Uh-Oh It’s The P Word

By Alec Meer on August 1st, 2008 at 5:04 pm.

Possibly a bittorrent metaphor

Right: I’m going to mention piracy. That isn’t an open invitation to go absolutely barking, spitting crazy, okay?

So, lately it’s looked as though Capcom – traditionally very much a console publisher – have really been cosying up to the PC. The Devil May Cry 4 port was pretty slick as these things go, and soon we’re getting Street Fighter IV. The dark times are over!

But there’s a problem.

Talking to GI.biz, Capcom’s vice president of strategic planning Christian Svensson lamented DMC4′s piratical uptake: “It’s such a good version and it really deserves better sales. I know it’s getting pirated to hell and back (it was up on torrents literally the day it shipped).”

While the link isn’t made explicit, he mentions this in context to Capcom Japan’s refusal to allow a digital distribution version of the game, against his own better wishes. Plans are afoot to ensure future Capcom PC titles don’t suffer the same DVD-bound fate, by the sound of it. No word on the extent of the piracy, but hopefully it won’t convince Capcom to abandon their recent PC-snuggling.

More here.

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116 Comments »

  1. Dominic White says:

    Kadayi: “If your reviewing something, your reviewing it for your target audience, and the input system they are most likely to use. ”

    So, reviewers should mark flight sims down if they play badly with the mouse? Racing games too? Brilliant! So, IL2 Sturmovik has just gone from being the best WW2 flight sim out there to the worst, because it’s literally impossible to play it with mouse/keyboard – you’ll be lucky if you can get off the ground.

    In your ideal world of journalism, any game that isn’t an RTS or FPS (or similarly controlled) will be panned by reviewers. It’ll be a bright new day for PC gaming!

    Or, PC gamers could just suck it up and pick up a decent gamepad. The USB 360 pad is fairly cheap, and works perfectly on almost everything being released these days.

    If a high-end video card is an assumed purchase if you want to play good-looking games, why shouldn’t you assume that a gamepad is a requirement for arcade action games?

  2. kadayi says:

    @Dominic

    Leave the petulant responses for the playground and other game sites. I’m pretty sure all flight Sims are fairly open about their full hardware requirements and recommendations, and don’t shy away from it. Better to sell DMC4 in two versions, one with a controller included for the great unwashed, and another sans controller for those who know better. That would be a more honest approach.

  3. Dominic White says:

    I just dug out my copy of IL2: Forgotten Battles to check – nowhere on the packaging at all does it mention a flightstick being required, or even reccomended. This is because in the real world, people assume a flight sim will need a flight sim controller.

    It is no less unreasonable to assume that an arcade action game (especially a console port) would need a gamepad. Most people don’t play driving games with the keyboard either, because you lose all analogue control.

    Tell me – would you be in favour of PC reviewers marking down Street Fighter 4 because most keyboards can’t handle the simultaneous button presses it requires to play properly? Is this the games fault, or perhaps – just perhaps – that the almighty mouse/keyboard combo isn’t meant to do everything.

    Edit: Irony – I checked my copy of DMC4 PC too, and it actually DOES mention gamepads – in particular it points out that it natively supports the Xbox 360 controller.

    Marking down DMC4 for being best with a gamepad is on par with marking down Crysis because the reviewers video card isn’t new enough.

  4. kadayi says:

    Personally if I want to play out and out console games like SF4, I play them… on a console as a rule. If a game can translate to the PC with a minimum of fuss and play well using an M&K configuration that’s great, but simply because something is both on PC & console doesn’t necessarily mean a console controller is always preferable. Halo, Bioshock, Mass Effect, Fable are all console games, but can all be played using M&K and well. Certainly you can play with a controller if you choose to, but there is no assumption on the developers part that you would choose to do so, or they recommend you do. Being a GFW game DMC4 was always going to play with a 360 controller, but is it something that’s essential, or merely mentioned on the packaging? I’d hazard it’s the latter rather than the former.

    As regards IL2, seems to me that if M&K aren’t a legitimate input system for the game then the developers are being disingenuous to the public by not spelling out exactly what hardware requirements the game genuinely requires for satisfactory game play. It’s not enough to assume all people are inherently on the same page when it comes to the wants and needs of a game without actual instruction.

  5. Charlie says:

    I didn’t realise there would be such a fuss over what is essentially an above average action game. It’s not that much different from Golden Axe when you think about it. I mean its fun but it has terrible acting and script. Some great choreography though and the art style is lovely (apart from the emos and rediculous tits).

  6. Alarik says:

    IMO I think in this case, piracy can be a good thing. As some people already said, DMC4 PC is AWESOME port/PC game, especially compared to previous Capcom ports.

    And a lot of people (regarding from the comments) still harbors some bias towards Capcom ports, bashing DMC4 without even actually playing it. And even game reviews were not exactly positive.

    Seeing how absolutely great (at least from technical aspect of things) game DMC4 is, I think the word will spread, from people warezing it.

    I don’t think there is some iron rule that thousands of torrents download will negativelly impact sales – on the contrary, it can serve as a way of spreading the title awesomeness :-) (this sentence should be taken with cup of salt *whistles*)

    /that said, piracy should not be promoted, but still one has to think positively and most importantly realistically – piracy was, is and will be, so better take it in account – and if one person who wouldn’t be interested in the game otherwise will buy it because his 3 friends played pirated release and recommended it, it’s still plus for publisher

    P.S. Seriously, DMC4 is so technicaly adorable I cannot imagine how anybody would refuse to buy this game :-) (looking forward to RE5)

    P.P.S. Is there some dual audio release? Or at least PC version with Japanese audio?

    P.P.P.S. Hopefully RE5 will be available as a prelaunch on Steam :)

  7. subedii says:

    Kadayi, I’m going to ask you straight, have you played this game?

    I have. The game was designed around gamepad, and that’s what it works best with. Having said that, it is actually feasible to play it with the keyboard, I know, because I’ve tried it. It’s difficult to get used to at first but once you do it’s manageable. Probably not at the harder difficulty levels (I wouldn’t want to try it with “Hell or Hell” difficulty) but it’s still very playable. Which to me is an incredible achievement in itself. The very fact that I could control the game well with a keyboard is amazing.

    Saying that they should be trying to shove mouse support into this game on top of that is outright retarded. It. Would. Not. Work.

    You don’t mark down flight sims because they naturally play better with a joystick. Anymore than you say Street Fighter IV should come with frigging mouse control of the characters. The gameplay style and the very way the game is designed DOES NOT WORK with that input device.

    You can’t just say “it should have mouse support” for any game that comes to the PC. If the game design and gameplay don’t work with a mouse, then they don’t work. This is an isometrically viewed game based around fixed camera angles, with camera relative movement controls and character facing relative combat controls. If you can come up with a control scheme for DMC4 (and Heck, make it Street Fighter IV as well, since clearly every game coming to PC needs to make use of the mouse for it’s central control) which makes good use of the mouse (not just token useage, but genuinely incorporates it into the control scheme) and doesn’t change the gameplay mechanic into Diablo, I’d really like to hear it. I genuinely would. Because right now adding mouse support when they have already gone to lengths create a workable keyboard scheme is just nutty.

    Heck, I was even one of the people criticising Capcom for the lack of mouse support in RE4. In a 3rd person perspective, OTS viewed shooter mouse control is highly appropriate and makes sense. The control and gameplay mechanics are ideally suited to making use of a mouse. But here? I really do want you to post what you believe would be a good control scheme making use of the mouse. Because I cannot see a good way to implement mouse control here that wouldn’t either fundamentally change the gameplay or end up being worse than what’s here now.

  8. AbyssUK says:

    You know what this is all getting very boring… yawn…
    Piracy this piracy that.. pirates eat babies.. pirates are saving the free world.. honestly.

    CLiffski is right games companies should sell there own DRM free stuff from there own websites… screw steam screw all the middle men.. and release it on your own.

    Doesn’t take a genius to realise that then you could sell the game for less yet make as much or even more money.

    Also games industry please note; downloaded games should never ever be the same price as boxed games.. seriously do you think we are stupid… seesh.

  9. iainl says:

    “Also games industry please note; downloaded games should never ever be the same price as boxed games.. seriously do you think we are stupid… seesh.”

    Worse, I really wish the games industry would note that when Play and everyone else discount £35 games to £25 online, trying to sell us the download for £30 is NOT making that version cheaper.

    I wonder how much of the DMC4 piracy is people who bought the console release not wanting to pay all over again just to see what the extra bits in the PC release are?

  10. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    So, let me get this straight.

    People come home after a hard day’s work and shuffle on down to their room, where their desktop PC is. They turn it on. They use the mouse, turn on their speakers, connect their wireless broadband modem to check their email, plug a USB drive so they can transfer important work-related documentation, and after adjusting their webcam while chatting online with a friend about vacation, they remember they still have to unload the pictures they took last Summer off of their digital camcorder.

    But, goddamn Capcom and their games, another peripheric is just the end of the world!

    Good grief.

  11. kadayi says:

    @subedii

    I’m not arguing that it should be M&K only, or that M&K is a superior input choice (far from it), or that SF4 should be M&K either. What I am saying is that, if a game is best suited to a controller rather than M&K then developers/publishers should be frank in that respect when it comes to outlining what the hardware requirements are of a title including peripherals (Recommended 360 controller!!!). Unfortunately there is often a tendency for publishers to shy away from such things in case it dents sales, and often developers make some pretty questionable choices when it comes to translating their controller setups to M&K. The GTA series are a good example. Driving and running and gunning are easy as pie with M&K, but flying, esp the RC missions in San Andreas are hair tearingly impossible without the use of a controller. Dominic seems to think that gamers should inherently know what peripherals they are going to require for a great gaming experience, my position is developers/publishers need to spell it out on the box, and if they don’t then they are being disingenuous to the buying public. What’s wrong with better labeling? As you yourself said, although DMC4 is playable using M&K alone, the harder difficulty settings really require a controller. If the publishers have failed to recommend a controller as an appropriate peripheral, then they’ve done you the purchaser a disservice. Minimum Requirements M&K, Recommended Requirements 360 Controller. Simple really.

  12. sinister agent says:

    CLiffski is right games companies should sell there own DRM free stuff from there own websites… screw steam screw all the middle men.. and release it on your own.

    Quite. I’d sooner download directly from the producers. Steam can kick a hippo.

  13. malkav11 says:

    The default peripherals on a PC are mouse and keyboard. Unless there is absolutely no role for the mouse in a control scheme (something which I’m sure will be true for Street Fighter, but is not true for a game involving gunplay), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect the game to offer that support. It may very well play better with and be more suited for gamepad controls, like many space sims play better with a joystick, but that’s immaterial. Not offering support for mouse and keyboard on PC would be like requiring people to use mouse and keyboard for a FPS on the 360 – it’s possible, it would be superior control, but the 360 comes with a gamepad and you can’t guarantee people have the USB mouse and keyboard.

  14. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @malkav11:

    True, it should go without saying that when porting a game, a developer should keep in mind the possibilities and main peripherals of the target platform. However, I don’t think it’s farfetched to expect specific peripherals to suit certain games better. Would we argue that “Race Driver X” is a lousy port because it focuses more on responsive controls for steering wheels than it does for a mouse?

  15. Dominic White says:

    @malkav11:

    As has been mentioned, the game supports keyboard play, but it is far from ideal. The game is designed for gamepads from the ground up. This is no different from a racing game being best played with a pad/wheel/something analogue, or a flight sim being best played with a stick.

    There is no way mouse control could be worked into it. At all. Everyone who has complained about lack of mouse support has done nothing constructive in their complaining – they just want mouse support, even if they don’t know how it would work.

    Having professional reviewers mark down a game because it doesn’t support a controller that wouldn’t be even remotely feisable (again, like playing an RTS with a steering wheel) to use is a worrying sign of the state of games journalism today.

  16. Cradok says:

    Having played DMC4 to death – literally, the disc is now unreadable… – I have to say that using a mouse would just be too impractical. Talking about Nero alone, a serious player is going to need movement, camera, attack, jump, lockon, charge shot, DT and rev, all at once. Dante is only slightly less complicated.

    With regards to actually buying DMC4 for the PC? I’d love to. Really want to try out the new game modes. But the demo didn’t load levels on my PC, and I don’t particularly feel like spending money on something that I’m fairly sure won’t work.