Game Developer Volition Still Sees Value in PC Titles Despite Piracy
March 20, 2011 3:34 PM
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"Red Faction: Armageddon"
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
. "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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RE: a great game will sell
3/20/2011 9:05:52 PM
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.
"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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