Game studios ditching PCs, blame "piracy"

There was a time when PC gaming was all the rage, with plenty of fanbois more than happy to throw down a cool $3,000+ for a hot new rig to play the latest and greatest FPS.

Those days have long since faded into the twilight of economic uncertainty, prompting studios to enthusiastically embrace console gaming.

Although the current generation of consoles is admittedly in desperate need of a refresh, they are apparently still good enough for the masses, and probably will be for the near future. 

Now, no one is disputing the fact that PCs offer a superior gaming experience which can’t really be touched by consoles. But gaming studios are inevitably going to follow the money trail – which leads from consoles all the way to the bank. 

At this point, it seems as if a number of game devs are simply tired of coding for the stalwart PC. Sales are down, they say, due to either lack of interest or piracy. Indeed, Stanislas Mettra, creative director at Ubisoft for I Am Alive, recently complained about both when asked if the game would ever see a PC release.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that PC gamers are bitching about there being no version for them,” Mettra told IncGamers.

“But are these people just making noise just because there’s no version or because it’s a game they actually want to play? Would they buy it if we made it?”

According to Mettra, a PC port would difficult, because there’s so much piracy and so few people are paying for PC games.

“We have to precisely weigh it up against the cost of making it. Perhaps it will only take 12 guys three months to port the game to PC, it’s not a massive cost but it’s still a cost. If only 50,000 people buy the game then it’s not worth it.”

Similarly, Ubisoft producer Sébastien Arnoult confirmed that a PC version of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier was unlikely because: “When we started Ghost Recon Online we were thinking about Ghost Recon: Future Solider; having something ported in the classical way without any deep development, because we know that 95% of our consumers will pirate the game… So we said okay, we have to change our mind.

“We have to adapt, we have to embrace this instead of pushing it away. That’s the main reflection behind Ghost Recon Online and the choice we’ve made to go in this direction.”

Unsurprisingly, Destructoid’s Jim Sterling wondered if the industry should take Ubisoft’s seemingly anti-PC attitude as an indication that the company’s “awful” DRM measures have failed.

“I mean, if that DRM worked so well, surely we wouldn’t have I Am Alive developers insulting PC gamers and Ghost Recon having a 95% piracy rate (Arnoult said it, not me)… [So] either DRM is a failure, or piracy isn’t the issue. There’s only one answer here, Ubisoft,” he added.