Ubisoft seeks to fight back against the 93-95% piracy rate on the PC, and they’re going to do it with a Free-to-Play model.
The ever-more-popular model is, according to Ubisoft head Yves Guillemot, a source of guaranteed revenue, saying to GamesIndustry International, “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. It’s a way to get closer to your customers.”
Guillemot answered my next question by explaining the math behind this plan. “On PC it’s only about 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…the revenue we get from the people who play is more long-term, so we can continue to bring content.”
Thankfully, Guillemot recognizes that it’s not as easy as simply making a F2P game. His plan is to listen to audiences and to use content and assets from prior games to manufacture a malleable product that can be adapted to consumer requests.
Finally, Guillemot assured fans that this model will not be replacing Ubisoft’s core business. Banking on the idea that the lukewarm industry will be rejuvinated with the next round of consoles, Guillemot seeks to use F2P as a temporary roadblock to piracy and a means of keeping the company strong while we wait for the next round of (hopefully) revolutionary consoles.
What’s your opinion on Free-to-Play, and what do you think this will do to Ubisoft as a company? Share your favorite F2P games below, or find some playmates on our forums!