Final Crysis

By Alec Meer on April 29th, 2008 at 8:20 pm.

Sulk.

Epic do it. id do it. Even educated fleas do it. And now Crytek have announced they too are dumping PC exclusives. VG247 spots Crytek’s Cevat Yerli telling PC Play about the aftershocks of Crysis:

“We are suffering currently from the huge piracy that is encompassing Crysis. We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin. I believe that’s the core problem of PC gaming: PC gamers that pirate games inherently destroy the platform. Similar games on consoles sell factors of 4-5 more. It was a big lesson for us and I believe we won’t have PC exclusives as we did with Crysis in future. We are going to support PC, but not exclusive any more.”

Whether or not his mooted reason for it rings true, it’s sad news, and leaves me wondering who’ll next pick up the baton of bleeding-edge graphics. Crytek collected it from Epic, who’d collected it from id, but there’s no obvious successor – with the possible exception of Valve, who lately (and happily) have been concentrating more on eyecandy-via-art, not tech. That said, in these splendidly idea-rich times for PC, do we even still need someone pushing quite so hard against the graphical ceiling?

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341 Comments »

  1. J says:

    In the future RPS will just post articles that just say “Piracy.” and there will be millions of comments.

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    J: We won’t deny that we’ve considered it.

    KG

  3. cliffski says:

    “PC games, or games to begin with, aren’t the only thing beriddled with people stealing the product and getting away with it. You’re (supposedly) 38, please, get real.”

    Yes, people with no sense of right and wrong like you try to put all kinds of different companies out of business. I know that. You don’t have the guts to actually physically go and steal from people that might catch you (and give you a good thumping) so you hide behind your keyboard and do it. We have established that.

    The thing is, this attitude poisons your entire life. You think games are all shit, because they didn’t cost you anything. you invested nothing in them, so they are all disposable crap to you. You don’t even believe a game dev linking his name to his website when he tells you his age! Why would you? everyone cheats and lies and steals right? At least that’s what you have to tell yourself to justify what you do.
    Not a great way to live IMHO.

  4. Muzman says:

    Jim Rossignol says:

    This entire argument makes me wonder whether online PC games rental is the best option, perhaps even with a sort of predictive Tivo downloading system that is putting games you’re likely to want to try on your PC before you’ve even bothered to shop for them.

    I like the idea of ISPs as sort of cable TV stations along the lines of VoD, the cost of an account incorporating fees to a large royalty sharing system not unlike that of radio stations today. Whether they charge users on a download/traffic basis or blanket for access to ‘the catalogue’ could vary according to account, region, provider etc
    It sounds unweildy and the shape of it is still up in the air. But it’s really born, I think, of the fact that the most concievable way to keep everyone relatively happy about digital commodities and money is to get a hold of the one universal physical aspect and create the ‘internet super-tollway’ as it were.

  5. Kanakotka says:

    cliffski, please stop the flamebaiting and try to discuss like a grown up, failing that, at least someone with the mental age above 20′s.

    I have been around too long to fall into a simple flamebait.

  6. cliffski says:

    The easiest solution is for all games to store some code on-line and to effectively act like an MMo, even if single player. This would do wonders to prevent piracy, but can you imagine how much people would complain about having to be on-line to play games? even when 99% of them are on-line all the time. People always worry with somewhere like steam that the dev may go out of business and they wont be able to play their $30 game in 20 years time, but given a choice between that and no games, I know which I’d choose.
    I think such a system is inevitable if PC gaming isn’t to become a niche.

  7. RPS says:

    You can all stop the flamebaiting, in fact. Any further comments containing insults will be deleted.

  8. cliffski says:

    “cliffski, please stop the flamebaiting and try to discuss like a grown up.
    I have been around too long to fall into a simple flamebait.”

    *sigh*
    Ok riddle me this…
    Why is it ok for you to enjoy a full game before deciding whether to pay for it, but its not ok to do it with a car, house or food from a store.
    Explain the difference. Apart from the fact you reckon you can get away with it with the game.

    Also can’t you see that by paying NOTHING for something, you aren’t inclined to see that objects value? This is pretty obvious. Rich kids don’t appreciate fine food and drink as much as working class kids who climbed their way up. If something costs you nothing, you are inclined to subconsciously consider it worthless. Surely you can see that?

  9. Kanakotka says:

    The way to crack an online activation is rather trivial. It is already present in most Windows Live! games which require you to log in to play them. And they all have been cracked. (For instance: Halo 2 and Juiced 2 : Hot Import Nights )
    Truth to be told, i had bioshock 2 days after the release, working just fine. And i didn’t buy it at that time either. I bought it a week after that.

    And you’re 38, failing to see the difference of software and a car/food/house? Jesus H Christ. When was the last time you ate a DVD? Or lived in it? Seriously, this is getting borderline ridiculous. To avoid a flamewar with a person who has a logic that would befuddle Sigmund Freud himself, i’m going to do the easy thing and just ignore your posts from now on. Saves the people who moderate this discussion from doing alot of extra work.

    And no, it doesn’t. I have a very critical mindset of everything. I’m a perfectionist at heart. I had the same ideals when i did the lottery of buying games before downloading them first. Oftenmost i just went on selling it on Finnish equivalent of eBay day later if i didn’t like it. This happened with Anarchy Online, Theme Park World, Theme Hospital, UO Third Dawn and quite many others. But of course, selling games as “used”, even if they were used only for a day or a few hours gives me a fraction of the price back, so, i lost money to gain nothing. Good going.

  10. Okami says:

    Demo is like going to a strip club and having the girl take her top off, but before you see most of the bewbs, you need to pay. Let’s say you are required to pay nominal fee of 50€ to see the bouncy brestage.

    I love piracy threads! They allways degenerate in the most hilarious ways…

  11. cliffski says:

    “Truth to be told, i had bioshock 2 days after the release”

    I doubt that. I watched all tha major warez sites around that time. everyone was full of thousands of people complaining they couldn’t pirate bioshock. but its common for pirates to claim months later they had ‘special knowledge’ and cracked it on the first day.
    Pirates aren’t known for keeping quiet about the fact that they cracked a new game are they…

  12. Kanakotka says:

    Okami, but i must act like my age! If a person on the internet says i’m 12, then breasts is the first thing that comes to mind.

  13. cliffski says:

    Sorry but that makes no sense, you cant eat a house, but it is a major purchase that takes most people 25 years to pay off, yet they make the purchasing decision based upon (at best) a 2 hour demo and some reviews.
    What is so magical about the purchasing decision that you make regarding games that doesnt apply to stuff where you haven’t worked out to steal it yet?
    Pls explain.

  14. Okami says:

    *sigh* Kanakotka.. You are both acting a bit under your age.. Give cliffski a break, I know exactly how he feels, beeing a developer myself. I allways try and stay out of piracy discussions, because I tend to get emotional and then get banned.

    My main problem with piracy (and I guess cliffski’s too) is the disrespect. We spend years of our lives working our asses off, often for far less moneay than we could get in other industries for the same amount of work and talent. If you want to play the games we sacrifice so much for, even if they’re stinkers, then pay respect to us.

    If you really pay for every game you pirate, then it’s ok. But I guess you don’t. I guess there are enough games that you downloaded and played (for any amount of time) and never payed for.

    And that’s disrespecting the people who made them. That’s disrespecting their love and their passion and all the things they had to put up with. Chances are if you didn’t enjoy the game, the people who made them weren’t too happy during development either. They had to put up with a lot of bullshit, have made a game that didn’t get good ratings and on top of that there are people who play the game and don’t pay for it. And justify their actions by saying that the game is bad.

    As a consumer I know how it is to shell out money for a product you’re dissapointed with. And yes it sucks. But I’ve thrown out enough money for useless junk in my life, that I can stomach the 40 eurobucks I’ve spent on a bad pc game. Hell, I spend double that amount of money every weekend and all I get from it are hangovers and depressions.

    EDIT: See what you two did? Now I’ve let myself get involved and got all emotional and stuff. I hate the internets…

  15. James T says:

    Do smart consumer steal cars and squat in houses before buying those too? What about a widescreen TV? they cost thousands, how do you cope with the fact that you don’t get a 6 months free demo of a TV OMGZ!!!! Oh Noes!!! etc.

    Cars and houses and TVs are reviewed by regulatory bodies, so that they meet the objective legal requirements of doing what they need to do. You don’t need six months to work out whether a TV or car or even a house is sufficient, you examine it in the store/test-drive it/inspect it good and proper, you get all the info you can, decide based on that, and you get your property. The properties of a car that get you from place to place and stop the thing from killing you with excessive ease are not optional things, needing to be discovered with a test-drive — they are required by law. If the car or the house does not function precisely as documented and as required by law, you are empowered to, in a nutshell, raise some serious shit.
    Art and entertainment have no such objective requirements, outside of simply functioning (‘The DVD must play’, ‘the game must work’, ‘the painting must… be visible’). That’s why any art or entertainment media that leaves its customers in the dark has to have a very cheap outlay (see: cinema, no ‘in-the-dark’ pun intended). Books have libraries. DVDs have the aforementioned cinema, or rental. Console games can rented as well. Paintings and sculpture can be, y’know, looked at. Box-sets have television (or again, cinema). Mainstream PC gaming is the only medium I can think of offhand where literally the best the model can offer is to metaphorically show me BSG episode 3 and then say “alright, me ol’ suc– er, mucker, now are you gonna buy a Season 1 box, or am I gonna have to ask you to leave?”
    “Well, that was pretty neat, but hey, what if the rest of the show sucks? The ‘Heroes Season 2′-monger screened his wares on TV over a few months — man, I dodged a bullet there! Y’know, I could be paying for my groceries with this money, I can’t just piss it awa–”
    “YES OR NO?!”

    I sympathise, that a demo is the best of any known means of caveat-ing the emptor, so to speak. But, simply due to the nature of many games, a demo has no guarantee of being representative. It will introduce you to the basic mechanics of a game, yes. If that core mechanic is sufficiently complex that the entire appeal of the game flows thenceforth, as you could say was the case in, say, Puzzle Quest or Streetfighter or EVE or Hitman, or, hey, Democracy, then the demo will illustrate this neatly, and it’ll have done its job; hurray. If a gamer, like myself, finds Bioshock’s game mechanic unengaging but acceptable, and thinks, “Well, now I know the game will function, but this one’s obviously all about the narrative, so I’m gonna have to gamble the better part of a hundred bucks”*, then the only useful thing the demo has told me is that the game actually functions; a piece of information right up there with “this meal has been cooked before being served to you!“. That doesn’t even mean the demo was poorly done (per se), it’s just the fundamental limitation of a demo to narrative games (hence the BSG analogy).

    *(incidentally — Bioshock? 50AU if you want to/can get it on Steam (didn’t have the option, meself), a comparatively mild gouge for the jilted consumer. CoD4? 88.50AU Ohoho! No thanks, I won’t blow that sight-unseen (indeed, I did not; I thought CoD4 was another beneficiary of inflated hype, and one I abandoned without regret).

    I have no time for thieves; our opinions on people who deny creators their deserved reward are identical. But the doggone hurts-to-swallow truth of it is that not all ‘pirates’ are thieves; pretending otherwise proves nothing, and pretending that conscientious customers assessing the most expensive entertainment format this side of a gold-plated yoyo before purchase equates to thieves stealing a manufactured object (and the only reason the informed customers and the thieves are ever confused is because the statistics unfortunately can’t be disentangled — there’s no moral confusion or obfuscation there whatsoever) falls at the first hurdle. As applied specifically to your setup, your position is pretty inoffensive — your prices being a perfectly reasonable gamble for the informed customer, and your games being very aptly represented by their demos, there’s bugger-all excuse for anyone to pirate your games — but it doesn’t ‘scale up’; a 70-90 dollar PC game with a nonexistent or unrepresentative demo (inevitably the case with games that retail at that price, apart from, say, sport games) demands not a gamble, but a cautious assessment to ensure that you’re not having a phone-bill-sized chunk being bitten out of you to no avail.

    And now, off to play STALKER! Which I downloaded. And then bought, because it was excellent. Oh the weight on my shoulders!

  16. Nallen says:

    Is it any wonder at all that cliffski is getting annoyed? Very few of you even have the brass tacks to admit what you’re doing is stealing at the bottom line and most of you are sporting this gross sense of self entitlement about your pathetically justified habit. Something which is taking money out of the guy’s pocket.

    How many of you would walk in to a shop and just take a copy off the shelf and try and walk out with it? far, far fewer in all likelihood. You can carry on with the stupid excuses but what you’re doing in unjustifiable from a legal standpoint and really, if you have any sense of justice or fairness, from a moral standpoint either.

  17. cliffski says:

    its the job of game reviewers (along with the demo) and informal reviews on ranking sites etc to tell you what the game is like, combined with videos and screenshots and walkthroughs etc etc. there is a TON of information out there about what every single game is like. The customer cannot seriously pretend to have no idea what they are buying.
    And lets not forget that a house is at least a thousand if not ten thousand times more expensive :D

  18. Nallen says:

    Sorry about the fudged sentance structure above, was in a hurry.

    One other tiny point, as far as it pisses me off that people pirate and feel entitled to it, it also pisses me off that games companies push out what are basically unfinished games at full retail price.

    What is the score with returning games on the basis they are ‘unfit for purpose’ ?

  19. spd from Russia says:

    PC market is semi-dead in USA. even if you kill the piracy sales will still be low in America (and non-existant in Japan)

    Now all I can hope for is mouse becoming a standard option for console shooters cause gamepad is not suited for aiming

  20. Larington says:

    “My main problem with piracy (and I guess cliffski’s too) is the disrespect. We spend years of our lives working our asses off, often for far less moneay than we could get in other industries for the same amount of work and talent. If you want to play the games we sacrifice so much for, even if they’re stinkers, then pay respect to us. ”

    Words cannot describe how much I agree/sympathise with this sentiment. I can think of only one game which I have held a pirated copy of a game, and it was given to me by a half brother who decided he couldn’t get into it many years ago (Before I had concluded I wanted to get into the games industry), I’ve since corrected this oversight by buying a proper retail copy of Starcraft.

    As the saying goes, no one wants to make a bad game, so why punish them for things that are outside their control? If its a shortage of money that prevents you from buying every game at release, then maybe be patient and get budget copies of the games that are a bit more in the fringe?

  21. James T says:

    Cliff, the film and music forms can (at least in the recent past) boast a depth of critical analysis that makes pretty much all mainstream videogame criticism (or, more aptly, review) look like a noncommittal grunt, and even they don’t routinely try to sell an 80-dollar product on the basis of critical murmurings without letting the customer know what they’re getting. I’d like to suggest that this is because the film and music industries market so broadly that a higher percentage of their patronage know what their damn money’s worth, but in fairness to the mainstream PC market, there simply isn’t any conduit to treat customers with respect without letting the thieves in (as earlier posts were saying here, the rent-to-buy method would be perfect… if it didn’t have the same security holes as all software); so PC developers making certain kinds of games are damned whatever they do, but let’s not therefore pretend that review is a substitue for player experience, especially considering the state of gaming review.

    (and again, houses are utilitarian objects with laws and guidelines to which you have recourse should a place be lacking — the only way a game ‘maps’ to this scenario is if, say, the disc is scratched, in which case you have rights regarding its repair/replacement/refund… just like with a house). If you pay way too much for the broken-on-software-level Splinter Cell DA on the basis of some nitwit reviewer in Ubi’s pocket plus a bunch of others who tossed off a review without thorough dissection, “well, at least I didn’t buy a house!” is… probably not one’s first thought. “Maybe I should trust my own eyes next time”, conversely, is likely to be right up there…

  22. Alex says:

    Chances are if you didn’t enjoy the game, the people who made them weren’t too happy during development either. They had to put up with a lot of bullshit, have made a game that didn’t get good ratings and on top of that there are people who play the game and don’t pay for it. And justify their actions by saying that the game is bad.

    I see your point about disrespecting the people who make the games and I think it’s a valid point, but I also taste a lot of bitterness about how your industry is, basically, mismanaged (long, long hours, non-creatives bothering creatives, little pay) and I don’t think it’s fair to transfer those frustrations to the player, even if they pirated the game. At that point you’re muddling emotions about mismanagement with anger at the pirates and I think you need to take a step back.

    Most of the people who play PC games, myself included, won’t say pirating isn’t a big problem (it is), or try to justify it, but we do see a lot of publishers trying to blame pirating for things that seem more inherently wrong with the industry (and how it seems to work) itself.

    Look at Crysis (since that’s what started this particular discussion) – it may be pushing the limits graphically but do those limits really need to be pushed? Isn’t it much more interesting to try and push gameplay and storytelling limits? What’s the point of making a shooter that can hardly run on what most people would say is an acceptable PC configuration these days. How many of the people who downloaded the game will have been able to actually run the game?

    Just to be clear, that’s not me trying to say it’s okay to pirate games, but the situation is never as black-and-white as people in the industry tend to portray it and it can only benefit the debate to acknowledge this.

  23. arqueturus says:

    I agree with Nallen.

    And yes, I’ve done the piracy thing many times in the past but I admit it was thievery, pure and simple. I’ve had reasons like not being able to afford to buy games but it doesn’t change the net result.

    I stole stuff.

  24. Butler` says:

    firstly, at cliffski and co. – i don’t think its fair to say “you didn’t pay for it thus you don’t see its true quality”. Games reviewers certainly don’t pay for theirs. A crap game is a crap game.

    And about the “I pirate to try before I buy” mentality and not wanting to waste money on crap games, as cliffski says, that’s what game reviews are for…no?

  25. Kanakotka says:

    While i cannot publically represent the pirates as a single person, or moderate their doing, or be their spokeperson, for me, and for my part alone, to the publishers of games that i enjoy most, it is ideal thing to do.

    As i mentioned before, i would’ve not personally bought so many games, ever, if i hadn’t pirated so many of them before buying. But let’s stick to the topic here, blaming piracy about loss of sales, even though it’s tremendously hip, is stupid, and the finger is pointed in entirely wrong direction.
    First, the finger should be pointed at self. The question being asked is what -i- did wrong when making the game. Or ”we” if you are in a larger team.
    Then, ask for others of criticism about the game. Everyone who is not a game reviewer by profession aswell. Because there are no experts to -taste-.
    Another player likes the extremely boring grindfest maplestory, another likes WoW, and third one thinks MMOs are idiotic and plays fifa, where the fourth just doesn’t care the slightest bit and plays abandonware in the dark of his room.
    I have to pressure this point again and again, since people keep relating to it.

    People.

    Have.

    Different.

    Tastes.

    And mine isn’t probably compatible with most.

    And cliff? If memory serves, i pirated 1 or 2 of your games in the past. You know why i didn’t buy them? They were bland and boring, and kept my attention for about 20 minutes after the demo part. So they’ll be excellent example. Some of them, if i recall right, didn’t do bad in reviews, but it is just that -i- didn’t like them. End of story. I, however, understand your infuriation at piracy, but face it. It will happen, no matter what someone does. This is a risk known by everyone who makes anything. Even if it were a cellphone you made, it would likely be pirated to hell. (See: China )
    Disrespectful? Sure.
    Illegal? Yeps.
    Does it save me money and ensure that -MY- money goes to where -I- think it belongs, instead to taking chances at buying crappy games and supporting crappy developers? Sure as hell does.

  26. Okami says:

    @Alex: To be honest, my whole post was a bit unfair, arguing from a very emotional point of view, something you shouldn’t do in a debate. I’m not too bitter about my industry by the way. I knew perfectly well what lay in wait for me and I’ve never ever regretted my decision.

    Funny you mentioned Crytek and Crysis. This article beeing about them in the first place and everybody forgetting about that and proceeding to flame each other. They really shouldn’t complain about low sales if they insist in (and even pride themselves of) developing a game that won’t run on most gamer’s systems. But that’s still no excuse for pirating the game!

  27. veek says:

    It’s not PC gaming that’s in trouble, it’s high-end gaming. The Xbox 360 has cost MS a lot of money, and is getting stomped by the Wii. The PS3 regularly gets outsold by the PS2. Crysis is less popular (and probably less profitable) than Runescape. It’s all the same phenomenon.

    The sooner PC devs start putting the PC in the same tech class as the Wii rather than the 360 the sooner they’ll start pulling in Nintendo-level money. Every laptop with a recent intel GPU can run Wii/PS2-level graphics, but hardly anything on the store shelves caters to this huge market.

    And before people complain that this would mean the death of “hardcore” games, the PS2 has them in abundance, so what’s the problem?

  28. lio says:

    actually i think there are probably more people who bought crysis than who have actually played it… i certainly am one of them (and i know a couple more)… bought into the hype so to speak.
    i bought the game right when it came out and when i still had a x1950pro in my system which couldn’t really handle it but i figured i’d upgrade sooner or later and then it would be great… now my 8800gts-512 could handle it at more enjoyable framerates but i probably still haven’t played it for more than 30 minutes and it has been sitting on my shelf ever since… i guess i just prefer the nitty gritty kind of shooters over the tropical island ones after all…
    and i’m sure lots of people who downloaded the game just fired it up once admired the graphics and noticed their system isn’t up to running it and never bothered again.

  29. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Of course the World of Stuart brigade have already been along to stick their fingers in their ears and shout that everything is rosy and piracy is a cure for cancer. Try getting a PC-native high-profile game financed then, geniuses.”

    I have a brigade now? Awesome!

    I’ll decline your kind offer, thanks, but suck on this until it chokes up your idiot word-hole and saves us listening to any more drivel:

    http://gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17350

    This is the ONLY even vaguely scientific actual research that’s been done into how many sales are lost to piracy. It was conducted by a small PC developer, exactly the sort of people who are always said to be the ones who suffer most, so you’d expect them to big up the damage. Their actual conclusion:

    That for every THOUSAND pirate copies you stop, you will sell ONE more copy of the game.

    By making games effectively unpirateable, you can make a very big difference to whether people play them or not. But what you can’t do is get those people to buy them. 999 out of every thousand will simply shrug their shoulders and go play one of the 50,000 other games competing for their attention.

    Piracy is a giant red herring. Every day we hear losers who make failures claiming that it’d all be different if not for piracy, and that soon nobody will make games at all because of it. And yet every year the games industry gets bigger and bigger and richer and richer. It’s not a matter of opinion. There is more piracy now than there has ever been, and yet there is more money flowing into the games industry than there has ever been. Shut up and make games that people actually want to pay for, crybabies.

    (And you might want to start by not punishing the people who DO play fair by infecting their computers with shit like Starforce.)

  30. cliffski says:

    “And cliff? If memory serves, i pirated 1 or 2 of your games in the past. You know why i didn’t buy them? They were bland and boring,”

    Wow. So you are now bragging about stealing my copyrighted IP, and boasting about how the games were boring.
    You sum up pirates quite nicely, in terms of your attitude. Every game I have ever made has a demo released on day one. None of the games use DRM, they are cheap, have very low system reqs, if you lose the game you can ask for a new download link even 11 years later (been in biz 11 years now). I reply to tech support questions personally and read every email sent to me. I host my own demos and patches so nobody has to wait to download them, have no adverts in my games and no spyware.
    but that’s not good enough for you is it? You stole them anyway.
    And you wonder why game developers don’t want to make games for an audience like that?

  31. InVinoVeritas says:

    “As i mentioned before, i would’ve not personally bought so many games, ever, if i hadn’t pirated so many of them before buying.”

    This argument is interesting, but I don’t think it holds water. If piracy was impossible starting today, would you quit gaming all together? Or, more likely, would you start relying on things like demos, and more importantly the reviews and advice of such fine fellows as those here at RPS? With your argument, it almost sounds that piracy is an essential component of your interest in gaming, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Cliff, I actually applaud everything you’re doing with your games, both in terms of demos and lack of spyware etc, and in the subject matter. But you seem consumed by a truly toxic level of arrogance that I’m sure can’t be doing your company any good. The guy just told you why he didn’t buy your games. You don’t have to like that, and you can be as angry as you want about criticism from someone who hasn’t paid, but the thing you seem to find impossible to grasp is that not liking something is an incredibly good reason not to pay for it.

    People aren’t OBLIGED to buy your games JUST because they have demos and no spyware. They have to like them too. Try to at least get your head round that idea before you go insulting and alienating all your potential customers, eh?

  33. Acosta says:

    So, after flooding RPS with opinions away, the result is that some people steal because a) they want b) they have no money c) they want to know for sure if the game is good enough for their high standards.

    Frankly, we have had this discussion many, many times, if not here in QT3 or in any public forum, and this is a common topic since Amiga times. Maybe it’s time for a full rethinking of the computer gaming model, something like Metaboli, totalgaming, Steam or a mix of different services that have an active security system (crackers will still have their fun, but it will be annoying enough for normal leechers). And from that point, start offering based on what users of PC (and only PC) want and at the price they want it.

    The actual model doesn’t work and hasn´t worked in a long time, maybe is time for something new.

  34. Kieron Gillen says:

    This is RPS’ biggest thread ever. Poor old John’s Ron article languishes unloved. The Internet’s noggin’s a funny one.

    KG

  35. John Walker says:

    I do hate everyone in this thread as a consequence of that.

    It’s a really good interview too!

  36. cliffski says:

    “People aren’t OBLIGED to buy your games JUST because they have demos and no spyware. They have to like them too. Try to at least get your head round that idea before you go insulting and alienating all your potential customers, eh?”

    Dude, he doesn’t like my games, that’s fine. They are a specific genre and taste, that’s very popular with my customers. of COURSE nobody HAS to buy my games. I actively encourage potential buyers to try the demo so they know what they are getting.

    I’m not being arrogant at all. I make a product, and a free demo is available. people are welcome to try the demo. if they think my games suck, that’s fine too, and I’ll try and make them better. But that doesn’t mean people are entitled to take the full game instead of the demo.

    Nobody in the games industry is saying people should be forced to buy anything. people should be free to buy or not buy what they like. But if you want to play the full version of the game, then its only fair to buy it. If you want to play more than the demo, how bad can the game really be?

  37. Acosta says:

    Hey, I read it, was a great interview, but I guess the topic doesn’t burn the same errr passion? than this one. How much time have computer gaming enthusiasts discussed about piratery since Internet was created?

  38. SwiftRanger says:

    “Look at Crysis (since that’s what started this particular discussion) – it may be pushing the limits graphically but do those limits really need to be pushed? Isn’t it much more interesting to try and push gameplay and storytelling limits? ”

    Do you mean we didn’t need Quake, Unreal or Total Annihilation either? :) I know Crysis, SupCom or any other recent “requires a beefy system to run it in full glory”-title aren’t as revolutionary as the games I mentioned in my first sentence but Crysis f.e. isn’t just about the shiny graphics alone, it pushes other edges as well. It’s definitely not about a well-written story idd, I grant you that, but there’s more to enjoy about a shooter than the same linear “hold us, poor confused gamers, by the hand” path we’ve seen for too long in the genre. If I want a “the sky is the limit”/real sandbox kind of game experience then I know I won’t get my satisfaction with HL² or with a CoD game.

    And yes, the push for better PC system parts that inevitably comes with those kind of games is a sacrifice I (and enough others apparently) am willing to make. If no-one is pushing for new technologies then the PC platform has lost one of its finer points. Some folks should get over the taboo that new graphical engines are only good for eyecandy. I don’t want to diss on older engines that are more scaleable like Source because they have their own ways of being attractive but why not also aim for something that’s capable of doing even more stuff at once, in bigger levels, with even better physics? No-one obliges you to adopt certain new ways right away, especially not if those are pushed a bit too early like with Crysis. Like Cervat seems to be saying in the same interview, if you didn’t have a PC capable of running Crysis at release but have one now, why not try/buy it now then? The games bizz really needs to get rid of the “success is only measured in the first few months after release”-mantra.

  39. Jochen Scheisse says:

    As soon as something else becomes the main medium, it will probably be pirated just as much as the PC. It’s just economies of scale, isn’t it?

    EDIT: Anarchies of scale, rather.

  40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Nobody in the games industry is saying people should be forced to buy anything. people should be free to buy or not buy what they like. But if you want to play the full version of the game, then its only fair to buy it. If you want to play more than the demo, how bad can the game really be?”

    If I had 10p for every game I’ve played that had a good first 20 minutes then turned shit, I’d be able to finance Crysis 2 by myself. Radio doesn’t only play 15-second clips of songs and expect people to judge them from that. Demos are a nice courtesy, but they don’t cut it when it comes to serious purchasing decisions.

    The feature I linked to is perhaps the most important piece of research into the subject I’ve ever seen, and not just because it backs up with actual empirical facts the stuff I’ve been saying as groundless opinion for years. The truth is that there are unimaginably vast amounts of things competing for people’s attention and money, and as long as games cost £40 and £50 then only very few of them will ever be hits, because both time and money are finite. The odds against any individual game developer are vast, and if anything piracy slightly improves your chances, because it gives people a chance to sample a wider range than just the superhyped blockbusters. But you sound a lot like a poker player bitterly criticising the opposition for playing badly, even though they’ve just taken all your chips – a sore loser. And nobody likes that guy, Cliff.

    It might stick in your throat, but if pirates say “I didn’t buy your game because I didn’t like it”, what you ought to be doing is asking them WHY they didn’t like it, rather than just fuming furiously at them. Because only one of those courses stands even a CHANCE of making them buy your next one.

  41. John Walker says:

    It’s funny, because if there’s one poker player I know who bitches for DAYS about a bad player getting all their chips…

  42. fluffy bunny says:

    “As soon as something else becomes the main medium, it will probably be pirated just as much as the PC. It’s just economies of scale, isn’t it?”

    As soon as? It’s been years since the PC was the main medium.

  43. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It’s funny, because if there’s one poker player I know who bitches for DAYS about a bad player getting all their chips…”

    And I ask you this question: does anybody like me?

    QED.

  44. cliffski says:

    I really don’t base my business around catering to people who are determined to steal stuff. Neither do stardock.
    I know a lot of piracy advocates hate my guts. I couldn’t care less, because those people don’t buy games. I care about what my customers think.

    face facts, if the demo was 3 hours long, you would find it suddenly got crap at 3 hours and 1 minute. It sounds like the music pirates who whined about DRM until it was removed, then started whining about bit rates instead. You will never be happy.

  45. John Walker says:

    That’s not fair cliffski – equating game piracy with the absolutely horrific nature of DRM isn’t reasonable. Fighting against DRM was not something conducted by the pirates, but by people who believe in a few shreds of humanity.

    And careful Stu – you’re going to get yourself banned for flaming yourself.

  46. fluffy bunny says:

    “You will never be happy.”

    True. They will always find/make up new bullshit reasons to justify piracy.

  47. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I know a lot of piracy advocates hate my guts. I couldn’t care less, because those people don’t buy games. face facts, if the demo was 3 hours long, you would find it suddenly got crap at 3 hours and 1 minute. It sounds like the music pirates who whined about DRM until it was removed, then started whining about bit rates instead. You will never be happy.”

    And it was all going so reasonably, too. You see where the “arrogance” thing comes from, right?

    The unfortunate fact here is that your most cherished core belief is simply utterly wrong. I’ve never in my life met a pirate who didn’t also own some originals, and I’ve been writing about the subject for 20 years and I’m entirely confident in saying that I know a lot more about it than your simplistic kneejerk view. Fundamentalist dogma is rarely the intelligent response to anything, and it certainly won’t sell you a single extra game. Do you want to be pious or successful? Because the former is a lot easier, but it probably won’t make you happy like the second one would.

  48. cliffski says:

    Dude I’m happy, and make a decent living making games. I make games for people who buy them. What’s weird about that?

  49. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    You don’t sound happy. But if you’re making a decent living out of doing something you enjoy then WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WHINING ABOUT?

    Man, I hate the greedy.

  50. Kieron Gillen says:

    This may or may not be relevant: My Artist/Writer friend Jamie McKelvie caused a bit of a stir in the world of comics by doing this.

    That is, explain his position on torrenting and put up a paypal link. In short, I am very poor and I would much prefer you buy my comic as it’s my only sustainable channel, etc. However, if you have pirated it and want to just give me some cash, here’s the link.

    Which is an interesting experiment, as the only people who gave him cash were people who’d already bought the comic who were normally general-Walker-esque anti-DRM guys who thought it was the Correct Position. Straight pirates? Not on your nelly.

    I’m not sure what this says, but it’s a fun story.

    EDIT: 200th Post. Oh noes!

    KG