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"Red Faction: Armageddon"   (Source:
Company sees PC as "the most variable"

Piracy has become a large worry in many areas of the entertainment industry. For instance, several film studios urged an Australian ISP to warn users against piracy of illegal movies. Another recent report stated that major record labels had to pay $45 million for pirating music. 

But movies and music are not the only victims of piracy. PC games have had a bit of a piracy issue themselves, with games like "Spore" becoming some of the most pirated PC games in history. In 2008, TorrentFreak listed "Spore" as the most downloaded PC game on BitTorrent with a download count of 1.7 million. "The Sims 2" was in second place with a download count of 1.15 million copies. In more recent months, games like "Dragon Age 2" and "Crysis 2" have been leaked onto torrent sites.

So with piracy hitting the PC game industry as well, many have questioned whether it is worth making PC versions of games anymore. But despite those who doubt the financial worth of PC games, there is one video game developer that still believes these games are important to the gaming industry.

"Some people say PC is dying. Some people say PC is the future," said Eric Barker, studio manager of video game developer Volition. "PC is the most variable, because it depends on what you've got under the hood. For us, the key thing was making sure the PC version was done in-house."

Barker is talking about the PC versions of Volition's "Saints Row: The Third" and "Red Faction: Armageddon," which are both due to be released in 2011. Barker has no doubt that the PC versions of both games will be worth the time and money needed to develop them.

"You should see [the PC version of 'Red Faction:Armageddon'], it looks absolutely beautiful," said Barker. "If you've got a great graphics card it looks fantastic. We definitely believe PC games are great and if they're done right and done well by a studio, they're phenomenal. There's a lot of debate and discussion. I can't predict the future, but I'm really happy with how 'Red Faction: Armageddon' looks on PC. It's beautiful."

"Saints Row 2" and "Red Faction: Guerrilla," the two previous versions of the upcoming games that were created by external studios, experienced quality issues with PC ports, which is why Barker was adamant about completing the new versions "in-house." Piracy is not something that'll keep him from creating excellent PC games for avid users. 

"I don't think [piracy] is something at the forefront for us," said Barker. "First and foremost, we want to make sure we're making a game people would want to pirate. 

"Let's make a game that's worth stealing, and then we'll worry about making sure they don't."

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All hail misleading info
By Aihal on 3/20/2011 3:54:40 PM , Rating: 5
Nice work there twisting facts and information.

What was leaked was an unfinished beta version of Crysis 2, not the final game.

And what is this that i see is in torrent sites for two days now? Crysis 2 final retail version for X360 and PS3 ready to download and play in my consoles? Rejoice!
Oh, look, no sign of the PC version still :(
No matter, piracy will surely only be a problem in the PC version, regardless of the fact the console versions had a head start of several days in torrent sites. /sarcasm

And about Dragon Age 2, like virtually every other game ever it was available for all three platforms days earlier than the programed launch date.
You guys really don't bother on checking if what you say is remotely accurate...

RE: All hail misleading info
By Aihal on 3/20/2011 3:59:04 PM , Rating: 4
And i forgot to add that the thing about the beta of Crysis 2 was an actual INTERNAL LEAK unrelated to piracy, unlike with retail copies that get into torrent sites before launch day, just like the console version of Crysis 2 that are available now.

That means someone at Crytek put in it the wild on purpose, or left a development PC alone for a janitor to get an USB drive and get himself a copy of said thing or whatever.

RE: All hail misleading info
By MrBlastman on 3/21/2011 11:12:39 AM , Rating: 3
You're missing the crux of this article, the whole, true point behind it all. Volition completely dodged the most important topic at hand.

Where is FreeSpace 3 and when will they be making it for all of us to buy?

That's all I really care about. As soon as they do this, our Universe will be closer to being complete. Without it, there is a huge void that remains unfilled.

Sure, the FreeSpace Source Code Project ( has done some amazing things, and Blue Planet (mod for FS 2) is incredible, but, there's still an emptyness that stands. Volition, if you're listening, get with it, we want FreeSpace 2, and want it now. :) (and not a half-reared console port, we want the full PC experience).

RE: All hail misleading info
By Connoisseur on 3/21/2011 12:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
OMG I logged in just to reply to this comment. FreeSpace 1 and 2 were amongst the greatest games ever created and they were the pinnacle of space combat games. No other game comes close. WTF happened to the genre? :(

Long live FreeSpace.

RE: All hail misleading info
By Jcollector1 on 3/23/2011 1:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
Freespace 2 was the absolute most complete gaming experience ever.

As a SciFi fan NOTHING can touch the storyline, the gameplay, and the overall experience. I still remember the goosebumps I had on the final mission when the 6 Shivan dreadnaughts came pouring through hyperspace while you stayed back fighting off hoards of fighters so the fleet could get into the jumpgate. I think that mission literally was 1 hour of pure gaming adrenaline the likes that I have never felt before.

Seriously Volition why the hell haven't you started on Freespace 3??? I couldn't imagine what it would be like playing on a 30" widescreen with dual 6xxx radeons or 5xx Nvidia's. I mean fresspace 2 looked great on a geforce 4200ti.....

There is so much left to the storyline!!!

RE: All hail misleading info
By Jcollector1 on 3/23/2011 1:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
I feel the same way the universe will never be complete without revenge on the Shivans!!!!

They could set up FS3 10 years after the events of FS2 and it should 100% be the Terrans and Vesudans going on a direct attack on shivan space culminating on the be all end all attack on the Shivan homeworld.

I have no idea why volition is BS'ing there hasnt been a space sim release since FS2 that I could even stand to play.

RE: All hail misleading info
By B3an on 3/20/2011 6:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
Dont know why morons have rated you down. Your information is accurate. And you have a good point, consoles have lots of piracy as well.

RE: All hail misleading info
By someguy123 on 3/20/11, Rating: 0
RE: All hail misleading info
By someguy123 on 3/20/2011 7:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Whoops, missed an "s" on "he" there.

RE: All hail misleading info
By EricMartello on 3/20/2011 9:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
The story in general implies that the PC as a platform is not ideal due to "piracy". He was pointing out that "piracy" is not limited to the PC. Apparently some of you lack the mental capacity to read between the lines.

RE: All hail misleading info
By someguy123 on 3/20/11, Rating: 0
RE: All hail misleading info
By vol7ron on 3/21/2011 12:31:23 AM , Rating: 2
But consoles can be considered PCs, especially those used as HTPCs; even more so if GeoHot had his way ;)

RE: All hail misleading info
By EricMartello on 3/21/2011 12:40:48 AM , Rating: 2
The act of singling out the PC platform inherently creates the PC vs ____ platform debate. If the article had simply stated that the developer was not concerned with piracy in general, then there would be some validity to what you are saying.

RE: All hail misleading info
By SlyNine on 3/21/2011 6:38:43 AM , Rating: 2
If anything all he/she implied was that developers are more concerned with Piracy on the PC then on the consoles. Then he/she's trying to point out a developer with the "right mindset"

The problem with reading between the lines, there are no words there, only your assumptions. You have to at least accept the possibility that you could be wrong and he/she didn't mean that at all.

RE: All hail misleading info
By EricMartello on 3/21/2011 6:53:25 PM , Rating: 2
True enough, but a good writer takes the time to specify their intent. Leaving written concepts open-ended essentially precludes the possibility of it being merely a case of "right and wrong".

RE: All hail misleading info
By Sivar on 3/21/2011 1:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're being a little harsh.

The points I got from the article were "PC hardware is more variable and more powerful than consoles" and "piracy isn't such a problem that we [Volition] don't want to write PC versions of our games"

- not - "at a particular moment in time, the PC version of XYZ is on a particular torrent site" -- something that changes rapidly anyway.

a great game will sell
By CloudFire on 3/20/2011 3:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
Piracy is also rampant on the consoles as well. Imo, if you make a great/unique game, it will get tons of sale, and it will also get pirated. Each pirated download does not equate to money lost. I have downloaded games before to try them out and see if I like it. A 60$ investment is hefty on a title I am not sure I'll enjoy (used to be 49$ for most PC games). I eventually buy the games I liked when they are on sale on Steam or something to support the devs and ease the pain on my wallet. Just look at examples of Starcraft, Battlfield, CoD, Total War, and new MMO's such as Rift. They are all great games and many of which have multiplayer components which makes people stick around and are supported by the developers long after their release. Even different titles such a Magicka and Minecraft have been sleeper hits on the PC with very low cost development.

Bottom line, if you make a game it will get pirated, but imo, if it's something worth owning, there will be tons of profit to be had.

RE: a great game will sell
By n0ebert on 3/20/2011 6:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Piracy is often used as a scapegoat for games not reaching their projected numbers when it comes to how much money was spent on it and the advertising that was shoved down everyones throats about it. To these companies, the more money spent must mean that it's just that much better.

If a game doesn't do as well as they had hoped or it just tanked, they blame piracy instead of being poorly designed. Also, they don't take into account that the anti-piracy measures often used are more detrimental to the normal user often interference with their ability to play the game over those who pirated the game and not encountering any issues.

Starforce was an absolutely terrible system and securom installs uninstallable files and registry keys on your system that not even their own utility to remove them can remove them properly. Ubisoft's latest idea is a great example of where not to go. They found out the hard way when it's authentication servers were DoS'd and users found themselves unable to play their games... "offline".

RE: a great game will sell
By vapore0n on 3/21/2011 2:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't steam already do this online authentication?
I myself would prefer this than to have stuff like starforce installed on my ststem.

RE: a great game will sell
By Nik00117 on 3/20/2011 8:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
I pirated Mass Effect 1 I loved that game.

I went ahead and bought Number 1, and now am eagerly awaiting 3.

I pirated several other games as well which I ended up loving and therefore eventually buying.

If a game is really good, I will pay for it. If it sucks, I won't pay for it.

Example, Grid the racing game. I pirated this game. It was a fun game however I'm not a big fan of racing games. One day steam had a sale on Grid and Dirt 2 I bought both games.

I had I not pirated Grid or Masseffect I'd of never bought them.

RE: a great game will sell
By StevoLincolnite on 3/20/2011 10:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
Eh, you don't need to Pirate when you have companies like Ubisoft around.

A few days ago Ubisoft was going to have 4 games for free available on it's website in Australia as a promotion...

However... They buggered up and made every game free for several hours.
Coincidentally I grabbed a heap of games, Brothers in Arms, Assassins Creed, FarCry 2, Heroes of Might and Magic, Anno 1404, Settlers the works.

It was interesting seeing American's use a VPN to access something in Australia, usually it's the other way around. :P

RE: a great game will sell
By c4xp on 3/21/2011 11:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a pirate myself, but I also bought all the games I thought are worth it. And no, I'm not rich. I think supporting the developers is a moral gesture.

Let's say that I pirated 90% of the games I play.
That means that the other 10% I bought.

When the total 100% price of my played games = will be equal to the price of the 10%, I bought, then gaming industry will no longer have pirates.

Instead of blaming the people who do play them, and appreciate a good title, maybe we should look elsewhere for blame: I don't know ?! Maybe the economic system ?...

RE: a great game will sell
By EricMartello on 3/20/2011 9:05:52 PM , Rating: 4
As a developer it's actually beneficial to have your software "shared" because you gain market share without having to pay for advertising. Windows became a household OS due largely in part to such sharing. Sharing is not privacy despite what lobbyists, media and corrupt politicians would have you believe.

Software piracy, on the other hand, is entirely different from sharing software. Piracy implies that someone is RESELLING or otherwise profiting from software that they do not own the rights to distribute. If I was selling copies of Windows 7 "pre installed" on a system, that could be construed as piracy since I am not paying Microsoft for the rights to resell their software. Same thing if I was selling cracked versions of popular software like Adobe CS4.

A good game or application will spread on its own merit a lot of times, as people continue to recommend it to their friends. It's not an exaggeration to say that a lot of software and games are total crap that are not worth their price tag, even if they had a multi-million dollar development effort behind them. They can blame file sharing but the reality is if your game or app sucks, nobody is even going to bother sharing it.

RE: a great game will sell
By RjBass on 3/21/2011 9:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more. The first version of Unreal Tournament I played was a pirated version back in 01 or 02. When that computer went up in smoke, instead of trying to work through getting the pirated version again I just purchased it. Loving the game so much I purchased UT2004 and UT3 without question. I recently purchased the Unreal Pack from Steam. That one pirated version of the original UT gained the developers 4 more purchases from me.

Chant it with me...
By ockky on 3/20/2011 6:31:20 PM , Rating: 3

... hrm, and apparently DT qualifies this post as spam =/

RE: Chant it with me...
By PrinceGaz on 3/20/2011 9:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
Woah, that's going back a bit. A superb game in its day, but I think these days the X-universe is where that genre is at, or possibly Elite 4 which I believe is due to be released about ten years after Duke Nukem Forever finally goes on sale (assuming no further delays).

RE: Chant it with me...
By JoJoman88 on 3/21/2011 2:00:51 AM , Rating: 2
Freespace 2 was the best! I played X-wing,TIE fighter and many other space combat sims and Freespace 2 had them hands-down. The story, action and the mods made for that game couldn't be better at the time(it has been a while like 1999 or so). Impluse has added it to their downloads not to long ago. If it works on Win7,I might give it a try again.

RE: Chant it with me...
By Bubbacub on 3/21/2011 6:01:36 AM , Rating: 2
freespace sucked balls compared to original tiefighter + addons

RE: Chant it with me...
By callmeroy on 3/21/2011 9:51:08 AM , Rating: 2
I loved those space combat sim games...played Freespace (I and II) ...but my fav of that genre was the Wing Commander series -- of which I bought (and played the heck out of) every game in the series...

Such a shame that genre all but died now....

RE: Chant it with me...
By Akrovah on 3/21/2011 11:05:25 AM , Rating: 2
Wing Commander was the sniz back in the day. X-Wing/Tie Fighter were games games, as was the Freespace series, but I loved the much more personal story of the Wing Commander games. But then we got the half-hearted Secrect Ops. Such a let down after the semi-decent start for a new crew Prophecy gave us.

Ah memories. But that said, as the article is focusing on Volition...FREESPACE! FREESPACE!...

RE: Chant it with me...
By Akrovah on 3/21/2011 11:09:24 AM , Rating: 3
I kind of view the X series and Elite as an almost separate genre. Freespace, Wing Commander, and the X-Wing/Tie series were all specifically combat focuses. You were part fo the military and they sent you out on combat missions, whereas X and Elite were free exploration games that just also happened to be flight sims. Oh and they had a story you could follow, if you chose to.

Its kind of like comparing Doom to the current Fallout games. Sure at the surface they are both first person shooters, but the underlying game type is radically different.

RE: Chant it with me...
By MrBlastman on 3/21/2011 2:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
Elite 4 is already out--it is called Evochron Legends and Evochron Mercenaries. Look them up, they have everything in them that made Elite great PLUS Track IR support.

Yes, you can land on planets and take off from them, seamlessly transitioning from atmosphere to space.

Tip for gamehouses...
By petrosy on 3/20/2011 7:25:40 PM , Rating: 1

As a pc gamer I am not interested in playing some halfbaked console game. I am happy to part with my hard earned cash for a decent game... but RED FACTION... please don't make me laugh!

RE: Tip for gamehouses...
By kmmatney on 3/20/2011 10:16:14 PM , Rating: 3
The fact is, all the big game companies make more money from console games, so this is a trend that is going to stay.

At least with PC, there is the possibility of downloading patches and mods to improve things. The default UI of Oblivion was annoying, being a direct console port - however there were soon plenty of mods which greatly improved things, and made it more suitable for a PC.

RE: Tip for gamehouses...
By RjBass on 3/21/2011 9:26:29 AM , Rating: 2
For the next year or two you will be seeing way more games made for PC and then ported to console. The console market is getting stale with seriously old hardware that just can't match what a midrange graphics card and produce in a PC these days. Developers are looking at the PC again to make their games with the best cutting edge graphics available. Now this might change when the next generation of consoles becomes available, but for now it's safe. A great example is the upcoming BF3 due out this fall. That game was made for PC and from the trailers, looks just fantastic.,opinion-...

By Sazabi19 on 3/21/2011 1:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
Lol, I love how everyone is reading this and they all say "he" for the person that wrote the article. Look again guys :) I don't read too many of Tiffany's (hope that is right) stories either, but it woulnd't kill you to check.

RE: She!!
By gimpycow on 3/21/2011 7:41:19 PM , Rating: 1
For those that say they pirate and then think it is ok by saying I purchased some of the games...palease. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

Volition is awesome!
By AggressorPrime on 3/20/2011 6:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
Now this is the attitude of a game developer that is for the gamer. I'm proud they made my favorite game, Descent, and are still making great games today.

By TSS on 3/20/2011 7:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'll be pirating the new red faction game before i decide on buying it. I bought the last one on great reviews and good faith and it was such a big let down. They tout great destructability and what you get is a map with 4 small buildings, with no way to play on that map without a time limit.

Even red faction 1 had a sandbox mode.

A game worth pirating is a game not worth it's shelf price but still worth checking out the effort the artist put in. Like a museum piece - Far too expensive to own and store but still worth looking at. I'm curious to see if they've improved the above, so i'll definitly check it out. But i'm not going to buy a game on their word.

Once battlefield 3 and diablo 3 come out i doubt i'll ever buy a game before pirating it again. And even that isn't foolproof - i bought crysis 1 after checking the singleplayer and reading reviews about multiplayer. After buying it i found multiplayer had been hacked since beta and every server had atleast 3 cheaters (this was 4 days after release). I played 4 days full of frustration until i put the CD on the shelf to collect dust.

Start making games that are actually worth buying again.

of course pc titles have value
By darckhart on 3/20/2011 7:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
1. make sure the game doesn't suck. i cannot stress this enough. your fps/rpg/rts clone DOES NOT MAKE IT AN AUTOMATIC WINNER.

2. make sure the game works. that means quit using us as beta testers AFTER we buy it. i hate having 50 mb patches to fix "bugs" THAT ARE GAMEPLAY BREAKERS.

3. quit giving us console ports. it's not hard to tell when the whole darn game was meant to be played with a controller. just because it looks the same doesn't mean it plays the same. and for that matter, console level graphics look like crap on our pc systems.

4. stop using your stupid drm. i hate logging in to play single player offline...and having your server down. i hate having a cd in the drive. i hate having limited number of install/uninstalls. i hate having to check with your server before i can install ESPECIALLY ON LAUNCH DAY.

5. price it more reasonably. 60 is not reasonable. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU GIVE ME A CRAPPY CONSOLE PORT.

that being said, finally someone has sense. make it worth selling. then worry about piracy.

By kmmatney on 3/20/2011 10:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
My son actually purchased the special edition of Spore ($70+) for his computer. It required online registration, and I used my email address as my son was only 9 years old. After about a year, we did a fresh install of windows 7, and tried to install the game again. It kept asking for the code, and wouldn't take the code from the box. I tried registering online again, but that didn't help. I even called up EA, spent ages on the phone, and they supposedly "reset" our account and gave us a new code, that was supposed to work after a few hours. The new code never worked either - I was furious about all the time wasted on a game that we spent so much money for.

I eventually just had to pirate the game - it was the only way I could get it to work...I'll never buy an EA game again (at least if it has some stupid copy protection like Spore).

Unbalanced statistics
By swizeus on 3/20/2011 10:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
This focused article is just too focused. It just doesn't say how much the studio are earning for a game despite such high piracy....

By CZroe on 3/21/2011 12:53:07 AM , Rating: 2
Every multiplatform game I buy, I buy on the PC is a PC version is available.

It would be easy for game devs to make a platform standard for PC implementing console-like copy protections. For whatever reasons, they chose not to. Because I value physical copies with resale value, I would totally support a USB-key method that allowed me to backup my storage media as much as I want and exchange the key if it ever broke. I would also want a way to transfer the licenses temporarily to a shared key (they can expire in 30 days or whatever) so that I could use one key for all the games I am currently playing.

If it came down to it, they could sell cheap proprietary disc readers or NOS external HD-DVD drives and implement traditional disc checks + whatever extra stuff the consoles do along with more crack-resistant programming on the PC side.

By ihateu3 on 3/21/2011 5:35:46 AM , Rating: 2
They are forgetting that most online PC games are rarely pirated due to the fact that their key is constantly checked by the servers. Yes they can be hacked to play on hacked servers, but in reality, there are more people who have legit copies. So if you wanna play a hacked server then you may have 200 choices of servers, but the retail has 200,000 choices! Also the hacked servers do not tend to stick around as long....

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