Report filed by Rakan Stanbouly
Joining the likes of Valve’s Steam and Electronic Arts’ Origin, Ubisoft has announced their own online retailer, Uplay PC. Like its competitors, it runs through a client which allows you to buy games, chat with friends, view your achievements, etc. Unlike its contemporaries, Uplay PC allows users to cash in earned Uplay points for various items both in-game and out.
Early consumer reaction to the client has been largely apathetic, as Uplay has yet to distinguish itself amongst the feature lists of Steam or Origin, and bears a somewhat minimal user interface. But with deals like its daily featured $1 game during its launch week, the potential still exists for another player in the digital distribution marketplace.
Ubisoft is apparently in dire need of a healthier relationship with its PC players, as during a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, CEO Yves Guillemot estimated piracy levels of the studio’s catalog on the platform at between 93-95%. The ratio in question was quoted as similar to the amount of players paying for content in a free to play environment.
“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.” Guillemot 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.”
We’re confident Guillemot was employing at least a modest degree of exaggeration with the figures, which – if literal – would put Ubisoft high above even the most drastic of piracy statistics, like CD Projekt’s 4 to 5 pirates per paying customer ratio from late last year.