Epic: Piracy Drove Us From PC Focus

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."

  • Pyroflea
    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.
  • dxwarlock
    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.
  • viometrix
    xbox 360 has 10x the piracy of pc, lame excuse...
  • tayb
    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?
  • Titanius
  • Assmar
    I don't need "Queers of War" anyway! How was that, guys? I can only take a guy named CliffyB so super seriously.
  • house70
  • doomtomb
    Cold hard truth.
  • micr0be
  • tayb
    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.