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 »

  1. Psychopomp says:

    Gears of War : The most fun i’ve ever had not thinking. It accomplished it’s goal of being a brainless action movie with flying colors.
    It was fun, deal with it.

    There is nothing wrong with that, we don’t demand every movie be Citizen Kane, so why must every shooter be Planescape:Torment ala Deus Ex?

    I pray for the day that my fellow PC gamers realize they’re as pretentious as fanboys are stupid.

    Also, anyone who didn’t think the chainsaw bayonet was cool needs their awesome gland inspected.

  2. Cigol says:

    LittleBigPlanet, Heavy Rain, Team ICO’s next project, Killzone 2, Gran Turismo 5, EyePet, a new Singstar, Uncharted 2, SOCOM, God of War 3… That’s just off the top of my head and ignores all the stuff that has gone before and all the PSN/indie stuff like PixelJunk EDEN which is just pure awesome. There are also supposedly some unnannounced Japanese Sony titles for the PS3 to be revealed shortly, hopefully some RPG’s.

    The whole ‘PS3 doesn’t have any games’ argument is null. If you aren’t enticed by what the PS3 has to offer now, or in the near future then you never will be. Having a top-end PC the stuff on the XBOX just doesn’t interest me but if that’s your bag, go for it.

    Cliff on the otherhand wouldn’t like the PS3. There’s no piracy. Nothing to complain about. I wonder how well UT3 sold on the PS3? Was it a hit?

  3. Maximum Fish says:

    @Psychopomp

    The chainsaw bayonet was like half the reason i bought that game. Too bad it was weighed down by crappy GFWL nonsense and was fairly repetetive besides. It was fun, and i guess my memory is somewhat discolored by the fact that it deleted my saves, twice, but there’re better balls-out mindless shooters out there in my opinion.

    I think Painkiller is the most fun i’ve ever had not thinking. Yeah, probably Painkiller. Chainsaw bayonet ain’t got nothing on the Shotgun with an underslung ice-beam.

    And it’s not so much “good riddance Cliff, we can do without you, what with the upcoming 4-dimensional Go translation and an adventure game chronicling the early life of Friedrich Nietzsche”, but rather “good riddance Cliff, because there’s a ton of other better games out there in the “dying” PC space, many of which involve casually shooting space aliens, and frankly we didn’t even realize you’d made another Gears game yet.”

    Sour grapes? Maybe a bit. But also true.

  4. Paul Moloney says:

    “Gears of War : The most fun i’ve ever had not thinking. It accomplished it’s goal of being a brainless action movie with flying colors. It was fun, deal with it.”

    Well, some people (like me) weren’t arguing that it wasn’t enjoyable because brainless. Hell, I loved Sin Episodes: Emergence; a more brainless action game it would be hard to find, and even pretty buggy, but the action was good fun with a nice satisfying chunking-feeling pistols. However, the weapons in GoW were mehtastic.

    P.

  5. Erlam says:

    I think he knows it’ll get bad reviews on the PC, again, because it won’t stack up to shooters on the PC. Again.

    And I disagree that it was fun — it’s one of two shooters I own I never beat. It’s got an annoying camera angle, it takes 9813289213812 rounds to kill anything unless you do the following:

    -Enter room.
    -Get behind cover.
    -Peak out, headshot guy.
    -Peak out, headshot guy.
    -Peak out, headshot guy.
    -Enter room.
    -Get behind cover…

  6. Warbler says:

    mashakos – Final Fantasy 13 is coming to 360 as well, btw. Maybe even PC.

    Erlam – you have to use the environment and your teammates to flank, rush to close emergence holes then get back to cover, etc. It’s also a bit like Bioshock in that it’s much more fun if you vary your tactics.
    Although to be fair sniper rifle + mouse aiming does make it really easy to just sit and rack up headshots.

  7. The Shed says:

    Nnng this is annoying. Everywhere I turn there are PC gamers mouthing off at games that work on console, but not necessarily on their native Personal Computer (be it because of poor porting, or the controls/ game design being better suited to a console game). GoW was a decent-good shooter on console; the rounded heftiness of the X360 suited it perfectly, and that was part of its appeal. It’s heaviness really doesn’t work on WASDMouse the same as a chunky analog stick does, and the same goes for a number of Console titles that are ripped in the PC forum. Course, this doesn’t change anything about good ole Crazy Cliff.

  8. Maximum Fish says:

    You were probably supposed to close the emergence holes or whatever, but i just popped everybody who came out of one until they closed automatically.

    I figured i’d bought the game so i could shoot evil aliens, not blow up holes in the ground.

  9. Robin says:

    Ideally, Epic would have looked at how Gears of War did on the PC (and Unreal Tournament III, everywhere) and had a long hard think about whether they wanted to keep going down this road.

    There’s something wrong with your business model if your games are viewed as so utterly disposable, insincere and unengaging that they can only legitimately sell to a captive audience (Gears of War’s sales could mostly be attributed to 360 owners impatient for Halo 3), and even then need to be extravagantly marketed by the hardware manufacturer.

  10. Kareem says:

    This is quite alright. Unreal Tournament 3 was a piece of garbage.

  11. Shadowmancer says:

    Piracy does happen on consoles even on the xbox 360 at the present moment t can be mod chiped to allow every regions games on it however because of xbox live its harder for the pirates as most online xbox 360 games have to be regisetered to a machine (live account also) much like a cd key registration this has had numerous problems as 2nd games cant be used online properly and some ppl ahve been banned from xbox live for getting games too early, the ps3 on the other had a better idea to piracy make it region free and so far it has worked, the problem with the pc however is that it cant be regulated as much as xbox live with xbox live microsoft controlls everything with the pc its up to the user to control everything, Cliffy does have a point that pc gaming is complicated as most machines that are sold come with intel gpus rather than nvidia ones and that they are branded as ultimate gaming machines that run crysis (belive me lots of places do this with £400 shelf computers) and other high performance programmes, he furthermore has a point that if one is tech savy then they know about the dark side of pc gamiing and will just pay a vist there to save money, i’m not defending cliffy (i think hes an idiot) but he does have points.

  12. jackflash says:

    Step 1. Console developer ports game to PC months or years after it first came out on console
    Step 2. Ported console game is garbage to play on PC, or target audience already played it on console
    Step 3. Ported console game sells poorly on PC
    Step 4. Console developer blames poor PC sales on piracy.

    How are these people smart enough to program complex software, again?

  13. Ian Kiigan says:

    Perhaps I’m alone here, but I thought Gears of War is a fantastic game overall (on Xbox 360 at least), and I loved UTIII also. So let’s not get all silly and start trashing great games just because GoW2 isn’t coming to PC.

    It is a shame that it won’t be coming to PC, but there’s really no need to get so worked up over it. The last thing the PC needs is more ropey console ports. Ultimately if the PC as a platform doesn’t make commercial sense for Epic to port GoW2 due to piracy or whatever, surely that’s fair enough isn’t it? If it was worth their while doing it, they’d be doing it. No point moaning about it – there’s plenty of great stuff coming to PC, just as there are great things coming to consoles.

  14. subedii says:

    I’m another of those people who enjoyed playing Gears a fair amount. Even played a couple of custom levels that people made (pretty good actually), if they had fixed the editor and supported the levelmakers a little more there might have been a nice (if small) community brewing there.

    Sidestepping the piracy argument for the moment (I will say that it’s pretty true that piracy’s a big issue here), I have to wonder…

    Just what is Mark Rein’s role on the PCGA now? His company has nothing to do with PC games anymore, and the PCGA has achieved precisely as much as I expected them to: not a lot.

    It’s not like he can claim to want to support the platform when he’s not releasing anything on it.

  15. Bhlaab says:

    It’s a sad attempt to punish people is all it is. They’ve been bitching a considerable amount about sales and review scores for gears 1 on the pc, and now they’re taking their ball and going home.

    I can’t imagine the piracy demands for gears are anywhere even approaching Crysis or Spore and both of those sold rather well regardless.

  16. Monkfish says:

    Epic really need to decide on their official stance on PC gaming as Messrs Rein and Bleszinski just keep contradicting each other (case in point, this interview at Eurogamer).

    I mean, Epic are supposed to be helping the PC gaming cause as (rather vocal) members of the PC gaming alliance – Bleszinski’s solo outbursts only ever seem to bring confusion to the mix.

  17. jbrandt says:

    Wait, so, he just said that people who know how to update video cards are pirates.

    Just because we know how to run bittorrent doesn’t mean we’re pirating games. I mean, hell, I know how to take a pistol and shoot somebody in the head, but I don’t do it.

  18. Optimaximal says:

    Step 1. Console developer ports game to PC months or years after it first came out on console
    Step 2. Ported console game is garbage to play on PC, or target audience already played it on console
    Step 3. Ported console game sells poorly on PC
    Step 4. Console developer blames poor PC sales on piracy.

    How are these people smart enough to program complex software, again?

    Except in a few unusual circumstances, it’s not the people doing the actual development who are making the ‘Piracy’ quotes – It’s either loud-mouth marketeers like CliffyB or clueless CEOs like Cevat Yerli (aka. people that don’t like losing money but also aren’t likely to lose their job when the development company has to make cuts because Meathead Blaster VII tanked).

    At least Molyneux had the balls in a recent interview to admit he has next too no contact with any form of coding anymore, existing only to hype the game to infinity and back before collecting his paycheck. I suppose he is British, after all. We rejected arrogance for humblism years ago.

  19. Dr_demento says:

    Well… I know enough to pirate a game, easily. On the other hand, keeping a gaming PC in working order and up-to-date enough to play new games for more than a few months, and debugging said games when they haven’t been alpha-tested enough to run on a computer well within the minimum specs… that’s beyond me.

    Also, there’s a hell of a lot of childish name-calling going on here. Cliff would not say something like this if it wasn’t true (why?), and he’s never denied that he’s doing it for the money. Oh – and he’s already tried to get people to stop using “CliffyB”, so it’s now pretty much exclusively used by immature AIM trying to make him look childish.

  20. mashakos says:

    Gears Of War PC was by no means a bad port. It was ported by the developers of Painkiller guys, they did it right.

    The problem with the port was the PC gamer, who approached it as a PC title. I had trouble with the style till I realized that this the game wasn’t a regular FPS where aiming was important. Case in point: shooting the enemies’ legs dealt more damage than shooting their heads. Didn’t try shooting them in the ass, maybe that’s a head shot in GOW!

    Anyway, if you play the game as if you’re in a Quake 3 deathmatch you’ll waste time and ammo. Just run towards the enemies and shoot low.

    The game was repetitive but it had it’s moments (the banshee!), and if you bought it you had to know that you were getting a brainless arcade shooter. It’s pace was a change from the more ‘serious’ shooters. It was a fun diversion in between long sessions of Crysis and COD4.

  21. Tony says:

    Remember when Mr. Bleszinski was cool?

    Anyone?

  22. Pidesco says:

    8 years ago, I thought he was cool.

    Gears of War was an incompetently designed game so I don’t see how anyone with half a brain would want to play its sequel.

  23. Maj.Havok says:

    What a load of c***. I like UT3 and the whole Unreal universe. I actually had respect for mister “Cliffy B” at one time. Please Epic sell the Unreal(game not engine) license to a developer who cares…like Valve, or almost anyone else. Can you imagine UT3 with updates every 3-4 months like Valve does with TF2 and is promising with L4D…

  24. Kadayi says:

    I’m pretty sure Cliffy B is just at Epic for comedy effect. He is as Mandrill pointed out akin to Romero. He makes headlines whenever he opens his mouth, but no one really cares about his actual opinion in critical terms any more. He’s not someone people run to for critical opinion, he’s just someone in the position to soap box.

    That he’s happy to basically accuse pretty much all serious gamers of being wanton pirates without a second thought is just par for the course. The man has a very limited perception of what makes a good game and what gaming is. Unless it’s full of alpha males with big guns running around being macho, Cliffy just doesn’t see it (are there any women in GoW at all?).

  25. Nick says:

    Oh dear, the quality Epic releases will be sorely missed by .. er.. not many people?

    I only got GoW because I won it in a PCG competition (thanks Craig!) and it was alright, not going to cry about no sequel as I could care less about the rubbish story being continued or whatever.

  26. Tei says:

    Could console developpers stop migratting console games to to PC, please? these games looks outdated, boring, repetitive and dumbedown on the dynamic and rich PC world. I don’t want more stinky consolecrapware …

  27. Andrew Wills says:

    Way to insult your customers, CliffyB. I’m really getting tired of being treated like this by stroppy developers, who release sub par games, expecting millions within days, only to blame piracy when they don’t go platinum within a week. I liken it to a popstar throwing a tantrum.

    Oh, and I do like how you guys are continuing to refer to him as CliffyB, despite his lame attempt to ditch the nickname!

    I was upset when I heard that Epic were planning to ditch PC… Now I’m not, as it just gives other, BETTER, independent developers a chance to create excellent games on a more open market, with lower expectations in terms of revenue.

  28. DosFreak says:

    Chalk me up as another PC only gamer who was disappointed with Gears of War. Having hearing all of the hype (never played it before) about how great it was I loaded it up and played it for an hour an a half and that’s all I needed to see to turn me off of it.

    (I only play single-player no multi-player).

  29. RichPowers says:

    @Andrew: I agree that piracy is often used as a scapegoat for games that either sell poorly or have unreasonable sales expectations. If you’re trying to explain poor sales to investors or the media, why blame yourself when you can blame the evil pirates?

    For example, expect to move 3 million units of a niche game like Sins of a Solar Empire is unreasonable. By all accounts, however, Stardock is pleased with the money it’s earned, probably because developments costs were fairly low.

  30. Radiant says:

    What ever happened to Catscan.com anyway?

  31. bitkari says:

    Oh Clifford, you ignorant [fool - ed]

  32. sinister agent says:

    Honestly, I think you lads are doing it on purpose now.

  33. Erlam says:

    “For example, expect to move 3 million units of a niche game like Sins of a Solar Empire is unreasonable. By all accounts, however, Stardock is pleased with the money it’s earned, probably because developments costs were fairly low.”

    This industry confuses the hell outta me. Spending 30 million on a game that sells 5 million copies is somehow better than spending 1 million and selling 750k. /shrug.

  34. Cyberpope says:

    thats quite a long rambling comment from Mr B there. I think we can safely assume what hes trying to say is “all pc gamers are theives”. Makes me want to get an Xbox just so i can pirate that cruddy brown muscular game

  35. Valentin Galea says:

    GoW is FUN when it all boils down, but

    they’re just lazy bastards – hard coding everything to the xbox:(

    It’s funny how EPIC started it all on the PC… even with software renderers!

  36. The Shed says:

    @mashakos: Agreed. The PC lot tend to start up something like GoW and expect something like Crysis. Like starting up Mario and expecting Braid.

  37. Flubb says:

    Cliffy B gave up on programming decent games after UT99, and now is just in the business to support his loud shirts and metro hairstyle.

  38. El_MUERkO says:

    i don’t think many {any} PC gamers give a rats ass

  39. MetalCircus says:

    I would be bothered if Cliffy B wasn’t such a prick

    oh and gears of war… fun for 3 hours.

  40. Bhlaab says:

    @Erlam:

    This industry confuses the hell outta me. Spending 30 million on a game that sells 5 million copies is somehow better than spending 1 million and selling 750k. /shrug.

    Why did Gamecube “lose” the last generation of consoles even though Nintendo was the only one of the three not losing a ton of money on each unit produced?

    I’ll tell you why: Because the games industry is based on a “my [total units sold] is bigger than yours” mentality that manages to shun any form of reason.
    Of COURSE we need to blow 30 million on a poor imitation of Halo, how else are we going to compete with a juggernaut like Halo?

  41. Nahual says:

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that the game was bad because it’s brainless, like quite a few have mentioned, it wasn’t even bad, it was just kinda repetitive and boring.

    Towards the last 1/3 i just wanted it to end.

    It’s also not because it was slow, you can make great slow games (STALKER, the original Ghost Recon), it’s just that it’s slow, simplistic, gimmicky and oh so easy with m&k as controllers, it’s quickly reduced to headshot 3 guys over and over again.

  42. Lewis says:

    I always like it when paying customers are lumped together with thieves. Good PR, that.

  43. Mr. President says:

    Well they can keep their GoW2 for all I care.

  44. MultiVaC says:

    I think I read “CliffyB”‘s blog once. It was kind of embarrassing because he seems to have the sense of humor of an 8 year old. I don’t think he’s ever made a statement that didn’t make him sound completely out of touch. Isn’t Epic supposed to be a prominent member of the “PC Gaming Alliance”? (I’m still not even sure what the fuck that group does, btw) I don’t see them really making an effort with their PC games, so I’m not surprised that nobody wants to buy their half-assed ports. I bought UT3 and I really regret it, the game sucked big time. I didn’t like the first Gears of War on the 360 either; I think “meathead” is a pretty apt word that game’s target audience. It wasn’t so much the brainlessness that bothered me, it was more the obnoxious, macho frat boy attitude that put me off, plus the gimmicky cover system that kicked off the idiotic trend of copycat third-person shooters and reduced the gunfights to a glorified game of whack-a-mole. Sure co-op was fun, but who can name a game that isn’t fun in co-op? Hell, even farming TF2 achievements on a LAN is fun when you’re doing it with friends. So good riddance to Epic and their loudmouthed manchild game designer, I wouldn’t buy another one their games anyway.

  45. Muzman says:

    It’s fairly typical for third parties to do the ports these days isn’t it? So some small start-up-n-comers who want EA friends might offer to do it for a song and a cut six months down the road. Surely, if the game is successful, the only way this wouldn’t happen is if Mr Shout-out-to-the-mosh-pit, but-don’t-touch-the-hair up there actively opposes it out of spite and/or a desire for blog hits.

  46. mashakos says:

    EPIC PHAIL

  47. Optimaximal says:

    This industry confuses the hell outta me. Spending 30 million on a game that sells 5 million copies is somehow better than spending 1 million and selling 750k. /shrug.

    Former (assuming £30 a game) = £150 million profit
    Latter (again, assuming £30 a game) = 22.5 million profit

    Obviously this is a general figure, but you can see how investing more on marketing and the graphics/engine (where most of the money really goes) looks good on paper.

  48. TheApologist says:

    Agree with Alec – there are a bunch of reasons this didn’t work on PC, and piracy is just one of them. The rest are all about Epic.

    My particular beef is a game that could only really appeal to someone who thought the new Rambo was a serious film.

  49. subedii says:

    You’re kidding right? Look the plot was sheer pap and practically made no sense, the setting was an inconsistent mess pumped with three NFL seasons worth of testosterone, and the dude with the helmet was the only one to get shot in the head (and he’s coming back in the sequel! ).

    Who cares. The game was ridiculous, there’s no way any sane person could take that crap seriously for more than 5 minutes. You don’t really expect more from it anymore than from a summer lockbuster. I’m as guilty as anyone of ragging on Jerry Bruckheimer, but I can’t fault the fact that sometimes he makes a good action set piece and that’s all he set out to do with his films (still think most of his films are crap though). Gears is a game where you remove your brain before entering, and if you can’t really do that that’s fine. But you definitely don’t need to treat the loopy subject matter seriously.

    And if you can? Well, you might be able to enjoy a decent shooter that’s completely OTT and laugh at how ridiculously Macho Macho MAN! everything is.

  50. Gryff says:

    @ Optimaximal
    Yeah, but follow that along,
    30 million spent gets you £150 million profit, versus
    30 million spent gets you £675 million.

    Ignoring such things as increased costs for having 30 teams working over the same period and saturating the market with 30 games coming our near the same time.