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In an interview published today, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot was quoted as saying that the rate of piracy for Ubisoft games on the PC is currently at an astounding 93-95%.
"It's a way to get closer to your customers, to make sure you have a revenue," Guillemot said to GamesIndustry.biz. "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."
It's unclear whether Guillemot was speaking about the worldwide piracy rate or if he meant that 93%-95% of players pirate in certain parts of the world. Piracy is known to be much more common in certain areas such as the Middle-East and Eastern Europe. Though as the common refrain about internet piracy goes: it's never clear whether or not those players pirated because they didn't want to pay, or because they couldn't afford to pay.
It's also possible he just got caught exaggerating. Or it could be the case that Ubisoft's poor reputation among PC gamers for their anti-piracy DRM has caused people to start pirating their games out of spite. Or simply to avoid needing to go through the hassle of DRM.
Either way, Guillemot's comments have forced us to consider the horrifying potential of a free-to-play Assassin's Creed 4.