The appearance of Crysis 2 isn’t the first time Crytek was burned by piracy. In fact, it wasn’t the first game in the Crysis series that was pirated.
Back in 2007, Crysis was released on Torrent sites, which Crytek reported severely cripped sales on the game. Crytek president Cevat Yerli later stated:
“We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin, a chart leading that is not desirable. I believe that’s the core problem of PC gaming, piracy.”
Before Crysis, Crytek had exclusively worked on PC games, but after their debacle with the Torrent distribution of their landmark game, the studio said it would abandon PC exclusives. Crysis 2 will be released next month on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as on PC, but it seems like the game had a premature “launch” on the platform.
Granted, there is console software piracy, as the recent piracy of Killzone 3, but unlike PCs, consoles require modding in order to run pirated software, and for many, the effort is not worth the easy $60 that would be plunked down to simply buy a game – or rent on GameFly and other services.
Some of the piracy apologists have had ridiculous excuses: they want to free a game before playing it, games are too expensive, some countries can’t afford games and therefore need piracy, piracy is free advertising for the games, bad games are okay to steal because they’re not worth the price tag, piracy really doesn’t affect sales all that much, and so on. Regardless of the rationalizations, piracy is driving away PC development. EA Sports, for example, has almost totally abandoned the PC platform – FIFA 11 is the only major title being released on PC.
Crytek has already been burned on piracy, and they’re being burned again. If Crysis 2 is the blockbuster it’s expected to be on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Crytek might decide it’s simply financially unsound to develop games on PC like many others like Playdead (Limbo) have.
Let us know what you think.
Jonah Falcon is a blogger for TMRzoo and GameStooge.com and covers all gaming consoles and platforms including Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP and computer games designed for Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Jonah provides his readers with reviews, previews and up to date gaming industry news and rumors.