Is Piracy Killing PC Gaming?

by on July 14, 2008 · 25 comments

Sean Sands makes the argument that it is in a very powerfully worded editorial today over at The Escapist entitled “Sink the Pirates“:

PC developers are being forced to make more dramatic decisions in the face of overwhelming piracy, an issue that Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crysis developer Crytek, recently enumerated at one legitimate copy to every twenty pirated. […] Yes, I think Cevat is inflating his 20 to 1 statistic, but he’s probably not nearly as far off as you or I might think. Looking at arguably one of the largest P2P torrent sharing sites on the web (no, I’m not going to link to it), and the number of Games torrents currently available, the evidence is absolutely damning. Despite PCs’ relative weakness in the marketplace, clearly in the backseat by orders of magnitude in relation to the next gen and handheld systems, it represents 50% of all torrents. Let me stress that – the number of illegal PC downloads are, at any given moment, equal to or greater than the illegal downloads for every other system combined. […] Here’s the bottom line: Yes, piracy is destroying PC gaming. That is an immutable truth, evidenced by the exodus of PC developers defecting en masse to make games for consoles. End of story.

I’m not prepared to offer an opinion one way or the other, but I have noticed the slowdown in the PC gaming market recently and wondered about why many developers were moving over the more secure gaming consoles. That doesn’t necessarily prove that piracy was the primary factor, but it certainly could be part of the explanation.

What do you think?

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