Ubisoft believes that just one in ten PC gamers buy their games legally whilst the rest obtain them illegally for free.
The publisher has been working on growing its share in the resurging PC market and considering the figures, believes that free-to-play is the only way to generate revenue from its titles moving forward.
Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot made the comments at this year’s Gamescom event, which attracted over 275,000 attendee’s and 600 games firms from around the world.
Speaking to news site GamesIndustry International, Guillemot said: "We want to develop the PC market quite a lot and F2P is really the way to do it."
"It’s a way to get closer to your customers, to make sure you have a revenue. 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," the CEO continued.
It follows the news that fellow publisher Crytek – who has also struggled with piracy issues recently – announced that all of its future releases would be free-to-play.
There is no doubt that with piracy levels sitting at 95%, piracy is a key issue within the games industry and one that is being tackled from a number of different angles by developers and publishers, whether it is advanced piracy-protection technology or – as Guillemot believes – adopting the F2P model for future releases.
Want to receive up-to-the-minute tech news straight to your inbox? Then click here to sign up for the completely free PCR Daily Digest and Newsflash email services. You can also follow PCR on Twitter and Facebook.