Ubisoft: 95% of Our Consumers Are Pirates

Here is a quick lesson on public relations: Try not to outright insult an entire group of your userbase. Ghost Recon Online, the free to play title coming out on PC and WiiU, is meant to replace the console version coming next year, which will not be ported to PC. In an interview with PC Gamer, Ubisoft’s Sébastien Arnoult doesn’t just think that a large portion of Ubisoft’s PC consumers are pirates, he knows they are:

“When we started Ghost Recon Online we were thinking about Ghost Recon: Future Solider; having something ported in the classical way without any deep development, because we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game. So we said okay, we have to change our mind.”

And perhaps not implying that a certain group is lower class.

“We’re adapting the offer to the PC market. I don’t like to compare PC and Xbox boxed products because they have a model on that platform that is clearly meant to be €60’s worth of super-Hollywood content. On PC, we’re adapting our model to the demand.”

I do not support piracy, but it boggles the mind to see how Ubisoft has treated its PC customers over the past decade or so, with buggy and unfinished ports, draconian DRM that has managed to punish their legitimate buyers (Remember Starforce anyone?), and then turn around and wonder why the same group you’ve ostracized for years on end has come to resent you. I don’t think I have to remind that Ubisoft’s latest game was met with horrid PR because it was released in an unplayable state as a substandard port, with DRM that Ubisoft had promised to those preordering that the game would not contain.

Rock Paper Shotgun summed it up best:

So, there you go. Mettra doesn’t want your money, thinks you’re bitching when you want to play his game, and that at least over half a million quid is of no use to him. We have, as you might imagine, contacted Ubisoft to see how they feel about 50,000 sales.

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