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Crytek: PC Sales to Piracy Ratio 1:15 or 1:20

There's a Cevat Yerli Q&A on IGN talking with the Crytek CEO about a variety of topics. One interesting bit, as pointed out by Gamasutra (thanks Mike Martinez), is his elaboration on his previous assertions about the impact of PC piracy on sales of Crysis, as his guestimates at piracy rations are pretty darned steep:

The other critique outside Crytek was the fact that the PC industry is really, at the moment, I would say the most intensely pirated market ever. It's crazy how the ratio between sales to piracy is probably 1 to 15 to 1 to 20 right now. For one sale there are 15 to 20 pirates and pirate versions, and that's a big shame for the PC industry. I hope with Warhead I hope we improve the situation, but at the same time it may have an impact on [our] PC exclusivity in the future.

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73. Re: No subject Jun 28, 2008, 01:12 Jerykk
 
Because people keep trying to come up with excuses to garner approval for their actions. No one is willing to admit "Hey I'm a pirate. I know what I'm doing is wrong, but I'm going to do it anyhow."

I don't think pirates really care about approval. If they did, they wouldn't confess to being pirates. It's more a matter of explaining the reasons why they pirate rather than trying to justify themselves to others.

Of course, it's all pretty pointless, as an anti-piracy mentality revolves around moral belief whereas piracy is more a matter of practicality. Practicality and morality tend to conflict.

PC publishers, already afraid of piracy, aren't about to do something they'd consider shooting themselves in the foot by offering cheaper ways to get full versions of their games.

Yeah, I don't see publishers allowing PC rentals of new games any time soon. Really though, if they want to increase profits, there are many more productive ways than ridiculous DRM.

Examples:

1) Marketing. How about some TV and theater spots? Or press events? Or shelf space? How about more ads in non-PC gaming magazines and websites? Unlike consoles, PC gaming doesn't really have anyone to promote it. The PCGA is supposed to fill this role but thus far, they have proven utterly useless.

2) Make games people can run. There's a noticeable trend on the PC: Games that run well on a wide variety of machines sell better than games that don't. And with a lesser focus on graphics, you can put more time and resources into more important things like gameplay and longevity. As WoW, CS, TF2 and SoSE, Sims and numerous other successful games prove, graphics aren't everything. Emphasize graphic style rather technology.

3) Make good exclusives for the PC. It's simple really. Most people have a PC. Many have a PC and a console. If a game is available on both PC and console, most people will buy the console version simply because there's less risk involved. They know it will run and look like the screenshots. if it doesn't run, they can return it. Sure, they might have to deal with an inferior control scheme and interface but that's better than not being able to run the game at all or at lowest detail settings.

If you make a great PC exclusive, people will play it on the PC.

4) Know your audience. As a whole, PC gamers tend to be older and more experienced than console gamers. We've been playing shooters since Wolfenstein 3D, strategy games since Dune and western RPGs since Ultima. Make games that rise to these higher standards, don't dumb them down. Also make games in genres that don't really exist on consoles. Flight sims, mech sims, vehicular combat, 4X strategy games, adventure games, etc. PC gaming was doing a lot better when it had a large variety of genres.

If publishers and developers followed the steps above, I guarantee that PC profits would rise.

This comment was edited on Jun 28, 01:35.
 
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