Posted on July 5, 2008,

Crytek: PC Gaming the "Most Intensely Pirated Market Ever"

Crysis Warhead Teaser Trailer

Instantly upon reading comments from Cevat Yerli, the CEO of Crysis developer Crytek, I thought of something Stardock said back in March: that piracy is not the main issue facing PC games. Yerli seems to disagree, though. In a new interview discussing Crysis Warhead, Yerli said that while the developer made a profit on Crysis and the “real expectations” were met, piracy in PC gaming is very, very bad — to the point where, for every copy of a game that is sold, 20 copies are pirated.

“The other critique outside Crytek was the fact that the PC industry is really, at the moment, I would say the most intensely pirated market ever,” Yerli said, according to “It’s crazy how the ratio between sales to piracy is probably 1 to 15 to 1 to 20 right now. For one sale there are 15 to 20 pirates and pirate versions, and that’s a big shame for the PC industry. I hope with Warhead I hope we improve the situation, but at the same time it may have an impact on [our] PC exclusivity in the future.”

I don’t have specific numbers to cite, but it seems like Yerli is focusing too much on piracy. There’s no doubt that it’s a significant force, but once again, I think about the reasoning Stardock gave as to why they didn’t put copy protection on Sins of a Solar Empire. “We do it because the people who actually buy games don’t like to mess with it. Our customers make the rules, not the pirates. Pirates don’t count. We know our customers could pirate our games if they want but choose to support our efforts. So we return the favor – we make the games they want and deliver them how they want it. This is also known as operating like every other industry outside the PC game industry.”

Crytek clearly has a different mentality. Yerli continued, “Effectively, if the game isn’t an online game or multiplayer game–there are challenges regardless of what you do–the game can be cracked. The effort is to make it more difficult to crack, and certainly we’re going to make it more difficult this time with Warhead.”

It’s difficult to blame companies for wanting to emphasize copy protection. But one has to wonder when a company is spending too much time on copy protection — especially when you consider that if there’s a will, there’s a way, and if pirates want to crack something, they will.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

39 Comments on Crytek: PC Gaming the "Most Intensely Pirated Market Ever"


On July 5, 2008 at 5:27 pm

i can see crytek point but just because the sales of crysis was as not high as expected they should not try to blame it on just pirates maybe because the game was badly optimize for computers or the requirements where a lie where it said u can run it. I like crysis and it fun to play but it the not the best fps more like a 3rd place title.

i agree with Stardock point of veiw more if u treat the customer right they will buy your product. Treat them like pirates with the software like bioshock and mass effect had that just asking for complaints. still have to pick up sins of solar empire tho i heard it was really fun.


On July 5, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Uhm, i know of atleast 20 people that pirated Crysis. It IS a major problem.


On July 5, 2008 at 6:05 pm

I know its bad but hey just try and make a good key encrpytion but not like Bioshocks where you have to put in the key every time i have to put in the cd to play.


On July 5, 2008 at 6:09 pm

I think that the real problem is that there is not rental market for the PC. so you don’t know if a game is good or not (or in crysis’s case how long it is) and many people don’t want to spend $50+ on a game guessing it’s good. most of the games I buy for the PC I know are going to be good. I rent games for the consoles to test them to see if I like them then I buy the game. as for the copy protection I realy don’t see the point like Chris said if pirates want to crack something, they will.

Over all Crysis is a fun game. But I don’t know if it’s worth buying because of what Zaruka said


On July 5, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Uhh….duh, the simple and best answer. It’s easier to pirate a PC game, go ahead and mod your 360 for play pirated games offline only? I think not

Col. James Slate

On July 5, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Encryptions are nothing now a days, we have guys in the military, I mean, new, young guys, that can do numbers fast, lots of numbers, really fast, what you need to is think of a different way of stopping pirates, you should create a division in your company, dedicated to it, that means going to the sites that host torrents, and asking them to take it down, not the, we’re going to sue you, but asking, and providing proof you own the copyright, that’s what Stardock does, and it works extraordinarily well for them.

Davn Kincade

On July 5, 2008 at 6:44 pm

I don’t buy those numbers and will remain skeptical until i see actual proof instead of some guy at Crytek rambling numbers.

The very moment somebody decided to sell programs for home computers was the very moment piracy started, Crytek knew the risks unless they’ve been under a rock for the past 30+ years…bemoaning about it -now- solves nothing.

There isn’t a security system made that people haven’t cracked or tried to crack…there is no quick fix.


On July 5, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I have been saying this a while but why not just make PC games work on an account based system like steam or World of Warcraf. It would make it so you cant play unless you login. Sort of what Company of heroes did after release. It is annoying for the lan parties but I am sick of hearing about pirates. I think there is ways to help other than more annoying forms of DRM.


On July 5, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Isn’t this old news? I could have sworn this was up on other sites a good week or two ago. Besides, I’m tired of hearing that piracy is the sole issue of a game selling poorly or not as expected. Maybe if they made something with a little more substance rather than extraordinary graphics and sub-par gameplay it might have sold a little better. Or if the game waited even longer for technology to play catch up to be able to play it. How about even having a decent MP component? The game lacks in a lot of areas, and a lot of people found out pretty fast. I still bought a copy of the game, but somewhat regret it. I can see why people would want to play it, but it’s not nearly worth $30, much less the $50 I (and most others) paid.


On July 5, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Well I played Crysis and aside from the excellent voice acting, most of it was a disappointment. The plant textures were bad, and not even connected to the ground. The enemy (human) had spidey sense, and most of the story was ridiculous. Oh, the NK just happen to have a ‘knock-off’ suit that is as good as yours, hunh?

Maybe if the game was better then my friend would not have given me his copy, and saved me from having to purchase it myself. While not piracy, it just demonstrates that good games sell more copies where 7/10s get pirated more heavily. I was so impressed with the game that I gave it away too. I am not interested in playing it again, not when I have Bioshock and Stalker.

Make a good game and people will pay for it. I too miss the rental stores, where I could take out six games on a weekend and find out which was worth buying. Now the ratio is about 12:1.


On July 5, 2008 at 10:11 pm

I’ve got to agree with Four Aces. I bought Crysis, I enjoyed it, and I have no intention of buying the sequel unless I hear really, really good things about it. Simply put, it was not worth the 50 bucks I spent on it. I probably wouldn’t pirate it because I don’t support piracy, but I can easily understand people who want to play the game but aren’t willing to shell out the money to buy it. (Personally, I say too bad. Buy the damn thing.)

I bought it, a friend watched me play through it, and he decided it just didn’t look good enough, so he elected not to buy it. Sorry if your game gets pirated because you can’t make it good enough so people want to buy it, but let’s face it; that’s your problem.


On July 5, 2008 at 11:53 pm

lol like a said not the best fps but still a good game im glade i brought it but most of it was to see what people can do with the mod support but that takes awhile lol. it right even if they do a stuiped restriction attempt like bioshock or mass effect someone will crack it. it just better to not do that crap and treat your customers good


On July 6, 2008 at 1:04 am

He’s a whiner that’s all. If Crytek actually made some fun games instead of games showing off their engines which requires a pc from the future, then maybe people would buy a copy.


On July 6, 2008 at 1:08 am

So much hype came out about how Crysis required a cutting edge monster computer that even though I have a decent pc that might run it, I didn’t even bother. If I’m going to have a game that’s main hype is about insane graphics, I only want to play it with full specs running.

I’m neither game-illiterate or an addict, I feel I represent the moderate central video game demographic, and I’d bet a lot of people avoided Crysis because they assumed their machines wouldn’t run it or do it justice. Whether that is true or not, I really got the idea that Crytek was making that game ONLY to show off and trailblaze graphics, not to be a vastly profitable game. If that were the case, they’d follow Valve’s strategy and make a decent game that most pc’s will run fine.


On July 6, 2008 at 1:09 am

ps. I meant “center” not central when I was talking about demographics.


On July 6, 2008 at 2:46 am

They should stop whining already, sheesh…. :???:


On July 6, 2008 at 4:58 am

Who wants to pay £30 for a bad game that wont even work?
Make descent games and people will buy them .. Just look at WoW.


On July 6, 2008 at 6:53 am

Heres a scary thought, if these guys acctually made a decent game, alongside the insane graphics, would more people acctually buy it? We’re not xBox gamers here… PC gamers don’t give a flying monkey poo about the graphics… we’re all for the gameplay (mostly, anyway.)

just look at some of the older games. People STILL play stuff like BF2, Counter-Strike… Because they all did somthing for the genre… Crysis just gave you a nice little suit and let you try to turn some stupid koreans into pincusions, (plus the later aliens, etc)… crysis was just a ripoff of more popular games, with no acctual changes to gameplay (ie, the “lets take every good part from other games within our genre and stick them together”.) NEVER works well for the PC…


On July 6, 2008 at 11:28 am

oh please, stfu already with that nonsense. crysis is a crap game with hardware requirements beyond any reason. there’s no reason to buy, neither to play it unless you like crap gfx below 25fps or you are one of the 10% (according to steam’s hardware survey) who can actually play that game smoothly on good quality settings.

crytek failed just with their strategy and now seek someone to play in order to keep the investors.


On July 6, 2008 at 11:48 am

I played this on my friend’s pc. It is not even worth pirating this game. The system requirements are much too high and give you a choppy framerate, the gameplay sucks, the story sucks, everything about this games just seems like crap to be honest. This game should have been released as a beta or a demo. Pure junk if you ask me. DONT EVEN BOTHER TO PIRATE IT!!! Go have sex or do other things like more sex. :mrgreen:


On July 6, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I’m sure that if Stardock somehow accidentally ever makes a good game that isn’t an utter rip off of another great game that somebody else made first then they too will feel the sting of software piracy.

Did Crysis kind of suck? Yes, but that isn’t the issue here. Crysis was still a AAA budget, and if you don’t believe it got pirated like crazy than you are a fool. PC Devs are going to stop making AAA budget (non MMO) titles if the piracy continues, and then we all lose.

Davn Kincade

On July 6, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Oh i believe it got pirated, but 20-1?!?….uhhh…yeah, evidence please, seriously i want…actually,no…i -NEED- to see the research in that one before i buy into such an outragous number.

Piracy is a problem, no doubt…but i have to agree with the majority on this one….it seems to me that Crytek is talking less about piracy being an actual problem and rather using it as an excuse for lackluster sales.

What’s my reasoning behing it? well it’s quite simple really….Far Cry was a very good seller for Crytek…if this number is to be believed 730,000 within four months.

Now i’m 1000% certain this game was pirated quite a bit and probably still is….yet then don’t even bother to mention it…strange wouldn’t you say?

Crysis cost them quite a bit, the sales are meger to say the least and considering the time, manpower, and cost…..i would be looking for a scapegoat too.


On July 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm

This ing Yerli guy is starting to piss me off.


Trying to blame others for your short comings is just childish. When people first play your game (pirated or not) they will tell others by word of mouth wether it’s good and worth $50 or not. This game was not worth $50. Thus it would seem more people pirated it just to see how it was.

All in the all the genral consensus is this… Make a good game and people will buy it (Sins of the Solar Empire, Mass Effect, etc).

Dr. Obey

On July 6, 2008 at 3:29 pm

I work with a guy that has a modded 360, only has pirated games, but has a legitimate and fully functioning Xbox Live account and can play all his pirated games online.

Crytek has got their head so far up their own ass on this one. They made a generic shooter with ridiculous system specs so that no one would realize how terrible it was. 2K isn’t ing about Bioshock being pirated, hell Bioshock and Spore just removed their Securom protection that everyone was ing about.

Crytek is just completely jaded by their own smug world view.


On July 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm

they say that 5 out of 4 stats are made up on the spot…

but then again that stat was made up on the spot too

also, you don’t have to spend $50+ dollars on a game thinking you’ll like it…try the demo…

for instance, i tried the Bioshock demo, and i liked it…but found out my system isn’t right for it (not enough graphics card to handle it)…so i didn’t waste money on the game only to need a graphics upgrade

and yes, pirating is an issue…when Kane’s Wrath on the PC was gold and a few days away from release (and a lot of us having RA3 beta keys too i might add), the game was leaked, and people were already having fun while those of us that actually pinched our pennies a little bit, were waiting to honestly be in EA’s good graces

so yeah, it’s a problem


On July 6, 2008 at 6:50 pm

The prices show us that piracy is a GOOD thing, because it has a good effect: the prices go down. Even with all the inflation, the prices of PC games KEEP GOING DOWN. Thank you, pirate guys.

Console games are pricey, because they are hard to copy; PC games are easy to copy, thus they are way cheaper than console ones, because their value for customer is lower (as they can get it from elsewhere, thus not being dependent on the single publisher). That’s a “market” thing, and “market” is supposed to be a good thing in capitalism, isn’t it?


On July 6, 2008 at 9:51 pm

I don’t know who your economy prof. was, but having stolen goods on the market isn’t a good thing in capitalist terms. Good grief. Piracy isn’t competition. You can’t compete with free. If I offered you a service for a single penny you would still go to the guy who can give you that same service for free. Competition forces producers to better their product and lower their prices. Piracy forces producers to just leave the market entirely because it is no longer profitable.

Console piracy exists as well (as evidenced by Dr. Obey’s d-bag coworker), but to an infinitely smaller degree. If you were to spend 10 million bucks on producing a game would you like to go retail on PCs and have your game pirated as much as 15 to every 1 game bought, or would you go to console where piracy is extremely minimal?

Piracy is clearly the driving force behind PC gaming’s decline.


On July 6, 2008 at 11:41 pm

no handshakes it the company’s who treat there customers like criminals and put stumped protections that ruin the fun ever time u cant play because after 3 installs u have to call support to play your game aka mass effect anyone. Valve blizzard and other company’s have found ways to beat them. Steam, Blizzard online services (cant remember name right now) are really friendly and make the customer happy. Plus steam lets u play mods which I like i don’t know about blizzard.


On July 7, 2008 at 12:50 am

I played the Crysis demo. I have a top-end PC, and could run it on nearly the highest settings without a hitch. It was purdy. It was purdy as hell. At first I thought it was awesome, but the more I played the demo, the more I realized the funnest part of this game was blowing apart the trees, not even the combat. After a day I lost interest, deleted the demo, and had no urge to ever play again. I could have easily pirated it, I know how and have no moral qualms, but honestly I didn’t even want to go through the effort to download it. Even free, I wouldn’t have played the game. I’m sorry, but it simply wasn’t that great.

richard milhouse nixon

On July 7, 2008 at 2:49 am

Oh i believe it got pirated, but 20-1?!?….uhhh…yeah, evidence please, seriously i want…actually,no…i -NEED- to see the research in that one before i buy into such an outragous number.
okay take a look at a mafia 1 torrent. i lost my disc and i torrented it twice last year in summer 07 and recently. There were over 100 torrenters each time. For a game that is 6 years old that is a hell of a lot pirating.


On July 7, 2008 at 5:39 am

Seriously, the only way to fully take piracy out of the game is to make it multiplayer only (or fully online only) and you have to have an account that costs. Pretty mutch like WoW, but as u can see, there are free private servers.

As police can´t stop crime, industry can´t stop piracy, protection only slows down piracy. And if you need the numbers, then visit russia and go to local supermarket/subway. U can buy pretty mutch every game for price of 1$ in there, and i saw (and bought), there were WoW, Half-Life 2, all with working serials. T

Think about it.


On July 7, 2008 at 7:45 am

Piracy is being used as a scapegoat when it comes to PC sales, and companies like Stardock are the perfect example of how to be successful without punishing your customers.


On July 7, 2008 at 7:50 am

sscott you are right there it sad when developers cant take there own short cummings on them seft and instead blames piracy

Davn Kincade

On July 7, 2008 at 8:02 am

@richard milhouse nixon

Yes your right it is a lot of pirating and i fully agree that pirating is a large industry, but i’ve done some checking myself and frankly the numbers for Crysis simply don’t add up.

Worldwide this title (Crysis) sold a litle over one million copies, which isn’t very good in today’s industry…Half Life 2 sold over sixteen million units….Halo 3 sold three million units in tweleve days.

Now, Crytek is trying to convince people that twenty million people have pirated this game….can i believe this number? sure…..for a game like Half Life 2.

I checked up on Crysis on a popular non-torrent site, in 56 days the game was downloaded three times…nowhere near the 20-1 figure this man is boasting about.

IMHO Crytek is talking less about piracy being an actual problem and rather using it as an excuse for lackluster sales, no mention of Far Cry which i’ll bet anything was pirated just as much if not more than Crysis….Crysis was a very costly game and i think Cevat Yerli is just using it as an excuse to multi-platform.


On July 7, 2008 at 8:32 am

:shock: LOL at Davn Kincade you have got to be the most ignorant person in this discussion. As a random guy, I’ll have to let you know that torrents aren’t the only way to download games. Like Crysis, it’s very possible 20million dled Crysis. With P2p(still being popular easiest way to get latest stuff) , hosting website like……….. and that 1 torrent site, heh. What about the thousands of more torrent sites that have their own seeders? What about warez, what about forums? My point is games ( the pc industry especially) developers and publishers lose alot of money to pirating. Games are as much anticipated, wait they are more anticipated in the underground community becuz every1′s trying to be the 1st with cracked versions of games. Which means millions globally wait for release groups to release the 1st cracked copys of newly released titles.
P.S pirating doesn’t affect much MMORPGS as much as single off line player games, oh wait theirs private servers for that to


On July 7, 2008 at 8:36 am

And if games have excellent online play, pirates will buy the original disc bcuz they can’t connect 2 official servers on their cracked games play against people globally.


On July 7, 2008 at 8:53 am

Ninjas are so much better than Pirates…. :lol:

Go Marlins!!!!

Davn Kincade

On July 7, 2008 at 9:21 am


No reason to be insulting, i was just giving an opinion.

Until i see the numbers i’m simply not convinced, needing proof is not ignorance…believing any random thrown out however is.

Saying anything more would be just repeating myself.

Crysis Pirated Because of DRM?

On July 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Was Crysis Pirated because many users didn’t want to deal with intrusive DRM on the demo and retail versions?