And In Stark Contrast To The Below:

By Alec Meer on October 1st, 2008 at 12:36 pm.

Here’s Cliffy B being a nincompoop about Gears of War 2, the PC and piracy:

The PC right now is a fair amount different to what it was back in the day, with all the badly integrated video chips. Here’s the problem right now; the person who is savvy enough to want to have a good PC to upgrade their video card, is a person who is savvy enough to know bit torrent to know all the elements so they can pirate software. Therefore, high-end videogames are suffering very much on the PC. Right now, it makes sense for us to focus on Xbox 360 for a number of reasons. Not least PCs with multiple configurations and piracy.

But when the dust has settled, is there any possibility of Gears 2 on PC?

No.

He’s right, you know – no-one ever buys a PC with a videocard already in it. PC Gamers are all highly-monied tech-savants, each and every single one of them constantly installing new hardware and innately understanding what RAR files are, how to mount ISOs and how to open ports on their router. Also, upgrading a videocard is technical accomplishment up there with programming Big Blue, and nothing at all like removing three screws and plugging something into a slot. And making a high-budget FPS that scales down to lower-end graphics cards is an absolute impossibility. God! Angry.

Thanks to the many people who mailed about this – took us a while to get around to it cos we were all knee-deep in long-form pieces.

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169 Comments »

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  1. Radiant says:

    Cigol “I hope to god EPIC become a Microsoft entity and never make games outside of the XBOX console environment. I just wish Microsoft employed employees would shut up about piracy on the PC.”
    Well said.
    And don’t get me wrong Gears of War is an average single player experience but a blindingly good game in online co-op [at a time when co-op console games were non existent].

  2. spd from Russia says:

    Hey why not blame second-hand market for a change?
    Here is the proof:
    1) Those who pirate games often dont have money to buy them hence you dont lose a real consumers. Unlike those who buy used games. And you dont see a penny from their money – it all goes into retailers` pocket.
    2) Those who pirate games actually might buy a legit version (if they like a game or want to play multi). Unlike those who got it second-hand – or would they buy a brand-new package if the cd-key appeared invalid? doubt it.

    And it all means very real LOST REVENUE that flows into the retail chains who market used games and make a huge money there without investing a penny into the gamedevelopment or owning any ip rights.

    So guess what, your real enemy who steals your profit in real bucks is Gamestop, not Piratebay (where nothing is being sold for money)

  3. Ergates says:

    “you can’t see the average Wii player getting out the screwdriver and modding their machine.”

    The average PC owner can’t/wouldn’t either.

  4. roryok says:

    To be a little less eloquent about it, Fuck Cliffy B

    Gears of War was a pile of cock, and every month that man not only says stupid things, but also contradicts his own company’s stance on things.

    He spends far more time talking and stroking his ego than doing any real work.

  5. Alec Meer says:

    Let’s keep a lid on the abusive stuff, please. It’s perfectly easy to say the man’s a silly-head without hollering expletives.

  6. EyeMessiah says:

    Lol @ crazy troll burning bridges no one wanted to cross in the first place.

  7. Whiskey Jack says:

    “1) Those who pirate games often dont have money to buy them hence you dont lose a real consumers. Unlike those who buy used games. And you dont see a penny from their money – it all goes into retailers` pocket.
    2) Those who pirate games actually might buy a legit version (if they like a game or want to play multi).”

    Hum, just to point out that this is just a supposition and you have actually no proof of that (concerning the pirates, I guess your point on used games makes a lot of sense). When you make an argument, please make sure you have authentic, verifiable and (statistically in this case) valid facts to support them, not just what is clearly an opinion stated as a fact.

    Not that I’m saying that something is true or not, but I just hate it when people take their own little opinion and/or perception for facts.

    And again, used games and piracy are two different problem for developers and publishers, one doesn’t (in any way) justify the other. Stealing a car isn’t OK because it costs less than buying a used car from someone (and yes, there’s is no difference between stealing a car, or a game or a freaking candy).

    Now here’s an opinion piece on PC piracy that I like to point out to people (thanks PA for this one btw), because I just think (see, opinion) that it makes a lot of sense.

    http://chrisremo.com/bloggin/2008/08/02/an-ill-advised-raving-rant-on-pc-%20piracy/

    And what’s hilarious about it is that people in the comments just re-use the arguments that Remo just so easily invalidated in his text in numerous ways, I guess some people never learn.

  8. edward_blake says:

    The man’s an arse plus GoW was a terrible, shallow dirge of a game anyway.

    I wouldn’t be interested in a sequel.

  9. Steve says:

    Honestly, back in the 90’s I used to have nothing but respect for Epic. How far they’ve fallen. Clifford is as stupid as that Oblivion With Guns 3 developer that stated there’s “absolutely zero” piracy on the 360 recently.

    If I want to play Gears of War 2 I’ll just go and dig out my copy of kill.switch and install it.

  10. Tei says:

    Consoles are not god for FPS, RTS and MMORPG games. Everybody and my dog know this… inside.

    Also, most console games are mediocres, because are dumbed down games.

    I don’t want GW2 in the PC, because there are much better games here.

  11. Nallen says:

    So the stupid games go to the stupid people. Fine.

  12. TooNu says:

    Heh, GOW still sucks no mater how many sequels it has and who cares what an idiot has to say? Whoever said he is a “Meathead” was spot on.

  13. Gap Gen says:

    One argument against smart people pirating is that Stardock deliberately decided to make cerebral strategy games, rather than meat-headed shooters, because they are pirated less. But then it may not apply here, since Epic isn’t going to make Unreal Tournament: The TBS any time soon.

  14. martin says:

    come one people, cliffy b loves his latest games, they are like his children. he thinks they are beautiful and gifted and he is just not able to perceive them as the bland, ugly and short-lifed bastards that they are.

  15. grumpy says:

    “I want PC games but too many fucking people pirate them… they really do”

    Doesn’t matter. It seems that of all the games industry, only the Stardock guy has realized this so far.

    it doesn’t matter how many people pirate your game.
    What matters is how many buy it.
    Selling 1000 copies and getting pirated 500,000 times is still better than selling 500 copies and not getting pirated at all.

    The only thing that matters is how many sales are made. And there are multiple ways to get better sales. One is to try to get hold of the pirates and force them to pay. That’s tricky to do on PC.
    Another is to make a game that more people can play. If you’re making a game that only the top 1% PC’s can run, then you’ve limited your potential sales to 1% of what they could be. Sure, it will still get pirated, but you’ll also sell more games.

    Hum, just to point out that this is just a supposition and you have actually no proof of that (concerning the pirates, I guess your point on used games makes a lot of sense). When you make an argument, please make sure you have authentic, verifiable and (statistically in this case) valid facts to support them, not just what is clearly an opinion stated as a fact.

    Simple. I’ve done it several times. I originally downloaded MTW just to see what the fuss was about. Played it nonstop for 3 months, then I bought it. And played for another 3 months. :)
    I bought Dawn of War at release, but I’ve played it with half a dozen friends who pirated it. Today? They’ve all bought it plus the expansions.

    Proof enough for you?

    (and yes, there’s is no difference between stealing a car, or a game or a freaking candy).

    Yes there are. They’re all wrong and illegal, but they’re not the same There’s a huge difference between stealing a car and pirating a game. Pirating a game is not stealing. You are not taking anything away from the owner. If I were to pirate GoW, Epic would *still* have the game. If I steal your car, you no longer have a car.
    If you want to compare it to other crimes, pirating games is more like sneaking in to watch a movie without buying a ticket. Would you call that theft too? Theft of what, exactly?

    This doesn’t justify piracy in any way, of course, I’m merely pointing out that it’s not the *same* crime as stealing a car.

  16. Paul Moloney says:

    It is hard to take anyone seriously who needs to make an official announcement that they are killing off a nickname. Especially when the nickname is their first name appended to the first letter of their surname. I mean, ker-raz-ZEE or what?

    P.

  17. cyrenic says:

    I thought his quotes here were much more amusing: http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/54974

    He’s probably adhering to the “Say inflammatory things so video game blogs will post about them shortly before my big game release” train of thought.

  18. Maximum Fish says:

    I don’t have the numbers in front of me, so i don’t know this either way, but it seems to me that the combined forces of Blockbuster and Gamestop must surely inflict the same percent damage to console games that piracy does to PC games.

    I mean, when someone torrents a pc game, it takes like 3 weeks or something to download, involves all sorts of cracking-related effort and saves you $50 US. When someone wants a console game, they go buy it used from Gamestop for $20, get it immediately with no extra effort, guaranteed to work, save $40, and the exact same amount of money goes back to Epic, namely $0.

    Or they just rent the damn thing for $5 from blockbuster, save $55 and beat it in two weeks with no late fee. Because let’s face it Cliff, Gears was slight, stupid, short and easy. It was prime rental material. I had my fill of it for $50 in less than two weeks, and would have rented it instead if PC gamers had that luxury.

    The honest truth is, as Gap Gen said, cerebral games with longevity don’t tend to work or sell as well on consoles. WoW, Sins, the Total War games, etc. are not the sort of games you’d ever see on the 360. Conversely, games like GOW, Halo 2, and most other console fare, are games that are far and away more cost effective to rent. You can beat them in a few days, and get tired of the multiplayer in a few more.

    What, if i’m right about this, would be the conclusion? It’s not piracy that keeps the likes of CliffyB on console, it’s the size of the user base. He left this party for the more hoppin’ one, and blaming piracy and technical scapegoats is much easier and less damning that just following the smell of money.

  19. Greg Wild says:

    To be quite honest, fuck Cliff and any developer “leaving” the platform. We don’t need them when other developers/publishers – Stardock, Valve, Blizzard, Relic, Creative Assembly to name but a few who exclusively or mostly work with PC licenses that have financially secure and innovative models. If anything, consoles are as far behind the PC in innovation as ever.

    If all Cliff is concerned with is the number of 0s on his pay cheque, fuck him. Epic’s only capable of producing machismo ridden explosion-fests these days anyway- like basically every other console FPS developer. We’ve got better things going for us.

  20. Alec Meer says:

    I’ve already asked nicely to no avail, so all further “fuck Cliff”-type comments will be wiped. Object to him by all means, but do so like grown-ups. It’s not because we give a monkey’s about offending the man, but because we like RPS threads to be fun’n’smart.

  21. propanol says:

    Normally I’d feel sort of sad seeing a big name developer publicly calling off the PC, especially given how important Epic’s tech is these days, but in this case I remain strangely indifferent. GoW was an okay techdemo bundled with a mediocre game and seeing as the number two is more like 1.5 I can’t bring myself to care.

    It’s also interesting to note how Epic is becoming more and more interdependent on Microsoft Game Studios, given that the only game they’ve put out during the last four years that hasn’t tanked was published through them, on their platform.

  22. FuKuy says:

    I don’t believe him… I hope to see Gears of War 2 on PC.

    Gears of War 1 was way better on PC than 360. And Cliffy B. is an idiot.

  23. Morph says:

    Boy am I glad that I was tech savvy enough recently to undo some screws on my PC and put in a graphics card so I could play my legally bought version of Bioshock.

    Oh wait, CliffyB thinks I have no morals. Boo-hoo.

  24. RichPowers says:

    And nothing of value was lost.

    When people say PC gaming is “dying,” and then point to games like GoW2 to support their claim, I only say: so what? Is it really a tragedy that derivative tech-demos masquerading as games (supposedly) won’t be released on the PC?

  25. Nimic says:

    Bla bla bla bla.

    We hear this whining about pirating etc, and yet we’ve had a great PC gaming autumn, and it’s just going to get better (can’t wait for L4D). Last year wasn’t exactly bad either, to put it mildly.

    I would have been worried if we’d actually have seen some tangible effect, but if all we’re going to miss is MGS4 (which we would’ve missed anyway) and Gears of War 2 (which I really couldn’t care less about), then it seems like it’s just a convenient excuse.

  26. Maximum Fish says:

    Grumpy is entirely correct when he says that game piracy is not stealing. That sounds like a bold claim, but it’s true. Videogames (and movies and music) are public goods, which means the consumption of one unit of the good does not exclude another consumer from it. In other words, once it is created it exists in infinite supply, which gives it a value of $0 in standard price theory.

    Piracy is what’s called “free-riding”, enjoying the benefits of a public good without paying for it. The problem with this is that though the supply is infinite once the good is created, payment is required to justify the costs of creating it to begin with (and enough payment to make it a worthwhile investment when compared to any other investment, selling a car for instance or throwing it in the stock market). Before the digital age, nearly every public good were societal goods, stuff like the maintenance of highways, national parks, national defense, etc..

    In nearly all cases, the solution to the free-rider problem is not to attempt to restrict consumption or artificially limit supply (DRM et al), this has never worked. The most successful solution usually is a shift to a service based industry; you pay for the service of using the good (inland waterway navigation in the US, and the cost of locks and dams that facilitate it, is funded by trust fund of waterway users), or everyone is made to pay, regardless of use -which in most cases means taxes, but that doesn’t work here either.

    In this case too, the industry is being led by fear instead of innovation. Steam has proven the viablity of digital distribution, Sins and Warhead for lower price-points, Sins, WoW, Spore, The Sims, Teamfortress 2, etc. for compatibility and forgiving hardware requirements. The solution from the developers side, on both PC and consoles (a solution to revenues lost to rentals), is to always ensure the customer feels they are getting their money’s worth. (And release demos!) Brand loyalty and honesty are still important factors.

    The solution for the players is to understand that were these goods not “public goods”, ie were they made once to be consumed only once, they’d be literally worth millions of dollars. And when you think about the effort that goes into these games, it hard not to see it in those terms (even if they suck). Realize then that pirating them will literally kill the industry (in the long term).

  27. OldmanTick says:

    I bought GOW as soon as gogamer offered it on sale for $30. I then waited over a month for a patch so I could play it. Then I bought a new video card (8800GT) so I could play it. Then I played it for a little while and never finished it. The stuttering in the heavy action scenes was annoying and there were other games I would rather play, even tho I thought it was good it wasn’t good enough.
    I won’t miss GOW2

  28. Bema says:

    I never intended to get it on PC, but his attitude and their crappy reasoning almost wants to make me skip GOW2 entirely.

    Actually I won’t skip Gears 2. I’m looking forward to it. No…Instead i’ll just go out a pirate every other Epic game I can find, and give free copies away at my local GAME or something.

  29. teo says:

    @Alec Well how much money would they make? GoW has sold close to 5 million units on 360. If I were a developer I would be mad as hell about piracy (even though they need to adapt) and maybe they just don’t want tons of people to ever have the opportunity to pirate it, even if they turn down a small profit on the PC.

    The port of the first game wasn’t very good anyway, it didn’t work for a lot of people, and its gameplay is designed for a controller and not a PC so it’s not that big of a loss if it doesn’t end up here (which it still might have a large chance of doing).

    I think that everything Epic puts out now feels so pubescent. To whom do their character designs appeal? Square faced space marines aren’t cool, and all their weapon designs are so bloated. It’s like a kid ducktaped lots of parts together and called it a gun

  30. Maximum Fish says:

    @OldmanTick

    I got 75% of the way through, and freaking Games for Windows Live! deleted all of my saves. Then i started over, got about 80% of the way through, and Games for Windows Live! deleted all of my saves. If i wanted the GOW2 experience, i’d just pay someone to break everything in my house, replace it all, and then call him back over. This, for example, is how not to engender brand loyalty.

  31. Bobsy says:

    @Maximum Fish

    No no!

    Piracy!

    Is!

    Stealing!

    Don’t you remember those trails stuck all over DVDs? YOU WOULDN’T STEAL A HANDBAG! It’s exactly the same! And it funds the terrorists, too! Also the devil is involved somewhere? I’ll be honest, my memories are a bit fuzzy, since I fly into a blind apoplectic rage whenever I see them.

    PIRACY!

    IS!

    STEALING!

  32. Ian says:

    I often wondered with those ads on DVDs, if you confess to being a handbag-stealer does it bother them less when you pirate their DVDs?

  33. Maximum Fish says:

    @Bobsy

    Hehe, yeah those were great. With the crappy “intense!!” editing and music that some hopeless suit thought was “hard-driving”. I couldn’t tell if they were trying to make piracy look cool, or condemn it.

    And sort of like DARE, all it does is make doing the right thing look boring, square and retarded. Great success!

  34. Bema says:

    If we stole handbags, we’d have the cash to be buy the games in the first place. No piracy needed. Is that a suitable comprimise for society?

  35. Optimaximal says:

    What, if i’m right about this, would be the conclusion? It’s not piracy that keeps the likes of CliffyB on console, it’s the size of the user base. He left this party for the more hoppin’ one, and blaming piracy and technical scapegoats is much easier and less damning that just following the smell of money.

    This conclusion was reached on Blues as well… They guy just can’t bring himself to admit that he likes the taste of money, as it makes him sound like a formalised corporate type who cares about dollar down more than the output.
    Epic stopped being a factor PC gamers should care about when engine sales became their primary goal – Gears of War was just a lucky move into consoles when Halo 3 didn’t emerge as the 360 killer app and they haven’t looked back.

  36. Maximum Fish says:

    @Berma

    But stealing handbags is so Ninja Turtles. I’m in favor of elaborate bank heists instead, like the one in Heat. That was completely badass…

  37. James says:

    While I agree that this guy is a man to whom logic is apparently a foreign concept, and that I’m not particularly fussed on the idea of GoW 2 either on the PC or a console, I’m always vaguely bewildered when a stupid, uninformed response from a video game company negatively aimed at the PC market makes some folk grumble about how stupid, tasteless and childish console gamers are. Did I miss a link here?

  38. Turin Turambar says:

    GOW wasn’t a bad game. It was… an average action game. Jus enough decent to play it, but not even one hair above that.

    Action itself was cool but also repetitive thanks to the “stop & shoot” style. There was a mediocre plot typical for action games, a level with a vehicle as the average action game, but the worst was the poor variety of enemies and also weapons. You have the standard enemy grunt, the little ‘imp’ and sometimes the big bulkier-than-average enemies with rocket launchers. Three enemies, wohoo! (excluding big bosses). Pathetic, play Doom ][ to see a good enemy roost in an action game, small enemies, big enemies, flying enemies, invisible enemies, enemies with real weapons, enemies with avoidable fire, etc.
    And two scenarios ‘themes’, destroyed cities and caverns. So much variety. Weapons, the average rifle, the average pistol, the average shotgun, the average sniper rifle, the average rocket launcher and nades. Ah yeah, and the only cool weapons: the bow.

    In the end, a very average action title. Perhaps this shit can fly in consoles thanks to marketing, but here on pc we need a bit more. And the references to piracy and low sales are stupid. Do you want to know why? Because their other title also bombed, and it couldn’t be pirated. I am speaking of UT3, even having a big pedigree in computers, and being an online game (yes you can play a few games with bots, but it’s not the point) where you can’t crack the central server and you need a cdkey, it bombed as hard as GOW.

  39. Warbler says:

    I really like Gears, it’s one of the best co-op games ever and the mechanics are interestingly different – it really does feel like a puzzle game sometimes. I bought it on PC and will buy the sequel on PC, because we all know it’s coming out. The only way that’s not happening is if MS are now actually paying people /not/ to port their games to Windows.

    I wonder where Cliffy is going with his “savvy people are pirates” thing. Are people with a Computing A-level not going to be allowed to buy Gears 2? Are people who are savvy enough not to buy it and just play it co-op on a mate’s machine (which is by far the best bit) going to be locked out? Is UT4 going to start with a question about the difference between RAM and VRAM and wipe your HD if you get it right?

  40. Nahual says:

    I got GoW for the PC, because it was just impossible to ignore all the hype around it. Bleh.

    It was pretty solidly built, i’ll give them that, but one, it had that god awful GFW interface for MP, two, the game just wasn’t that good, it was just like playing UT3 while knee deep in molasses and you need to press a button to take cover rather than just doing it like you would in CS or every other FPS.

    I really don’t understand the button to take cover mechanic, it’s basically a graphic gimmick that triggers an animation.

  41. Maximum Fish says:

    @Optimaximal

    And the funny thing is, i was never really impressed by the Unreal 3 engine (from the players vantage point), at least when compared with PC engines. Shadow maps (terribly old school these days), blurry low-res textures disguised by overenthusiastic bloom and other post-processing gimmicks, with the added overuse of fancy glowing fire effects. Source, for one, blows it out of the water.

    But you’re right, it’s hard to act like you’re “in it for the games” (or the players for that matter), when you’ve hocked your engine on 7 tenths of the console developers out there. Cliffy needs to shed his everyman T-shirt and Jeans, and don the suit, because he’s joined the fraternity. It’s all golf and conference calls from here on out.

  42. mashakos says:

    I believe it’s also a case of beefing up the XBOX 360’s lineup of exclusives. Right now, Sony has the edge on title exclusives which has proven to boost their sales . Think what will happen to PS3 sales once Gran Turismo or the umpteenth iteration of Final Fantasy are released.

  43. Maximum Fish says:

    @mashakos

    Do they?? I mean, i’m not being sarcastic, I just didn’t realize that. My brother has a PS3, and back when he still had time to follow this sort of thing the horizon for exclusives looked pretty grim. I hope for Sony’s sake (and for the sake of healthy competition) that they can manage to secure some exclusives better than Haze and Lair.

  44. Bhlaab says:

    Oh no we’re being punished

  45. mcw says:

    I think Cliff Bleszinski is just using the piracy argument as an excuse for not releasing Gears of War 2 for the PC. My guess is that Epic no longer considers the PC as a financially viable platform for their products. They just don’t want to publicly announce that so they come up with excuses. They’re probably making enough money on engine licensing and developing games for their core United States teenage demographic a.k.a. Console Land.

  46. Ninjas says:

    Okay, reality check time:

    -The top 4 best selling PC games of all time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games#PC) have come out since the peak of PC game sales. (http://forum.pcvsconsole.com/viewthread.php?tid=15831). You may notice that the top selling PC games were/are exclusive to PC.

    -“As of June 27, 2008, Crysis has beaten EA’s expectations and sold 1.5 million copies worldwide, according to a gamesradar article.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crysis). 1.5 million? That is more than Quake 2 (note, Crytech also made a press release complaining about piracy)

    So if you can sell into the PC market, and make more sales than ever, and you can exceed sales expectations even releasing a game like Crysis that can’t run on normal PC hardware and is buggy as hell, what exactly is the problem?

    Cliffy B, if you happen to read this: we know you didn’t like the PC reviews your shitty Gears port got, and we know you can make more money making retreads of decade old games on the consoles, but we PC gamers are not as dumb as your new “fans” so please come up with better lies. K thx

  47. Paul Moloney says:

    “Oh no we’re being punished”

    Expect “CliffyB is not going to make you his bitch” adverts.

    P.

  48. mashakos says:

    EDIT: I just wanted to add that if a game like GOW2 comes out on the PC, there will be even less incentive for buyers to choose the XBOX 360 over the PS3. They could play it safe, get a $600 PC and a PS3.

    “I hope for Sony’s sake (and for the sake of healthy competition) that they can manage to secure some exclusives better than Haze and Lair.”

    well, that was when the PS3 was first launched. After MGS4, high profile exclusives for the PS3 will start showing up soon. GOW 3, as in God of War 3 – another game for meatheads – will be huge for Sony.

    Shadow of the Colossus 2 maybe? I don’t know, the team behind Shadow of the Colossus are working on a title right now.

  49. Ian says:

    This is all well and good, but RPS need to do less sparking of important, interesting debate and more linking me to work-day-consuming games like Robokill.

  50. cliffski says:

    another reason for me to get annoyed when people confuse me with him.
    I’d never make a game as blatantly about my suppressed homosexuality as gears of war :D.