Free-to-play tries to take on piracy
Piracy is perhaps the greatest fear of many entertainment companies. The movie business is terrified of it, with the phenomenon also causing considerable damage to the adult industry.
Of course, piracy has significantly impacted the gaming market over the years, which is a pretty up and down market to begin with.
Indeed, one report on ArsTechnica claims piracy is "eating severely into profits."But at least one gaming studio may be a step ahead of the piracy game. As Cinema Blend and GameIndustry report, the CEO of Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot recently confirmed the company was shifting some of its focus to free-to-play gaming titles because of piracy.
"We want to develop the PC market quite a lot and F2P is really the way to do it," he said. "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."
Hate to use a Reagan-ism here, but it also kind of sounds like a trickle down theory kind of idea as well. Even if 93-95 percent of players aren’t paying for it, as Guillemot speculates, "The revenue we get from the people who play is more long term, so we can continue to bring content."
So even if it’s less than ten percent, we guess what he’s getting at is less than ten percent can still bring in a lot of money.
It should be noted that EA's Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG recently went free to play in an effort bolster the game’s subscriber rate, while Blizzard’s World of Warcraft remains free-to-play up until level 20.
Again, we’ve got a big gaming season coming up this fall with the new Halo (w00t!) and Call of Duty games, which should mean plenty of money flooding in to keep things going for a while, especially for the holiday season, no matter the piracy rate.