Ubisoft CEO claims PC piracy rate 93-95%

Ubisoft has become somewhat infamous for obnoxious DRM. An increasing number of its games require an Internet connection for even their single-player campaigns. When Ubisoft moved some of its DRM servers earlier this year, a handful of games were rendered unplayable during the transition. Then, last month, a backdoor was discovered in a browser plug-in associated with Ubisoft’s Uplay client software.

There are other examples, but it seems pointless to bring them up, because Ubisoft’s DRM has apparently been an epic failure. According to CEO Yves Guillemot, 93-95% of its PC games are pirated. That figure, which Guillemot appears to have pulled out of thin air, was uttered to GamesIndustry International at the Camescom convention. The claim was made in a discussion of free-to-play titles, which Guillemot said generate revenue from about 5-7% of players. Here’s the full quotation:

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.

Guillemot thinks the free-to-play model is the best way to develop the PC gaming market. There’s an arguement to be made for the freemium approach, but justifying it by making outlandish claims about PC piracy rates with zero supporting data is more than a little suspect. Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the heads up.

Comments closed
    • normalicy
    • 7 years ago

    Odd, none of my friends pirate and its been quite some time since i have. Maybe its just Ubisoft’s overpricing, because i stopped buying their games. On the other hand, I buy the crap out of Steam’s well priced games.

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    with such spectacular titles like HAWX2, I am not surprised…unfortunately, that game was so poorly created, that it was never cracked by pirates.

    Also, if they are only making 5% revenue off games, they would have been out of business years ago. nothing but bull$hit figures here. luckily i was able to disable those horrid uplay plugins in firefox before this jokers company did any damage.

    • rrr
    • 7 years ago

    Corporate CEO making disingenuous claims? Color me surprised!

    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    The cost of some games has been worth it. I find the latest Civ V expansion to be infinitely playable, worth several times over the cost of all of the separate parts.

    But many games are just boring, all dirty and grey and depressing to look at.

      • BIF
      • 7 years ago

      That’s funny, I don’t remember down thumbing myself…I probably should have. 😉

        • CuttinHobo
        • 7 years ago

        The infamous pirates stole your rating!

          • BIF
          • 7 years ago

          LOL, I was seriously thinking of hanging that -1 on the wall in my home office, but I wouldn’t know how to. Now it’s gone. It’s a good thing TR doesn’t hand out placques; they would have had to ask me to send mine back. :D.

    • Vrock
    • 7 years ago

    PC gamers continue to amaze me. They hate the people who produce the content they’ve built an entire hobby on, and they constantly not only bite the hand that feeds that hobby, they take active steps to bring about its outright failure. But they love PC Gaming! It boggles the mind!

    Then they go and blame the decline in game quality/quantity on things like “consolitis”, without ever fully realizing that a big reason PC gaming companies have embraced consoles is because the PC gaming community has pushed it there.

    Seriously, if I’m a game maker, what’s my motivation to make a PC game these days? My (small) customer base is a bunch of dicks who hate me and chip away at profits through illegal activity. Or, I can make a console game and sell millions of copies with little worry of piracy, to a fanbase that’s more interested in playing games than bitching about them. Hmmm, tough choice.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      Remind me…how many copies of Diablo 3 have been sold?

      Perhaps the market is smaller by comparison, but that really doesn’t matter, because you are ignoring the bigger issue of how PC gamers are treated. For example, a CEO of a major company just accused 93-95% of PC gamers of committing a crime. Not very respectful, is it? On top of that, this is the same company whose attempt to curb piracy introduced vulnerabilities in their customers’ systems. Someone is certainly getting screwed here, but I don’t think it’s Ubisoft.

      I do think that PC gamers need to be more positive, but they shouldn’t just have to turn the other cheek when they get treated poorly.

        • cynan
        • 7 years ago

        Perhaps he was only accusing 93-95% of those who play Ubisoft PC games of piracy, not all PC gamers.

        While this number is still a little high (rolls eyes) I can see how Ubisoft games would be more prone to piracy than average given their horrendous DRM schemes (and perhaps also because so few recent Ubisoft games have been worth paying for).

          • Noigel
          • 7 years ago

          Agreed… with the negative PR that Ubisoft has gotten for their DRM… it could be very possible most of their games are pirated and that this is an isolated case in a vacuum in comparison to other game companies.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          I could see that…part of the “piracy” could also be legit customers getting around broken-ness, which I think I have seen suggested here, even. I’m not terribly uncomfortable with that, because Ubisoft should be providing a usable product when someone makes a purchase.

          The only thing I am uncomfortable with is “piracy as punishment.” I think that fuels moronic statements from CEOs and gives a game/publisher more facetime than it deserves. If they want to punish their cutomers (the actual hand that feeds), then let them starve.

        • Jason181
        • 7 years ago

        No, he accused 100% of pirates of committing a crime. Pirates might only compose 10% of the gaming population, but they pirate a lot of games because, well, they’re free.

        Diablo 3 is also online-only, which if many PC gamers had their way, it would not be. That does assist in piracy prevention, and the company that sold that game has spent the last 15 years building a reputation to earn those sales.

        I have to agree with Vrock that the most vocal (of what I hope is a minority) PC gaming group decries DRM, and many of them use it as an excuse to take what’s not theirs. Then they wonder why almost all titles are cross-platform and developed for the consoles first and foremost. So they use that as another reason to pirate: “All the games suck now, and they’re consolized; I’m not paying for that crap.”

        I’m not saying that everyone who decries DRM is a pirate, but I’d wager that all pirates decry DRM more than the average gamer because it gives them the justification they need in their mind to pirate games without feeling like a thief.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 7 years ago

          Since when does “a thief” worry about justification? They don’t.

          DRM is crap and doesn’t help the customer one iota. Older versions of Starforce and Securom could actually harm your computer or lock out your optical drives. Anyone that argues for drm either has a hidden agenda or is working against their own interest as a consumer.

          Most of Paradox’s games don’t have DRM and neither to CD Projekt Red’s and they’ve done extremely well by doing what customers want – as has GOG.

          You have a choice – you can try dictating to the market what’s going to happen or you can do what benefits consumers by doing what they want. When you lose because you chose the former you only have yourself to blame.

            • Jason181
            • 7 years ago

            Everyone justifies their actions, even if they don’t tacitly acknowledge it.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t believe that to be true. Not all people even have reasons for what they do. My point is that theft is not copyright infringement and that thieves have no reason to justify anything because that’s just what they do.

            Thievery is not copyright infringement – or vice versa.

            ” I’d wager that all pirates decry DRM more than the average gamer because it gives them the justification they need in their mind to pirate games without feeling like a thief.”

            Pirates make money off copyright infringement. They sell cds or dvds. Anyone downloading something that they’ve never owned is at worst infringing on copyright and are not pirates.

      • cynan
      • 7 years ago

      If console games aren’t pirated, then what are all those XBOX/PS3/PSP ISOs doing on the usual sites (that will remain unnamed here)?

      The reason it’s even more difficult to measure piracy on consoles is because the vast majority of, say, pirated XBOX 360 game are played on consoles that never see XBOX live (and with the cost of these consoles hitting as low as the $100 mark, having a second one for such activities is getting more and more affordable).

      I would be inclined to agree that there might be a higher proportion of PC games pirated than those for consoles, but there are also more console gamers than PC gamers. Therefore I would think that there’s at least as much “lost revenue” (as these execs like to calculate it) in console gaming due to piracy as on PCs

      As others have already pointed out (Krogoth in particular), the endless bitching about piracy on the PC is largely a big fat excuse to role out microtransaction based payment schemes so all these execs can pursue their dream of becoming as rich as Apple. And don’t think such models aren’t coming in full force to the next gen consoles either.

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      No, the problem is games have higher development costs due to the man hours need for all of the art and creating game design then having the coders trying to make all work together seamlessly (much easier said then done).

      It doesn’t make fiscal sense to develop a title solely for a single-platform. It makes sense to develop for a wide range of platforms and guess what they use as the baseline? Gaming consoles. Their hardware is vastly inferior to PC from three years nevermind the units that you can put together today.

      Piracy is just a scapegoat for anything that goes wrong with gaming titles. The people who keep using it are becoming more and more intellectually dishonest. They don’t bother to explore other reasons like the market simply doesn’t like your product or it had too much competition at the time of launch (I have seen this happening too many times).

        • RenatoPassos
        • 7 years ago

        ^ +1

        I don’t understand why you got downvoted, since you hit the nail in the head. Corrected that.

        superjawes and cynan also got very valid points.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 7 years ago

      I wish I could vote you +50. Let’s stop being kind, what you’ve said is pretty much the most intelligent, honest thing on this page.

      Yeah, yeah, vote me down. You should have seen this post BEFORE I edited it.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        If your comment was as devoid of reason and content as Vrock’s it’s probably a good thing you did edit it.

        Indies are doing quite well as is Paradox who only makes PC games. Piracy has never been the issue that major publishers have made it out to be. SquareEnix is doing very well in the market and not crying endlessly about piracy or coming up with new ways to screw the user.

        He doesn’t have a leg to stand on. And if you agree with him neither do you. But hey, enjoy your 60 dollar rented game.

    • pogsnet
    • 7 years ago
      • Jason181
      • 7 years ago

      The problem with f2p games is that if you like team gameplay, they have no teamwork in my experience. A lot of the people have no monetary investment in the game, which might indicate that they’re younger and don’t have the money (there are plenty of fine young people out there, but anyone who has siblings can testify that kids are not the most cooperative demographic), or they just don’t like the game enough to invest in it.

      The f2p design is tough on teamwork because there’s a tension between working as a team, where you probably won’t advance as quickly to unlock new items, and just going for personal score where you can get the better unlocks and use those to continue unlocking new items rather than helping your team in a meaningful way.

      I’ve played a couple it it can be very frustrating to see teammates doing stupid stuff to get points rather than trying to help with the game’s objective(s). To make matters worse, at the end of a round you see that they’ve received three times the unlock points that you did by being basically useless and selfish while you were trying actually work together with teammates.

      The fact that a few paying players are supporting a large number of nonpaying players exacerbates the situation for those who are willing to pay to get access to items so they can play as a team instead of worrying about that next unlock because the pricing structure has to be steep for those few to (financially) support the whole game.

    • jss21382
    • 7 years ago

    His numbers may have been plausible once upon a time, there was a period in my life where no one I knew actually bought games for pc. But now, pretty much everyone I know uses steam, it’s just not worth the hassle to pirate.

      • jokinin
      • 7 years ago

      Indeed, it’s so much easier to buy games online rather than waiting ages for a game to download, and taking a risk with those cracking programs.
      And besides, if you wait, there will always be a good sale, and you won’t have to pay much for good games.
      I also use steam as you, and i’m building a nice and extensive collection of legally downloaded games 🙂

    • steelcity_ballin
    • 7 years ago

    I can think of any recent ubisoft games I would even want to play. If they existed, you can be sure I would pay for it then download the cracked version to escape their draconian drm schemes. Screw those guys.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    First, I don’t think PC gamers ever pirated games and never paid for them as much as has been claimed. Ever.

    Second, I don’t think a game that someone pirates to demo because the publisher refuses to make a demo, refuses to give that gamer a refund when it sucks, and refuses to let that gamer have the option of renting is really worth calling, “piracy.” Especially when they uninstall that game within an hour and never play it again.

    Third, if the gamer was never going to buy that game, then that piracy is not hurting your game. In fact, it MAY help your game by exposing someone else to it that might go buy it. You’re installed on someone’s computer that you’d not normally be and getting exposure that might lead to an actual sale.

    Fourth, do PC gamers pirate in this day and age of Steam sales? I just wait for Steam sales, myself. Perhaps he’s calling people who buy games during Steam sales pirates? I mean, his company just sold me From Dust, HAWX 2, and Driver: San Francisco for a $1 each on UPlay. That felt like robbery, but hey, they’re the ones that sold it to me for those daily sale prices. Their choice!

    It’s like the music industry who kept right on complaining about music theft for years and years after iTunes converted most people to buying their music at commodity pricing. Now the gaming industry is busy making the exact same transition and they’re replicating the same exact fallacies and BS. Hell, I bet you could find a quote not terribly unlike Guillemot’s from a music exec.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      Back in the day we had Shareware that gave you entire playable episodes of Doom, Quake, and Starcraft, not video clips that are CGI and don’t show actual gameplay. Then when you bought the game, you had a resellable license with a box, manual, and disk with the occassional cd soundtrack and multiplayer spawn option. Manuals would often be as thick as a book and included artwork and background stories. On top of that, none of this cost $60. Today’s PC gaming is crap. Maybe somebody should start up a company that sells games how it used to be funded through kickstarter, because the megacorps certainly aren’t going that way. You’d get a digital download for instant access, and the resellable box would come later in the mail. Be a good idea to pitch to GOG anyways.

        • EtherealN
        • 7 years ago

        “On top of that, none of this cost $60.”

        Starcraft 1 hada release SRP of $49,99. Adjusting for inflation, this is $70,03. (from google, I don’t have my original copy anymore for doublechecks)
        Doom II: Hell on Earth full version released at $44,95. Inflationadjusted: $69,98 (according to original readme.txt)
        Quake 1 full version was released at $45. Inflationadjusted: $66,42 (according to original order.txt)

        Doesn’t it suck when people actually check your statements? 🙂

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 7 years ago

          And game companies have “adjusted for inflation” by removing (in more or less this order):
          -Bonus materials / trinkets
          -Game Manuals
          -Coupons / Deals in Box
          -The size of the Box
          -The actual Disc / Box itself

          Not to mention that CD’s / DVD’s cost a fraction of what they used to cost to manufacture.

          The price of transferring 10-20gb of data to a user is at most $1.00 (FAR lower), whereas the cost of discs, manuals, packaging, transport of said materials is far more. Where are our savings for that?

          Doesn’t it suck when some yahoo doesn’t factor in everything pertinent to the price argument?

          p.s. Also day 0 DLC argument(s)

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            Doesn’t it suck when you try to respond to a post by diverting attention to subjects not adressed?

            I specifically responded to the point of “none of this cost $60”. In actual fact, it cost more, in current currency purchasing power. Are you trying to say that this is not a fact through introducing a red herring? Sorry, doesn’t work that way.

            As for why there’s less of the “extras” nowadays: back in those days, only ~10% of released games paid for themselves. Bankruptcies were flooding amongst developers. At present the “physicals” cost ~$4 per copy. (Though this number is from console market, I haven’t been able to find PC-market numbers.) Even games that were really good often only narrowly paid for themselves, with a miniscule few being able to make real profits. Obviously, the extras then become a cost that can be shaved off towards minimizing risk – this becomes massive outlays up-front that have to be financed, and if you make a mistake in your calculations you are 100% dead as a company. (And then you get bought up by EA, Ubi or someone like that for cheaps, and that’s how we ended up where we are today where a few massive players have a virtual oligopoly on the gaming market.)

            Day0 DLC’s are also irrelevant here. If you don’t want it, don’t buy it. Personally I never do – plopping 10 dollars for an extra character and some pretty clothes for characters just isn’t my thing, and it doesn’t handicap me in any game I’ve played that has it. (Though I’ve heard stories of some games where the DLC’s are a definitive MP advantage, which is of course bullshit, and those games simply shouldn’t be purchased.)

            But fact is: the games were actually priced roughly where they are right now, back then. In sweden, where I live, they’ve gone down even in nominal cost (from 499 SEK standard to ~350-400 SEK standard for a physical box) in spite of inflation. That’s what I responded to, in case you didn’t notice. 🙂

            • yogibbear
            • 7 years ago

            If the majority of games don’t make a profit, then why are there so many games? If anything I’d argue there’s MORE games now available to consumers than before. Plus, they’re competing with their own back catalogues with digital distribution.

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            If the majority of people that buy a lottery ticket lose their money, why do they still purchase tickets?

            The situation on profitability is better now – but it is specifically because they have started to manage their risk, and also that they are doing a lot of economies of scale (centralising QA to the owner/publisher rather than developer, same with customer support etc). The big advantage in digital distribution is also that they don’t have as big up-front outlays, and less risk from judging the required print runs wrong. (Remember how the original Atari died in large part because they did massive print runs that just didn’t sell.)

            As for why there’s so many games – that’s because many people want to work with this. The companies that are successful are often EXTREMELY successful. See iD Software and Blizzard for example, or Valve. There is money to be made here, but it’s not everyone that manages to get a proper slice of the market – far from it. Compare with the common complaint (that I agree with) that the big players essentially just re-release the same shooters year after year but under a slightly different name and a new 4-hour “campaign”, while the independents that innovate are barely surviving at all. Even Introversion, with the amazingly awesome Defcon which was a MASSIVE sales hit, was inches from dying (essentially saved by a Steam sale, explained by themselves) – they were reduced to laying off pretty much everyone except two key guys and moving back into the basement.

            …at the same time, crap like the next re-hash of Call of Duty made wads of cash…

            What I’m saying is: this isn’t a market that is “fair” in the sense that it rewards quality. It rewards instant gratification. Unfortunately. But those that do end up getting it “right” can become multi-millionaires through selling their company to one of the big guys. Compare to Molyneux – he did it not once, but twice! 😛

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            What do you mean by “back in the day”? And where is your source for only 10% of games breaking even?

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t have a source I can point to there, and it’s not current – that’s information I obtained when I worked for PC Gamer 10 years ago, given to me by a Sierra rep.

            EDIT: And “back in the day” is 95-05, the period relevant to the quoted games and changes in prices.

            EDIT 2, to clarify: Remember that these are the days before digital distribution. This meant that as you prepare for launch, one of three things happen;

            1 – You print too much, and in spite of nominally good sales still make a loss since you have huge amounts of copies you spent money printing that just didn’t sell.
            2 – You print quite right, and you make money.
            3 – You print too little, and by the time you can do another run some other game by someone else has been released and people are purchasing that instead.

            Digital distribution solves this problem. (But they are, from a business standpoint, not able to drop prices, since then the retailers would consider themselves to be in price competition with the publisher and just not stock it.)

            Personally, I want “brick and mortar” stores, and “physical copies”, to simply die. That would remove that last obstacle and rid us of this stupid situation where the publisher sells at SRP for digital distribution while the brick-and-mortar undercut each other and thus become cheaper than DD… That’s such a rediculous artefact of how business is done with this stuff and needs to end, but I don’t see it actually ending until “hardcopy” itself ends.

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 7 years ago

            The original comment was “none of this cost $60” (back then). You responded with inflation. I responded with “we don’t get any of this stuff, which circumvents the inflation”. How is this diverting?

            Fact of the matter is that the prices of games have more or less stayed the same, but we (as a consumer) have been getting less and less for that dollar. To say that what we get has stayed in correlation with what we pay is incorrect.

            Unfortunately for both of us, breaking down that statement into a raw piece of data that could “prove” it either way is difficult. Budgets are higher but games are shorter. A game has 10 maps instead of 20 maps, but those 10 maps are 100x more complex than those old ones. A game back then sold 200k copies, that sells 2mil copies today.

            What it comes down to though is that these “big, evil companies” are making huge profits on tactics that cheat the consumer (as compared to “the good old days”). A certain percentage of “informed” consumers will see these tactics and say “you know what, I’m gonna pirate this, F*** those greedy bastards”.

            The more they try to take from us, the more consumers will try take from them.

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            There was no “back then”. If you want to compare 60 dollars back then with todays prices, you’d be comparing to between 80 and 100 dollars, and the end result of the comparison is the same. You simply cannot take a nominal price at one time and compare it with another without adjusting for inflation. That is misleading and silly. It’s like complaining that “back in my days we could get a good lunch for 50 cents”.

            As for getting less for that dollar – that is also incorrect. You need to keep in mind the man-hours involved in creating the product, the actual development costs. In 95 there were ~10 people involved in making Quake. Compare to how a developer that today has 50 people employed is “small”. iD software today is more than 200 people. And they are not unusual in this size.

            I’m seeing a lot of selective reading of what has changed. You can’t just isolate one variable and say “this is what changed”. There’s a lot more than that that changed.

            Now of course, if you don’t like the ubercomplex but short campaigns in shooters today – just don’t play it. That’s where I went with BF3 and all them CoD games. But both of us have to remember that a lot of people have a LOT of time with those games and love them – but of course generally these are people that focus on the MP aspect. (For me, BF3 would mainly be an SP game and obviously it then becomes a bad money proposition for me, but if I had been in for the online MP then it would be a great game and the fact that the SP campaign is short becomes irrelevant; sort of like how the total absense of SP campaign was irrelevant for Quake 3.)

            On “huge profits”, the net income of Ubisoft is below 10% of revenue. This is not “bad”, but it’s not “good” either. Electronic Arts has a net income below 2% of revenue, which is _very_ bad. ActivisionBlizzard looks a lot better though at ~23%.

            EDIT: To illustrate how terrible the EA situation is; if that situation was to be permanent, they’d be better off closing down all publishing and all development and just place their money into an index fund. Especially since that 2% is before inflation starts eating at said profits – 75% of the profits, even! (And for 2011, said profit would actually end up a net loss after inflation adjustment!) That said though, I don’t have actual Working Capital numbers for these so the above isn’t _strictly_ true, just approximations.)

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 7 years ago

            you’re still ignoring the difference in cost to “ship” a game from then and now.

            A $60 game “back then” (which was actually $50) was sold wholesale, 10-20% less =$40-45, with packaging you claim $3, I claim it’s more than that, say $5-10 = $30-40. So they’d would get $30-40 per title sold.

            Today, that $60 game sold digitally costs them hosting fees, maxing out at $5 a title (it’s less). So they would get $55 per title sold.

            Now, with your numbers of inflation, you’re sitting right back at that ~$60 number. (60back then would be 80-100 today = 0.6 . 0.6 x $40 = $53-$66).

            Sooo that’s why I said that inflation has been covered by the cost of “the box”.

            Now to change gears a bit…. “Back then” you’d expect 1-5 mil in sales AT BEST. Today you can expect 1-20mil in sales AT BEST. That risk involved if you don’t get the sales is there, and what I see publishers doing is preventing that risk by yanking content and peddling it as DLC…hence the “you get less today for the same money” comment.

            I really do have to spend $80-100 today to get what I would get for $60 of yesteryear… And the publishers making money in droves because of it….

            Relating all this back to the original story… Stopping piracy is part of stopping that profitability risk. They will do either one of few scenarios in their situation:
            -Continue punishing paying customers with draconian DRM and blaming consumers as a whole
            -Stop draconian DRM and blaming customers
            -Rip more content from the “core” game and make games based around DLC , microtransaction content.

            I see the last option as where the industry is going, especially with so many companies saying “We’re looking at the F2P model going forward for most of our titles”…. Except they aren’t making them “F2P”. You’re still paying $60 for the box but you still have the “F2P” hooks. Look at Diablo 3. Look at CoD. Both titles that cost $60, but have a HUGE amount of “extra” hooks that are becoming “required” to enjoy the game. Some are just “extra” now, but some are becoming mandatory.

            We’re in a state of transition now, where it turns from “fluff” to the “needed”. Kotick wants CoD to be a subscription game, the “elite” thing you can subscribe to is one step away. That kills piracy, ensures profits, AND THEY STILL GET THE $60 BOX FEE!

            —-

            TLDR:
            I know we’re talking about two different things here, but I completely disagree that we should feel sorry for the devs, or lucky that we’re paying “only” $60 for a title. That entire line of reasoning is absolute BS being spewed by the companies, and somehow getting ingrained into people’s minds as being the truth. It isn’t.

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            But we’re not talking about a “60 dollar” game “back then”. We’re talking about a 45-50 dollar game! I gave you the SRP’s for the mentioned games. And the “box” is 4$, on consoles. I don’t know for PC. Not 3. This is numbers aggregated from the printers, use some google-fu.

            “I really do have to spend $80-100 today to get what I would get for $60 of yesteryear… And the publishers making money in droves because of it….”

            NO. YOU. DON’T.
            Here’s some interesting maths for you to try out: we’re looking at the same purchasing power, roughly, to purchase a AAA title in 95 as now. However, what actual production value do you get for this? Let’s take the games and companies mentioned:

            Quake: you get 10 guys working for ~1.5 to 2 years.
            Rage: you get 200 guys working for ~6 years.

            To me, this looks like a very good deal. Obviously, this “deal” is made possible specifically through the market being bigger now, so more customers are shareing the cost. But that is still the production value you are getting.

            And what is extra and “required” to enjoy Diablo 3? I had plenty of fun with that at the sole price of the original license. Starcraft 2? I’ve enjoyed that since 2010, never spent a dime extra. Mass Effect 3? Same. Mass Effect 2? Purchased one DLC that was released half a year or more after the game was released. ME1? Same again.

            CoD? I dunno, I don’t consider it worth my money since I don’t play shooters online. Same with BF3. BF:BC2 I did enjoy greatly online, never bought anything extra.

            My counter to your TLDR would be: stop feeling like you’re entitled to a given type of enternetainment product. Just vote with your wallet. I’m sure you can find something to spend your time on other than playing every single game that gets released. And you need to realize that not everything is a darn conspiracy and you’ll find plenty of reasons for why things are the way they are if you get yourself some experience in corporate economics.

            Here’s the question for your conspiracy theory: why are the profitability numbers for so many of these companies so shit if they’re just ripping everyone off? Software is supposed to have higher margins than hardware, but we’re still seing a mediocre 10% on Ubi? And a disastrous 2% on EA? And 25% for ActivisionBlizzard is the “OMGWTFMONEYMAKER”?

            Where’s this ripoff money going?

            Why not complain to Intel at you spending hundreds of dollars for a CPU that costs one or two dollars to produce? I mean, if we can selectively ignore outlays, why not ignore the development and plant investment costs there? 😉

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            1st point, I agree games today are cheaper than they were decades ago,

            2nd point I disagree, the market is far larger today than it was yesterday, hence a larger dev budget works along with the stagnant pricing.

            3rd point, increased production value isn’t a guarantee, I’d actually wager that the market has overall stagnated and is limited to a few players using a few available gfx engines to pump out many “safe bets” aka similar playing games.

            4th point StarCraft was amazing, I played it for 10 years, if I could find the original disc I’d still be playing Brood Wars, StarCraft II I borrowed, played the campaigns, some idiot asked me “what’s up bro” while I was about to go into a campaign at which point I realized how invasive Blizzard has become, I will touch nothing from Blizzard going forward….. played Diablo 2 for 6 years won’t touch Diablo 3.

            5th point: I have spoken with my wallet, it doesn’t work, new generations of gamers don’t know, don’t realize what they’ve lost and don’t care / consider anyone voicing what’s happening as “jaded”, ppl will give away privacy for just shy of nothing, nowadays the choice is being taken away, the “offline” option almost gone entirely and soon to be entirely gone.

            p.s. Intel is making a lot off CPU’s but like video games everyone does, when AMD had something worth buying they did the same…. again speaking with wallets won’t change it, back to your “cost of games” again to reiterate I don’t disagree, games today are relatively cheap but along with that they’ve become homogenous.

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            2nd: Yes, but this mainly applies for the bigger titles. Unfortunately the concentration of resources into a few dominant publishers means startups end up having to either aim for the low-budget “indie” market, or take a huge risk (since they will need those huge development budgets to compete in the AAA-scene – and how enthusiastic would you be, as a banker och venture capitalist, of giving some untested crew a billion dollars or two that might, 3-6 years down the line, end up in a published game that could perhaps end up getting a publisher that cares and thus possibly even break even… It’s a LOT of money with a lot of insecurities.). This is similar to automobiles; when they were new, there were tonnes of small startups doing it. But try moving in on the automobile market nowadays as a startup… It’s pretty much only in the low-volume luxury (and state-sponsored endeavours in India and China) that are able to do it, because the cost of entry into the market is just so huge.

            3rd: Yes, that’s what has happened, but the difference now from then is that there’s less bankruptcies involved in game developers. (Since they’re all concentrated into the publishers, which offset risks between games while searching for those “big hit” games that’ll send the money rain – like BF series, CoD etcetera.)

            4th: You are aware you can turn off communication in SC2? If you borrowed someone else’s account to try it out, it was most likely one of his friends talking to you (other people are only able to talk to you if you have played against them) – and his configuration being that they’re allowed to do so.

            5th: Well, but if other people want these things – if what they actually want is another CoD – who are you to say they shouldn’t get it? I don’t want it either, but it’s not like I have a shortage of games I _do_ want. In fact, I still have more games tempting me than I have time to play.

            ps. Nah, I’d agree the “AAA-titles” have become homogenous, stuff like the “shooter scene” etcetera. But there’s still plenty of other things that are good; military grade simulators, some really in-depth strategy games, pretty slick RPG’s (though I admit the Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment fan in me cringes), and a lot of interesting indie games. The thing though with those homogenous titles is that they are, largely, a response to demand. Most people simply don’t like what I like, if they did then we’d still be in the 90’s “golden era of simulators”. 😛 But there’s still good stuff being made for us, and plenty of it – plenty enough that I still have a lot of games I don’t finish simply because I don’t have time. I cry as much as the next connoiseur when I see yet another CoD rehash breaking world sales records, but meh. Most people have worthless taste in beer, so why would they have better taste in computer games? And how the hell could bloody Spider Man manage to set a (short-lived, admittedly) box office record? Who am I to complain that someone is looking to satisfy that demand? My own demands are still being met by other games, so it’s not like I’m suffering.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            I still see bonus materials (but some, like “behind the scenes” and such are available on Youtube).
            Game manuals are irrelevant with the availability of the internet (so it’s just a loss to print them).
            I still see deals in boxes (movie tickets, Blizzard guest passes).

            You can look back on those days with rose colored goggles, but the intenet nuked a lot of those “bonuses” by making them freely available without purchasing the game. That’s why Nintendo Power is closing down (like many newspapers). It might seem sad at what was lost, but don’t ignore what has been gained.

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            Aye, and there is another side to the equation:

            What about those of us that do not want a paper manual? I much prefer having that kind of stuff on my tablet, and don’t want to pay for stuff I won’t use. Hell, if they just remove the paper manual, give me a PDF, and keep the money – I’m fine with that too, since that makes it more likely that they’ll be motivated (by profits, as always) towards making more of whatever it was I decided was worth my money.

            But this is sort of similar to the whole gig with hardcopy books vs Kindle. I love reading my books on my Transformer and Note, and hate having to plan which books to stuff into my bag – or go downtown/mail order stuff ahead of time. But other people (like my mom 😛 ) still insist they want trees to die for them to consume some culture… Meh… To each their own.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            But what will I fill my bookshelves with!!

            I’m okay with physical copies of some stuff. Having something to show support of the creation is a bit of pride for me. It’s mostly for movies, but I do the same with collector’s editions of games, and I would like to have actual books…because books are cool 😛

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            My bookshelves have ended up serving as a repository of random spare computer parts, crashed RC helicopters and chess sets. 😀

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 7 years ago

            But by your reasoning in previous comments, you think we should still be paying the same price for that digital book as the physical one. Most people don’t.

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            Speaking purely for myself, I’d be prepared to do so, yes. Since there is added value and persistence in this format compared to a physical item that takes space, needs to be transported, can easily be destroyed or lost, and has none of the nice extras the digital versions do – like persistance over several devices and locations, virtual immunity to loss etcetera.

            Also, e-books as a medium allows greater venues towards self-publishing. I don’t mind paying the same when I know that on even a publisher-book at Kindle 30% instead of 12% (as is here) goes to the author. And for selfpublishing, it’s 70%! (Though not in all territories, and dependent on the author getting some tax papers filed to a US embassy if they’re non-american.)

            However, there is one extremely big difference between books and computer games: the majority of authors you read are actually not doing this as a vocation. This is extra money on the side. This is not the case with computer games. It is only a very small minority of authors that actually live off of their authorship.

            • Madman
            • 7 years ago

            This is what’s wrong with this world. You think just like RIAA.

            -Oh, there is teh intenetz now?! And people can avoid paying for shipping and transportation, get the product easier and simplify our delivery channels?!
            -LET THEM PAY!!! Damn bastards! How dare they want to pay less for a product that has less overhead!

            And then they wonder why overpriced, extremely hard to get product is getting pirated… Rollseyes…

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            I fully agree and will go further in saying that the industry has been doing it’s very best to take away ownership from consumers which I personally find incredibly offensive.

            I agreed with most of what EtherealN had said up until he got onto books and the entitlement that companies are taking with them in digital form.

            it was only a few years ago Amazon remotely deleted copies of a book (George Orwells 1984) they sold infuriating readers universally in an instant as they suddenly found out how little control they had over their “digital” library.

            [url<]http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2351087,00.asp[/url<]

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            Thing with me is: I don’t agree we ever had “ownership”. We, as the customer, make a deal with someone that has what we want. If the deal is satisfactory we conclude it and obey the agreement. If we don’t like it, we don’t conclude the deal. I’ve abstained from several games specifically because I didn’t like the implications of the things they required. What I don’t do is _require_ that someone else make me an offer I like on a luxury.

            This isn’t a necessity, this is not food, not shelter, not clothes. This is pure entertainment products.

            Regarding the amazon deletion, that is indeed bull and should have been pursued as a breach of contract and judged in the favor of the consumer (unless of course the contract stipulates that this can happen, while including a refund for this eventuality).

            One thing I could also, quite likely, agree to is some sort of punitive action to intentionally obfuscated licensing terms. (Like when EA’s Origin removed that customer information thing from the EULA, but then included a “where conflict exists, web service TOS prevail”, and guess what was still there in the TOS… That was a big deal in me not getting BF3. Obvioiously, this probably was just a buerocracy failure, but still… No way I would have agreed to it as it stood at the time, and therefore I didn’t purchase.)

        • Vrock
        • 7 years ago

        And you know what happened? People pirated anyway. Wolfenstein and Doom were probably the most pirated games of that era. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a floppy disk copy of one of those games.

          • Krogoth
          • 7 years ago

          Yet, they were fiscally massive successes in their heyday.

          What does that tell you about the economic impact of piracy?

          The executives are blowing piracy’s impact out of proportion. It is certainly a lingering problem and it does exist on gaming consoles as well, (yes, even on the “unbreakable” PS3). It is getting too tiresome listening to the same thing over and over again.

          The real agenda here is the push for “F2P”, MMO and other micro-transaction based schemes. The draconian DRMs and removal of physical media is just step #1 of the process and gaming consoles will see it soon.

            • Jason181
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]What does that tell you about the economic impact of piracy?[/quote<] Not much. The overhead was vastly lower then too. Even if only 5% of the millions who played bought it, they were financially successful because it didn't cost $30 million to make. Indie studios are doing the same thing today. Steam is chock-full of indie titles that have lower prices and still are financially successful because they limit their overhead and investment to a level where a reasonable number of sales will be financially successful. Piracy is a huge problem. I don't see it as much a problem of lost revenue, as a symptom of a society that focuses using any means necessary to get something because we "need" it. It's not lost revenue; it's lost integrity.

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    A shame those last few percentage points are supporting ubisoft.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    93-95% of PC gamers don’t care about Ubisuck games anyway.

      • vargis14
      • 7 years ago

      They have some interesting titles i started with with the original Silent hunter back in the day. But last year i bought hawx 2 through steam and it took me a hour+ to get it working! had to download the uplay deal etc.

      I try to steer clear of ubisoft games now but they have a new ww2-korean era flight sim coming out in beta testing now that has outstanding graphics dx 11 i believe that i might not be able to stop myself from getting. WW2 flight sins have been a passion from the start of playing sims…..all started with Air Warrior on my pentium 60 playing on a 15″ monitor….but you played on a 4 inch square in the center of the 15″ monitor. along with that i think i had a soundblaster 16 for sound and the game port for the joystick…..No usb controls back then. Its so old i cannot even find a utube video to post:)

        • irvinenomore
        • 7 years ago

        Too bad they basically Scr*wed over the FB francise.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 7 years ago

          Do you mean the Far Cry franchise? FB to the best of my knowledge only refers to two things and neither of them have anything to do with Ubi.

    • Malphas
    • 7 years ago

    lmao Is it he out of his fucking mind. Ubisoft shareholders need to find a new CEO immediately if he actually believes the crap he’s spouting and it’s not just more mindless pro-DRM scaremongering.

    • shank15217
    • 7 years ago

    As more games are multi-player and mmo based I find that number very hard to swallow. Pirated games have a neutered experience anyway. I used to pirate some titles in the past but value added features of a game service like battle.net matching makes it much more worthwhile just to own the game. Todays games are incorporating social elements even in single player games and you lose a lot with piracy.

    • Grape Flavor
    • 7 years ago

    Yves, man, I don’t know where you got those numbers from, but I’ll acknowledge. Piracy is a long-running problem in this industry. I know that feel bro.

    However, don’t your own numbers prove that your DRM schemes are doing absolutely nothing to prevent piracy? How about giving us paying customers a break and stop making it harder for us to enjoy your games? Why punish US? (and only us – because we both know the pirates are removing that stuff anyways!)

    Just a thought.

    • MrBojangles
    • 7 years ago

    “justifying it by making outlandish claims about PC piracy rates with zero supporting data is more than a little suspect.”

    Even that’s a major understatement. Claiming that only 5-7% of the people that play a pc game actually bought it is complete BS. By his logic assassins creed 2 which sold over 9mill copies on the pc. Was actually played by 128,000,000- 180,000,000 people……>.> suspect indeed.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]http://www.computerandvideogames.com/247161/assassins-creed-ii-sales-hit-9-million/[/url<] that's on ALL systems. i don't know of anywhere the statistics are broken down. I couldn't find it anyway. i would assume that pc sales were a small % of the total 9 million.

        • MrBojangles
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah i missed the all systems part. Can’t find a break down either. My point still remains valid though. I mean even if were talking like only 10% of that being pc sales. That means roughly 18mill people would have actually played it on pc alone.According to his made up piracy rates any ways.

    • ChangWang
    • 7 years ago

    So…. How does he explain EA making almost as much on PC as they are on xbox this past quarter?

    [url<]http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ERTS/2032725161x0x587373/37ea77ca-af8f-49f2-8871-5278a5574275/Q1FY13_EarningsSlides_FINAL.pdf[/url<]

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    It is all PR BS.

    The entire software industry wants everybody move into the world of micro-transactions and subscription-based services.

    They see how much revenue Apple and Google is enjoying with their App Store. They want the same thing happening on PCs.

    There’s a reason why Microsoft is shoving their App Store on Windows 8 down people’s throats and are reducing MSRP of Windows 8…….

    • travbrad
    • 7 years ago

    What a coincidence. I estimate 93-95% of Ubisofts games are complete and utter crap.

    • MrJP
    • 7 years ago

    I thought it would be fun to put some numbers to his estimates. According to their [url=http://static9.cdn.ubi.com/comsite_common//en-US/images/Annual_Report_2012tcm9956562.pdf<]latest full year results[/url<], Ubisoft had total sales of just over 1 billion Euros last year (pg.7). The PC contributed 7% of that figure (pg.8), so around 70 million Euros. If even his "low" figure of 7% sales vs 93% piracy was correct, then does he really believe that their PC sales alone should have been 1 billion Euros last year if it wasn't for piracy? More than all the other "piracy-free" platforms put together even with lower average selling prices? PC gaming is obviously in a much stronger postion than any of us realised. Interestingly in the latest [url=http://static9.cdn.ubi.com/comsite_common//en-US/images/Ubisoft_Q1_FY13_Englishtcm9958472.pdf<]Q1 2012/2013 results[/url<], the PC has jumped up to a 12% share of total sales. He'll probably interpret this as a great success for their outsatnding DRM schemes! Oh, and further on in the annual report (pg.72) you can find that he was paid 500k Euros last year and granted 185k Euros in stock options, so he obviously is doing a great job after all.

    • Martian
    • 7 years ago

    Let’s say the numbers are true merely for the sake of an assumption. Over 90% piracy doesn’t tell you guys your stuff is overpriced? Shouldn’t you try to sell your crap to those people somehow instead of blaming your provisioned customers of not paying?

    My personal opinion is that most today’s games doesn’t even worth to be pirated so I stopped wasting my bandwidth for that very long ago. Sometimes I buy a game and then I feel sorry for wasting my money. Innovation 0, humour 0, greediness 100%.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 7 years ago

    Lies. He wouldn’t have a job if that was true. What he really means is that he hates physical media and personal ownership, and will say and do anything to change the old model into the new model of renting and DRM lock-in. Indie devs are doing fine, btw. If anything is slowing down their PC sales, besides the controversial drm, it’s the ridiculously high starting retail prices that shouldn’t be matching console games that pay for the subsidation of the console. I think I paid around $40 for Deus Ex on release. That’s what all PC games should be starting at, and there have been several actual studies on it.

    An example of the price/value desparity would be say borderlands2 for $60, which is competing with other sales like the bitComposer/Viva Media Bundle for $9.99 and CS:GO. After playing the first borderlands, I’ll buy the second, but not at $60, especially with dlc on the way.

    PC gaming has pretty much transitioned to digital distribution now which negates the cost of physical media and reduces piracy. Piracy was prevalent maybe 10 years ago with the introduction of p2p, but I don’t know a single person who pirates games anymore, let alone does it exclusively. The kids have been transitioned to the console, and adults are on the PC. Piracy is a myth, and Ubi needs to drop Uplay and their other DRM if they want me to buy any of their new games. Oh, and you can add firing Guillemot to that list now that he’s pulled this 95% piracy rate out of the air. That’s an insult to everyone who buys their games. *

    *The only way that statement is true is if he’s counting the paying customers who “pirate” the game to avoid Uplay and whatever other garbage they bundle in their games. Solution? Drop the drm.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 7 years ago

    …and CEOs run companies? I just don’t get it.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 7 years ago

    You know what they say… 68% of statistics are made up off the top of peoples heads. 🙁

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 7 years ago

    Publishers keep coming up with excuses in order to justify the intolerable – software as a service, F2P, GFWL, forced online and lock in, etc. All this effort to eliminate the first sale doctrine and get you to pay full price for a rental.

    Piracy is just a flag they wave so they can simultaneously use it as a boogieman and reap the rewards of word of mouth (since pirates don’t have to put up with the garbage legit users do).

    Ubi deserves to go under along with the rest of their ilk.

    The sad thing is that people keep buying into it (both renting their games at full price and the ridiculous anti-piracy propaganda).

    • tviceman
    • 7 years ago

    Portal 2 sold 2 million copies on the PC (I pulled that number out of the air, could be more could be less), and at 93% piracy rate, that means an additional 26.5 million Pirated copies of Portal 2 have been downloaded and played.

    Ubisoft is retarded.

    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    Maybe the Guillemot Bros should have limited their involvement in PC gaming to selling graphics cards (anyone remember the Guillemot and then Hercules VGA products?) if they are so concerned about piracy. Everyone knows that, at most, only 5-10% of graphics cards are pirated…

      • rogue426
      • 7 years ago

      I had a Hercules card, think it was a MX varity

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 7 years ago

      Their Game Theater XP was nice (a paperweight for 64 bit now though).

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    One other thought – I hope the negative press that this utterly asinine comment receives is the wake up call that Ubi et al need to finally change their ways (and I don’t mean going all F2P, not that F2P is strictly a bad thing).

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      I think if he got the kind of negative press (24/7 news) that politicians get for gaffes, shareholders would have his ass out by the end of the week…

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    My conclusion is that Ubisoft considers games sold on Steam as ‘pirated.’

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    I purchased an Ubisoft game some years back, a good one, but it had some horrible DRM on it, I want to say a rootkit, but I may be wrong about that. And they were totally arrogant about it when the issue came up, I think right here on TR. Anyway, I have not purchased an Ubisoft game since. And it does not sound like things are any better. Too bad, because they have had some interesting titles IMHO.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve never pirated any Ubisoft games, and now I feel I’m not pulling my weight here.

    • LaChupacabra
    • 7 years ago

    If it’s a 95% piracy rate that means for every legitimate license sold the software is pirated 20 times. Or a title that sells 5 million copies will be pirated 100 million times.

    Get busy everyone!

    (kidding)

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      It could just be that they’re only selling around 1000 copies, because their always-on DRM is painfully bad, I suppose.

    • burntham77
    • 7 years ago

    I took a poll of the PC gamers at my job, including myself. There are four of us. Two of us buy legitimately. One pirates always. One pirates sometimes and buys sometimes.

    So… I dunno.

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      You work at the RIAA, don’t you?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    So the wording is a little confusing to me. Does “93-95% of its PC games are pirated” mean that 5-7% are so bad they’re not even worth cracking?

    • tviceman
    • 7 years ago

    Why does this guy talk?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    Ubisoft as a company is not well run. They’ve trashed several of their own brands including the Tom Clancy brands, assassins creed prince of Persia, and all their sim brands. They are really not doing well so they aren’t selling well so obviously it’s pirates faults, meanwhile valve, blizzard and several other better run companies are selling gang busters on pc.

    • bdiet30
    • 7 years ago

    It is also worth noting that Ubisoft games were pretty much unplayable during the last steam sale because of their awesome DRM:

    [url<]http://www.destructoid.com/ubisoft-s-pc-drm-broke-due-to-steam-sales-231459.phtml[/url<] Thanks Ubisoft!

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t pirate games at all and I don’t offer any kind of support or encouragement for the practice. And…

    I didn’t think Ubisoft’s games were worth pirating, much less purchasing. Anyone suggestions on a list or “worth it” Ubisoft games? The original Assassin’s Creed was the last Ubisoft title I played. I paid $5 for it on Steam and it so completely turned me off that I never came near to finishing it and – fair or not – I avoided Ubisoft games ever since.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      I really want to play Anno 2070, but the DRM on it is so bad, I won’t buy it.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        there was a time (far cry 1 days) ubi made good games. that was a while ago, however.

          • khands
          • 7 years ago

          Far Cry was Crytek though, Ubi just published.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Far Cry was a terrible game. Dudes with machine guns that could hit you right between the eyes from hundreds of feet away. The AI made the whole game just a miserable experience.

            • Joe Miller
            • 7 years ago

            Yet, I enjoyed it immensly. One of the last games with so nice an atmosphere, views and pleasure to play it – 6 times from start to end.

            As for the AI being too difficult – I played on difficulty one level below the maximum

            • Grape Flavor
            • 7 years ago

            You’re confusing the game being terrible, with you being terrible at the game. Common mistake.

            Yeah, the AI was actually competent instead of being glorified pop-up targets. Oh no!

            Besides, Far Cry was a stealth game. That’s why it had that meter. If you tried to run and gun of course you got creamed.

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            …and then they made Far Cry 2 and destroyed the game. 🙁

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            I beat it on hardest, and loved every minute of it.

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 7 years ago

        Smart move, I did the dumb thing and have regretted it. It was fun while it worked, but don’t know if it was worth the hassle. I haven’t touched is 3 or 4 months now.

        • drfish
        • 7 years ago

        Against my better judgment I did buy it – [u<]and loved playing it[/u<] - but after a few problems with the DRM servers being offline I stopped playing and vowed to never touch an Ubi title again unless they change their policy. Ironically if I had a cracked copy I might still be enjoying it.

        • d0g_p00p
        • 7 years ago

        Just do what I do. When I find a game I want I’ll usually purchase it then download the pirate version so I don’t have to deal with the insane DRM issues. I cannot count how many games I have unopened in my closet of games i have played. Itr’s sad to say but the pirates offer a better service than the game companies sometimes.

        Perfect example was Dead Space. I went though 3 different configs while playing that game and I ran out of activations (which I did not know i even had) a quick trip to gamecopy world and i got a unlocker. I personally don’t feel anything negative about how I get my games like this. The game studio and publisher get my money for their game and i get the game without annoying DRM and install/activation issues.

        Stop punishing me for wanting to play your game. That’s all I ask.

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      AC Brotherhood and Revelations are both pretty fun. Haven’t tried it, but I hear AC 2 is much better than 1.

      I must confess: I bought both for the Xbox, so I didn’t deal with any DRM. Playing with a mouse/keyboard also seem like it would be very akward.

      From Dust is supposed to be OK. Not one of those “must have” games though.

        • khands
        • 7 years ago

        Consoles [i<]are[/i<] DRM, but much like Steam they offer things to warrant it.

      • Ryhadar
      • 7 years ago

      The original HAWX is a lot of fun if you’re into arcade flight combat games, more so if you have a few buddies to do co-op with.

      Ubisoft’s always on DRM has stopped me from buying the sequel, though.

        • MrJP
        • 7 years ago

        Don’t forget the HAWX 2 [url=https://techreport.com/articles.x/19934/8<]over-tesselation controversy[/url<]. Ubisoft totally acting in their customers' best interests as usual.

    • Thatguy
    • 7 years ago

    Obviously the time tested method of invasive DRM that has proven so effective shall still be used.

    On a side note where do i sign up to say ridiculous things to have them reported as news?

    • Glix
    • 7 years ago

    Kudos to Geoff for putting the pic in the article so I can sneer at it and it’s smug look. 😀

    • Sargent Duck
    • 7 years ago

    As it currently stands, if you PAY ubisoft money to play their games on your PC, they’ll screw you over with all the above points Geoff made.If you pirate the game, you don’t get screwed over as all the DRM is removed.

    So,
    pay money = getting screwed over
    don’t pay money = not getting screwed.

    I think the answer is pretty obvious.

    *free being compared to other publishers in 2012 and NOT 2001

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<] It's around a 93-95 per cent piracy rate, ... [/quote<] Well it certainly is going to be after that comment...

    • BiffStroganoffsky
    • 7 years ago

    C’mon people…we are so close. Let’s get one more push and hit that 99.99-100% mark!

    On another note, if you are paying big bucks for DRM solutions that has a ‘failure’ rate of 93-95%, you should be fired!

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    That claim might not be all that crazy and only the gaming industry is to blame.

    In developed nations maybe many are ready to pay what games cost nowdays but in developing nations one has to be pretty crazy to actually pay .If you look at avg income/cost of PC games it is very easy to understand why. PC gaming is also a lot more popular in developing nations since most can’t afford to buy multiple devices (consoles) and gaming is only available to them on PC,except paying for the games is just unrealistic.Ofc the gaming industry can’t be bothered to offer appropriate pricing and this is nothing new but complaining about piracy seems easier than to adapt.

    • Vulk
    • 7 years ago

    There is this concept in free market capitalism that says that the customer should determine the value of a product by either voting for it with their money or not. Because 93-95% of PC users have computers, admit to playing games, and do NOT buy your product does not mean that there is a piracy rate of 93-95%, it means that your crappy ass product appeals to 5 to 7% of the available market and if you would pull your head out long enough to get some fresh air and identify how to actively sell to them instead of treating them like crap or worse thieves you would make more money.

    I am truly shocked any time I hear stuff like this. Piracy isn’t a bunch of malicious users out for a free ride, it’s a sign that the pricing model you are trying to shove down everyone’s throat isn’t acceptable. It’s a marketing problem for THEM more than something wrong with the customer base.

    There are plenty of anecdotal counter examples of this, with people who play tons of games, but never pay for them, etc. Long term very few people do that, but many go through a phase like that at some point, so it’s a non-issue. As all my friends and myself have grown up, gotten jobs, and families, the attractiveness of torrenting ANYTHING has gone down to nil, which is a fairly normal trend line. So although there is a small intractable group that will never buy anything, that may be a function of their economics and they may not be willing to buy simply because they really can’t (which is probably why they have enough time to play lots and lots of video games in the first place).

    Figuring out how to convert the hard-core group into a marketing engine for how good your game is, and then letting mass sales come in, isn’t a bad strategy. When look at that way Piracy is just basically a marketing expense…

    There are a thousand ways to say this guy is full of it. This guy’s attitude basically just reinforces that this company will be gone, and that all the talented and creative people that are working there are being squandered by someone who lacks imagination and would rather whine about what he thinks the market SHOULD be instead of dealing with the one he is being presented with.

      • thanatos355
      • 7 years ago

      Hear hear!

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      In before NeelyCam.

      • Shambles
      • 7 years ago

      Pretty much. I don’t think he realizes that when he makes comments like that as CEO he is only describing how poor of a CEO he his. The product he’s making is not desired by 95% of gamers while he’s spending millions on DRM schemes that do not work. There are easier ways to tell the world how bad you are at your job Guillemot.

      • bwcbiz
      • 7 years ago

      Well, the pricing model and business plan need to depend on the actual development costs as well as the consumer demand at various prices. So maybe their development process has too much overhead? In this era of $5-$20 indie games that have excellent replayability, can AAA budgets and production values be justified for any but the most established franchises?

      In any case, I have to disagree with the idea that all piracy reflects _only_ a marketing/pricing defect. Some of it is pure user greed or unwillingness to compromise between buying title A and title B when a consumer only has a budget for one. Since the biggest demographic for PC games is young males, just about all of those males still in school or college (and even some of those who are employed) are not going to have the budget for everything they want, and a portion of those who don’t have the cash will have the ethical “flexibility” to pirate the game. But even that demographic seems unlikely to go above 60% piracy – these guys have at least some money for games.

      OTOH, If you include places like Russia and China, piracy rate over 90% isn’t completely far-fetched. But even there that un-sourced estimate of 95-97% seems ridiculous. This is probably just a number that he’s putting out there so that the MPAA, RIAA, BSA and so on can quote it in their testimony to congress during the next round of “kill the internet”.

      From Ubisoft’s POV, they might get better purchase rates by removing the DRM: I’m sure a portion of the pirates use the cracked version just so they don’t have to deal with DRM hassles and side-effects. Or hell, just lower the price to $20 or so. If the piracy numbers are really that high, Ubisoft could very likely make more money by lowering the price on their games.
      3% of market at $50 is $150 per 100 consumers. 10% of market (a combination of increased demand and lower piracy rates) at $20 is $200 per 100 consumers. Of course that only works if his piracy numbers are real. If the real piracy numbers are more like 70% piracy at $50 and 60% piracy at $20 it doesn’t work ($1500 vs. $800). So the biggest sign that the piracy numbers are fake is that Ubisoft aren’t lowering their prices.

      • burntham77
      • 7 years ago

      Well put.

      • Madman
      • 7 years ago

      He needs to realize that people simply don’t want their DRM games. The stocks nosedive is not because of the piracy, but because they treat customers like scum.

      I used to buy Ubisoft games, and I really enjoyed POP series, and AC1 while it was more or less DRM free. I could even live with the CD/DVD checks.

      But the only game I brought from Ubisoft lately is AC1 from GOG. It was insta buy because:
      1) DRM free
      2) In a bundle
      3) Sanely priced
      4) I already had an Directors cut DVD of AC1, but I still brought it on GOG because – see 1.

      All of the recent Ubisoft games are on my ignore list. Oh, and the rant list, because every time I see an article about new AC or something, I want to remind that I will not even watch the trailer because of DRM and always online requirement.

      • dale77
      • 7 years ago

      So, Guillemot rants from soapbox pulling figures from thin air, then you take his place?

      • Pholostan
      • 7 years ago

      Exactly my thought. If ubisoft games are pirated to (ludicrous high percentage), then if their products weren’t pirated, almost nobody would play them. Not the other way around…

      • eofpi
      • 7 years ago

      Ubisoft’s real problem isn’t pricing, and it isn’t that people are pirating their games. It’s that they’ve lost all respect for their customers, and customers don’t like being treated like criminals.

      If Ubisoft saw the light and dropped this DRM obsession tomorrow, they have several titles I’d gladly buy. But with obnoxious and insulting DRM stuck to them, I won’t even accept them as free gifts. I doubt I’m the only person that feels that way.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t think I agree with your thesis as stated in paragraph 1. If people are playing it and not paying for it, they’re not valuing it at $0. They’re taking whatever they want.

      If people just didn’t buy it and didn’t play it, then they’re valuing it at $0. And that’s what it’s going to take to put Ubi under.

        • Vrock
        • 7 years ago

        Exactly. If the games were really poo, then people wouldn’t pirate them either.

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    Does that smile look like a trollface to anyone else?

      • thanatos355
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/215/yunop.jpg/[/url<]

    • pcgeek86
    • 7 years ago

    I love how people can just spew bullshit, and SOMEBODY out there will believe it.

    • Shouefref
    • 7 years ago

    What Guillemot says basically is that anybody paying for games is a bit naive.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    i guess it depends on your game. I hear that darksiders 2 isn’t selling that well (just rumors) but i know a ton of guys that have torrented it, loved it, and don’t plan on purchasing it. for everyone 1 guy i know that bought it, i know 4-5 that have torrented it. 95% IS probably high, but i think realistically, many single player games (much of ubi’s titles) are torrented more than sold.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      You do know that Darksiders is THQ, right?

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        yeah, but i was using it as a point of reference. it’s a good game, with solid reviews, 85%+ and anecdotally, it’s seeing FAR more piracy than sales.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          Just seemed a little odd to use a THQ example with an Ubisoft game.

          Unfortunate, though. I LOVE Saints Row: The Third, and I really hope THQ can stay afloat to keep some good games coming.

          • allreadydead
          • 7 years ago

          Whats the ratio of CS:GO’s piracy ?
          Who didnt pay for deus ex 3 ? You dont have to buy full price as it went to sale pretty quickly
          Who wouldnt give 20 bucks to max payne 3 on summer/xmas/back to school/whatever sale ?

          I think one of the motives behind piracy are the non-worthy games and their makers attitude on their users (DRM and stuff).

          Ubisoft; QQ moar plx.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            lots of people i know wouldn’t give ANYTHING for a single player game. i’m not saying i’m condoning it, i buy games, but i know many people who don’t. deus ex could be 2$ and they wouldn’t buy it.
            i do think it’s something they grow out of, most of these guys are young, students, and poor.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            Yep.

            When I had no money I pirated everything.
            When I was a poor student I pirated a lot, but paid for the few games I played most.
            Now I pirate a few things but mostly buy them.

            Thanks to Steam sales I actually end up buying a few games I pirated in the past as a pseudo compromise/bartering system: I didn’t think they were worth the asking price when I played them but at the same time I enjoyed them enough to feel that the developer should get something for their efforts.

            Ubisoft, on the other hand, is a publisher and I loathe them. Activision, Ubisoft and EA are the MPAA/RIAA/EMI/Warner/Sony/Universal of the gaming world.

    • RtFusion
    • 7 years ago

    Wow, way to pull figures out of your ass, Yves. I bet you used a lot of lube to get them out of there.

    I have to admit, I did pirate some PC games in the past and at most times, ended up purchasing them because they were so good (did that with Dragon Age I, ended up buying the regular edition of it on disc and then the Ultimate edition with all the DLCs months later when it came out). I don’t do that any longer as I have been using Steam more and more now, despite having it for 6 years now (didn’t get a credit card up until just recently, only started my purchases around the Summer Sale. Probably spent almost $400 since then I think up to now). Its just easier to get the games from there, no need to worry about finding patches or losing your discs anymore. Don’t have to fiddle with no-cd cracks and the like. It just more convenient and supports the developers. And you always have access to your saves when the games support Steam’s cloud saving feature.

    But this is funny coming from Ubisoft that made this Uplay thing that can actually get hijacked by attackers and take remote control of your PC. The same Ubisoft where when their servers go down, you can’t access your saves or play your games at all, or if your ISP goes down, you can’t play them either. I was considering purchasing Anno 2070 after pirating it on launch day (love these types of building RTS games), but not so much anymore because of the recent Uplay fiasco.

    This is one of the reasons why people still pirate them; its because of these idiotic and draconian DRM measures. Steam is one of the very few online services that does DRM correctly. Not so sure about Origin as I haven’t really used that, as in, making purchases from their store (although I might pre-order SimCity 5 as well as get that BF3 Premium thing when I get my new PC in order). I don’t have it running when I play Sims 3 from time to time.

    I’d like to see where he gets those numbers are. IIRC, PC gaming is alive and well and will continue to do so.

    EDIT: One observation that I have made is that I am seeing more and more Xbox 360 isos floating around. I wonder if he has numbers to those as well?

      • Madman
      • 7 years ago

      Great post aside from “DRM done right” – DRM is never done right.

      Pirates crack it, paying users suffer. You as a paying user can’t be sure the game will be playable after 3 months, and you can’t play it on a roadtrip.

      DRM sucks, you can’t do it right, it’s wrong by definition. You pay money and you loose any assurances, rights or guarantees. That’s WRONG, Steam or not.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]You pay money and you loose any assurances, rights or guarantees.[/quote<] That's not true.

          • Madman
          • 7 years ago

          How so? If Steam decides to take a nosedive, where will your 500$+ account be?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Firstly, you didn’t say Steam, you said *all* DRM.

            Secondly, Valve has assured that in that case they would make sure their games would available. That is a assurance right there.

            • Madman
            • 7 years ago

            IMHO, Steam is the absolutely best DRM service, you can’t really be more user friendly than Steam is. They do an amazing job. But it’s still a DRM.

            Yeah, developers scrambling all over the place to write patches for thousands of games, customer service checking all those millions of users, verifying which games they have and sending each and everyone a customized patch. Oh, and of course, running those servers so that people can download the games, and all of that free of charge, in the name of pure enthusiasm. Because cloud is free, and developers don’t eat 🙂

            Common, you really believe in that?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            I said Valve games, that’s it.

            Which would probably just be one patch that makes Steam auto-authenticate.

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        I might agree that it hasn’t been done 100% right (or even 70% for that matter), but that doesn’t mean it CAN’T be done right. Publishers and developers have rights, too, and one of those rights is to protect themselves against piracy. Getting the DRM “right” will probably look similar to Steam, where the DRM is part of a greater service, providing more functionality while giving some protection to publishers. Of course, Steam has it’s issues, but that’s something to work on, not condemn entirely.

        But I said that publishers have rights, SO BRING ON THE DOWNVOTES!!!

          • Madman
          • 7 years ago

          Well, it’s a free world, I guess you might like the situation where you pay money to someone and get something that might, or might not work in return.

          While they get the money and all the control levers. But I prefer donation based projects like VLC in that case, where both sides win.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            Donations are nice. It’s not really 1:1, but I was happy to buy Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program.

            But there you see why publishers still exist. Both those games, while fun, are incomplete. And both are fairly weak on the graphics side. In order to get your big, AAA titles out the door, you need a lot of up-front cash, and when anyone pays more than $1 million up front, you shouldn’t be surprised when they want to protect that investment.

            Which is why we should try to fix what’s broken with the DRM mindset and support things that have positives. For example, to fix the online requirements for Steam and maybe Diablo 3, how about expiring “cookies” that have to be refreshed by logging into the global servers every week or two?

            Again, that gives publishers some protection, but would allow them to open up the game and be less restrictive to customers.

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    Here’s a great way to NOT get PC gamers to pay for your games: accuse 93-95% of them of piracy.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      …and then rape the remaining 5-7% by loading obnoxious garbage all over their PC’s

      (I was referring to the DRM, not the game, but I understand if you interpreted that both ways)

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        I knew you meant DRM 😉

        And it is a shame, because I enjoyed the Rainbow Six: Vegas games, and was somewhat looking forward to the next one. But if he’s just going to be a ****…*** him. They weren’t THAT good.

    • Forge
    • 7 years ago

    I believe the appropriate response is “Horsesh**”. My apologies to anyone offended.

    Maybe if Ubi didn’t have one of the worst (most offensive to the customer) DRM systems around, I might buy more of their stuff.

    As is, IF I must play one of their games, I would rather pirate it FOR XBOX 360, since DRM is practically unknown there.

    Fail, fail, side of fail, with a little fail drizzled over the top.

      • eofpi
      • 7 years ago

      The horses are offended by that comparison.

    • Scrotos
    • 7 years ago

    How could piracy be that high when Ubisoft has all of these WONDERFUL measures to stop it?!? I guess they will be removing it all from future games since it’s not worth the effort and upkeep and that will help their bottom line, right?

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      Nevar! Needs more DRM!

        • thanatos355
        • 7 years ago

        Ubi Exec #1 – Uh…boss.
        UE #2 – Yes, what is it now?
        UE #1 – We found 800 people downloading our games on tpb.
        UE #2 – WHAT! That’s like 95% of PC gamers! MORE DRM!

          • MixedPower
          • 7 years ago

          To be fair, with all the DRM issues and other PR snafus they’ve had recently, 800 people may be 95% of Ubisoft’s user base.

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          I can just imagine that discussion continuing, and the result being that the next Ubisoft game has new, [i<]better[/i<] DRM: Your PC connects to Ubisoft servers to validate your product key, then sends you an email with an activation code valid for 24h. Upon entering the valid 128-character code, your client starts rendering the game locally but all your config, settings, and savegames are kept solely on Ubisoft servers which require a VPN on a random port. There isn't any cacheing of these files for security reasons so if you get a lagspike, all your keys reset to defaults after 30 seconds and your character progress is reset to the last checkpoint. Patch 1.01 is needed to alleviate issues with users not being able to configure their ports properly and achieves this by removing the port requirement for the VPN and rootkitting user machines with nannycam software instead. This activates the microphone and webcam (if available), checking previous recordings/images of the user match up via voice/face recognition. Pirates will initially circumvent patch 1.01 by pointing their webcams at the grinning mugshot of that genius-among-men, Yves Guillemot, whilst playing back MP3s of his wise words on Piracy from the Gamescon Conference. [b<]OMG, STILL NOT PIRATEPROOF, WE NEED MORE DRM![/b<]

      • Waco
      • 7 years ago

      This. So very this. If their DRM was so amazing it would clearly be stopping 95% of the people playing their games from pirating it.

      One really has to wonder how they say shit like this without laughing hysterically at how ridiculous it is…

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        Because thinking is hard.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    Can I get some of what he’s smoking? I’ve been working very hard lately and need an altered-reality break.

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      Just kill reality with alcohol.

    • thanatos355
    • 7 years ago

    9 out of 10 gaming industry executives are 83% full of s**t, according to a recent study that I just pulled out of my a**.

      • entropy13
      • 7 years ago

      There are also 5 more studies supporting these numbers.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 7 years ago

        nevermind
        edit 2: complete misread both posts >_< thought you were backing up ubisoft

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      I read that study. They also suggested a relationship between the executives insanity and exactly how far his head was up his own a**.

        • entropy13
        • 7 years ago

        They did several “follow up” studies for that as well, three of them in fact, for “posterity.”

        • khands
        • 7 years ago

        You know, when you think about it if one were to literally have their head up their own ass they’d probably have to be crazy to [i<]not[/i<] go crazy.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        Ahh, yes, the famous cranial-rectal conjuction correlation studies.

          • ClickClick5
          • 7 years ago

          I’m actually conducting a study right now of this issue. The results are showing the further the head is up their own a** OR a relative party’s a**, the decisions made by the infected are rather poor and thus do not bode well with others.

          For science.

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      [quote=”thanatos355″<][...]according to a recent study that I just pulled out of my a**.[/quote<] Dat anal prestidigitation (aka rectal extraction) seems to be all the rave these dayz

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 7 years ago

    :rollseyes:

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