And In Stark Contrast To The Below:

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?


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.


  1. Larington says:

    Thats fine, I thought Gears of War was tedious (Being one of the few shooter games I haven’t bothered to get even close to completing) and I expect the sequel to be exactly the same, so I don’t feel I’ve lost anything on this one.

  2. Ragnar says:

    And we are savvy enough to realise those ports from their console originals almost always suck.

  3. AbyssUK says:

    Great news! Gears is rubbish on the PC and Cliffy B only makes games for Teenage American boys who like burning ants with chainsaw lasers. Gears can stay on the xbox.

  4. Gap Gen says:

    Well, he may have a point – after all, you can’t see the average Wii player getting out the screwdriver and modding their machine.

  5. Thiefsie says:

    ppl… it’s dude huge, though maybe cliffyB is more twattish?

    the less said about this douche and epics epic fail of PC gaming the better.

  6. Dude says:

    Do we need Gear of war 2 on PC? I think not…

  7. Cigol says:

    So okay, there are problems with piracy on the PC (which can’t be news to them as I remember distributing games, for free, on floppies)… but why then focus development on the 360 which is equally rife with piracy?

    Go to pirate communities… look for PS3 threads. You’ll be hard pushed to get a discussion going. Why are Epic so focused on a pirate haven like the 360 as opposed to say the PS3 which has ZERO piracy.

    Surely that’s where the gold is right? I mean, piracy being such a linchpin an all.

  8. Guido says:

    It’s easy: Don’t make sucky games, and they’ll sell on the PC. Gears of War was horrible, UT3 was too console-y. I bought both, actually liked UT3, but certainly wouldn’t buy GoW2.

    And do I have to mention that my opinion of Epic games went from “whoa, awesome” back in their shareware days to “console firm that sells trash to gullibles” meanwhile? Their “we don’t want smart customers” approach certainly doesn’t stop that progression.

  9. Duke says:

    In short: “We only want to make games for people who are too stupid to own a PC”
    There are fewer pirated copies for consoles because it takes more effort to chip/hack/whatever the system. Not because the users are more or less savvy/smart. You can teach a monkey to download pirated copies. (And judging from most comments on those sites I have a feeling some have tried…)
    But yeah. Another crappy game we wont see on the PC :P

  10. Thiefsie says:

    I always thought it was spelt nincumpoop

  11. Larington says:

    Game companies have blamed failure on piracy as far back as the days of the Spectrum 128k, so I epically fail to see what merit the idea that PC gaming is different now has today in terms of piracy than it did back in the days of 486 intel PCs where I’d pop around to one of my school chums and we’d swap games rather than buy every single one released (Otherwise I would never have discovered the joys of Dune & Dune 2, btw).

  12. araczynski says:

    doesn’t the average pc pirate also have a 360 as well? i mean the stats seem to indicate that pc gamers also have consoles. and if he’s so uber smart to change his pc hardware and pirate there, guess what, he’s smart enough to pirate for the 360 he/she has as well.

    get your head out of the sand cliffy, or at least stop spewing your retarded half truths.

  13. NegativeZero says:

    “No”? More like “not until our agreement with Microsoft expires 6 months later.”

  14. Chris Evans says:

    Yarr my ranting thoughts!

    In short he should stop giving us this bull crap about pirates being why it isn’t coming on the PC and tell us the truth. Consoles = more money via DLC and higher priced games.

  15. Meat Circus says:

    Epic Games and their house-trained pet monkey Clifford will definitely be first against the wall when the revolution against Complete and Utter Tools comes.

  16. phuzz says:

    oh noes!, we don’t get some shoddy console port of the videogame equivalent of the fast and the furious.

    Although I have been known to build my computer, and I can indeed find a torrent, open a spilt rar and open ports on a router. I still don’t want to play GoW tho.

  17. Monkfish says:

    I’m beginning to wonder why the hell Epic even bothered to sign-up to the PC Gaming Alliance if all they’re going to do is insult PC gamers’ intelligence with this nonsense.

  18. Mogs says:

    He calls himself Cliffy B and Dude Huge & his philosophy is ‘Bigger better, more badass’

    Need I say anymore?

  19. Lollerskater says:

    Agreeing with Guido here. I probably liked UT3 a bit more most likely and thought Gears would provide a similar experience. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed.

    Personally I am now looking forward to the UT3 Linux port more than anything related to GoW 2.

  20. Nick says:

    Cigol said – “…but why then focus development on the 360 which is equally rife with piracy?”

    Are you seriously trying to suggest that a significant proportion of 360 owners have the means to pirate 360 games?

    Not that I agree with Cliffy B or anything, but suggesting that the 360 has a piracy problem even a fraction the size of the PC is nuts. I’m sure it’s true that almost every 360 game is floating about the internet somewhere. That’s a very different kettle of fish from anything more than a minuscule minority being able to run unsigned code on a 360. And chipping a 360 is a far bigger deal than the original Xbox.

    I’m pretty confident it’s out of the reach of 99% of 360 owners.

  21. karthik says:

    “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.”

    So everyone who knows their way around torrents is a pirate? Or is there a layer to the argument I’m missing?

  22. teo says:

    He’s not that damn wrong
    If I were in charge of game with a budget like that I would be hesitant about putting it on the PC

    You can disagree with him but be reasonable instead of pretending like he’s talking like he’s from Mars or something

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

  23. Okami says:

    Here’s the problem right now; the person who is stupid enough to run on stage with a plastic toy chansaw and who’s every second word seems to be “badass” shouldn’t be allowed to have any opinions, let alone speak them out in public.

  24. Horatius says:

    He calls himself Cliffy B and Dude Huge & his philosophy is ‘Bigger better, more badass’

    Need I say anymore?

    Too right!

    Large developers can all bail out of the PC market and it will be great for gamers. Indie developers would love to have the market space opened up.
    Also, if I’m not mistaken Gears of War broke several of the RPS ’10 Rules’…

  25. vander says:

    Wow, because I am savvy enough to want my games to look good on my PC…I must be a pirate.

    I buy each and every game I play, because I want to support developers in making more games.

    I will NOT be supporting anything associated with CliffyB in the future.

  26. Alec Meer says:

    Teo – the thing is he’ll make his money on 360 anyway. A PC release would only mean extra cash, regardless of how many do or don’t pirate it, but their attitude seems to be smash hit or bust. And it’s Epic’s refusal to do anything other than put-it-in-a-box-and-stick-it-on-a-shelf that grates: they’ve just thrown toys out of the pram rather than tried to address the problem.

  27. Larington says:

    Also, I think the Steam Hardware Survey should include a set of tick-boxes for consoles owned in additon to the PC.

    Just to point out the fact that people might not have bought a game on PC because they’d already bought the 360/PS3 version and don’t feel the need to replay the game (Even with a few extra levels thrown in).

  28. Radiant says:

    I’m just surprised he didn’t slip in the word ‘badass’ in there.
    Epic as a company still thinks its 2001.

  29. spd from Russia says:

    I think UT3 pretty much failed on every platform?
    and PC sales in USA are shit, no matter what

  30. Nick says:

    @Alec “A PC release would only mean extra cash, regardless of how many do or don’t pirate it”

    That’s not taking into account any of the negatives of doing the port, namely financial and opportunity cost. Clearly they ARE making a business decision, not an emotional one, and they’re in the position of having actual sales and cost figures to work with.

    From their point of view it just doesn’t seem worth it – they can spend the time (and money) elsewhere and get a better return.

  31. Robin says:

    The PC already has hundreds of crappy action games from the early 1990s, we don’t need ridiculously over-produced spoofs of them like Gears of War if we want to wallow in nostalgia for that era.

    If this kind of whining was coming from a non-creatively bankrupt studio there might be a problem.

    Edit: Oh, and they’re not doing a PC version because Microsoft have said so, btw. The porting costs are utterly negligible, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the game mysteriously does turn up on PC exactly 6 or 12 months from the Xbox 360 release date.

  32. spd from Russia says:

    Alec Meer : no that easy. there are additional costs of shipping a game on another platform, even if the tech is multiplatform. It might const more than it actually makes in sales. Actully I dont think it wouldnt cover the costs of porting, but whatever.

    Gears is xbex-exclusive that`s supposed to push platform sales. I guess thats the main reason for denying PC. But he would never tell the whole truth. Typical PR bullshit.

  33. skillian says:

    That’s what I don’t get – surely if they’ve already built the game (on a PC) for 360, then no matter what the level of piracy, they would make some money by releasing it on PC, especially if it was distributed digitally.

    edit: OK, a lot of people addressed my point since I started typing it. I do find it difficult to believe that the cost of releasing it on the platform would outweigh the potential revenue from games sales though. I guess exclusivity is more of a factor than straight up sales.

  34. Alec Meer says:

    As I say, they’re probably thinking smash hit or bust for a PC port. I just can’t imagine a game of this profile wouldn’t make /some/ money – especially if they were prepared to stick it on Steam, Impulse etc and thus reduce distribution costs. Which they didn’t for GOW1, instead stuffing it with that Windows Live rubbish.

    He’s also not blaming GOW1 PC’s (presumably) low sales on anything other than piracy (e.g. perceived high system requirements, people owning it on 360 already, its reputation for being a bit meatheaded, the bad rep of GFWL) – which frankly is as near-sighted as any of us saying piracy did it no harm whatsoever.

  35. Radiant says:

    In any case he’s not wrong. He’s not lying.
    Gears is erm geared for a two player co-op experience; for it to do well on the PC it would need to significantly increase that number and be less a directed story and more of a battlefield/COD4 clone.

    Also i would imagine the QA hoops microsoft would make Epic jump through for a PC release would cost a hell of a lot of money.

  36. skillian says:

    Epic aren’t exactly a poor company. Maybe the extra cash isn’t worth the hit they take to their reputation when their biggest release debuts at no. 15 in the PC charts?

  37. multi purpose eskimo says:

    Cliff: pc gamers are smart enough to pirate games.

    pc gamers: [sob] well ur game sux!

  38. cHeal says:

    The lad from Stardock said the exact same thing, he just wasn’t a complete twat about it. The fact is that the demographics for games like UT3 and Gears correlates closely with the demographic of people who know how to pirate media, some of whom, do pirate media.

    He’s still a twat though, and if they had actually released PC games on the PC instead of console rehashes ala UT3 and Gears then they probably would have sold better.

  39. spd from Russia says:

    Alec Meer: Im 100% sure they have a contract with MS that would never allow them to use Steam. MS has Epic by the balls

    Radiant: and they pretty much killed the mp/coop in gears by force-tying with the crappy WindowsLive (which wasnts free for PCs back then too)

  40. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    No one bought their slightly above average shooter which squandered millions on visual technology just to make people think they weren’t playing Contra all over again? Boo hoo. Poor Cliffy.

  41. Jochen Scheisse says:

    The first thing they could do would be to scale down GOW2 to 256 colors, all brown. Saves a lot of capacity and no one would notice. Also I played GOW1 on a friend’s console and my bottom line is that it’s not my game anyway, I woudn’t have bought or pirated it so I don’t care.

  42. mandrill says:

    Its Romero all over again.
    A game developer who thinks that he shits gold and money spouts from his carnage addled brain who has gotten too big for his boots.
    The PC is better off without him, the consoles can have him.

  43. Cigol says:

    Nick, my post was mostly tongue in cheek.

    They aren’t exclusively focusing development on the PS3 (a console with absolutely zero piracy) because Microsoft aren’t paying them to do so. There may be other considerations such as install base and so forth, but my point is that Piracy (the linchpin for his argument against the PC) isn’t the deciding factor elsewhere. Ergo; hypocrite.

    As for piracy on the 360, considering it’s a highly specialised platform (exclusively for gaming) it’s fair to say there’s a significant (if not majority) proportion of users downloading and playing these games illegally. The PC is an open platform, it’s used by everyone for everything and its install base is staggering. My sister might illegally download the Sims tomorrow, but what, is she going to illegally download Gears of War next week? Hell, maybe she’ll never download another game illegally in all her life.

    It’s not the same market. You can’t compare it. You own a games system you are going to play games on it. For the PS3 you have two options, rent/borrow or buy. The 360 has three options.

    I mean, I don’t really care. 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.

  44. Dante says:

    Alec is definitely right about this, the reason that they’re throwing their toys out the pram is that the PC release of the first game didn’t reach their totally unreasonable expectations. And they’ve taken the blinkered view that this must be because of piracy rather than the fact that it had been out on the 360 for six months already.

    Anyone who wanted to play it, played it and anyone who bought it once didn’t need to buy it again. Not to mention that the ridiculous hype that accounted for so much of it’s strong sales had faded away by then.

    Interestingly, I neither paid for nor pirated Gears, I picked it up as a freebie on a net rental site. Seems the perfect place for a short co-op game that you’re going to finish in under a week, while laughing your ass off at the unintentional homo-eroticism of it all.

  45. rei says:

    In before Mark Rein’s damage control.

    Mr. Professional Troll felt that people weren’t talking about him enough anymore, so he’s trying to say something inflammatory. I’m fairly certain he’s not even the guy who decides what gets ported where.

  46. Katsumoto (jvgp100) says:

    Have any of you guys tried getting an interview with him? I’d love to see his responses to some of your probing questions. Oo er.

  47. fishmitten says:

    Roughly translates to: “We don’t need the extra money, so why bother?”

    I’m sure most PC gamers don’t care anyway.

  48. Bobsy says:

    Sigh. Well I’d have liked to have had GOW2 on PC. Not my particular cup of gaming tea but it’s a big name title and given a quality port it would do a lot for the system’s reputation. Especially if it was given a simultaneous cross-platform release. Of course it wasn’t and wouldn’t, so that’s that out the window for starters.

    It’s a shame, and Cliff Bleszinski (remember that Cliff? Your actual name!) is utterly misguided over the whole issue. I don’t want to have to put on a tinfoil hat over this but it smells to me like he’s had Microsoft employees whispering in his ears over this for a while.

  49. Maximum Fish says:

    “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.”


    Smart people are all software pirates. We have trouble selling our stupid people games to smart people. This is because they are all pirates. I really like money, a whole lot. We make a lot of that selling stupid people games to stupid people. Plus, piracy, multiple configurations, upgrade expenses, and other cliched bullet point excuses. You see?”

    GOW (which i bought the pc port of) was lowest-common-denominator fratboy field-tested stupidity, even though it was fun stupidity. I’m not pretentious enough that i can’t enjoy willfully stupid entertainment now and then, and i’m not trying to equate consoles with stupid people, vice versa, or anything so dismissive, but when looking at Epic’s lineup of games, i can’t help but feel like ol’ Cliffy has found a good home.

  50. Paul Moloney says:

    I gave it a go and it was an astonishly boring game. It reminded me of ID’s latter games; great production values and technology, but little in the way of gameplay. Maybe I didn’t play it enough, but GoW seems to consist of:

    1. Hide behind wall
    2. Jump up
    3. Shoot at creature with peashooter weapon
    4. Duck
    5. Go to line 1.

    The standard response is “yeah, but it’s fun in co-op”. But most games are more fun in co-op, in that it’s always better to play something with a few bantering mates. It’s no excuse for the game being too dull for single-player play.