id and Epic: Multiplatform because of piracy

By Chris Faylor, Mar 10, 2007 9:17am PST Across two separate lectures at this week's Game Developers Conference, id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead and Epic Games president Michael Capps both admitted that piracy of PC games caused their companies to pursue developing beyond the PC platform. "Piracy has pushed id as being multiplatform," stated Hollenshead, whose company contracted Z-Axis to handle the PlayStation 3 version and Nerve Software the Xbox 360 edition of Splash Damage's forthcoming Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (PC).

Comments made by Epic's Capps carried a similar tone. "PC gaming is really falling apart," he revealed. "It killed us to make Unreal Tournament 3 cross-platform, but Epic had to do it," adding "the market that would buy a $600 video card knows how Bittorrent works." Epic is currently developing Unreal Tournament 3 for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in-house.

Meanwhile, Firaxis designer and programmer Soren Johnson remained confident in PC development. He suggested that "game design on the PC is going to bend toward persistence," noting Blizzard's World of Warcraft is "successful because you can't pirate WoW. You cannot pirate an MMO. Period."

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159 Threads | 1,346 Comments

  • Here's a novel idea:
    Drop the CD/DVD protection, distribute games via bittorrent (ie, take advantage of this distribution system) for FREE. Then all users to play a small DEMO companent of this game (maybe a quick single-player level), then if they like it (ie, the game is actually good), get them to logon and pay for a user key over the 'net! This would save HEAPS of money with distribution (ie, users themselves will do most of the work) AND useless DRM protection royalties! IMHO, this is a win-win for everyone!

    Basically, enourage people to "pirate" games, but include a mechanisim to require payment for actual use!

  • Dear shooterdevs,

    Get with the fucking program and learn from the MMO industry. Savable characters (usable in multiplayer), unlocking content, random drops (how about earning guns from bossies), coop play (let us shoot a bossy together), battlegrounds (rated multiplay) and other stuff make for great member services. Which enable you to charge 10 bucks a month AND make game unplayable for anyone that didn't register/buy the game.

    If you keep baking the same old same old on discs, with only a stupid key to protect it, you become part of the problem instead of the solution.

    In short: welcome to the internet, dildos. Try and use it for more than just client-server deathmatch variables.


  • I honestly don't mind this happening. id and Epic are not really innovators anymore in the actual "gameplay" department. Oh sure, they really do innovate in graphics still, you won't hear me denying that. But they've not introduced a truly new game concept since... well... Quake 1 introduced us to somewhat simplified internet play for games. (5 years before consoles would do it, no less)

    I personally want id and Epic to give up on developing games for PCs. Hear me out though... I want them to continue developing game ENGINES for every platform, and from the sound of it that's not impossible. Now, here's the really clever part... they get all their sales and money from the console sales, then offer dirt cheap licensing to independent start ups making little games for the PC. Basically the kind of guys that are like id and Epic were in their early days. Do like the Tribes team did with their engine, push it to independents for a nice cheap price, and see what comes out of it.

    The grand daddies of the industry are welcome to move on. Their technical expertise is wonderful to have, and I would ask them to keep providing it in the form of affordable engines that make PC development easier for independent developers. But their game concepts are old and stale, and having a couple old players move out of the PC games arena competing for our money would free up more cash for somebody new to come along.

    I've been saying it for 3 years now and I'll say it again: PC Games on the big budget is headed for death. Big budget games in general are headed for death. The next rebirth after the inevitable crash will start from small, independent PC developers, and any engine/tech development companies investing in them right now will reap the benefits later.

  • Oh please, it's not even slightly amusing. Two companies announce that they are going to embrace cross-platform development and everyone starts acting like it's the end of the line for PC gaming.
    It's not.
    Doom 3, Quake 4 has been released cross-platform, same goes for the UT series, it was previously cut down for the consoles though.
    Who cares? Playing on consoles only diminishes the experience.
    Even with Quake Wars: the maximum number of players is lower by a third for the console versions.

    Also, for people who are saying that they'd ditch PCs if Kb/M controls would be available for consoles: it is just stupid. Better controls are just one aspect of PC gaming-but there are many many more. I'll switch over to consoles only when there'll be an upgradable, open console. And even then, the proprietary nature of those still will repulse me.

    Oh, and also: to you, dear pirates, screw you!

  • You only have to look as far as the GPU accelerator companies to see who is still in charge. Right now the console companies come begging to ATI or Nvidia to make them their console GPU's--or in the PS3's case to use an almost "stock" older PC part for their GPU. (sony tried to make their one Cell based GPU and failed miserably) Both ATI and Nvidia make way more money on their PC gpu's than their console gpu's. PC's are in charge of hardware and consoles are desperatlely playing catch up. 2-3 years from now your PS3 games are going to look retro compared to PC games. Hell I'd say they already do look retro. All those jaggies, low res textures, and low res period. Crytek just laughed when someone asked them if their engine would work for consoles. Sure they will make a port for you guys but it will be with fugly textures, lower polys, and load times that will make u want to rip out your bluray drive. You guys honestly think PC gaming will die? PC games existed before GPU's, cdroms, dvds, soundcards. Things are only looking brighter for PC games. Consoles catching up to PC's again is probably one of the best things that could happen to PC gamers. It's only going to bring more gamers into the market and more gaming companies. If idsoft and epic can no longer handle the competition in the PC market and want to make watered down shallow console games I could care less. Idsoft and epic haven't been doing anything great for PC gamers. UT2003...oh wait we shipped it unfinished. ..lets finish it up and release it at full price as UT2004. Doom3? another game i bought. Single player game was repetitive(yay zombie closets) and boring and multiplay was a joke. They really dropped the ball. The real irony is making PS3 games is WAY more expensive than making PC games. Several Japanese game companies have bitched about this already. And do they look any better than a PC game? From the screenshots of MGS i'd say definitely not. Anyways to wrap up this...i've heard the prediction of the death to PC gaming every single console launch. Hasn't happened yet. Keep trying. Glad you guys are getting some okay looking titles. Hope they start turning on FSAA and aniso for your poor eyes.

  • It's depressing to see id and Epic trying to make up excuses for wanting to make more money. I understand why they are moving towards the consoles, and as long as the PC gamers don't get fucked in the process, I'm all for it. After all, these people have families, and need to put food on the table like the rest of us.

    I'm a PC gamer, and I always will be. I see some comments in here saying, "It costs $1000 a year to keep your PC maintained blah blah blah". Uh, not really. My PC is almost 2 years old, and it still runs everything just fine. I don't need to put the settings on Ultra Max High to get enjoyment out of my games. If you're so worried about the price, maybe try looking for deals on Newegg? It's really not that hard to put together a decent gaming rig. I'd rather pay $300-400 for a good video card than $1800+ for a good HDTV so my console games don't look horrible.. Now THAT shit is expensive.

    However, a few weeks ago, I bought a 360. I felt so...dirty, but I had to see what all the fuss was about. I think XBOX Live is absolutely flawless and some of the games are a shitload of fun. I don't regret my purchase at all and I no longer have the opinion of "Consoles are for idiots and children". I'm glad I listened to my friends and decided to have an open mind for once.

    If you can afford it, I say own both. Games like Crackdown and GTA just work better on consoles (in my opinion), just like FPS's work better on the PC.

  • ----
    Comments made by Epic's Capps carried a similar tone. "PC gaming is really falling apart," he revealed. "It killed us to make Unreal Tournament 3 cross-platform, but Epic had to do it,"

    WTF is Capps talking about? Epic is a games & TECHNOLOGY company. They make a tremendous amount from licensing Unreal Engine 3. They want to expand into consoles because they're going to make a shit load more money for it, and GoW was a fantastic 'demo' to do it with. Their wallets are "killing" them to do it.

    UT3 showcases the PS3 potential with the engine, and GoW does it with the 360. They missed out on a huge licensing opportunity with the PS2 and Xbox, and they won't let that happen again. More power to them.