The PC games space is one that’s ever changing. CPU and GPU technology constantly push the boundaries beyond any other platform, but sadly, the PC also suffers the most from piracy.
Tom’s Games spoke to Yves Guillemot, Guillemot starts off with something almost all PC gamers can agree with: “The consoles at certain periods are more powerful than the PC, but the PC can improve its capacity and ability every year so the cycle changes. Generally, the PC gaming business gets better over time in these console cycles. So as we continue this cycle, graphically the PCs will continue to get better and the features will become more interesting.”
That’s where the good news ends, however, as Guillemot confirms that PC piracy is influencing the company’s developers to focus on consoles. “Piracy is enormously damaging to the market,” he said, adding that the Internet has made piracy easy to do. “So what do we do? Well, it’s better not to invest a lot of money on that particular platform.”
“We know that the developers that are creating the PC game are not going to get paid for the work they do and the games won’t break even. So we prefer to focus on platforms that maybe have less piracy and where more customers are actually paying for the content they consume,” said Guillemot. “We greatly reduced the number of people working on PC games because of that.” Ubisoft isn’t ditching PC publishing altogether, but it certainly isn’t as focused as it used to be. The company now hopes to keep PC in the running with better copy protection measures. The problem now is coming up with a system that PC gamers will accept.
“The PC gaming community is very often against any kind of system that prohibits piracy, which I have difficulty understanding. They need to help us to make sure we can invest on the PC, because if we can’t get a return on investment with PC games then we will not invest,” he explains.
One problem is with invasive copy protections that do more to hassle the legit gamer than anything else. Guillemot said that the company is now looking for “a system that will make sure you have a better experience when you buy than game rather than when you don’t buy it.”
Until the PC market changes, there could be fewer and fewer games for platform. Guillemot calls the PC-centric Far Cry 2 game, which will also be released on Xbox 360 and PS3, an “exception.”