Today I come to you with a heavy heart and a higher-than-average tolerance for dick jokes. Bulletstorm – perhaps the manliest manshoot of them all, depending on how you measure these things – is officially dead. Apparently, People Can Fly’s cartoonishly profane murder symphony didn’t fly with Epic brass, so now Grayson Hunt is getting mad skillshots on angels. Somewhere, a giant remote-controlled dinosaur is shedding a single tear. Made of lasers. So then, what happened? Well, in what’s almost assuredly a first for a game company – nay, the whole of humankind – Epic’s Mike Capps partly blamed PC piracy.
Speaking with GameSpot, Capps explained why he ended up having to give the slow-mo boot to People Can Fly’s gratuitously swearing baby.
“I think Bulletstorm was very critically successful, and I think a lot of folks really enjoyed seeing something new. From a sales perspective it was good, but not amazing. I think EA was hoping we’d do better. We made a PC version of Bulletstorm, and it didn’t do very well on PC and I think a lot of that was due to piracy. It wasn’t the best PC port ever, sure, but also piracy was a pretty big problem.”
Of course, he conveniently glossed over the very unpopular decision to tether it to GFWL, but obviously, there’s no way of measuring precisely how much damage that did. Rather like there’s no way of measuring how much damage piracy did. Regardless, while a Bulletstorm sequel saw some “initial development,” People Can Fly has now been moved to a “better fit” that will be announced soon.
It’s interesting to see this news break directly after Epic blew PC gamers a big, sloppy kiss during PAX. “PC exclusive, hooray” and “PC piracy killed our product” are messages that, when mixed, would suggest that someone may have hit Epic brass in the head with actual brass. Or, more likely, this lends credence to the free-to-play Unreal theory – or free-to-play something, at the very least.