Crysis Developer Moving Away from PC Exclusives; Cites Piracy as 'Core Problem of PC Gaming'

By Chris Faylor, Apr 30, 2008 7:32am PDT Crysis and Far Cry creator Crytek has revealed its intent to focus more on consoles and move away from creating PC-exclusive titles due to the "huge piracy" problems of the platform.

"We are going to support PC, but not exclusive anymore," Crytek president Cevat Yerli told PC Play. "Similar games [to Crysis] on consoles sell factors of 4-5 more. It was a big lesson for us and I believe we won't have PC exclusives as we did with Crysis in future."

The studio had previously revealed it was working on at least one console title and a non-FPS game along with the still-underway efforts to bring its CryENGINE 2 technology to consoles.

The Crytek president noted that piracy had significantly hurt the retail performance of Crysis, the company's CryENGINE 2-powered PC-exclusive sci-fi shooter that arrived last fall and went on to sell over a million copies worldwide.

"We are suffering currently from the huge piracy that is encompassing Crysis," he continued. "We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin, a chart leading that is not desirable."

Yerli went on to state his belief that piracy is "the core problem of PC gaming...to the degree that pirate games inherently destroy the platform." His comments are similar in tone to those made by many other PC developers, including id, Epic and Infinity Ward.

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  • Bullshit. It's things like DX10-only, monstrous system reqs, and (in my pitiful case) Shader Model 3.0 that cause smaller sales of these newer games. Some people just CAN'T RUN these games - and because we didn't buy these games that we can't run, they assume we pirated them. Again, bullshit.
    Crysis, MoH:Airborne, COD4, Bioshock, StrangleHold, Armed Assault (runnable but poor framerates), Unreal Tournament 3 (which I wouldn't have bought even if I could run) - these are all things I tried demos of which I couldn't get to function properly on my aged hardware.

    So I didn't buy them. Does that automatically mean I pirated them?

    If they want more moneyhats, sure they can go to the consoles, but the problem is not specifically piracy; last gen PC hardware can shoulder much of the "blame" (blame in quotes because you can't blame the consumer for not having the infrastructure to use the product you're selling. I bet there are very few boat sales in the Sahara desert - is that because them damn pesky Bedouin are stealing them from the dealer?

    Oh, and the argument that all PC Gamers pirate all our software and movies earns you the same "Go Fuck Yourself" that Uwe Boll earned. Have fun with your shitty console to PC ports.


  • Regarding the high system requirements argument, I'm going to repost a comment of mine because I think it's relevant. I posted this back in January so some of the issues (like not being able to build a system that can run it full blown) might have been worked out.

    I think the real issue is the "experience", which a lot of people discount, but hear me out.

    You go out and you buy the best system money can buy. You spend $3K (let's say) on it and man it is sharp. It plays every game you own, full blown. Runs them at the huge native resolution you have on your LCD, you can max out every single setting, and get a smooth as silk framerate. New games come out and they're a piece of cake to run as well. Life is good.

    A few years go by and your system's not so hot anymore. You start having to turn down settings. You miss entire features because they're not supported by your card. You find yourself downloading demos of games you already want to buy just so you can know if they'll run worth a damn on your computer. You start having to make decisions like do you want a lower framerate but better graphics, or a higher framerate and poor graphics? You used to be able to have it all.

    But hey, you can just upgrade again and everything will be 100% again.

    The problem Crysis has is that it screws this up. I think it's possible to build a system today that can max it out but it's not financially feasible for most people. And by most people, I'm including 99% of gamers.

    Not to say it looks bad at all on less-than-balls-out settings, but it annoys people, on principle, that you could spend that $2-3K on an upgrade and still not have enough. The point of upgrading is to avoid that hassle.

    Game developers have tried to alleviate this over the years by having "settings" (i.e. low, medium and high) or to have autodetection algorithms. The problem with the settings is that you frequently fall somewhere between medium and high and you don't want the hassle of having to experiment (nor do you want to run the game and then later find out it could have looked better had you only tried a different setting).

    The problem with the autodetection algorithms is that they favor higher framerates. They're notorious for telling people with awesome systems that they need to run at "Medium". Yes, I know "Medium" will give me 60fps, but "High" will give me a perfectly acceptable 45fps and will look a hell of a lot better. The autodetection algorithms are too conservative usually.

    So, I think the Crysis problem could have been averted if the autodetection algorithms were better (I've played the demo once, so I don't remember this being the case but I could be wrong). If they could just ask you "do you prefer better framerates or higher quality graphics?" it would help. Maybe give them a target framerate range and let them test your system (I swear some old games would do this - Descent maybe?).

    Crysis runs on a LOT of PC's. The problem they have is that their target audience doesn't want to fiddle and is annoyed, on principle, at not being able to max it out with the best system they have. I think if the autodetection algorithm was better and saved them the hassle, this situation could have been better.



  • At least we know that any console port from Crytek cannot suck anymore in the gameplay department. There main selling point since Farcry has been nothing but graphics.. and the idiots actually tried to concentrate only on 'next-gen' graphics only with gameplay which, well, was so-so (then again, I always found Crysis like Halo, all hype no substance).

    On the side note, so far only id Software is the company I am comfortable with talking about 'pc games hurting sales' because id is actually trying to make an engine that will work on every platform, which is what all these companies should have been doing instead of bitching about sales getting hurt after spending millions designing a shitty game.