into Offline Mode.
I like Steam, but it was almost enough to drive me postal.

The motherboard was brilliant in all other respects, it survived 5 years of gaming (including 4 of being OCed to some degree) and went through 4 CPUs, 3 GPUs, 6 sticks of DDR2, 5 HDDs and 2 SSDs! And it was ex-display, so I got it cheap-ish. Best coin I ever spent.
ripmax 23rd August 2012, 16:56 Quote
I'm guessing a decent amount of those numbers are from people who bought the game but downloaded a cracked version/crack so they can actually play their game, From personal experience Ubisoft's servers are very unreliable.
schmidtbag 23rd August 2012, 16:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripmax
I'm guessing a decent amount of those numbers are from people who bought the game but downloaded a cracked version/crack so they can actually play their game, From personal experience Ubisoft's servers are very unreliable.

That's actually a very good point, but do you think that makes up for the majority of claimed pirates?
azazel1024 23rd August 2012, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
I call BS on you guys.

The Ubisoft DRM is not that bad from a practical point of view. The system works like Steam does, abeit less streamlined (not everybody can make the same interface): you log in, you download your game, you play your game, you download DLC, you play some more.

Yes, you have to stay on line. But hey, how many of you are not connected to the internet when gaming? Yes, that's right, a minority. I also think 95% is a bit much, but you can be sure that significantly more than half players pirated the game. That are not the nice guys who paid for the game but couldn't play it due their specific situation (interrupting internet connection, no connection available, etc) and so pirated it so they could rightly enjoy the game they bought. Also, my Steam refuses to start up in offline mode (i'm not alone), so it's requiring the connection too, except camouflaging it as a bug.

Yes, sometimes their servers are overloaded (you hear about it, but I never experienced it...) , but same argument like above: that's a non-normal situation, and the people who bought the game and found they couldn't play and pirated it for that reason are also a small minority.

The big majority is those who were either to cheap to buy the game, or couldn't (that's another debate, right guys?), and so shouldn't be playing it in the first place. The notion that every pirated copy is a lost sale is a wrong one, but I firmly believe a decent minority would have paid if they had to. If the distribution is 40/60 paid/pirated, and if only one in six would still pay for the game if it wasn't this readily available for free, they gain 25% sales. That is a lot. And it may encourage gaming studio's to try out some concepts that are not so mainstream. Because that is what you guys all want, isn't it? None of this well-selling MW3 crap, but more of the semi-flopped Mirrors Edge? Or pirated to death World of Goo? Hands in the air for those who played the last two longer than the first.

As for their games being bad or buggy or not to your tastes, they are not inherently worse, buggier or less to your taste than any other game from any other publishing company. And even if they were, that is no reason to exuse or even explain piracy. If you don't like it, don't use it. You not liking something someone worked on, doesn't give you the right of using it for free.

If Assassins Creed sucks, don't buy it, don't play it. It is not neccesairy to your survival, not even to your wellbeing.

I will get a lot of flak for this... :(

Of course you'll get a lot of flak for it.

Personally, I probably spend maybe 5-10% of my time gaming when I don't have an active internet connection. I've never personally played an Ubisoft game, in large part because I disagree with their DRM. However, if you get kicked out of the game, errors out, etc if you lose a connection, even briefly...well THAT would happen with a regularish amount of frequency. Maybe not every day, but at least once a week probably I'll lose the Wifi signal or maybe my router goes on the fritz for a minute, or just plain Verizon for some reason actually cuts out for a bit (rarest of rares).

I have no issues if a game requires an internet connection to register the game, has to verify with servers to download and install DLC, updates, etc. However, for a single player game, or even LAN multiplayer, it should not require an internet connection either start playing the game, or to continue playing it. Only install/updates/DLC.

That said, I honestly can't remember the last game I pirated. Probably at least 6-7yrs ago. Maybe more (probably was college the last time I did). I pretty much go F2P that have IAP models that actually work (like World of Tanks and Star Wars Online) or the very rare game I am interested enough in to pay money for. Course it helps that I have limited free time with 3 kids under 5.

I've probably spent $30 in Apple Appstore games (maybe 10-12 paid games?). I've also bought, off the top of my head, 3 games in the last 3 years for the PC (MTW 2, ETW and HL2 Orange Box). A couple more I have gotten as (purchased) gifts (SC2 is the only one off the top of my head). One or two games I have also bought for the Wii as family games. So, really I am not some great contributor to the gaming market...though mostly from lack of time. That and older games still interest me a lot (just because I bought it 7 years ago doesn't mean the game sucks now). Even before I was a father though I just can't invest that much in games. Unless the game is bad, a new game can usually engross me for a good 2-4 months. These days with limited time, more like 6-8 months.
Tangster 23rd August 2012, 17:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca

As for their games being bad or buggy or not to your tastes, they are not inherently worse, buggier or less to your taste than any other game from any other publishing company. And even if they were, that is no reason to exuse or even explain piracy. If you don't like it, don't use it. You not liking something someone worked on, doesn't give you the right of using it for free.

If Assassins Creed sucks, don't buy it, don't play it. It is not neccesairy to your survival, not even to your wellbeing.

I will get a lot of flak for this... :(
I bought Ass Creed. The first three titles infact, on recommendation from a few friends. It sucked arse, I've never even gotten further than the first mission on the first game.

I also bought the latest Splinter Cell and found it worth my money(albeit at 75% off) even with the forced Uplay.

All in all, I have little love for Ubi, but also not that much hate. They do push out good games, even if they tend to ruin them with somewhat restrictive DRM solutions. They should learn that a good apple will sell itself, but not if you roll it in turds before putting it on display.
Shirty 23rd August 2012, 17:40 Quote
Ubi's DRM stance can be considered a largely failed social experiment in its current form.

I'm all for killing piracy and going back to decent demos, but crushing the spirit of non pirating customers is most definitely not the way forward.

Coming from someone who is lucky to achieve 24 hours of unbroken broadband.
IllegalFun 23rd August 2012, 18:27 Quote
Apparently 93-95% of statistics are made up!


I have never pirated a game... you are far more likely to get a virus if you pirate a game.
The one thing I do hate though is DLC... Most DLC at the moment seems to be rubbish and adds only 1 or 2 things to the game that you actually want, the rest is just crap to make the COD fans happy
CptGooch 23rd August 2012, 18:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redd13
That statistic cannot be accurate. ive never pirated an ubisoft game... For a start how do you even measure how many people illegally play a game? its another predicted bullshit number that accountants suggest invasive drm should solve.

Piracy doesnt harm game sales... its free advertising from people who would NEVER buy the game.
Retarded DRM and bullshit from game developers are the real risks, but then what do you expect from a company more interested in profits.

Hope Ubisoft goes under. We need artists making games not accountants.

Agreed. I have brought all my Ubisoft titles at top dollar. I even own two copies of chaos theory. Have I pirated a game? Yes. Why? Well, it is normally for one of two reasons. #1 I have heard of the game and there is no demo. So I'll try it, then buy it or delete it. #2 For LAN parties. If you host local LAN parties, you know how much of a pain in the rear setting one up can be. 10% of the people don't own the game.... 25% will be on the wrong patch.... etc. In fact, I have two installs of CoD 4 on my system. The one I own, and the one I use for LAN parties. Ubisoft has never been one of my favorite companies.
do_it_anyway 23rd August 2012, 19:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Tony
That does sound like an extraordinarily high rate of piracy - how are they measuring this ?

I'll bet its the same way EA and Crytek measured the piracy rates for Crysis.:
"There are 20 million graphics cards bought that are capable of playing crysis. But we sold 2 million copies. Therefore 90% didn't buy Crysis so must have pirated it."

Wrong.
Some of us with PC's capable, just didn't buy Crysis. We played Modern Warfare instead. The first one. Before it became the same game rebranded every year.
And just because I didn't buy From Dust, does not mean I pirated it. I just didn't want to play it.
Runebeard 23rd August 2012, 20:25 Quote
If anything their DRM probably increased piracy of their titles, as I imagine the people who cracked it developed a loophole so you can play without an internet connection, due to their annoyance with it.
ajfsound 23rd August 2012, 21:37 Quote
This kind of statement (from Ubisoft) puts me off buying Ubisoft games more than any form of DRM. Because it's such a load of bull as others have already described.
AndyBradley_0255 23rd August 2012, 22:30 Quote
95% piracy rate?? that just utter BS and ridiculous!!!!
I cant remember the last Ubisoft game I played let alone the last one I paid for.... some splinter cell game or Rainbow Six 3 and its expansion packs I think.
Here's an idea UbiSoft, You make something worth buying and then we will consider buying it.
Jesus, why has piracy got to be everyone's scape goat to crappy sales of a crappy game???
Gunsmith 23rd August 2012, 23:25 Quote
i think the Anno 2070 expansion will be the last game i buy with an ubi stamp on it.
RedFlames 24th August 2012, 01:03 Quote
This how I think Ubisoft's collective mind works...

"We made a F2P Game... 90% of people chose not to buy any content... therefore 90% of people people are pirates"
dark_avenger 24th August 2012, 02:28 Quote
What a load of bullsh*t.

You can keep your DRM infested games Ubisoft.
1398342003 24th August 2012, 03:12 Quote
Poor, poor Ubisoft. They keep putting more and more DRM on their games and now people don't want to buy them. I wonder why.

I think that there will always be a base level of piracy that will never go away. Some people simply cannot afford to purchase games at $50 or $60. If piracy is possible they WILL play the game.

Ubisoft is treating these as 'lost sales'. Sorry, they aren't able to be sales, they couldn't buy it if they wanted to.

Their response to this is onerous DRM, which punishes the purchaser more than the pirates. The pirates WILL crack the game, and people who would otherwise purchase it will pirate it as a form of protest.

The high prices don't really help. AssCre 1 is still $20 on Steam, it's 4 years old now.
Whindog 24th August 2012, 03:13 Quote
Succesful DRM...95% piracy rate.

Right, id love to be in that KPI meeting for the DRM.

Goal: Acheive 5% purchase conversion rate within time and budget. Customer satisfaction is of no issue on this topic.

Custermer satisfaction - No job goals on this one. Not important to us. Just make money and ensure DRM so investors think we are doing something against piracy.

UBIsoft continually amaze at there stupidity. On the other side of the fence.....LOOK AT VALVE FFS!!!!! Customer first focus vs bottom line focus....wonder which company will be around in 5 years time.
Gradius 24th August 2012, 06:40 Quote
This is total BS !

It was YEARS I played the last Ubisoft. It was so long ago that I don't even remember anymore!
ZERO <ibis> 24th August 2012, 07:42 Quote
So the drm was so bad that 95% of their customers would rather pirate it with rick of virus than have a version with drm...
Elton 24th August 2012, 08:06 Quote
But you have to understand guys. It doesn't justify piracy. This is merely their (admittedly knee-jerk) reaction to piracy. I mean it's not as bad as Epic who have just flat out refused to even make crappy ports. But still, there's a reason they're doing it and anyone who justifies piracy is just that. Their justification for making such DRM.

In an ideal world, we would simply just not buy their games and NOT PIRATE it. That would change their minds. But if they're not only not getting sales but also having it "stolen" then they're obviously going to add a bigger and more expensive lock. So it's not fair just to criticize them. But also look at our own behavior. Because all actions are just reactions to another action.
Adnoctum 24th August 2012, 10:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
But you have to understand guys. It doesn't justify piracy. This is merely their (admittedly knee-jerk) reaction to piracy. I mean it's not as bad as Epic who have just flat out refused to even make crappy ports. But still, there's a reason they're doing it and anyone who justifies piracy is just that. Their justification for making such DRM.

In an ideal world, we would simply just not buy their games and NOT PIRATE it. That would change their minds. But if they're not only not getting sales but also having it "stolen" then they're obviously going to add a bigger and more expensive lock. So it's not fair just to criticize them. But also look at our own behavior. Because all actions are just reactions to another action.

Most here aren't saying "Because of what Guillemot said we should go and pirate Ubisoft stuff".
Most are saying what Guillemot said lacks a logical basis, is non-sensical, and what he claims cannot be adequately measured and accounted anyway.
Is he measuring piracy by counting the numbers of torrent downloads? Has he employed psychics? Has he been practising haruspicy (reading animal guts)? Or is he looking at disappointing Ubisoft sales and coming to the conclusion that only piracy could account for such poor performance? Aliens?

But then he went further and used the figures that he pulled out of his backside to justify (directly or indirectly):
1 - Ubisoft's draconian DRM scheme that punishes the people who pay for the software, or dissuades many from purchasing, while doing NOTHING to stop piracy,
2 - Blame piracy for poor sales of Ubisoft games, when it could have much to do with point 1 above,
3 - Use these poor sales to justify a move to a F2P model, where he claims a similar percentage pay for content anyway (so why bother going on about it?).

We are also claiming that what Guillemot thinks or doesn't think has little impact because he and his company doesn't make games that are compelling people to buy, other than some people who like Assassin's Creed or Anno or Ghost Recon games. But then some people would buy My Little Pony games as well, so there is no accounting for tastes.

Lastly, we are voting with our cash and just not buying their games, because otherwise he wouldn't be squealing like a little piggy and talking about moving to a F2P model.
MiNiMaL_FuSS 24th August 2012, 14:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
Can I derive you are neither a statistician?


Alpaca, can I use the above in my sig please, the amazingly poor use of English while attempting a use of higher English tickles me no end :D
Anfield 24th August 2012, 15:12 Quote
There is no way to track piracy in an accurate way.

Anyway, personally there is currently no ubisoft game around i could be bothered to buy, or pirate.
oh, right, according to ubi that probably makes me a pirate too, let me just grab my cutlass and dance around the pc while singing we are all evil pirates.
Shirty 24th August 2012, 15:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiNiMaL_FuSS
Alpaca, can I use the above in my sig please, the amazingly poor use of English while attempting a use of higher English tickles me no end :D

Lol, how polite. I just stole my sig quote and asked permission after :)
DeckerdBR 24th August 2012, 15:41 Quote
As someone who mistakenly bought the excellent Anno 2070 and only realised after the event that it was a Ubisoft title and has consistently been plagued by uplay connection problems since, Ubisoft deserver all the negative comments they are getting in this thread and else ware.

A bunch of us bought it but because of the issue with its crap DRM and the rubbish service offered by uplay it's been rare for us to get a game going where all 3 of us have been able to consistently enjoy the game we paid for. Several of the key functions of Anno (ark storage for instance) are tied to having a constant connection to the uplay servers.

The same applies to Splinter Cell Conviction, we picked it up for £3.25 in the steam summer sale but still feel ripped off at that price as only just recently have the servers been accessible. We ended up having to use a 3rd party vlan solution called tungle to play, which begs the question why did we bother paying for it in the first place? I am relieved we did not pay full price for it because I understand the uplay issues were just as bad on release.

These 2 games had broken a long standing ban I had on any ubisoft titles, after far too many buggy console ports and their ever more intrusive DRM. It interesting but also sad to see little has changed.

Ubisoft need to look a bit closer to home if they wish to understand why their games are pirated a lot and/or don’t sell that well compared to their expectations.

The move to free to play is hilarious, probably good for their income if they make one or more games that are as popular as World of Tanks for instance but they should at least be honest that their motivation is monetary. Personally I am not a fan of “Free” to play games, Wot was fun for a bit but not actually cheap or free if you want to get a reasonable conversion of reward for effort and even then it’s a bit of a grind. It makes me sad to see that they are planning titles like Silent Hunter on-line, Anno on-line etc. Much like Splinter cell, Ubisoft have ruined a good number of their key franchises by making them poorly.

Regarding their stats, it sound a bit a bit high, might be true but they should not just be able to make flippant comments without providing a bit of evidence. It feels like piracy is just a convenient scapegoat for them to use as a reason for moving to the F2P model.

I'd consider piracy as a 2 fingers up to them but I have a limited amount game time these days, so if it's not worth my money, it's not worth my time either!
alpaca 24th August 2012, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiNiMaL_FuSS
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
Can I derive you are neither a statistician?
Alpaca, can I use the above in my sig please, the amazingly poor use of English while attempting a use of higher English tickles me no end :D

Yes, if you accurately explain what is wrong with that sentence. As you may have guessed (and my sig proclaims), English is only my tirth language, so I'm eager to learn from my mistakes.
Sloth 24th August 2012, 21:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
Yes, if you accurately explain what is wrong with that sentence. As you may have guessed (and my sig proclaims), English is only my tirth language, so I'm eager to learn from my mistakes.
Neither is used to say that something isn't one of a pair of options. Your sentence was flawed because it used neither and only presented one option: statistician. For example, if your sentence was changed to "Can I derive you are neither a statistician nor a mathematician?" it would work. Or you could just change "neither" to "not" in your original sentence.

Hope that helps!
Shirty 24th August 2012, 21:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Neither is used to say that something isn't one of a pair of options. Your sentence was flawed because it used neither and only presented one option: statistician. For example, if your sentence was changed to "Can I derive you are neither a statistician nor a mathematician?" it would work. Or you could just change "neither" to "not" in your original sentence.

Hope that helps!

Spot on, and alpaca I'll just make you feel better again by pointing out that 99% of English speakers would have had no problem at all understanding what you meant ;)
Anfield 24th August 2012, 21:32 Quote
Just bought a bunch of random indie games on steam, no money for you ubi and it didn't involve any piracy.
alpaca 24th August 2012, 23:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Neither is used to say that something isn't one of a pair of options. Your sentence was flawed because it used neither and only presented one option: statistician. For example, if your sentence was changed to "Can I derive you are neither a statistician nor a mathematician?" it would work. Or you could just change "neither" to "not" in your original sentence.

Hope that helps!

Aha, thanks for the explanation.(rep++) So the two options being 'me' and 'you' does not count? And the following sentence is wrong too then? (if not, why?)
Quote:
I'm not a crocodile and neither are you.
Sloth 24th August 2012, 23:43 Quote
I'll admit, I never read your whole post or what it was responding to. After going back and reading, it makes a bit more sense and is actually a pretty simple fix. :)

Your crocodile sentence is correct. If you structured your original sentence that way it would also work. Something like: "I'm not a statistician, can I derive that neither are you?". The way you had it structured it looked as though statistician was being presented as one of the options since you never made it clear that you weren't a statistician.

Alternatively, you could drop neither and use either. Something like "Can I derive that you aren't a statistician either?" would work too, since it implies that you aren't a statistician.
Glix 25th August 2012, 09:23 Quote
I am a Mathematician however, and my point was that once you start plucking numbers out of thin air, then it's just a guesstimate based on your own experience/data which will most likely be a small subset of the actual data.

Therefore when ever I see articles quoting %'s without any data to back up their conclusion, I know it's just a load of rubbish to make a headline for someone somewhere. :>

Maths aside, I still think Ubisoft are rubbish for finding excuses of why they don't concentrate on Pc games.
freeclout 25th August 2012, 10:00 Quote
Wow, with numbers like those you'd feel like a right mug if you actually paid for any of their games!
Roskoken 25th August 2012, 12:26 Quote
**** Ubisoft
.//TuNdRa 25th August 2012, 13:23 Quote
I do wonder if whomever released this statement actually took a step back and went "95%? But our DRM was still effective? Did everyone pirate it before?" or similar.

And to those complaining about Always On DRM: I agree with you. BT are currently installing FTTC in this area, which means i'm getting repeated connection drop-outs and other fun issues. Why should I suffer for events outside of my control? I'm so very glad that, at least, it was patched so that it didn't just kick you out of the game when you lost connection, but it's still a pain in the arse.
modfx 25th August 2012, 21:39 Quote
Meh, Ubisoft haters gonna hate, they have done some crap, they have done some good stuff. What I'm interested is which orifice 95% piracy was pulled out of, that's a pretty hefty claim.
Crunchy 26th August 2012, 19:15 Quote
How come they know how many pirated games are circulated but not who did it O.o?
I can't be bothered with most Ubisoft games for their DRM policy, myself.
I suspect this is premptive PR for them not bothering to release a few key titles in the near future.
I concur with the uplay gripes on this page.
Ubi' are just throwing their toys out of their pram for their own PR disaster with the always on DRM, imo.
*ALL* of my friends by their games and often at full price. I don't know any pirates.
My opinion is that claim is 93-95% bum-chowder.
SinxarKnights 29th August 2012, 06:41 Quote
The Ubisoft DRM boycott is still in effect. Not sure why they thought it would just go away.
Elton 29th August 2012, 07:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Most here aren't saying "Because of what Guillemot said we should go and pirate Ubisoft stuff".
Most are saying what Guillemot said lacks a logical basis, is non-sensical, and what he claims cannot be adequately measured and accounted anyway.
Is he measuring piracy by counting the numbers of torrent downloads? Has he employed psychics? Has he been practising haruspicy (reading animal guts)? Or is he looking at disappointing Ubisoft sales and coming to the conclusion that only piracy could account for such poor performance? Aliens?

But then he went further and used the figures that he pulled out of his backside to justify (directly or indirectly):
1 - Ubisoft's draconian DRM scheme that punishes the people who pay for the software, or dissuades many from purchasing, while doing NOTHING to stop piracy,
2 - Blame piracy for poor sales of Ubisoft games, when it could have much to do with point 1 above,
3 - Use these poor sales to justify a move to a F2P model, where he claims a similar percentage pay for content anyway (so why bother going on about it?).

We are also claiming that what Guillemot thinks or doesn't think has little impact because he and his company doesn't make games that are compelling people to buy, other than some people who like Assassin's Creed or Anno or Ghost Recon games. But then some people would buy My Little Pony games as well, so there is no accounting for tastes.

Lastly, we are voting with our cash and just not buying their games, because otherwise he wouldn't be squealing like a little piggy and talking about moving to a F2P model.

I'm not saying specifically us. But this will give people an excuse to justify their piracy you know? My point was not that we should pirate it or that we will, but rather point out that there is a reason for all these statements coming out. That which you pointed out so eloquently.
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