After using his blog to reveal that the developer is quite happy with the recent number of PC owners playing the game online, the studio's community relations manager fourzerotwo expressed amazement at how many of those players were running a pirated copy of the game.
"What wasn't fantastic was the percentage of those numbers who were playing on stolen copies of the game on stolen / cracked CD keys of pirated copies (and that was only people playing online)," he posted under the heading "They Wonder Why People Don't Make PC Games Any More."
Renowned development houses id Software and Epic Games chimed in on the matter last year, with both noting that they were pursuing multiplatform development due to piracy of their PC titles. Two of last year's biggest PC titles--Epic's Unreal Tournament III and Crytek's Crysis--both made low retail sales debuts, though the effect of piracy on those numbers is unclear.
"I've seen studios close as the result of it, I've seen people lose their homes.," former Ritual QA manager Mike Russell told Shacknews when discussing the effects of piracy. "I guess I'm more vocal than a lot of people because I've seen the personal side of it, and it's just sad that we have so many people looking for a way of justifying it.
Irrational Games' 2K Boston and 2K Australia's attempts to protect the PC edition BioShock from piracy, meanwhile, caused a very vocal community outcry when the game was released last August.
Exact figures regarding the piracy of Cod4 were not disclosed, though fourzerotwo promises to provide them if able. "It blows me away at the amount of people willing to steal games (or anything) simply because it's not physical or it's on the safety of the internet to do," he concluded.