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"Red Faction: Armageddon"   (Source: videogamesblogger.com)
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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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".

http://www.pcworld.com/article/187854/ubisofts_ant...


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.


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