back to article Ubisoft: 'Vast majority of PC gamers are PIRATES'

Ubisoft reckons just one in ten PC gamers legitimately source games, using the figure as justification for a move towards more free-to-play and web browser-based titles. The French software publisher has eyes set on growing its PC market share - but insists the only way forward is to offer games completely free, dangling the …

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  1. Maxson

    Ludicrous misuse of maths

    .87 Million and 0.36 million respectively, I believe that doesn’t include digital sales though (VALVe don’t release steam sales stats)

    So 17.4 million retail boxes of anno and 7.2 million PC retail boxes of AssCreedRev they were expecting.

    Bear in mind that AssCreedRev shipped (not actually sold at retail, only sold to vendors) only 7 million copies across all platforms, he’s talking out of his arse as Consoles are much less commonly pirated on and bigger markets for derivative sequel-a-year crap

    1. Maxson

      Re: Ludicrous misuse of maths

      Sorry, I copied and pasted that from a comment I made elsewhere....the 0.87 million is sales for Anno 2070 and the 0.36 million is for the Latest Assassin's creed.

    2. toadwarrior

      Re: Ludicrous misuse of maths

      That almost certainly includes steam sales because obviously publishers get those numbers for their games.

      Valve has always said they don't release them but publishers are welcome too. Part of me wonders if that's because the numbers aren't that big.

      You can't get rich off making full production games only to have people buy it at iphone game prices at steam.

      It's no surprise valve themselves are moving to free to play given than a singlre tf2 hat costs more than tf2 used to cost in sales. Tf2 is much more expensive now if you participate at nearly any level of item purchasing.

      And it's not their only game that's f2p. For a company that should be better off than all the other given their steam profits they seem like they want to get off the old business model too.

      You guys may be butt hurt about it but there is certainly a lot more truth to what ubisoft says. I guess it does make a difference if you pirate even if you weren't gonna buy it anyway.

      F2p games are shit. If this trend continues my pc costs will come down as there will be no need to upgrade nearly as often. I'll just stick with consoles.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ludicrous misuse of maths

        I find it impossible to believe over 15 million people have played anno 2070.

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: toadwarrior

        "You can't get rich off making full production games only to have people buy it at iphone game prices at steam."

        AAA titles don't launch at $2.99 on Steam...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pay £30 for a game to find it is crap....

      Try the game first, if it's good buy it, if not leave it in the shelf.

      If the Games they sold were good, people wouldn't mind buying, but generally they are overpriced dross.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They managed to sell 870,000 copies of Anno 2070? I'm impressed, played the demo, it was terrible.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Anno 2070 Demo

          Maybe they are referring to the conversion rate for demo's of Anno 2070 downloaded and games sold, can certainly believe over 90% didn't bother buying it after the demo

      2. streaky
        Black Helicopters

        It's not that, Ubi went overkill with the DRM and nobody wants the bad experience they get from buying their games - it's easier just to pirate. Frankly they're usually broken too so free to play won't help them there either.

        1. Ceiling Cat

          overkill?

          Interesting that you feel that Ubi went overkill with the D.R.M... Care to explain HOW they "went overkill"?

          I've purchased Assassin's Creed Revelations, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and Settlers 7. Only twice have I been unable to play the games - once was because Uplay was being updated (and it was back online within a couple of hours), ans once was my ISP's fault for doing maintenance during off-hours (which is when I prefer to game). True, if I wasn't on a decent ISP with decent uptime, their DRM might pose a small problem, but it hasn't been anywhere near "overboard".

          I'd just like to point out that it's genuinely Ironic that one of the related articles is titled something like "Ubisoft say DRM works". In which interview, I wonder, were they talking out their arse?

          1. Eradicate all BB entrants

            @ ceiling cat - Re: overkill?

            Yes, it is overkill. I have been a fan of settlers over the years and installed the demo for settlers 7.

            But it was immediately uninstalled when I had to sign up to uplay just to play the demo. Yes that's right, DRM on a demo.

            1. Ceiling Cat

              Re: @ ceiling cat - overkill?

              The UPLAY account takes less than 5 minutes to make. Hardly a hardship. Your loss.

              Not that I'm defending Ubi, mind you. Their attitude in this little spout-fest has left a rather foul taste in my mouth, and they'll likely not wind up seeing another penny from me, at least not for a PC title. Barmy twunts.

          2. streaky
            Pirate

            Re: overkill?

            "Interesting that you feel that Ubi went overkill with the D.R.M... Care to explain HOW they "went overkill"?"

            Not really - google it or look at some of the other comments on this page or ubi's forum. They screwed the pooch and now nobody wants to buy their games.

            There's an editorial on dvice.com that sums it up nicely also covering this story titled "Dear Ubisoft, please stop releasing PC games" - better out than in because their crappy cluelessness is actively hurting the industry.

  2. Jason Hall

    Fuck Ubisoft.

    They get no more of my pennies for games.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "They get no more of my pennies for games."

      that is the whole point, they aren't getting those pennies so they are looking for a different way to get them.

      your comment is quite ironic!

      1. Alpha Tony

        Re: "They get no more of my pennies for games."

        <rant>

        I agree - Fuck them.

        I am just playing my (legitimate, boxed!) copy of Might and Magic Heroes 6 again (I must be one of the 'few' people that pays for pc games and have hundreds, all paid for). I initially lost patience with the game due to having a flaky net connection, which due to their ridiculous DRM made it unplayable.

        I am now on a stronger connection, so thought I would try again and although I can now manage to play it, the DRM still pisses me off hugely. It's always patching itself (with an amazingly badly designed script), spends an age 'sycronizing save games' and is generally just... bleurgh.

        They won't be getting any more of my money - I'm not saying I will be pirating thier products, I will just buy someone else's game instead. Don't try to blame the pirates either - Valve/Steam manage to balance security and ergonomics. Ubisoft are just alienating their customers and frankly making me wish I HAD pirated their product as I assume a ripped copy would mean I wouldnt have to put up with this crap!

        Oh and while I am on my soapbox - Fuck F2P too. I wont play any game where people can just buy success - It makes anything you achieve in the game worthless.

        </rant>

        1. P. Lee

          Re: "They get no more of my pennies for games."

          F2P does seem to skew the games horribly and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

          Far better to offer f2p as a trial (time, character level or ingame-currency limted) with the option to buy the full game.

          My guess would be that the publishers don't like the PC because the games market forces the prices down for PCs. They want you to "invest" in a console because having done so, you're more likely to spend more on each game. Publishers have to pay to play on consoles, so more console game sales helps amortise those costs. Also, console specs are lower (TV resolution only), more uniform and control systems are intrinsically less precise. PC's make games more difficult to develop and are less profitable.

          However, that's probably only true for the big-budget publishers. Portal, Limbo, World of Goo, Frozen Synapse, Defense Grid et al are all great games and rather cheaper and far more satisfying than the over-hyped latter CoD titles.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. I had the misfortune of needing to buy Anno 2070 on Steam for research purposes (yeah I'm being serious) before realising it was Ubisoft and therefore came with the standard Ubisoft rootkit. The one that says that not only must you be online to use it but also that you can only install the product 3 (or maybe it was 5) times for the life of the game. Bastards. If I ever (hopefully not) need another of their products I would prefer to give them the money and then install a cracked copy rather than the legit one I'd paid for because at least there's a chance that the cracked one won't be full of malware.

      1. Maxson

        That's slightly dramatic as it's not a root kit, and even the recent problem with it wasn't a root kit. It is however, shitty software that's yet another wannabe Steam.

  3. Llyander
    FAIL

    Once again, Ubisoft display their complete contempt and disrespect for PC gamers. I have over 100 legally purchased game discs in a folder and nearly 200 games purchased on Steam. Ubisoft? They haven't seen a penny from me in years because of stupid comments like this.

    1. Thomas 4
      Facepalm

      Yup

      Someone had better tell Gabe that Steam is doomed to failure because all PC gamers are freeloading bastards.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same here, lots of legally purchased games, most recent ones from steam. However if i spot it's from ubisoft I pass, I hear they have additional levels of crap drm and want nothing to do with it.

    3. Bill Neal
      Facepalm

      Llyander- >100 legally purchased game discs

      I find Ubisoft's paranoia hard to believe. I have torrented many games, BUT they are all old games I have legally owned & never sold. Most often I lose of damage the game discs. How can they determine piracy is so extreme? The only Ubisoft title I have is Mass Effect, and that series is finished. No more money from me to them either

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Bill Neal

        You don't have to worry about Mass Effect, that's EA...

        ...oh.

        1. Bill Neal
          Facepalm

          Re: Bill Neal

          Oops, I was thinking BioWare and got confused. I did have the first Assassin's Creed! that is the only one then.

  4. Mark C Casey

    Hmm

    And how much do you want to bet they pulled this figure out of thin air?

    I haven't bought a Ubisoft game in years because of shitty drm.

    The money has been spent elsewhere, typically on games that don't require an always on internet connection. Curiously indie games have been getting a lot of my money of recent because they don't charge me a stupid sum of money and last me a lot longer. (bought Minecraft ages ago and I still play it like mad)

    Also, using their own logic the console piracy rate must be 99.9999% since console games are usually leaked online sooner than their pc counterparts and if you look on a certain bay of pirates you'll see the download numbers are a lot higher for said console versions...

    At the end of the day, this is just some whiny suit who has pre-conceived notions of who pc gamers are and what they do. (if he truly was right Valve would have been bankrupt long ago)

    1. Barticus
      FAIL

      Re: Hmm

      With you all the way on Minecraft and indie games.

      For me, The Humble Bundle has always delivered quality games (with the emphasis heavy on the gameplay), on lots of platforms, without DRM, for a set-your-own-price fee...and you get more if you pay over the average (£6.50 / $10 always covers it for me). What's not to like?

      <-- For Ubisoft, obviously.

      1. toadwarrior

        Re: Hmm

        Oh yeah, the good old DRM-free indie games that everyone claims to pay for.

        http://2dboy.com/2008/11/13/90/

        World of Goo for the PC, just looking at straight sales vs IPs comes out to 90% piracy, with a more logical look it's more like 82%.

        Reflexive reports 92% piracy

        http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17350

        88% of Demigod users are pirates at peak hours

        http://www.shacknews.com/article/58213/roughly-88-of-peak-hour

        These aren't megacorporations that hipsters feel the need to rebel against.

        People need to realise there is more truth to what Ubisoft is saying and if it continues then PC gaming is going to get to the point where people will pine for the days that they get wank console ports.

  5. E Haines

    The "always connected" schemes cause me to not buy any games that use that nonsense. Steam is as far as I'll go when it comes to DRM.

    1. E Haines

      Oh, and I don't touch F2P games either. Just make a half-decent game without horrible DRM, preferably with a reasonable price, and I'll buy it if it interests me. 100% of my games are legal.

    2. Kevin Johnston

      Hear, hear

      I have been buying less and less games over the last few years because of this and I see from some reviews that now you need 'always connected' even for the single-player option. How mad is that?

      I'll stick with the old games where playability and plotlines were the order of the day rather than maximising revenue through selling online content/kit for the sad-of-life.

    3. M Gale

      Pft.

      T'was Steam and its model of "you're a criminal, prove us wrong" that persuaded me that PC gaming was going down the crapper. Still don't have a Steam account, and will never have one either.

      If it's not as simple as "install, play" then I am not interested. Definitely not interested if you want me creating an account with some malware service so I can play with a toy.

      Remove shitty DRM, and I might start buying stuff again. Until then, Ubisoft can take their bullshit figures and stuff them where the sun doesn't shine and angels fear to tread.

      1. Piro

        Re: Pft.

        I sort of see where you're coming from, but Steam has pretty much saved PC gaming from being a tiny niche, and has given new life to PC gaming, no matter how you look at it.

        Steam is a good thing, simply because it does in fact allow you to acquire and easily play PC games of every kind for often a very low price.

        1. M Gale

          Re: Pft.

          So I can buy a Steam game on a disk and play it without creating a Steam account and activating it?

          Didn't think so.

          Valve, Ubisoft, EA.. same shit, different stink. Amazing how the downvotes rack up if you dare criticize the One and Holy DRM System though. Score one for consistency, commentards.

          1. Smallbrainfield
            Happy

            Re: Pft.

            Well, it's up to you how you play but seriously, Steam is a decent platform for buying games. Some corking deals if you keep your eyes peeled as well.

            I speak as someone that endures the abomination that is Origin in order to play BF3. It's like they looked at every feature of Steam and said lets do that, only shit.

            Re: original topic, Ubisoft can take a running jump.

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Pft.

            So you make a Steam Account. Big F'n deal. You make a similar kind of account to post here to El Reg. Don't want to post your credit card details? They have PayPal for that, or just use an online shopping card. In return, it doesn't really matter which computer you use, just sign on, answer the "new computer" second authentication factor (which uses your e-mail), and you can download and play games just as you did on the other machine. Not a bad tradeoff if you ask me.

            As for F2P, some games are better than others. For all the complaints, Team Fortress 2 seems to get it pretty solid. Most of the expensive stuff is cosmetic, but most all the game-related stuff (and a lot of the cosmetic stuff) you can get other ways, and they make a pretty low bar to go from a freetard to an average player (buy something--anything--from their store, and it's not like they make it hard as some of the stuff is damn cheap).

            1. M Gale

              Re: Pft.

              "So you make a Steam Account. Big F'n deal."

              No I don't.

              "You make a similar kind of account to post here to El Reg."

              No, I don't. Now if there was one company that handles logins for virtually every tech site out there, and if you want to post comments on any tech site then you have to deal with that company regardless of how shit their security is, and that company can then delete all of your posts over a server burp... in fact no, it's not even like that. I don't need to create any account to read El Reg. Your example, like the rest of your post, is, to put it politely, flawed.

              "Don't want to post your credit card details? They have PayPal for that, or just use an online shopping card."

              Why post anything? It's a toy.

              "In return, it doesn't really matter which computer you use, just sign on, answer the "new computer" second authentication factor (which uses your e-mail), and you can download and play games just as you did on the other machine."

              Or insert the disk, and play the game. DRM prevents me from doing that.

              "Not a bad tradeoff if you ask me."

              So making things more sucky for me, in return for absolutely no benefit whatsoever, is a good trade-off?

              1. scarshapedstar
                Facepalm

                Re: Pft.

                Who gives a fuck about a disc? Discs get lost and ruined. I can't even remember the time I opened up my DVD drive because optical discs are obsolete.

                Your fetish is straight-up fucking dumb.

                Meanwhile, since I don't try to cheat or some stupid shit (the real reason people bitch about Steam accounts) I could throw my computer off a bridge, buy a new one, and have my whole game collection restored in about a day. I know, I know, you're going to say that I could sit there popping in 200 DVDs instead. Have fun with that shit...

              2. JamHead
                Meh

                Re: Pft.

                I'm sorry, but your comments seem to make little sense to me.

                Creating an account is hardly a chore, you can set it to remember your username and password so it logs in automatically and on Windows startup if you want, requiring zero effort.

                I've you've bought a boxed game that uses Steamworks you simply enter your CD-Key into Steam (rather than entering it during the installation) and it will install from the disc(s). No payments details required there. No DRM on steam prevents you from doing this and the process is no more complicated or convoluted this way than any other PC game installation.

                In addition to this, often once a game is installed in this way you don't need to have the disc in to load the game, which is a benefit unless you're a fan of installing no-DVD patches.

                Frankly, if you've not used Steam it appears you've formed the basis of your argument on inaccuracies.

              3. Often Confused
                Pint

                Re: Pft.

                Ignore him, some people have a blind faith in something that is clearly wrong that you cannot reason with.

                If he wants to miss out on good deals and a drm system that doesnt want to crap on you each time you use it, let him.

                As to their security, at least they admit when they have been compromised, rather than try to cover it up (looking at you Sony)

              4. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Pft.

                "No, I don't. Now if there was one company that handles logins for virtually every tech site out there, and if you want to post comments on any tech site then you have to deal with that company regardless of how shit their security is, and that company can then delete all of your posts over a server burp... in fact no, it's not even like that. I don't need to create any account to read El Reg. Your example, like the rest of your post, is, to put it politely, flawed."

                But you're not just reading. You're POSTING. And last I checked, that REQUIRES an account with credentials like an e-mail address. Guess what else requires a few credentials and an e-mail address. I recommend you actually TRY to start a Steam account and walk a virtual mile in my shoes before sneering at Steam's success.

                "Why post anything? It's a toy."

                Warranties, newsletters, other useful stuff, and even kids get in on this (or else kids magazines wouldn't exist).

                "Or insert the disk, and play the game. DRM prevents me from doing that."

                Exactly. These days, the DRM's on the DISC, too! Ever heard of activation limits? The Spore controversy? This whole Ubisoft business? These all involved PHYSICAL COPIES. As for easier, how about double-click and run, no need for the blinking disc AT ALL. And before you go off with the whole need an Internet connection thing, two words: OFFLINE MODE.

                1. M Gale

                  Re: Pft.

                  "But you're not just reading. You're POSTING. And last I checked, that REQUIRES an account with credentials like an e-mail address. Guess what else requires a few credentials and an e-mail address. I recommend you actually TRY to start a Steam account and walk a virtual mile in my shoes before sneering at Steam's success."

                  No thanks. Anyway, noticed how I don't need to do anything to use The Reg? It also doesn't cost anything to post, doesn't come with an insidious DRM mechanism, and the Reg doesn't demand I log into them in order to check Slashdot or Techcrunch. I suggest you actually try huffing jenkem before sneering at it, or does that argument not work when I use it?

                  "Warranties, newsletters, other useful stuff"

                  So.. something I get by law anyway, and spam. Well that's useful.

                  "Exactly. These days, the DRM's on the DISC, too! Ever heard of activation limits? The Spore controversy? This whole Ubisoft business? These all involved PHYSICAL COPIES."

                  Physical copies that I have not bought because they are just as retarded as Steam.

                  "two words: OFFLINE MODE."

                  Two words: ONLINE ACTIVATION.

                  Two more words: CAPS FRENZY.

          3. Clive Galway
            Thumb Down

            Re: Pft.

            You are in a hotel room / visiting friends / wherever, and you have access to a PC.

            You install steam and download and play any of your games.

            Do you carry all your install disks around with you?

            Swings and roundabouts, my friend.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Pft.

              Great if you don't have kids and share an account, only one person per time is a nusiance, especially if you are at the same location/IP adress

          4. CD001

            Re: Pft.

            Steam, unlike most other DRM systems, has a carrot as well as a stick...

            Easy access to many games (including some classics like the original X-Com games), great offers, modding community you can get paid for participating in (Steam Workshop), half decent server browser for Valve games like TF2, it seems to get decent speeds on downloads/patches and you can gift games to other Steam users (got my GF a Popcap collection for Valentines day one year, weirdly - she was a bit like "WTF?" at first ... then the Bejewelled addiction kicked in!)... and then there's random fluff like achievements, friends lists, groups and so on... and Steam will let you play your games if your connection has gone down - it has an offline mode.

            I'll take Steam over UPlay or Origin any day of the week, thanks.

            1. M Gale

              Re: Pft.

              As I said, score one for consistency, commentards.

              It's DRM that means I can't do all the things that people are saying that Steam allows me to do. Somewhat funked-up logic there, to say that being able to install a game on more than one machine is a carrot. Installation media? How big are SD cards these days?

              Yawn. More downvotes from clueless fuckwits. Nice fetish of yours! Does that red button feel good? In the meanwhile, games continue to be hacked and pirated, and DRM continues to get in the way of legitimate customers.

              Oh, and accuse me of being a cheat as well if you like. And a pirate. Whatever gets you through the day, mateys.

              1. M Gale

                And at the same time...

                ...in this fictional hotel with its fictional PC and fictional Internet connection, do you really think this fictional PC will have hard drive space for the games? Do you think I have patience to wait all night and all the next day to download a game when I could install from a DVD or SD card in minutes?

                Yes. Fictional. Mythical, even. Certainly not real.

                1. Shakje

                  Re: And at the same time...

                  If that's really a problem for you, download the games you want, burn your Steam folder to DVD, then just install the client on your laptop, copy across the games folders you want, done. If you want a new game, then buy the DVD, enter the serial code into Steam and install off the DVD.

                  Do you really think that Steam installs every game you own? The basic client comes with nothing installed, then you choose what to install, and if you don't have enough HDD space for the game from Steam, you don't have enough for the game from DVD.

                  No internet connection? You need to login long enough to get the game files onto your PC, then just start in offline mode, done.

                  You're being an idiot about something you've never used, and getting everything wrong. If you really hate Steam that much (when it's actually been designed and worked out pretty damn well, offers great deals on games, fast content delivery, and reasonably good social experience) then don't get any games on it, but there's no doubt that it offers more benefits than problems, unless you're using a computer in an area that is impossible to buy games in anyway.

                  1. M Gale

                    Re: And at the same time...

                    You're right, that's exactly what I did (or rather didn't) do: I have no Steam games, because I have no Steam account, I have no Internet connection that can cope with downloading that much shite, and neither would the mythical hotel wifi connection. If I want a "social experience", I'll go outside.

                    I'd like to buy lots of games, but unfortunately I can't, due to virtually every game in the shop requiring Valve's malware. What I do find amusing though, is that I have played several Steam games minus Steam, thanks to a friend with a torrent client. No, no I don't download them, partly because I'm not a pirate, and partly for the same reason I wouldn't download them over Steam - but that doesn't extend to friends with 50mbit connections. I'd love to know how Steam is preventing anything except me from buying a lot of peoples' games, there.

                    "No internet connection? You need to login long enough to get the game files onto your PC, then just start in offline mode, done."

                    Uhm, with no Internet connection? What part of "this game requires online activation" don't you understand?

                    Fuck Steam, and fuck anybody who will only release their games with that bilge infecting them. But hey, feel free to go moan about everyone else's DRM component except for Valve's. If my toys are not as simple as "install, play", then they are not fit for purpose and go back to the shop. See that word? Toy. Not nuclear launch code.

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Clive Galway
        Stop

        Re: Pft.

        Do you have any experience of steam to form an opinion of that?

        I have never really noticed steam get in the way of my gaming, and I like the benefits it brings over physical discs.

        Even if you loan your mate your login and approve the adding of a new machine, it doesn't grumble, and will happily let him install and play any of my games.

        So if you are bored, swap logins with a friend and you have a nice library to browse and enjoy - maybe even drum up a few sales if you like one of his games enough.

        The prices are also great (If you time the purchase right), with multipacks and such for multiplater - honestly, I just don't get people who hate on steam.

        As someone else said though, if BF3 wasn't such an awesome game, I would not tolerate Origin - it is shit.

        Jury's still out on F2P though, especially pay-to-win.

        I joined the Mechwarrior Online founders program though (ie pre-paying into a F2P) but that was mainly because I have been waiting like 10 years for this game and the only way to play right now is to be part of the founders program. I have to say though, I am not regretting it, I feel like I have gotten $30 worth of fun on it already, despite it still being a pretty early beta.

  6. g e

    Also

    Conveniently seems to ignore secondhand sales?

  7. g e

    Plus...

    It's obviously still making enough money to produce PC versions as well as XBOX/PS varieties, else you'd assume they'd move to console-only for new releases if there was no money in PC.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    They just don't get it, do they.

    I'm an honest PC gamer of twenty years ... and if anything would ahve made me dishonest, it is the interfearence that their ludicrous protection systems have had on my gaming experience.

    If they really think that paying to receive items in a game is going to make a difference, then they're right ... it will mean the difference between my picking another game ... because it is useless to go up against those who have an unfair advantage ... ie. a better weapon because they've paid for it. Ergo the only way to really compete is to buy a decent weapon yourself. Skill? Practice? Not rewarded in scenarios such as these.

    Personally, the last games I've bought have been from the Humble Indie Bundle ... I've played Darwinia through a good number of times ... and they come on Linux as well! Woot! I've also paid for Minecraft and even though I'm hosting my own server, I'm really getting solid value for money out of that game. Now THAT has resulted in a rich Notch (just doing rough calculations of "games" sold) ... and Ubisoft haven't seen any of my hard earned for years.

    And I'm a happy, honest, gamer thank you very much.

    (I'd really like to dust off my collectors edition of Black and White ... but the only way to get that running on a Linux machine will probably require .. um ... hacking, presumably. Too much effort for a game, IMHO.)

    1. g e

      Re: They just don't get it, do they.

      WINE can run a surprising amount of stuff these days in linux, might be worth 20 mins trying it ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They just don't get it, do they.

        @ge Nah, not really. The protection on that game was quite high for its day. Mind you, I remember trying to decode "Nightshade" in my younger days; now that was a night-mare :-) Even now it would take a serious effort to unpick all the memory encoding that went on ... they actually seeded it using one of the BBC's own timing chips. No chip, or another interfearing piece of software in the background, and forget about it.

        B&W is one of those that requires the disk to be in the drive all the time and I can't make a copy of it, and ... you know, all this protection junk just turned me off. Once I had a copy of Tomb Raider, I think it was 3 (I've got all the earlier ones) and one of their protections was so incompatible with some CD drives that Eidos had to ship me a patch that bypassed their own security!!!

        I'm just so turned off by battling the protection systems (after forking over my wonga) that I just won't buy the games any more. It always infuriated me that I had so many problems while the pirates had none of the crap that I was suffering.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They just don't get it, do they.

      And as for this always connected crap ... it's a case of ... oh, the Internet is down. That means I can't troll people on the interwebs. I know! I'll play a ga... oh. :-(

      After Microsoft Live and Sony took a one month bath each, I've witnessed more and more talk of people who are more wary of buying on-line titles; and if that is all Ubisoft are willing to offer the market, then I'm just glad I haven't got any shares in their company.

      Nuff said.

    3. toadwarrior

      Re: They just don't get it, do they.

      Maybe you are honest but most people aren't It's not like this is some new thing because of their evil DRM. Tribes had more pirates and legit gamers. What's the excuse there? It's a good game, no drm and everyone apparently liked the developer and yet most people opted to steal it.

      The truth hurts but everyone's perpetuated this idea that if you weren't gonna pay for it anyway then it's perfectly fine to download it. Now everyone believes they wouldn't have paid for it anyway.

      DRM. Isn't cheap. It's an expensive addition to a game so they're not doing it to be dicks. It's because it works well enough to warrant the cost.

      Freetards are ruining PC gaming.

      1. M Gale

        Re: They just don't get it, do they.

        DRM is ruining PC gaming.

        There I fixed it for you.

        1. Thomas 4
          Trollface

          @Michelle

          You say you're an honest PC gamer but isn't that a contradiction in terms?

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: They just don't get it, do they.

        "DRM. Isn't cheap. It's an expensive addition to a game so they're not doing it to be dicks."

        Right. They are doing it to be c*nts.

  9. Tom 15

    Blah

    What a crock of bullshit from Ubisoft. 7% of people will spend £30 on a game and 7% will also spend 20p on an outfit so we might as well focus on the 20ps. I find the 7% figure quite unlikely in the first-place, Ubisoft flog themselves very heavily on Steam and I imagine would do well as a consequence.

  10. JeevesMkII
    Devil

    I can't understand this logic

    The PC game market, which is bigger than any one console,and, for many classes of game that receive both console and PC releases, frequently bigger than all the consoles put together. I can't understand why you'd want to pass up that money just because you imagine (doubtless based on very dodgy statistics) that for every quid you take, another 19 could have been taken from people who pirated your game instead of paying.

    How does it make any sense at all to forego all revenue because you're now foregoing some revenue? How does free to play help you make revenue from those people who now pay nothing? Aren't there people (like me) who would pay full cover price for your game, but would never use in game stores for vanity items and have a distaste for anything that smacks of pay to win?

    It's just such a strange accounting that makes real these imaginary losses from piracy and using them to wipe out the real profits you're making from real sales.

    1. CD001

      Re: I can't understand this logic

      -----

      The PC game market, which is bigger than any one console

      -----

      Ummm no - no it isn't, the PC gaming market is quite niche now; less even than the PS3:

      Mass Effect 3

      Battlefield 3

      CoD Black Ops

  11. Mectron

    DRM fault's

    Eliminate DRM, Reduce the price of game to that of movies et voila Piracy reduce to mere anoyance. Plus, piracy on the Xboxe 360 and wii (and now PS3) is also very hight. Ubi make greate game, reduce the price by 75% et you will get people to buy them again. it is as simple as that. sute the game is worth 50 or 60, but selling 20$ will result in so much more sale that it will result in more profit and a lot less piracy.

    There is a lot of game that i tryied (and event finished) before i buy...... but there is a huge pile that i try before i buy and never finished and never buy....who want to pay for a flop

    1. toadwarrior

      Re: DRM fault's

      Not true. Games like world of goo are exceptionally cheap and DRM free and still had piracy rates above 80%.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: DRM fault's

        Piracy rates above 80%? Says who? How can anyone know?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DRM fault's

          Says the devs themselves, and they can check by inspecting leaderboard IPs. Barring some dynIP churn as well as NATting, if you have a ton more IPs posting to your leaderboard then you have receipts of sale, what does that tell you?

          1. leakyPC
            FAIL

            Re: DRM fault's

            "if you have a ton more IPs posting to your leaderboard then you have receipts of sale, what does that tell you?"

            It tells you people have laptops, tablets and mobile phones that don't stay in the same place. So it tells you nothing!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: DRM fault's

              At the time that article was posted (November 2008), tablets and mobes didnt run World of Goo (that came three years later). As for laptops, you still need a decently-specced machine to run it as well as the inclination to run it enough to post a high score. That narrows the field. Now look at this way: they claimed to have basically had TEN TIMES as many locations post scores as they had purchases. Given that most of the scores had to have come from mostly-static desktop machines (since laptop gaming is a niche and the game wasn't mobile then), what does that tell you NOW?

              1. M Gale

                Re: DRM fault's

                "what does that tell you NOW?"

                It tells me that most ISPs use dynamic IP addresses.

  12. Bunker_Monkey
    FAIL

    They'll have to try harder...

    Most games are built around the multiplayer side these days and well, why pay for a game that gonna be hacked in a couple of days anyway.. Why pay £29.99 for an 18+ rated FPS only for a 13yr old to scream and swear at you?

    (Disgruntled 35yr old gamer of 20+ years..........)

    Give me a decent story and 10+hrs of decent game-play any day....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >Ubisoft: 'Vast majority of PC gamers are PIRATES'

    PC Gamers: "Vast majority of Ubisoft games are not worth buying."

    1. honkhonk34
      Thumb Up

      Wish I could upvote that more than once, Anon.

    2. Furbian
      Thumb Up

      Here here! But...

      There's one great thing about Ubisoft, rather ..

      Stargate - Ubisoft - Circle

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJjJY5YpKRI&feature=fvwrel

      No I have nowt to do with him, but my kids and I just love those videos.

      For the record, PC games worth buying (according to self centred me).. Dragon Age (all of 1, 1.5 and even 2), Starcraft 2 (Wings of Liberty), Skyrim. Can I even remember a Ubisoft game? Oh yes, Assassins Creed 1, that's it. If it was their franchise back then.

  14. Pete Spicer

    What about all the people who pirate and then go and buy the full game?

    Also, part of the problem is that Ubisoft predominantly pushes franchise-reaping games, though I have seen them invest in smaller studio titles of late, maybe they're learning not to concentrate solely on the big names year on year on year.

    1. Neil B

      I'm confident those four people won't skew the statistics.

    2. Paul Shirley

      "What about all the people who pirate and then go and buy the full game?"

      Bollocks.

      However... what about all the people that bought the full game then installed a pirated copy to avoid the DRM? I have a large pile of games behind me and a matching folder of cracks for most of them. 1st thing I do after installing is apply a crack, before even running the games. Sometimes before installing ;)

      Wonder how they count those installs. Pirate or paid? (Hint: it's piracy;)

      1. Andy ORourke
        Joke

        "What about all the people who pirate and then go and buy the full game?"

        These are the same people who use P2P networks to only download Linux distro's

  15. Justicesays
    FAIL

    Yeah Right

    Essentially Ubisoft have screwed their own sales by their inability to realize their DRM policy and bad recent games are the problem, not rampant piracy.

    Their PC platform sales have dropped by 90% in the last couple of years (Source: PC Gamer) , inconveniently in the same time period they introduced always on DRM, long outages when people couldn't play games due to DRM server administration etc.

    Rather than admit , yeah, hugely restrictive DRM was a mistake and doesn't make people buy more games, they have instead gone "Well, clearly no-one buys any games any more, thats why our sales dropped 90%, so we are going to give stuff away for free instead and hope to addict people to micropayments like some kind of drug dealers"

    I pay for all of my games (mostly via steam) , but I haven't bought an Ubisoft game (apart from really old ones) for a while due to the dual facts that:

    1) They didnt look any good

    2) Always on DRM puts me off. Steam has an offline mode that works fine.

  16. HP Cynic
    FAIL

    Idiot Ubisoft Trolls: not content with wrecking their games with DRM they are now inventing piracy figures, probably in the hope of making us feel sorry for them or to hide profits.

    I've still not played AC2 since the DRM measured wiped my first hours of (dull) progress, I swore off their entire catalogue at this point excepting when I can get them for pennies via Steam :)

  17. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Pirate

    I am surprised that nobody ...

    used the pirate icon for comments yet.

    International Talk Like A Pirate Day is just weeks away!

    ARRH!!

  18. Avatar of They
    WTF?

    Idiots.

    I use steam, 100% legal games and fully supported by the nice devs at steam (most of the time anyway)

    That is a DRM process and it works nicely.

    DRM kills games if done badly because it saps resources and you have to be online, which means you can't stick on a laptop and play on the train / plane / holiday. So people pirate just to get a game to work half the time. And because EA especially make such poor sequels that people want to try before they buy.

    And Ubisoft haven't made a good game for ages, so no wonder they don't sell.

  19. That Steve Guy

    Most gamers are pirates? Err no, most gamers use steam these days.

  20. FordPrefect
    Thumb Down

    I'm with Jason if a game is worth paying for I buy if its not I dont bother paying for it or I rent it on a console. Maybe if companies like ubisoft actually produced quality games which were released without the need to download a 500mb+ patch on release day to make the game playable people might actually be more inclined to buy. They dont treat there customers with respect and the compound that by calling us a bunch of thieving pirates, thats another publisher I shall avoid unless the game is too good to miss.

  21. Turtle

    Not going there.

    I own several hundred games, mostly in physical form but some on Steam and GamersGate, and quite a few indie bundles. I have, realistically, enough games to last me the rest of my life. The whole gaming industry could move, en masse, to this free model with the in-game purchasing option but my gaming life will continue as before.

    Now here's the thing: assuming for the sake of argument that their figures are correct, roughly the same percentage of people who pay for games now will buy in-game content for free games. But one would think that the average selling price of a game now is far, far higher than the average selling price of in-game items. So while the number of purchasers will increase several fold, the average income per purchaser will decrease several fold; one would have to wonder if this will work out to an overall increase in revenue.

    Of course there is also the question of whether free-to-play games will wind up decreasing the cost of making and "distributing" games. About this I know nothing.

    I suppose that these "free-to-play" games could eventually be released in a stand-alone non-browser format for anyone who wants to purchase it whole; will they be released in such a form, I wonder?

    Then there's the problem of what these in-game items are going to be. Either the items are unnecessary to playing and enjoying the game, which will not encourage purchases, or they *are* necessary to playing and enjoying the game, in which case how many people are going to enjoy the basic "free" game enough to purchase the items - or be so resentful that they will stop playing the game rather than purchase the item? (And then there's the obvious case of purchasing weapons that completely unbalance the game which would be especially problematical in multi-player games.)

    There are plenty of unanswered questions and I expect that Ubisoft, Crytek et al will base their answers on their observations of how the "free-games"-market develops.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Not going there.

      It's just the classic problem of what makes more: a penny from a huge crowd or a pound from a select few. No easy answer as it depends on the payment amounts and group sizes. There's also the "nickel-and-diming" principle that can occur with Microtransactions.

  22. technocrat
    Thumb Up

    Crap titles

    I'm fed up buying games at full price which end up being played for an hour or so and then shelved. Many of the latest mmorpgs have been assigned to the wastebin after a month of play. I welcome free to play, I honestly do, it will give the developers and publishers a kick up the rectum to provide decent games because you wont be paying for it if it's crap, and if it's worth playing then you pay........

  23. John70

    Old gamer here

    Don't think I've played a Ubisoft game since the Amiga days.

  24. Tom 35

    Play Rayman Origins

    Watched someone play it at a local game shop and thought it looked like fun, thinking of buying until I noticed it was Ubisoft. That's the closest I've come to buying a Ubisoft game in a log time.

    I installed the free Babel Rising 3D game on my Nexus 7. Looks nice, game play is stupid, and they sell that as a PC game?

  25. 0laf Silver badge
    Pirate

    Ummm nope

    Don't own a single hooky game. But then I'm not buying anything unless it's 3 for £10 etc.

    What I DO often do is look for a no-CD hack so I don't have to leave the damn disk in spinnig.

    I'd maybe get more from Steam if my bandwidth was bigger. Can't be arsed downloading 2Gb of stuff even when the price is good.

    1. Yet Another Commentard

      Re: Ummm nope

      Slysoft's Game Jackal Pro may be what you are looking for.

      1. Andy ORourke
        Joke

        Re: Ummm nope

        You got a link for a hooky copy of that?

  26. DaeDaLuS_015
    Flame

    Something to add..

    I don't think anyone else has mentioned this here but i think it is fair to say that nearly every ubisoft release of atleast the last 2 years and probably further has been a horrible half-baked console port with as little thought given to the pc version as is necessary to get it out of the door as fast as possible.

    I own a lot of Ubisoft games, i have problems with all of them on PC except Splinter Cell: Conviction

    Splinter Cell: Double Agent: generally an awful game.

    Hawx 1: Buggy as hell, multiplayer only works sometimes, tend to resort to hamachi.

    Hawx 2: Awful, single player is terrible, awful mouse input lag, multiplayer doesn't work, not even with hamachi.

    Vegas 1: Single player okay, multiplayer doesn't function correctly (atleast in coop anyway).

    Vegas 2: See vegas 1.

    Anno: Buggy single player, repeatedly stuck on quests with terrible, useless tutorials.

    future soldier: I'm not entirely convinced this was worth the money, the game on elite mode was a complete joke, i may forgive them for the inclusion of some rather cool gadgets but £30 for a game i completed on elite in less than 9 hours, no.

    And before anyone questions the rig i am running them on 6GB DDR3, i7 @ 4GHz, 7970 sapphire.

    I'm not sure why i keep buying their games to be honest, they all look so good on release, then you install them and realise that they are still just as terrible. This is what Ubisoft need to look at, this is why they don't make much money.

    I despair at ubisoft and to be honest myself as well sometimes for still buying this crap. My 200 game + steam account doesn't at all go against the figures ubisoft are stating here, not at all.

    1. toadwarrior

      Re: Something to add..

      So games suck so that means people will play it just not pay for it.

      You know what I do if I think something sucks? I don't play / watch it.

      People who pirate and say it's because the quality isn't there are just freetards and never intended to pay.

      1. DaeDaLuS_015

        Re: Something to add..

        I bought them. Yeah, kind of flaws your arguement doesn't it.

        It doesn't mean i didn't think they were worth the money. Piracy aside they make bad games, make better games, make more money, simple. If what you say is true, perhaps a lot of people do not buy ubisoft games because of the points i mentioned, this being the case (as some replies in this thread would suggest) then ubisoft are losing a lot of money because they make bad games, not just piracy. That is what i am trying to point out.

  27. GrumpyJoe
    Unhappy

    Bundled network play is an issue too?

    I was going to buy Uncharted 3 for PSN until I realised it came with an 'in box' code for online play - that I would then use to get it but would be useless on trade-in.

    I've paid for it - I suppose for the online component too - so divvy me up 1 slot on the server. Now I sell it and someone new gets it - I no longer have it. Now THEY have to pay for the privilege of playing online - so Naughty Dog get two payments for one slot on the server.

    I know, it's more complex than that but it is how I see it - hence I didn't even buy the software - Saint's Row the Third did it too (didn't realise when I bought it) - that's out of my collection now.

    Sad thing is, I don't even LIKE the multiplayer on Uncharted - it was a personal stand against the paid network component.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Bundled network play is an issue too?

      For Naughty Dog....

      They are welcome to the money!

      Oh and on Disc it doesn't fill your drive.

      As to selling a game of theirs - philistine!

      And just because you don't play does not mean your slot is reused, use multiplayer and a slot is taken, and not reused.

      BTW I only MP ND and Guerilla Games, and have 100s of hours on them.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The point is all software producers are going to go this way, I suspect in the end you will just have a thin client and all software will be presented by servers.

    Maybe a few people who remember some golden age will moan but most of us will just accept it. People have never owned software only a right to use it this is just going to make this a physical reality

  29. thecresta

    Ubisoft: make all of your games free-to-play...

    ...and I can guarantee I'll never send another penny your way.

    But carry on justifying being a bunch of arseholes whichever way you like.

  30. Ian 62
    FAIL

    Pirate In game purchases

    If theres a will....

    He's complaining now that people pirate whole games, it wont be long before items in F2P games are hacked and unlocked.

    "You gunna pay for that MegaBBQWTFPWN Gun?!?! haha lamezor.. Herez my hackzor code that makes me leetz!!1111!"

    Then you're back to DRM, punkbuster, cheat/bot detecting rootkits to make sure your F2P platforms arent being hacked.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Pirate In game purchases

      Trouble with that argument is that F2P have server-side controls, since the items normally come FROM the server. IOW, there's a paper trail, so they are able to unhack things as they occur.

  31. Citizen Kaned

    screw you ubisoft

    the company that uses copy protection on gamesaves on ps3.

    my old ps3 died and i got another. couldnt copy the gamesaves over to new machine as they are protected! W T F?!? this is MY dad, not yours.

    last product i bought from ubisoft. their games are all 99% the same thing over and over anyway. assassins creed was ok until you realised the monotony of it all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: screw you ubisoft

      > W T F?!? this is MY dad, not yours.

      Parental issues?

      1. GrumpyJoe
        Trollface

        Re: screw you ubisoft

        Can we forget he said it? It's a dad issue. Nothing could myfather from the truth.

  32. James 51

    DRM - Denying rights management

    DRM forces people who are prepared to pay for games into piracy to do prefectly resonable things with the products they have paid for or would pay for if they were available.

  33. dotdavid
    WTF?

    "However, the head honcho also alleges that as for its regular PC games, only about five to seven per cent of gamers pay anyway. The vast majority apparently run pirated content."

    "Ubisoft gained notoriety for its always-connected DRM measures"

    What's this? An admission from a games industry exec that stupid DRM doesn't help reduce piracy? Say it ain't so!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently my Steam account is worth around $2,000 (RRP, much less due to sales purchases).

    I tend not to buy Ubisoft games any more, as I don't like what they stand for. Same with Activision. I try and avoid EA, but it's not a hard and fast rule.

  35. Irongut

    Ubisoft

    Haven't bought any of their shite in years and I haven't pirated it either. If they actually released a game I wanted to play I'd consider it for the few minutes it took me to remember their DRM system that I've read about and then I'd go play something else.

  36. Thorfkin
    Flame

    Ubisoft appears to be run by a fair lot of incompetents. Their Always Online fiasco annoyed me so much I stopped buying their games. I won't spend money on another Ubisoft published product until they publicly acknowledge that they screwed up and take steps to resolve my concerns. It's a shame really because I genuinely wanted to play through the Assassins Creed games that followed the first one but I refuse to give that shit company my money and I don't pirate my games. I haven't pirated a game since i was an idiot kid living in my parent's house and I have no intention of doing so ever again. I take offense at being treated like a software pirate after paying good money for a game I want to play.

  37. the-it-slayer
    Facepalm

    Make your god-damn games cheaper then!

    You don't need to make them free, but at least drop them by half (of a standard £40 game) to cover the cost of internet bandwidth distributions costs (or use some sort of P2P tech to take it down further) and remove the DRM crap so people can take the games wherever they please as long there's an ability to resell the product.

    Protection DRM + expensive games = more piracy

    For products that have a limited life-span if you remove the 2nd hand market, then you're in trouble. Same thing as music and movies. The gaming industry needs to smell the coffee to be honest and wake up to reality.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh

    I avoid Ubisoft on all platforms these days. Wouldn't even pirate that stuff now. I accidentally bought a Ubi title in the Christmas steam sale for three quid or so, and felt dirty.

  39. tekgun
    Facepalm

    They just don't get it.

    Omfg, how retarded is this company. Don't they realise all they are doing is alienating the people that would buy their product if they weren't such twats and stopped coming out with BS like this along with their crappy DRM which obviously only works to annoy the paying customer.

    "Ubisoft reckons just one in ten PC gamers legitimately source games, using the figure as justification for a move towards more free-to-play and web browser-based titles."

    I don't pirate games, and I won't install Ubisoft games even if they are free, basically because you're a crap company.

    What excuse are they going to use if they do go free-to-play and still they make no money.

  40. cs94njw
    FAIL

    Wow - awesome!

    Their games will be free to play, and if I like it, I can spend the normal purchase price and have the full game!

    Er... that's right, yes? What? I'll probably ending up paying a shed load more? Oh.

    Ah well - it won't be that way on consoles....

    Er... Xbox, Batman: Arkham City - Catwoman "extension".. er... well... yes there was that.

    Had a go at F2P Everquest recently. I played far too much years ago, and my characters were still alive, and so actually I had most of the functionality that was available. There was lots to buy though, and I wonder how much they truly affected game play.

  41. Gerard Krupa

    Piracy or Money

    I'm convinced that micro-payments frequently make more money than up-front retail costs. Other industries (and other companies within the games industry) have known for some time: get people addicted to a product with a free sample and then gouge them in small increments once they're hooked because they're paying little or no attention to the total amount they've spent. Better still to make everything seem achievable in-game but with an inordinate amount of effort because impatience is even more effective than competitiveness. Just look at how many freemium games are in the "top grossing" list on Google Play and consider how many people might have paid Zynga for extra colours and words in Draw Something (that's £1.20 for about 15 bytes of data). Crying foul of piracy is just a great excuse to make greed sound more noble.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should just Kickstarter PC game development; get development money up front from the dedicated crowd who are serious enough to - *gasp* - part with actual money for a decent game to at least cover their costs, then develop it based on the available budget. A portion of any profit should be shared with the investors.

    Bound to be a few freeches along the way, but the investors would be motivated to hunt them down and destroy them. I mean embarrass them. Just kidding - everybody knows freetards have no self respect.

  43. Paul Shirley

    piracy: traditionally starts with the publisher

    If Ubisoft and the other dinosaurs want to really hurt piracy they need to start by crucifying a few of their own employees along with some journalists. That's traditionally been the primary source of pirate software for as long as I've played or worked on games.

    Do that and the cracks will go back to appearing after launch, after they've picked the pockets of casual pirates.

    Won't happen though. Too much danger sales won't magically improve because the prices won't go down and they're too fscking stupid to remove the DRM that pisses us all off. Then how would they get away with bitching about pirates?

  44. James O'Shea
    Mushroom

    Bad attitude

    I used to play a lot of SimCity. I stopped for a while, and then decided I wanted to try again... and couldn't find my game disc. Of course, it was one of those discs which can't be properly copied without jumping through hoops, so I'd never copied it. I _had_ registered it when I first purchased it, so I phone in to support to see if I could get a replacement disc. I was ready to pay a reasonable amount for a replacement, say $10.

    Silly buggers acknowledged that I was a registered user (difficult for them not to, as I'd been on their mailing list for years) but flat out refused to provide a replacement for anything short of full price for the whole freakin' game. I told 'em to ram it and made sure to sever all connections with the ghits. About a week later I found the errant disc; I photocopied it, and the various discs and floppies I'd had from all the previous versions I'd purchased in times past, and snail-mailed the scans and a little note to 'em, pointing out that their attitude had just cost them a customer who'd purchased their stuff on various platforms going back to 1988. Haven't heard anything from 'em since.

    I don't play games I can't make backup copies of the game disc anymore. I don't play games which require Internet connections. If this means that I play older games, or cracked/hacked/whatever games, or games like Bejewelled, well so be it.

    Things could be worse, though; way back in 1985, I purchased a game which had _two_ types of protection: during game play it would ask a question which could only be answered if you had a cheat sheet which shipped with the game, and which was printed on pink paper which was remarkably difficult to photocopy (though not to scan, if you had a high-end professional scanner, and I did...) _and_ it had a Hidden Feature. If you installed it on a hard drive, and started it up, it would cause the Mac (it was a Mac game) to crash. Every time. Further testing established that if I launched the game from the floppy _if I booted from the floppy_ it worked, but _if I booted from my hard drive_ it wouldn't. A check with support indicated that this was a deliberate anti-piracy measure; they also sent me a write-up which they swore was from some tipster revealing how many of their games had been seen on 'pirate boards' (before the Internet, remember, this was the days of the BBS) and offered me the chance to _buy_ a 'backup copy', which also could not be installed on a hard drive. I replied that Copy2Mac made excellent copies of their 'uncopyable' floppy and that I'd not be sending them a penny more 'cause what I wanted was to be able to PLAY THE DAMN GAME WHEN BOOTED FROM MY HARD DRIVE. I never got an answer to that letter, either. At least Ubisoft doesn't crash your computer on purpose...

  45. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Mushroom

    The time bomb in DRM

    I note quite a few comments of people who have whole collections of games. Now imagine you have a game that requires online confirmation, and the service is no longer available? You now have a game you legitimately bought, yet cannot play anyway (a few have signalled a preview of that situation when their connection was offline).

    Thus, your game is tied to the survival of the company. Forever. Not one of the most interesting dependencies in my opinion, irrespective of the *quality* of the game..

  46. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Coat

    If 93..95% of game players are pirates..

    .. you might as well stop with 3D game development.

    3D doesn't work for people with an eye patch..

  47. easyk

    as for validity...

    I can not comment. But I wanted to share my personal experience. In my youth I bought many games but pirated many many more. Since 2006 though I have bought and played 3 games (and pirated 0) and every second I was playing I felt guilty for using my very limited free time not with my young family or doing something useful. I can't handle that stress.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice figures ...

    Except that piracy rate is total bullshit. Maybe it's for Ubisoft games, as that is actually the only way to play then now a days. I mean, if paying for the game means I have no ability to play it unless the gremlins at Ubisoft decide it's ok, why bother? Last 2 games I payed from them I was completly unable to play without then pirating it, as the actual legit copy refused to work.

    It's call shooting yourself in the foot. Doing it again isn't going to help.

  49. Corborg

    Free to play?

    My experience of 'free to play' is, free to install, free to play the first few levels/maps etc, then subscribe to indefinite payments to play.

    It's a bad deal for consumers and a cash cow for business. Of course they are going to make the right noises about how great free to play is. I will be staying well away.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Free to play?

      Guess it depends on the game. I will agree that some of the ones I've encountered (Maple Story and Spiral Knights) make a lot of their purchases time- or use-limited, and that irked me significantly. I also stay away from obvious subscription games like WoW. Even Team Fortress 2 seems to be testing the waters with special gaming mode you have to buy into, though as expected they're getting some choice words sent their way about that. To be fair, though, the buy-ins do have a guarantee (you can play on the same ticket until you win).

  50. Unexploded
    Facepalm

    'Vast majority of PC gamers are PIRATES'

    Vast majority of PC games suck ass. Make a quality product, leave out DRM (decent multi-player can provide the same function without making me want to strangle the devs) and it'll sell.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consoles too

    Everyone I know that has a console pirates games. I only play on a PC as I hate consoles and only play first person shooters. But everyone I know does the same thing on the consoles so its just not PC's. I buy my games if I like them.

  52. LiveBait
    Unhappy

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier

    I pre-ordered GRFS in April 2011 because I'd followed the series all the way through and was looking forward to the next game, once I finally got the game (released 2 weeks late) I couldn't play it due to grpahical crashes (running a i7 2700k GTX580 16Gb Ram so system is more than fine) jumping on the forums it seems a common problem.

    Still 6 weeks after launch and 4 updates later and numerous support emails (which are now not being answered) I have yet to play the game, I've asked for a refund from both UBISOFT and the company I brought it through which have both been rejected because its a PC game and they don't refund PC games.

    Yet had I pirated it I would have saved myself the game cost and numerous hours trying to get it working. I'm all for supporting game developers but when they release rubbish like that it makes it very hard

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ubisoft's attitude to PC gamers generally stinks

    But it's like roses compared to that of thieves playing games etc without paying.

    I experience it all the time with photography, my wife with smartphone applications and my brother in law with music. If you don't want to pay prices charged, or obtain the product in the form in which it's available, don't buy it - and then write to point out why. That's making a statement, and that might achieve something.

    If you don't buy it, and then take it anyway, you're a thief. The statement you're making is "I'm willing to steal from you, you'll have to either try harder to stop me or pack up producing this content altogether". The statement you're NOT making to anybody that matters (ie someone other than you, and who can do something about it) is "remove the DRM and I'll pay".

    If you don't like the price, fine. If nobody likes the price, and acts accordingly, you'll get lower prices. I set my prices according to what people are willing to pay - if you're not willing to pay that and some people are, those people will get the product - you won't, and you shouldn't. If you take it anyway you're not a "pirate", you're not a "freetard", you're a thief.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Ubisoft ? = clueless

    I recall when Steam was first released. It wasn't the best of launches, with countless thousands unable to get Half-Life2 running. I recall the howls of anguish on the forums - "Steam is crap, it will never work!"

    Here we are, eons later in the tech world and Steam is quite simply the most logical platform for delivering games.

    I get the feeling Ubisoft missed the boat and are wishing they had a delivery platform like Steam.

    Then again, they would've fucked it up...

  55. Myopic Aardvark
    Go

    Not sure if Ubisoft gets it...

    My PC gaming these days tends to be MMOs, most of which I've either got a lifetime sub for or have went F2P. Sure, I'll still put money into them, but only when I see something I like the look of. I have a 1TB hard drive nearly full of Steam games too, all of which have been paid for (mostly when things are on sale at a decent price).

    The only Ubisoft games I've got are on my PS3 - the Assassin's Creed games, the remake of Beyond Good & Evil. I just prefer playing them with the PS3 joypad.

    I pay for what I enjoy and since I haven't pirated a game since about 1989 (Sinclair tape copying, ah those were the days), that leads me to believe that it's not 90% of PC gamers who are pirating games, but 90% of PC gamers who just aren't buying something because it isn't enjoyable or (like me) who are buying it on console because its a better experience.

    I'll step down from my centre of the universe podium now.

    All Ubisoft have done with this is ensure I will never buy their games on my PC, instead going to the console for it.

  56. TaylorBA
    FAIL

    PC gaming is not in that much trouble

    Ubisoft might be in trouble in the PC market but it is not a true reflection of the PC market as a whole. I have not bought legally or obtained a pirate copy of any of ubisoft games in years so I can't comment about how bad or good their DRM is. TBH they have not produced any games I really needed to play. What I do play is WoW (not as regularly as I used to because it is in a bit of wind down until next expansion) which is always online, a premium to buy on first release and monthly subscription. I play Diablo 3 (don't flame as I enjoy it and DRM a part from first few days has not been a problem, also one off payment for the game and it is likely to be patched regularly for years to come). I have a lot of Steam games (never had a problem with them and most bought on sale on Indie Bundles). The final game I play is League of Legends which is free to play and enjoy a lot. New champs can be bought for ££ or in game currency which you earn through playing. Skins are cosmetic and make no difference to the game. I spend about £10-20 every few months to support the game I like.

    So WoW has 9.1 million legal accounts, Diablo 3 sold 10 million copies, LoL has millions of daily players. Steam has sold bucket loads of game. Doesn't look too bad to me

  57. Miek
    Linux

    I suspect another reason Journalists are handed console versions of games to evaluate is probably more to do with hackers ruining the game experience on PC than on console, the last thing a developer or game publishing house needs to have written in a review is "Game being ruined by hackers". DayZ is a prime example of this, unplayable mostly due to hackers than the bugs.

  58. Tom 13

    Maybe 1 in 10 of the games I've played on my PC was pirated.

    Most of my pirating was when I was too young to have a job on my C64. Not sure how many I might have copied back then, but now that I have a job I pay for my PC games. Not that I buy many. I'm more of a strategy turn by turn player than an MMO or FPS player. I don't much care for twitch games, even when they have great graphics. One of the few twitch games I liked had a crappy engine (fantasy RPG Win98 game) that I put up with because I like the plot and character building, but even at that it was NOT an MMO. I guess the crap engine killed it because nobody ever did a remake or sequel. At the moment, I can't remember the name of it.

  59. SpaMster

    Are the same games going to be F2P on consoles as well?

    No of course there not

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Don't be so sure.

      You've never been to PlayStation Home, have you? That's basically social gaming world BUILT on Microtransactions. And it's on the PS3. Remember that the consoles have their own marketplaces. F2P games let them get in on the action, so they would welcome them if given the chance. It's just the console gamers are also less likely to be wired up, so they keep a solid base of offline games for them.

  60. Britt
    Headmaster

    Geography

    And could we get a geographical breakdown of the pricay, or are they bulking up numbers with the pirate cultures from Russia and China? (who had to pirate the games to begin with as no legit publishing/distribution channels and/or the fact they couldnt afford a months wages on a game at western prices)

    Creating pirate cultures and then blaming the innocent to cover for your own failures is a croc'o'crap. Most games dont have demo's as people an see how poor most new releases can be.

    /rant over, angry commentard walks of to play Breath of Death 7 on steam.

    1. SteveCo
      Pirate

      Re: Geography

      Exactly what I was thinking. I read a recent article on rampant Android piracy. Turns out that the worldwide figures look so bad because there is no Google Play market in China, forcing people to resort to piracy and there are an awful lot of Android devices behind the Great Wall...

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Geography

      "Most games dont have demo's"

      And those that do, have DRMs on demos nowadays. I don't know about others but I've even stopped trying free demos coming with magazine cover discs because of that...

  61. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Greed makes them blind

    I don't know why people think that they are entitled to convert every internet lookup or download into sales and anything short of that is robbery.

    What is better - higher sales and high piracy or lower sales and zero piracy?

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's why they make prisons...

    ...for pirates and other folks who can't live within the laws of society.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's why they make prisons...

      When 1% of the entire population are in prison, then the law really is an ass.

      OH, WAIT.

      Guess your solution is to build more prisons?

  63. Piro

    If only Assassin's Creed..

    Wasn't so fun. Thoroughly enjoyed 1, 2, Brotherhood and Revelations. Still hate uPlay.

    But they need to understand that DRM only screws legit users - the fact they're saying a lot of PC gamers pirate demonstrates that their DRM does not work, thus its only purpose is to mess people around who actually paid.

    Their argument is actually against DRM, but they never see sense..

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