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 GI.biz. “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.