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Epic: Piracy Drove Us From PC Focus

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 125 comments

Epic commanded "show me the money," and the consoles speweth.

It seems that we hear this claim all the time from PC game developers: piracy is killing the market or piracy drove us to the consoles. Epic Games is the latest company to re-open old piracy wounds, and it's certainly not the first. But what's interesting is that Epic has been in the media spotlight for a least the past few months, coming out of its Hole of Silence and talking about developing perfect FPS games or how piracy changed the world of PC game development. Is the company rounding up a little pre-E3 attention?

Without a doubt, it's certainly a shame to hear that Epic would rather develop games for the console. After all, its classic PC game franchises--Unreal and Unreal Tournament--built the foundation that is currently the Epic empire. However, Epic president Mike Capps wasn't hesitant in admitting that--despite all the PC piracy hoopla--the money is in the console business, plain and simple.

“If you walked into [Epic's Offices] six years ago, Epic was a PC company," Capps said in the latest issue of Edge Magazine. "We did one PS2 launch title, and everything else was PC. And now, people are saying ‘Why do you hate the PC? You’re a console-only company.’ And guess what? It’s because the money’s on console."

He added that perhaps Facebook could still save PC gaming, especially with titles like Farmville under its belt... just don't expect them to look like Gears of War. "We still do PC, we still love the PC, but we already saw the impact of piracy," he said. "It killed a lot of great independent developers and completely changed our business model."

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  • 35 Hide
    dxwarlock , May 17, 2010 11:08 PM
    has nothing to do with the steady decline of the game quality you've been putting out correct? :p 

    piracy is the new buzzword for anyone not making money.
    We cant sell games?
    blame piracy!
    we cant figure out why the box sells are horrible
    blame piracy!

    lets ignore the increasingly annoying DRM added to drive customers off..along with crappy ports to PC no one wants to buy.

    I've pirated games I was going to buy BECAUSE of the DRM.
    And to say going to console because of piracy? is just a cop out.

    If a game keeps me entertained more than a few days. I go buy it. if not..it gets recycle bin treatment. and each year that goes by...there is fewer and fewer games that are worth installing..much less supporting and encouraging them to make more like it.

    360 piracy is just as rampant. not one person I know with a 360 isn't modded for burned games and stopped buying them.
    My sons Wii hasn't had a actual game disk in it for 2 years. but he gets all the new games.

    so stop blaming PC piracy for your own shortcomings when sales are concerned.
  • 23 Hide
    Pyroflea , May 17, 2010 11:08 PM
    This is such a lame, grossly over-used excuse.

    First off, there's an enormous amount of piracy going on with consoles. Hundreds of thousands of people play pirated games on the 360. Wii games are even easier to pirate. Switching to consoles won't solve your "problems".

    Another thing that's been covered by members here before. Just because somebody pirates a game, doesn't mean they would have bought it in the first place. I'll admit I've pirated my fair share of games, and every one that was worth playing I purchased for either PC or Console of some sort. It's ridiculous how they expect us to pay $70 for a mediocre online experience and a 5 hour campaign. Most of the people who pirate games wouldn't have bought them in the first place, therefore they're not losing more than 5-10% of sales.

    The PC market is declining, and not due to piracy. Most people can't justify spending $700-$1000 for a PC to game on when they can spend $200-$300 for a console.
  • 21 Hide
    rhino13 , May 17, 2010 11:27 PM
    Just reading these comments makes me want to cry!

    What will it take to make you guys stop pirating?

    You just keep making up lies that it's someonelse's fault. It's the developer, it's the producer, it's DRM, it costs too much, it really isn't any good, I can't afford it... and on it goes. A virtually boundless number of excuses why it's OK for you to pirate and ruin PC gaming for the rest of us.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Pyroflea , May 17, 2010 11:08 PM
    This is such a lame, grossly over-used excuse.

    First off, there's an enormous amount of piracy going on with consoles. Hundreds of thousands of people play pirated games on the 360. Wii games are even easier to pirate. Switching to consoles won't solve your "problems".

    Another thing that's been covered by members here before. Just because somebody pirates a game, doesn't mean they would have bought it in the first place. I'll admit I've pirated my fair share of games, and every one that was worth playing I purchased for either PC or Console of some sort. It's ridiculous how they expect us to pay $70 for a mediocre online experience and a 5 hour campaign. Most of the people who pirate games wouldn't have bought them in the first place, therefore they're not losing more than 5-10% of sales.

    The PC market is declining, and not due to piracy. Most people can't justify spending $700-$1000 for a PC to game on when they can spend $200-$300 for a console.
  • 35 Hide
    dxwarlock , May 17, 2010 11:08 PM
    has nothing to do with the steady decline of the game quality you've been putting out correct? :p 

    piracy is the new buzzword for anyone not making money.
    We cant sell games?
    blame piracy!
    we cant figure out why the box sells are horrible
    blame piracy!

    lets ignore the increasingly annoying DRM added to drive customers off..along with crappy ports to PC no one wants to buy.

    I've pirated games I was going to buy BECAUSE of the DRM.
    And to say going to console because of piracy? is just a cop out.

    If a game keeps me entertained more than a few days. I go buy it. if not..it gets recycle bin treatment. and each year that goes by...there is fewer and fewer games that are worth installing..much less supporting and encouraging them to make more like it.

    360 piracy is just as rampant. not one person I know with a 360 isn't modded for burned games and stopped buying them.
    My sons Wii hasn't had a actual game disk in it for 2 years. but he gets all the new games.

    so stop blaming PC piracy for your own shortcomings when sales are concerned.
  • -4 Hide
    viometrix , May 17, 2010 11:10 PM
    xbox 360 has 10x the piracy of pc, lame excuse...
  • 17 Hide
    tayb , May 17, 2010 11:11 PM
    You can't ignore piracy. It is an issue that all developers deal with but it is erroneous to claim that it is the 'only' reason for abandoning the PC platform. If you make a good game people will still buy it.

    I don't know what you expect developers to do when their title sells only 300,000 units but is downloaded illegally 4,100,000 times. Compare that to console sales of 6,000,000 and illegal downloads of 900,000. Which platform would you develop for?
  • 2 Hide
    Titanius , May 17, 2010 11:13 PM
    EPIC FAIL!
  • -6 Hide
    Assmar , May 17, 2010 11:13 PM
    I don't need "Queers of War" anyway! How was that, guys? I can only take a guy named CliffyB so super seriously.
  • 6 Hide
    house70 , May 17, 2010 11:13 PM
    Epic...fail!
  • -8 Hide
    micr0be , May 17, 2010 11:15 PM
    ALL OF THE ABOVE ...
  • 20 Hide
    tayb , May 17, 2010 11:17 PM
    What? Are you people delusional? Console piracy isn't anywhere NEARLY as bad as PC piracy. It's not even close. http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_4.html

    From the article, Fallout 3 was downloaded 270,000 times during 'x' period of time compared with 20,000 for the Xbox 360. COD4 was downloaded 560,000 times compared to 59,000 for the 360.

    The idea that 'Xbox 360 has 10x the piracy of pc' is just insane.
  • 2 Hide
    Trueno07 , May 17, 2010 11:24 PM
    Piracy is not the reason that devs and publishers leave the PC market, money is the reason that devs and publishers leave the PC market.

    Sadly, the PC versions of many titles are simply afterthoughts to most developers. Also, if Piracy was really as bad for business as rage is saying, we wouldn't have a Movie or Music industry.

    I think it was stardock who said "Customers aren't Criminals"... I wonder what would happen if some other publishers lived by that rule...
  • 21 Hide
    rhino13 , May 17, 2010 11:27 PM
    Just reading these comments makes me want to cry!

    What will it take to make you guys stop pirating?

    You just keep making up lies that it's someonelse's fault. It's the developer, it's the producer, it's DRM, it costs too much, it really isn't any good, I can't afford it... and on it goes. A virtually boundless number of excuses why it's OK for you to pirate and ruin PC gaming for the rest of us.
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , May 17, 2010 11:30 PM
    The question is tayb, out of those 560k downloads, how many were truly ever going to buy COD4? If they were smart they would go back to their old model of try before you buy (a beta if you will) and let people see the game. The reason they don't do that anymore? Cause then people see how crappy their games are and won't buy them at all. I must agree that piracy is wrong and that it is killing certain markets, but this is not the reason why epic is leaving the PC market. They are just to much of cowards to admit the real reason...
  • 8 Hide
    tayb , May 17, 2010 11:31 PM
    Quote:
    Piracy is not the reason that devs and publishers leave the PC market, money is the reason that devs and publishers leave the PC market.

    Sadly, the PC versions of many titles are simply afterthoughts to most developers. Also, if Piracy was really as bad for business as rage is saying, we wouldn't have a Movie or Music industry.

    I think it was stardock who said "Customers aren't Criminals"... I wonder what would happen if some other publishers lived by that rule...


    Customers aren't criminals but people like dxwarlock and others in this thread are not customers, they are criminals. I am always shocked about how many people come into these forums, openly admit to being the problem, and bash the developers for bailing. STOP F****** PIRATING. You are the problem. When a game gets illegally downloaded 13 times more than the actual unit sales there is a freaking problem whether the thieves in this thread want to admit it or not.
  • 7 Hide
    Abrahm , May 17, 2010 11:34 PM
    Pyroflea Most people can't justify spending $700-$1000 for a PC to game on when they can spend $200-$300 for a console.

    I really don't think this is as valid of an excuse as people make it out to be. Most people with consoles have a computer too. So you are looking at spending $200-$500(depending on how old the console is) on a new console that is only capable of playing games, and then spending another $400-$1000 on a computer for every day use. You can build a nice gaming rig for $700-$1000 that can play games and serve as an every day computer.
  • -4 Hide
    dxwarlock , May 17, 2010 11:34 PM
    rhino13Just reading these comments makes me want to cry!What will it take to make you guys stop pirating?You just keep making up lies that it's someonelse's fault. It's the developer, it's the producer, it's DRM, it costs too much, it really isn't any good, I can't afford it... and on it goes. A virtually boundless number of excuses why it's OK for you to pirate and ruin PC gaming for the rest of us.



    games like we had in early 90's..games that had a reason to buy.
    games that didn't take longer to buy, install, and play than it did to realize you wasted 40 bucks.

    there has been MANY games I pirated, then bought because I thought they was worth the effort.
    and many many more I deleted because I thought the free version wasn't even wroth the diskspace to save them.

    how are they loosing money by me pirating a game? seeing as how I wasn't going to buy it in the first place, and figured
    "ill give it a try..if the reviews are wrong..then i'll pay for it..most the time I'm right in saving my money".

    now a days maybe 1 in 20 games that come out I even deem worthy of trying to install, much less buy.
    all rehashes of the same thing with most the time ported from console problems. or the "its a PC release..we can patch it later..let the players do bug testing" mentality.
  • 2 Hide
    mdillenbeck , May 17, 2010 11:35 PM
    taybWhat? Are you people delusional? Console piracy isn't anywhere NEARLY as bad as PC piracy. It's not even close. http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_4.htmlFrom the article, Fallout 3 was downloaded 270,000 times during 'x' period of time compared with 20,000 for the Xbox 360. COD4 was downloaded 560,000 times compared to 59,000 for the 360. The idea that 'Xbox 360 has 10x the piracy of pc' is just insane.


    Raw numbers are nice, but do you have stats for rates (number of pirated copies vs number of pirated and purchased copies)? I just have a suspicion that the raw piracy numbers might be due to the huge number of PCs in the world versus the number of console systems.
  • 0 Hide
    dxwarlock , May 17, 2010 11:37 PM
    taybCustomers aren't criminals but people like dxwarlock and others in this thread are not customers, they are criminals. I am always shocked about how many people come into these forums, openly admit to being the problem, and bash the developers for bailing. STOP F****** PIRATING. You are the problem. When a game gets illegally downloaded 13 times more than the actual unit sales there is a freaking problem whether the thieves in this thread want to admit it or not.


    I have bought more games since '85 than you've played Im sure. so don't assume I'm some 16 year old "pirate everything I see" because I can type.

    either lower the prices to the level they need to be for the quality we get now a days..or release demos so we can see if we are going to waste 50 bucks on a game that entertains for 3 hours...

    After 2005-2007 with the decline of games worthy buying,
    I spent more money on games that didn't make it a day on my machine, than many people spent on other hobbies.
    I learned my lesson.

    sure piracy is wrong..but anything I think is worth the money. I buy a legit copy. the rest I see it as no demo, im not tossing 50 bucks at you before I test drive it.
  • 1 Hide
    greenspoon , May 17, 2010 11:38 PM
  • -3 Hide
    tayb , May 17, 2010 11:40 PM
    Quote:
    The question is tayb, out of those 560k downloads, how many were truly ever going to buy COD4? If they were smart they would go back to their old model of try before you buy (a beta if you will) and let people see the game. The reason they don't do that anymore? Cause then people see how crappy their games are and won't buy them at all. I must agree that piracy is wrong and that it is killing certain markets, but this is not the reason why epic is leaving the PC market. They are just to much of cowards to admit the real reason...


    What? COD4 was critically acclaimed. It was a great game. And what does it matter how many were truly going to buy the game? No one here made the claim that each download equates to a lost sale. What I can conclude is that because of the high download rate there was high demand for the game. This high demand did not translate into unit sales. Changing games here but do you expect me to believe that 4.1 million people just "wanted to try" Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and then only 300,000 of them liked it enough to buy it? That argument is laughable.
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