Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft’s CEO, spoke to GamesIndustry International editor and said that piracy levels of ‘boxed’ PC games is currently hovering over the 93 to 95% mark. Despite DRM measures adopted by Ubisoft, piracy numbers are staggering.
The gaming company is known for some of the most intrusive DRM schemes that the gaming industry has ever seen. One such scheme was implemented in Driver: San Francisco whereby users were required to stay connected to the Internet all the time during game play. Such moves do very little to actually stop the piracy rates and on top of that hurt customer sentiments. And, the DRM move hasn’t actually worked in favour of Ubisoft as is evident from the CEO’s recent statement.
Guillemot sees hope in Free-to-Play (F2P) games as an alternative to paid games and believes that this model can be a great opportunity to beat piracy. “We want to develop the PC market quite a lot and F2P is really the way to do it,” Guillemot said.
The CEO believes that the F2P framework is a way to get through to customers who would have never paid for a boxed PC game. Providing the game for free and hopefully getting payments for in-game features, objects, etc. is the way forward. “The advantage of F2P is that we can get revenue from countries where we couldn’t previously – places where our products were played but not bought. Now with F2P we gain revenue, which helps brands last longer.” he added.
Despite the optimism showed by the CEO, non-paying F2P users is also in line with the piracy rates. So, F2P making that big a difference is a little hard to believe.