Capcom Blames Piracy for Poor DMC4 PC Sales

By Aaron Linde, Aug 01, 2008 8:00pm PDT Capcom corporate officer Christian Svensson revealed that the PC edition of the company's demon-slaying action title Devil May Cry 4 (PC, PS3, 360) saw poor sales since it debuted early last month, owing in some part to rampant piracy of the game.

"It's not doing as well as I would like in the US at retail," Svensson wrote on Capcom's official blog. "It's such a good version and it really deserves better sales. I know it's getting pirated to hell and back (it was up on torrents literally the day it shipped)."

The executive added that he had pushed for more prolific digital distribution of Devil May Cry 4's PC incarnation, but was stonewalled by Capcom Japan. Despite the frustration, Svennson reiterated his commitment to bringing more Capcom titles to digital distribution outlets.

"For the record all CEI-developed titles will be distributed extremely widely via digital channels... I've spent the last year building up that channel," Svennson stated, noting that GRIN's downloadable side-scroller Bionic Commando Rearmed (PC, PS3, 360) would see "broad digital distribution for PC."

"I have a presentation I'm making shortly that I'm hoping will make that approach something we do with all of our PC content, even those developed in Japan, but no promises. It might not happen," he added.

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106 Threads* | 717 Comments*
  • I found the game to be quite fun, actually. I nice diversion from the usual FPS, RTS, MMO PC fare. The controls aren't really that bad. I got used to them after a few minutes and I was combo'ing demons in no time. The graphics are just incredible at max settings. 60FPS throughout even when the screen is filled with 50+ enemies.

    So no, this is NOT a crappy port. This is the definitive version of the game. Too bad about all the piracy. Thanks to Capcom for giving PC players (the non-elitist ones, at least) a chance to enjoy this game.

  • Good games will always get pirated more. There is some truth to piracy.

    There is also other factors to it like later release when everyone has played it to death months before the pc version is out.

    I have access to ps3 and xbox360 version but waited for the pc version cos i kinda grew out of consoles since moving to PC, barely touching them anymore, bought it pretty cheap from searching around for about £18.

    I liked it so i bought it, i can understand there will be some who download it pirated, because they just want something for free, or can't really shell out for however much its going for.

    But I am a very very big Capcom fan so I'm doing what i can to support them.
    Yes, crap ports are really bad for bussines but DMC4 wos originally made on PC so it runs very nicely, Its not a port, it was made on PC and ported to consoles first because it made better business sense to do this.
    Just understand that Capcom Japan did not want to put this PC version with strict DRM, its the marketing people who wanted to do this cos they have a job to do, and thats to make money.
    Reading on this article just makes me like Capcom Japan even more, the proper game developers.

    I just hope Resident Evil 5 make it to PC also. I'd still buy it if it was still a later release.
    Would love to see same release date for all formats but thats not gona happen.
    But if it did ever happen then maybe consoles will die out since they are now inferior versions of a PC port.

    Go Capcom Japan!

  • Have any of your people been to a country that's not 1st world country (so to say)? I've been to eastern Europe and Asia.

    Travelling through eastern Europe I cannot say that I've seen one place selling legitimate games. This is not just one country either. You can buy pirated games everywhere for $1 on the markets.

    However, those places are getting faster internet connections and they have computers. Hell even when they buy consoles they're usually already fitted with a mod chip.

    I think that people from western countries do pirate games, but the increase in piracy is mainly due to the availability of fast internet in parts of the world where previously it wasn't so.

  • Hardly anyone arguing about PC game piracy on the internet is able to wrap their brain around the counterfactuals.

    We know that PC games not made by Blizzard don't sell well and that large-scale developers are moving away from PC games. We know that a shitload of people pirate PC games. What we don't know is how sales of any given PC game would be different if game piracy were impossible.

    Clearly there are people who look forward to a game's release, really want to play it, and would fork over $50 for it if they had no choice, but who pirate it. Clearly there are also people who just pirate a game because they happen to be browsing a torrent site and see some game came out, and since they've got tons of bandwidth and hard drive space they click the link. In a world where that game was impossible to pirate, they would not buy it. Naturally these two extremes happen with other forms of media piracy as well.

    IP holders like to lump both of those types of users together and count both as a lost sale, which is untrue. Their antagonists presume that the latter group comprises the vast majority of game piracy, and blame sluggish sales on other factors. No one really knows (or can know) what the mindset of every single person downloading torrents is, and there's no way to know how large each group is, or how many people are on the fence.

    But what's not even considered is that PC game piracy affects the entire gaming market as a whole. As long as a PC, a fast internet connection, a bit of knowledge, and a lack of moral objection to piracy gets certain people a stream of free games, those people are less likely to buy consoles and less likely to buy console games, because their demand for entertainment is sated. In all our quibbling about the extent to which the free, pirated version of Game X substitutes for a purchased version of Game X, we ignore entirely the extent to which it substitutes for a purchased version of game Y, which may be a console game.

    This to me lends credence to the arguments that PC gaming has issues that go beyond piracy. Bleeding-edge hardware requirements are one example; TF2 is popular, and Sins of a Solar Empire is popular, and World of Warcraft is popular because they are playable on four year old PCs. If the lost sales due to piracy are distributed industry-wide, then differences between platforms have to be explained by other factors.

    In addition, I think that as more and more developers move away from making piratable PC titles, those that do come out (such as DMC4) are going to get a larger share of piracy. The habitual pirates looking for a new game to play, any game, are more likely to settle upon the few games that do hit the torrent sites. That will lead developers to further overestimate the piracy of their individual titles, and accelerate the movement away from PC titles sold in the traditional standalone, boxed manner.

    Within a few years, I expect we'll all log in to Steam, or some Microsoft account, or battlenet in order to play PC games, even single player ones. We'll bitch about it for the first year, and after that we'll laugh about how silly that Starforce crap was.

  • I, like everyone else, am reminded of the Crytek line that piracy prevented Crysis from kicking as much retail ass is it should have. Crytek is apparently unwilling or unable to recognize that Crysis' steep requirements and lack of fun (better as a benchmarking tool than a game imho) were impediments to its retail success. Likewise, there are other factors than piracy in the DMC4 case: relatively high requirements and a saturated market come to my mind. The people who are excited about DMC4 already own a console version of it and, since it is a totally consolized game, its gameplay doesn't appeal to PC-exclusive gamers like me who find the console style of gaming horrid. Poor marketing thus looks to me like a more plausible explanation for poor sales than piracy.

    Plus, let's not forget that a pirated copy != a lost sale, because many gamers (I know plenty, surely you do as well) will play a game for free that they would never, ever consider buying--if they were forced to pay for such games they would elect not to play them. Personally, I wouldn't even play DMC4 if it were free...