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Developer describes PC game piracy as "astounding"

Besides targeting the mass market, there are other reasons for many PC game developers to shift focus to consoles.

Call of Duty, a franchise that started on the PC, is now a bona fide hit on current-generation consoles Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Listed as one of GameStop’s top five selling games throughout the holiday season, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was also amongst the most often played online.

Microsoft’s Larry Hryb detailed in his blog that Call of Duty 4 was the third most played game on Xbox Live, behind only Halo 3 and Gears of War.

Even with the success of the console versions of Call of Duty 4, the developers of the game continue to put effort into extending the life of its work for the PC audience. Coming soon are mod tools for hobbyists to create new game modes, as well as a map editor to make new environments.

Sadly, one issue that plagues PC gaming far more than consoles is the issue of piracy. Robert Bowling of Infinity Ward wrote in his fourzerotwo blog under the heading “They Wonder Why People Don't Make PC Games Any More” a particularly disturbing note commenting on the “astounding” number of people who have pirated Call of Duty 4 and play online.

“On another PC related note, we pulled some disturbing numbers this past week about the amount of PC players currently playing Multiplayer (which was fantastic),” wrote Bowling. “What wasn't fantastic was the percentage of those numbers who were playing on stolen copies of the game on stolen / cracked CD keys of pirated copies (and that was only people playing online).”

“Not sure if I can share the exact numbers or percentage of PC players with you, but I'll check and see; if I can I'll update with them. As the amount of people who pirate PC games is astounding,” he continued. “It blows me away at the amount of people willing to steal games (or anything) simply because it's not physical or it's on the safety of the internet to do.”

Infinity Ward is not the first developer to speak out on the difficulties that piracy creates for PC game makers. id Software’s Todd Hollenshead presented a speech on the very topic at the Game Developer’s Conference 2007 – and like Infinity Ward chose to do with Call of Duty 4, id Software’s next project will also be developed with consoles in mind.





"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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