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Ubisoft claims 95% piracy rate, will go Free to Play photo
Ubisoft claims 95% piracy rate, will go Free to Play
by Jim Sterling

Ubisoft, the worst PC publisher on the planet, is now claiming that it suffers a 93-95% piracy rate on the platform. As a response, CEO Yves Guillemot promises it will jump into the free-to-play market. 

"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 told Eurogamer"It's a way to get closer to your customers, to make sure you have a revenue. On PC it's only around 5-7% of the players who pay for F2P, but normally on PC it's only about 5-7% who pay anyway, the rest is pirated.

"It's around a 93-95% 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."

Guillemot makes this claim despite Ubisoft famously using gross DRM which it claims has never been cracked. So, either he's lying about the piracy, or the company's been lying about the effectiveness of its DRM. Of course, it's more than likely both claims are total bullshit, because Ubisoft has never been able to get its story straight on this stuff.

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Ubisoft's Uplay DRM poses security risk (Update) photo
Ubisoft's Uplay DRM poses security risk (Update)
by Jim Sterling

[Update: Ubisoft has publicly acknowledged the security flaw, and has issued a patch for all affected games. The patch will be a forced game update, and it's recommended to be run with your browsers closed. A new version of the Uplay installer is also available on its official site.

Ubisoft is yet to actually apologize for putting its customers at risk.] 

In today's episode of "Publisher's hurting consumers in order to help themselves," Ubisoft may have put gamers at serious risk with its Uplay DRM service. According to programmer Tavis Ormandy, major Ubisoft titles have a backdoor that can be used by malicious websites to take control of your PC. 

Uplay installs a browser plugin -- without warning the user -- which sites can exploit to gain access to your machine. It's highly recommended that anybody who has downloaded an Ubisoft game locate this plugin and delete it. It's commonly believed that this will eliminate the risk to the user. Search in your browser's add-ons/plugins section for "Uplay" and delete that sucker. It was initially believed to be a rootkit, but that is not the case. 

A list of games with the issue can be found below (courtesy of Rock, Paper, Shotgun), though personally it'll be a cold day in Hell before I let Ubisoft's games on my computer. Not just for this -- I'm frankly sick of that publisher's attitude toward the PC market. I think it's easier if we all just pretended it was a console-exclusive publisher. 

Meanwhile, of course, anybody who pirated these games ought to be playing risk-free, unpunished for they did not commit the crime of being a customer. Good going, Ubisoft! There are words that would have to be invented in order for me to adequately vocalize my disgust.

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9:30 AM on 07.19.2012

Blizzard admits DRM element in Diablo III's online

Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime recently published a statement regarding Diablo III, addressing a number of concerns that have cropped up since launch. Interestingly, he acknowledged criticism surrounding its "always-online...

Jim Sterling

3:00 AM on 05.31.2012

Japan takes another smack at Nintendo pirates

Nintendo DS pirates and home-brew hopefuls expecting to pick up a software loading card in Japan may need to start making other plans. Recently there was an amendment to the Unfair Competition Pr...

Hiroko Yamamura

11:00 AM on 05.28.2012

Pachter: on-disc DLC is 'just plain greed'

Industry analyst Michael "horse sponge" Pachter has chimed in on the controversial practice of shipping games with "downloadable" content locked on the disc. While he said that he didn't think the delivery method mattered in ...

Jim Sterling





4:00 PM on 05.26.2012

The DSi comes to life, gets rubbed, and fights the R4

This video is pretty ancient, and has since been followed up by many more topical entries in the ongoing life of the DS console. Still, I had to post this one first, because it's the best.  It's tough to say anything else without ruining some of the fun. In fact, I'm worried I've already said to much. So please enjoy this thing!

Jonathan Holmes

9:00 AM on 05.01.2012

Crytek hopes to combat piracy better with Crysis 3

Crysis 2 has the distinction of being 2011's most illegally downloaded PC game, but Crytek strangely doesn't feel honored. With Crysis 3, the studio is aiming to be more stringent in tackling piracy.  "It’s unfortu...

Jim Sterling

6:30 PM on 04.10.2012

PSA: The Ghost of SOPA lives on with CISPA

SOPA may have been sent to Hades where it belongs, but those who sought to enact the Internet-crushing law have not stopped in their misguided war against online piracy. The latest bill to trying to sneak under our noses is C...

Jim Sterling

9:00 AM on 04.10.2012

Epic blames piracy for Bulletstorm's disappointing sales

Despite plenty of hype, solid reviews, and a premise that seemed almost cynically geared toward the modern American gamer, Bulletstorm didn't do as well as Electronic Arts hoped. People Can Fly's violent shooter didn't set th...

Jim Sterling

8:00 AM on 04.02.2012

Rumor: Next Xbox will use always-on DRM

An unsettling new rumor suggests that Microsoft's next generation Xbox will require a permanent Internet connection, ostensibly becoming a box of DRM in order to curb console piracy.  Further gossip contradicts previous ...

Jim Sterling

10:00 AM on 03.23.2012

DRM will go away when Ubisoft gets what it feels its owed

Ubisoft has won no fans with its insistence on using anti-consumer DRM measures in its PC games, but the European publisher doesn't want it to be that way. In fact, digital boss Chris Early thinks DRM's days are numbered, jus...

Jim Sterling

2:30 PM on 02.22.2012

PS Vita offers 'long term piracy protection'

Only one Destructoid reader would ever deny that piracy was a major problem on the PSP. According to some developers, it was enough to keep them away from the system entirely. Sony is naturally concerned about similar issues ...

Jim Sterling

3:00 PM on 02.20.2012

Jimquisition: Ubisoft

The Jimquisition has criticized many game publishers, especially Electronic Arts. Jim Sterling's wise judgements have been just and fair, but not altogether inclusive. EA isn't the only weasel in the lavatory, and it's high ...

Jim Sterling

3:30 PM on 02.06.2012

Jimquisition: When Piracy Becomes Theft

Piracy isn't theft, right? It's copyright infringement, yes? These statements aren't wrong, but they're not always correct. Not when we talk about a certain type of piracy that is most certainly theft, and deserves all the indignity that such a term implies. The just and fair Jim Sterling shall share the wisdom of his judgement.

Jim Sterling

12:45 PM on 02.06.2012

Volition dev would love a console that kills used games

The idea of a new Xbox that refuses to play used games may sound like a problematic, consumer-unfriendly, potentially suicidal idea to reasonable people who are capable of long-term thought, but some people are right behind i...

Jim Sterling

9:20 AM on 02.02.2012

DRM fun: Several legit Ubisoft games will break next week

Thanks to Ubisoft's insidious "always-on" DRM, legitimate copies of several Ubisoft titles will be unplayable next week. The publisher is shifting its servers, which would usually only affect multiplayer games, but will inste...

Jim Sterling