In an interview with Games Industry, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot spoke one the direction he'd like to take Ubisoft in with regards to the PC market. He believes that the new generation of consoles has taken too long, that the console market has stagnated, and that the current trend of F2P titles is a result of that. Still, Yves wants Ubisoft to key in on on the developing F2P system in the PC market.
If Yves isn't as confident in F2P's longevity, the why is he keen on applying it to the PC market? Because of growing piracy rates, of course:
"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."
Guillemot, it seems, doesn't see F2P so much as a better way creating games for the PC market so much as a more reliable revenue stream. Also, keep in mind that Guillemot is likely referencing the global market for PC games with respect to the 93-95% pirate rate. Eastern territories including China typically have horrific piracy rates, though a F2P system may help change that.
"We want to develop the PC market quite a lot and F2P is really the way to do it. 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."
Part of the shift in direction Guillemot directly attributes to the cheaper development costs of going F2P, building off of development project, graphics and systems used in the past and improving them. These shortcuts will allow Ubisoft to, "change the content and make it a better fit to the customer as time goes on."