Some argue that piracy isn’t terribly detrimental to industries such as music, movies and gaming, because pirates are pirates, and they wouldn’t have bought the product anyway.
But Germany-based Crysis developer Crytek doesn’t completely agree with that theory.
Asked by Edge if Crysis pirates would have bought the game legally if pirated copies were unavailable, engine business manager Harald Seeley conceded, “Well, clearly not all would have.”
He continued, “But judging by, for example, the number of users who downloaded our patches, there were a lot more active players than there were unit sales. And I think we can safely say if they were still playing the game by the time our latest patch released, and if they were playing on a pirated copy, then they were a sale that didn’t happen but probably would have had it not been possible to obtain the game illegally.”
Crytek was thrust to the forefront of the piracy debate earlier this year when president Cevat Yerli swore off doing any more PC exclusive games like Crysis.
At the time, Seeley said the title was the most pirated Crytek project to date.
Nevertheless, Crytek said the EA-published game turned a profit and sold over a million copies worldwide as of February this year. The game released in November 2007.
In the wake of Crytek’s piracy concerns, consoles have become more appealing to the studio because of their inherent piracy-fighting systems.
Seeley added, “There are many approaches to dealing with piracy, and not all of them require attempting to overcome it directly with more restrictive DRM.
“For example, the consoles themselves are, in one sense, simply very good DRM technologies that consumers welcome and pay for, in order to receive the benefits that come with them, such as the healthy variety of games which are able to prosper in such a protected environment, and the greater ease of installation, use and reliability.”
The studio will soon release Crysis Warhead, a spin-off of the original, which will be PC-exclusive (the title was in development prior to the studio’s commitment to multiplatform development).
We’ll have more from Seeley in an exclusive soon-to-be-published interview. [The full interview is now live.–KG]