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View Full Version : Crytek officially goes multi-platform due to piracy on the PC market,


j83
04-29-2008, 08:34 PM
I figured this was coming, as I'm sure Crysis was very expensive to develop.
Speaking to PC Play Magazine, Crytek president Cevat Yerli has revealed that piracy of PC games is such a massive problem that it has forced the Crysis developer to move to multi-format releases.

"We are suffering currently from the huge piracy that is encompassing Crysis," said Yerli. "We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin, a chart leading that is not desirable. I believe that's the core problem of PC Gaming, piracy. To the degree PC gamers that pirate games inherently destroy the platform."

Yerli continued: "Similar games on consoles sell factors of 4-5 more. It was a big lesson for us and I believe we won't have PC exclusives as we did with Crysis in future. We are going to support PC, but not exclusive anymore."

He didn't say it, but this all but confirms that future instalments in the Crysis franchise will be coming to home consoles and PC. We thought Crysis was a top-notch FPS and it certainly deserves to be played by a larger audience, one which consoles should give it.
http://www.videogamer.com/news/29-04-2008-8158.html

ZCtrl
04-29-2008, 08:38 PM
no point in downloading a game my pc won't run :), I wonder how much they will have to dumb it down to play on consoles though?

lebada
04-29-2008, 08:56 PM
no point in downloading a game my pc won't run :), I wonder how much they will have to dumb it down to play on consoles though?

it BARELY ran at medium settings on my 3.0ghz OCd quad core , 8 gb ram and dual 8800GT sli's

you do the math lol

j83
04-29-2008, 09:09 PM
You must have issues.

High at 1680x1050 and one 8800gt runs around 30-40fps. Just don't use Vista, it really hurts performance.

Even Very High is playable at 1680x1050 (most of the time), and the motion blur on "Very High" is superb! Very High via tweaks on XP/DX9 is the best option for performance. :)

Szos
04-29-2008, 09:26 PM
I never liked gaming on a PC, so I consider this all a good thing really.
I wonder if they plan on focusing on any specific console or all of them?

Also curious if they would think about porting to the Mac?

richcz3
04-29-2008, 09:39 PM
I think making Graphics benchmark games for the PC isn't a gamble its just wrong in todays market. The requirements were steep and the DX10 route they took couldn't have helped sales much either.

I personaly liked how Crysis looked but it wasn't anything groundbreaking game play wise. There were a few nice open levels but not enough. It played fine on my quad with 8800GTS but I couldn't recommend it for single core players - which still make a big part of the PC market.

Boone
04-29-2008, 09:48 PM
Although piracy is indeed a bigger threat for PC titles, it wasnt the reason Crysis had problems selling. Its developement was rushed and the hardware required to run it was rediculous. Less eye candy and more design'n'engineering.

lebada
04-29-2008, 09:51 PM
You must have issues.

High at 1680x1050 and one 8800gt runs around 30-40fps. Just don't use Vista, it really hurts performance.

Even Very High is playable at 1680x1050 (most of the time), and the motion blur on "Very High" is superb! Very High via tweaks on XP/DX9 is the best option for performance. :)

not running vista means not running dx10 enhancements...which ultimately are the bane of the slow downs.

j83
04-29-2008, 10:29 PM
not running vista means not running dx10 enhancements...which ultimately are the bane of the slow downs.

No ironically, 99% of the "DX10" exclusives of the game are able to be ran in DX9, and actually run better. :)

JohnnyRandom
04-29-2008, 11:33 PM
Somewhat a funny remark for a developer who got in trouble for not paying for software licenses.

Pthomas
04-30-2008, 01:48 AM
You know piracy could be solved if they just got rid of the internet and Microsoft.

salmonmoose
04-30-2008, 03:34 AM
it BARELY ran at medium settings on my 3.0ghz OCd quad core , 8 gb ram and dual 8800GT sli's

you do the math lol

Something really wrong there - it ran ok on my laptop (Under Vista).

Keep in mind that both high-end consoles have multi-core architectures that are really good at pushing polygons - and don't tend to have those whacko problems PCs seem to randomly get.

Kabab
04-30-2008, 05:32 AM
Personally i didn't think the game itself was very good...

Games like Tf2 sold great.

j83
04-30-2008, 05:56 AM
Well, Crytek produced a graphically amazing game and they should be thanked for that. The Orange Box is a great buy, but TF2, Hl2:EP2, and Portal didn't really push the graphical limit. Not that Valve was supposed to per se, but I'm thankful Crytek produced such a great engine.

Arcanox
04-30-2008, 06:08 AM
I tried the Crysis demo, and I have a decent machine with a 8800GT. I wasn't impressed at all with how it ran, I was really running it on medium/high to get somewhat playable performance. Considering there wasn't much texture relief and the game depends on all sorts of lighting effects to carry it, it really wasn't worth playing for me.

I'm really interesting to see what they can do with their games on consoles. If it runs anything like the PC version you'd have your poor consoles would melt to a gooey pile of plastic and metal.

Kabab
04-30-2008, 06:18 AM
Well, Crytek produced a graphically amazing game and they should be thanked for that. The Orange Box is a great buy, but TF2, Hl2:EP2, and Portal didn't really push the graphical limit. Not that Valve was supposed to per se, but I'm thankful Crytek produced such a great engine.
Sure they did but the #1 goal is to make $$$$...

It seems like gameplay is far more effective today for making things successful then graphics...

I think some of reasons Cyrsis didn't sell so well are just as much gameplay issues then piracy...

ThomasMahler
04-30-2008, 06:38 AM
I think Crytek just had bad luck with their release. There were so many great games being released at the same time (Orange Box, Call of Duty 4). It was leaked to the net right before it was actually released and you needed a really high end rig to play it. So people downloaded it like crazy, tried it out, some surely got bored with it after that and some played through it and didn't bother buying it afterwards.

As Kabab said, focusing on gameplay really seems to pay off these days.

aesir
04-30-2008, 07:20 AM
of course TF2 sold great. It requires you to be connected to the net to play so they can check if you have a legal copy. Cant pirate that.

If there was a way to pirate TF2, it would be barely breaking even.

Rais27
04-30-2008, 07:35 AM
I remember a few years ago Crytek was a pirate too. As far as I can remember they used a lot of pirated software to produce their game.....
Well at least they understand the issue now and hopefully buy the software they produce their games with...

Kabab
04-30-2008, 08:35 AM
of course TF2 sold great. It requires you to be connected to the net to play so they can check if you have a legal copy. Cant pirate that.

If there was a way to pirate TF2, it would be barely breaking even.
They could have released its via steam and gotten the same protection..

But mind you the multiplayer wasn't at the level which would drive people to buy it to play...

I think most people just wanted to get Cyrsis and play it for 30m-1hour to check out the graphics then move on to their regular games, which of course lends to people pirating the game...

Laa-Yosh
04-30-2008, 09:19 AM
Wow, I wonder if they know that Santa Claus doesn't exist either... ;)

Trenox
04-30-2008, 09:21 AM
This is really a bad development. Crysis is imo the best FPS game i have ever played (despite the mediocre second half of the SP).
Epic had similar problems with unreal tournament 3 on PC platform and seem to move more in the direction of consoles.

This is especially an issue since the PC (imo) has a bigger potentiel for rich gaming experiences in certain genres, and if everything just moves in the direction of consoles we will have a more narrow palette of games than might be the case if PC was an equal contender. In the end this leads to less innovation and less choice for the consumers :/

But i can certainly understand the studios that moves in this direction...

(Also GTA IV is not out on PC so far. ironically it was rushed into retail due to Xbox piracy)

AJ
04-30-2008, 09:35 AM
Also GTA IV is not out on PC so far. ironically it was rushed into retail due to Xbox piracy
By 'rushed into retail' do you mean 'on sale at release date'?

:surprised

Trenox
04-30-2008, 09:44 AM
By 'rushed into retail' do you mean 'on sale at release date'?

I was informed that it was sold prematurely in some places due to piracy. Maybe that was just some sort of ill rumour ? In that case its my bad :)

tuna
04-30-2008, 10:24 AM
(despite the mediocre second half of the SP)


No only was the 2nd half of the game un-playably bad, but I was running fine at medium/high on my 8800gts / 3.6ghz oc core 2 duo, UNTIL THE ICE CAME. At which point it was low settings all the way, then a migraine inducing "effect" that had me leaving the game and playing custom SP levels for a few days, trying the multiplayer once, then uninstalling it all. Lasted roughly a week.

Great value, I sure am glad I bought this game :thumbsup:

Crytek can go to hell, blaming it on piracy. What a tired old excuse for lackluster content.

rebb
04-30-2008, 10:35 AM
Crysis is really an amazing Game, that i know from picking it up recently. The reason i bought it about 6 Months(?) after it's release is, that i only now own a PC that can run it on High Settings. I didn't even bother buying it upon launch because i figured it would only degrade my overall enjoyment of it.

That is probably what is causing the "mediocre sales" of it, the general user-base is just slowly ramping up their hardware. My guess/hope is that it will still end up selling well, but those sales might only trickle in over a longer timespan instead of some "fat loot upon release" kinda thing.

then a migraine inducing "effect" that had me leaving the game
Heh, do you mean the Effect when the Screen starts to freeze up ? For some reason i linked that effect to Migraine too - mainly because the Visual Artifacts i get at the start of a Migraine look almost exactly like that :).

Syndicate
04-30-2008, 11:36 AM
This is not the work of pirates.... the problem is with the pricing.

I paid $50AUS for Crysis from CDWOW singapore (delievered within 7 days). On the shelves here at EB stores it was $110.

Seriously if the price wasnt overkill im sure the piracy numbers would drop.

The other reason they are going for other platforms is because PC is the worst platform to support with millions of possible configurations... Bugs galore.

Is anyone here stupid enough to buy the game for $50 more of which not a cent more goes to the developer?

In other news I just read dreamworks gets 2.50 for each DVD sold. You do the math.

We are being ripped off by retail. period.

Boone
04-30-2008, 12:03 PM
The other reason they are going for other platforms is because PC is the worst platform to support with millions of possible configurations... Bugs galore.




Quoted for Agreement. They say its difficult with less muscle but then again you have to develop for underpowered PCs anyway - so switching to a console makes sense. Crytek totally ignored those customers with entry-level machines and paid the price for it. One could argue that Crysis was meant to sell new hardware, but when even that hardware fails to run it, that argument goes right out the window.

Solothores
04-30-2008, 12:13 PM
Not a surprising move, considering development costs going through the roof due to ever increasing pseudo-realism requirements while still devoting oneself to a pure niche market, that high-performance FPS shooters w. hardcore requirements will always remain to be. To blame the obvious on pirates, is just nonsense. What many developers, that still do it the origin-we-push-the-edge-way simply fail to see, is that those that keep up-to-date with latest pc-hardware are and will always remain a minority. But it seems that an industry suddenly unlearnt how to differentiate oneselves from competition, when it doesn't happen on the level of eyecandy and genre-clichees, leaving a majority of it's customerbase behind in it's wake for technical purification worshipped by a fraction of what once was the pc-game playerbase.

Cheers
S.

arvid
04-30-2008, 12:15 PM
They are clearly misinterpreting these piracy numbers. Almost everyone who download Crysis just wants to see how strong their computer is, and could probably have just downloaded the demo instead. However, I prefer console playing these days so I'm hoping that Crytek will push the platforms to their limit with their technology :)

Obraxis
04-30-2008, 12:56 PM
If they could make the game run on an average PC, and not needing insane specs for it to run smoothly then they might have sold more copies. Or, partner with Steam for PC release.

Releasing on consoles will make them more money for sure. The games really then, should have no excuses for big bugs.

DigitalBlaspheme
04-30-2008, 01:42 PM
Not sure if its been said or not, as I only read but so far into this discussion, Crysis is an excellent SINGLE player FPS. IMHO multiplayer is what killed crysis, not piracy not the hackers. Even though damn near everyone that plays the multiplayer side are either hackers or they only play on certain servers because their game is pirated.

Seems tons of people have reported (not only here) issues with running crysis on their hardware. I find that funny because with the same hardware I run it perfectly fine. My personal experiences with crysis- 1 8800gts, q6600, 4gigs ram, 150g raptor hd, 780i striker II mobo, and vista 64bit have run crysis reliably at 45-55fps at a medium rez (12 hundred something by whatever) with all other settings at high (dx10) and with no sytem/game tweaks for optimal performance.

I suspect there is a bit of user ignorance(not to be confused with user stupidity)/unrealistic expectations when it comes to others with the same hardware who are reporting issues with performance. People need to realize you're not running cyrsis with EVERYTHING on high flawlessly with todays hardware.....it's just not possible even with 2 video cards.......well I take that back. If you have a machine with 2 quad cores thrown in and 8gigs or more of ram with 2 oc'd 8800gtx's......it may be possilbe...but I can't verify. What can I verify then? If you're running with a single 8800gt (even the g92rev) and you're complaining that performance was sub standard......well you're being unrealistic. You need to upgrade if you want to play this game with acceptable framerates. Simple, sweet, and completely realistic. Otherwise you're left to trying the system/game optimization that most people have been forced to do.

schuubars
04-30-2008, 02:16 PM
Oh man...get your facts right...

It was a angry trainee because he didn't got a job, so he called the police, and guess what the police didn't find any pirated/illegal copies of software... a mostly failed try to damage the image of Crytek.

I remember a few years ago Crytek was a pirate too. As far as I can remember they used a lot of pirated software to produce their game.....
Well at least they understand the issue now and hopefully buy the software they produce their games with...

richcz3
04-30-2008, 04:56 PM
Whichever platform Crytek moves to, they had better work on Single Player play consistency and think about a designing a solid Multiplayer game. I'm sure by going to consoles they'll sell more copies, but they'll need to rethink their design priorities.

In some respects, Crysis does feel like Far Cry revisted in how it started off promising and then gets lost after the half way point. Given that their Multiplayer couldn't save it. Maybe less emphasis on Game Engine, more focus on Game Play.

Sil3
04-30-2008, 05:07 PM
I have Crysis because it came bundled on my GF8800 (if not I couldnt care less about it), I can run it but not with everything maxed up (QuadCore 3.2Ghz, 8 Gb and Vista) and sometimes it chokes...

I bought UT3 and maxed out everything and even altered the CustomCharacters.ini to get the Characters to use the 2048 textures instead of the default 1024 (even with everything maxed out UT will only apply the 1024 maps) and guess what, it runs at steady 60fps ALL the time even with 12 characters on screen at the same time.

So... instead of blaming others, they should had optimized their game so that we didnt need a NASA Computer to run it... thats what is killing the majority of new releases IMO... they demand absurd machines that the vast majority of gamers dont have and most cant even buy them righ now...

In Consoles they have to optimize it to run on them, why on PCs they dont care about it beats me... then they get scapegoats...

Olethros
04-30-2008, 07:35 PM
Start making decent games with more than flashy graphics that run only on high-end pc’s so that people can stop downloading illegal copies you @!$%&. Why bothered spending a lot of money on a game with a plot that will keep your interest for a few hours or not play at all on your pc? Go to the consoles I say… and stay there, and let blizzard do their job quietly without your whining. :D

j83
04-30-2008, 08:54 PM
Some things to realize before anyone starts bashing Crytek,

(1) The fastest hardware we have is all based on GPUs from November of 2006, the 8800gtx, or G80. Sure it's been revised like the G92 core and the new 8800gt, 8800gts 512, and now the 9-series, but still, there is hardly any difference between the 8-series and 9-series.

(2) Crysis offers screen-space ambient occlusion, simulated sub-surface scattering, churns through polygons like it's no one's business, and allows you to walk through a scene so complex, were it in another game engine like those used in some other games that will remain anonymous, you'd not even be hitting half the performance.

I'm thankful Crytek produced such a great engine, just like with Far Cry. Far Cry to this day looks better than many titles being released, and people hardly recognize that. Not everyone plays a game for just the story, as me personally, the majority of the games I play are usually for the art or technology, or a mixture of the two (this is why I love playing Uncharted so much!).

richcz3
04-30-2008, 10:14 PM
Some things to realize before anyone starts bashing Crytek,
.................

(2) Crysis offers screen-space ambient occlusion, simulated sub-surface scattering, churns through polygons like it's no one's business, and allows you to walk through a scene so complex, were it in another game engine like those .....................
Here's the problem. It is a stellar engine for some of the points you noted if not more ... BUT.... as ID and Epic have shown over the years, you need to be able to license the game engine to recoup development, then profit and re-invest in the next gen. There have been only about three public announcements of CryEngine2 licensing that I am aware of. One in particular was an ArchViz company which showed how capable it is.

Taking Epics recent UT3 debacle for the PC (which may have sold less than Crysis), I'm sure Epic isn't losing much sleep over it. One can be sure Epic is doing very well with their cross platform licensing of the UT3 engine. Epics best PC days may be behind it, but it made the right move at the right time with consoles and scored.

j83
05-01-2008, 12:53 AM
From a consumer point of view, I love Crytek for their PC exclusives (in terms of technology), but from a business standpoint/studio view, I'd say I'd probably rather focus my attention on consoles, because it's a controlled environment.

Kabab
05-01-2008, 01:52 AM
From a consumer point of view, I love Crytek for their PC exclusives (in terms of technology), but from a business standpoint/studio view, I'd say I'd probably rather focus my attention on consoles, because it's a controlled environment.That shouldn't be a concern if your using a good engine it should nearly be trivial to port between PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

If i was a developer i'd be aiming for as many platforms as possible to increase my potential market as much as possible.

eirenicon
05-01-2008, 02:19 AM
as ID and Epic have shown over the years, you need to be able to license the game engine to recoup development, then profit and re-invest in the next gen.
Only if your games are crap. Look at the Source engine. It's been licensed to a handful of developers and I can guarantee you that Dark Messiah, Postal III and Vampire: Bloodlines didn't recoup Valve's huge development cost. You know what did? Half-Life 2, the HL2 Episodes, Portal, Team Fortress 2. Great games that you play over and over, games that are worth every penny, games that feel like a steal. And yes, games like HL2 and Portal are pirated, despite Steam's best efforts. You can find them on any torrent site, on Usenet, everywhere. There's a Half-Life 2 torrent on the popular Demonoid tracker that has been downloaded over 300 thousand times.

Instead of blaming Crysis's poor sales on piracy, maybe the cause of the piracy should be addressed. Crysis wasn't a great game. It looked fantastic, if you had a good computer, and it had some great moments and cool ideas, but overall, not a great game. It was like a summer blockbuster that you enjoy in the theatre but you don't bother buying on DVD. Piracy hurt Crysis because not enough people thought it was worth buying.

This is no different than the movie industry blaming piracy for a poor box office return, or the music industry blaming piracy for falling profits. Time and time again, though, it's become obvious that poor product, not piracy, is responsible. Good products are pirated as much as (well, usually more than) bad ones. When piracy hurts your product it's probably because it's mediocre enough that you would need all the pirates to buy a copy for it to turn a profit.

The bottom line is, pirates compose a certain percentage of the population. One game doesn't really attract a higher percentage of piracy than another. Develop for consoles by all means, but don't be so sure your game will really do better there... because those pirates aren't suddenly going to buy your game just because they can't get it for free.

(This is not, by the way, a defence of piracy. Piracy does hurt developers - but it shouldn't be enough to knock them out. I suspect that the reason CryTek is truly hurting over Crysis's lackluster sales is because they poured a lot of money into the engine. To anyone who has played Crysis with high settings, the problem should be obvious: they spent too much. Pretty graphics don't, in the end, sell games; good gameplay and friendly policies do. That's why Stardock sold Galactic Civilizations II like gangbusters, even though it had no copy protection, not even a CD key. Piracy can't touch you if your game kicks ass, because people like to spend money on things that are worth it. Stealing a delicious sandwich feels bad, stealing a soggy old donut doesn't, even though there isn't really a moral difference of any sort. Paying for a delicious sandwich feels good, paying for a soggy old donut just feels stupid.)

richcz3
05-01-2008, 06:40 AM
Only if your games are crap. Look at the Source engine. It's been licensed to a handful of developers and I can guarantee you that Dark Messiah, Postal III and Vampire: Bloodlines didn't recoup Valve's huge development cost.Whatever your opinion is, licensing has been a big benefit to game engine developers and has spawned some unique games in the process. The longevity of those engines (use over the years) has been of great benefit.

Speaking of looking like crap - Lest we forget Valve owes allot to that venarable highly modified Quake engine. It was a base upon which they made the original Half Life. Of course Counter Strike and Day of Defeat which definately to this day don't hurt Valves coffers any. Lesson there is that game play does beat graphics and in that regard Valve really shined. IDs baby definately helped build Valves house. Denying this would be foolish.

I've purchased my share of Valve Gold licenses years ago and can say they screwed the pooch on their 1st delivery of goods for the HL2 series. The Source Engine had plenty of issues on release. Sound loop crashes. Net code and hit box issues that hurt online play. Licenses flopped not by design but by issues with the engine.

Now x number of years later Valve has a solid handle on the Source Engine. Witness the Orange Box. Team Fortress 2 is amazing and I can't get enough of it. Now if only they would get to moving this new Source code into Day of Defeat Source to make it playable to go along with the good looks. Of course with Valve you never know what "Soon" means.;)

Venkman
05-01-2008, 06:43 PM
There's a Half-Life 2 torrent on the popular Demonoid tracker that has been downloaded over 300 thousand times.

The bottom line is, pirates compose a certain percentage of the population. One game doesn't really attract a higher percentage of piracy than another.



Here is a quote from Peter Tamte, a member of the devteam that ported Halo to the mac:

IMG: Do you have an estimate as to how many copies of Halo may have been pirated?

Tamte: We can only physically track less than 10% of the piracy, and we have physically tracked more units of Halo being stolen on the Internet than have been sold through stores so far.

The big name games attract the large amounts of piracy. Your stat on one torrent for Half Life 2 scares the crap out of me. If it was 300,000 sold instead of pirated copies, even at a significant discount, it would have brought a massive amount of cash to Valve. The game was clearly great, and still a massive target for piracy.

Like it or not, Crysis was a big name game because of the hype of the technology behind it. The more hype, the more piracy.

"Make better games" to avoid piracy seems like a weak argument to me. Imagine you tell the client you are going to make one kickass 3d illustration for them. You are going to charge $1000 for it. Upon delivery, the client decides your illustration is not as good as you hyped it to be.

Then they use it anyway without paying you. They say "you want us to buy it? Make it better next time."

How pissed would you be? Would you switch clients? That's what crytek is doing. Good for them. Also, good luck to them getting a version of the cryengine running on 512 MB of ram!

j83
05-01-2008, 07:01 PM
If you've ever captured a frame of CryEngine 2 and an Unreal Engine 3 game, you'll see CryEngine 2 leaves a lot of things being rendered that aren't in view, whereas UT3 and most/all other UE3 games are very, very narrowed in what is being sent to the GPU. So maybe Crytek can change that, and also draw in the scope of the landscape.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but that is just what I have observed. :)

ambient-whisper
05-01-2008, 08:04 PM
heh. i actually really enjoyed crysis SP. once you got 1/2 way, the alien stuff was actually pretty freakin cool. (atleast i thought so ). sure you couldnt sneak anymore like you could early game but thats a good thing in my eye. whats the point of having 99 levels of exactly the same shit.

multiplayer did suck ass though and ultimately it is what killed the game. cod had soo much more against it in that area. same problem UT3 had. it was the same ol shit gameplay wise. new vehicles isnt going to save a game. solid game modes( variety as well ), achievements, etc will do a game just fine.

not only that but single player of cod4 was just excellent. and man, word of mouth spread big time for that game. people that dont normally play those types of games ended up buying it because it brought so much value. my brother being a good example. he hates fps games in general, but he loved the game due to it being different, trying new things, and having to work towards fun achievements.

what cod4 did right versus what a lot of games do today is.. the developers didnt spoil the experience due to telling the public exactly what the game was going to be before hand ( as in give out all the details ahead of time.

take assassins creed for example. the mission layout was given to us a year or more before the game was released. the game was EXACTLY what they advertized it to be, and that was all. nothing else was different from the demos they showed. the entire game had a formula and that was it. formulas suck ass in those types of games. the mini quests were way too easy, and quite frankly boring as hell. then the pc version was released with a few new mission types. collecting flags was one of them. im sorry but that is probably the laziest type of mission type that could have ever been added into a game.

the only missions that were ever fun were the archers on the rooftops and the actual assassinations. everything else was unbelievably easy. for such a huge development team, i cant believe how few ideas they had for that game, and how poorly the missions were executed. i can think of soooo many ways that game could have been more exciting.

man, that game felt like as if the guy/s that came up with the development docs just handed it over to the art/ code team and then they left to work on a design for another game without ever playing testing the game. ( and definitely not listening to the testers about gameplay design complaints. only focusing on the bugs )

( btw, i still loved assassins creed due to my imagination filling the gap and me taking my time during the assassinations (plus i really enjoyed the technical aspects as well ))

ok back to the topic. a lot of fps games do the same. the developers spill the beans ahead of time, and then provide only what they advertized. no surprises, no thought into the actual game, etc. UT3 adding a few new vehicles doesnt add lots of fun into the gameplay. the game has soo little improvement in gameplay versus its previous versions.

i would suggest developers take the time to research what makes games like cod4, tf2 etc really successful. they dont need to copy ideas at all, but what they need to see is what made those games successful to begin with. why are the specific modes fun to play. how is stuff balanced, and why does it make it more fun the way it is executed. is there room for improvement? perhaps a fun new twist could be introduced? Tf2 recently added a gold rush mode that is similar to escorting the president in the previous game. this time around however the human aspect was removed from the item/person that needs to be escorted, and as far as i know people are having tons of fun with it. they need to look at other games that have successful aspects. not just FPS games or games of the same genre even.
im sure some fps games could learn from other genre games as well.

what did crysis bring into the mix that make multiplayer fun? not much as far as i can see.

some developers feel that a tried and true formula will keep working forever. that might work for a game or two, but it wont work for much longer than that.

and whoever said before me that people have unrealistic view of what crysis will play like on their machine and going for full quality and max rez is completely right. theres too many people trying to play at max rez and everything on high. lower the resolution a bunch and the game will play much much better. lowering things like physics a little wont remove any fun aspects of the game. same as lowering the volumetrics a little.

i still support them for their console journey. theres less variables to deal with, and you know 100% that the game will play its best with a good framerate when its released.

Grim Beefer
05-01-2008, 08:45 PM
"Make better games" to avoid piracy seems like a weak argument to me. Imagine you tell the client you are going to make one kickass 3d illustration for them. You are going to charge $1000 for it. Upon delivery, the client decides your illustration is not as good as you hyped it to be.

Then they use it anyway without paying you. They say "you want us to buy it? Make it better next time."

How pissed would you be? Would you switch clients? That's what crytek is doing. Good for them. Also, good luck to them getting a version of the cryengine running on 512 MB of ram!

This is a common argument used that is, unfortunately, flawed. In your example, the client has entered into a business exchange with you prior to delivery. However, we can't assume that every instance of piracy is a lost sale in the same manner, as does the MPAA/RIAA/BSA. Lack of funds, boredom, curiosity, etc. are all reasonable motivations that don't necessarily translate into a sale. In other words, the "piracy = lost sales" point is an oversimplification if our goal is to understand piracy.

It is an telling predicament. The ability to copy digital information (i.e. piracy) is built into our computer infrastructure from the ground up (like cell reproduction in biological systems - absolutely essential). I feel as though software developers have put themselves in an impossible situation. As a civilization, we know the consequences of building our houses on the beach. We can try and subvert the earth to our will and protect these homes from the elements, but for all the engineering done, it is still a constant battle against nature. Similarly, "copyability" is as inert in the nature of computer systems as hurricanes are in the nature of storm systems.

Combine this inert "flaw", in any system, with "rational self-interest" (to borrow a term from economics) and you're going to get the phenomenon called "piracy", if the system is infinitely copyable with no diminishing stock. The Internet reduces the software game to an honor system, essentially. Do our capitalist societies push for "honor", "solidarity", or other such ideological drives that would dissuade us from such behavior? Obviously not. Avarice, amoral self-interest, solipsism, material accumulation, and exploitation are the foundations of our economy, and currently drive most every major market system on earth, including the software market (if you don't adhere to these principles, you eventually will have to in order to stay competitive). Piracy is a Frankenstein's monster; the rational result of indoctrination that teaches people to care only for their own mixed with a consequence-free outlet for such self-interest.

Is piracy exploitation? Of course. But it's certainly not alone. Almost every material object we consume is made in part by exploitative labor that we would find unacceptable for ourselves. This includes, ironically, almost all of the consumer electronics used to develop the software that is itself being exploited! The law defends the right of giant firms to destroy environments, drain resources, exploit people in bone-crushing poverty, and otherwise destroy the planet, all of which are necessary to keep our market system of perpetual growth healthy. You can't have an economic system based on such exploitation and destruction and act surprised when the chickens come home to roost. Somehow, exploiting the rest of the world though purchasing our cheap material goods is just fine, but we're pretty upset when someone does it to us! My point is that if you're upset about piracy, it's just the tip of the iceberg, and certainly doesn't exist in a vacuum.

richcz3
05-01-2008, 11:04 PM
ok back to the topic. a lot of fps games do the same. the developers spill the beans ahead of time, and then provide only what they advertized. no surprises, no thought into the actual game, etc. UT3 adding a few new vehicles doesnt add lots of fun into the gameplay. the game has soo little improvement in gameplay versus its previous versions.
In Epics case spilling the beans for about three or more years and then when they finally got around to releasing a demo of UT3. That demo confused many long time PC players.

After years of sharp high res images games detail, many players were treated to volumes of bloom and washed out textures. Curiously the menu system had been reduced to a few spartan adjustments. Of course - cutting into the ini files made the difference but not before it was branded a console port.
Its obvious the PC gaming market is in a funk, but a developer doesn't need to accelerate the exodus and then blame other factors.

PC game players have been playing FPS shooters on the Net since the early/mid 90's. Halo was originaly planned for the PC until MS bought Bungee. Would it have been the uber game on the PC it turned into for the XBox? Probably not. At some point console gamers will become a little more jaded like their PC bretheren and expect more than the current formulatic approach to multiplayer games. The approach that has since grown old hat for the PC. Kudos to Valve and TF2. :applause:

ambient-whisper
05-01-2008, 11:35 PM
your telling me that less than perfectly sharp textures killed ut3? i HIGHLY doubt it was something as useless as that. sure some fans felt it bad when the game didnt look as good as the previously released pictures, but that doesnt change how fun a game is to the least, especially since the textures werent THAT low rez. the games that were successful in the end just had way more fun packed in. its that simple. nobody plays unenjoyable games, and im sorry but playing the same game for 10 years straight gets old after a while. rebalancing/adding extra vehicles is a shallow answer to that.

when i wrote about spilling the beans, i meant about telling people too much about the experience they can expect, without ever leaving anything out for the user to discover. developers, or the marketers love to tell all about how their game will be the next big thing, but in the process they spoil the whole game. its like a bad trailer that shows you the ending.

im not saying that spoiling is the only reason that spoils games. its one of the many. the other big one is lack of good research and good design for whatever game. crysis wasnt a bad game by any means, it wasnt as good as it was hyped up to be, but its multiplayer aspect really felt tacked on as an after thought.

richcz3
05-02-2008, 12:24 AM
your telling me that less than perfectly sharp textures killed ut3? i HIGHLY doubt it was something as useless as that....Of course not. Theres a long list of troubles noted on Epics forums. Just one of Epics fumbles was that there were high rez models that looked close to released Epics press imagery. Of course full game, but like other issues it required ini work to get them to show. Graphicaly, if you work at it, UT3 could be impressive, but by then who cared. Ultimately there was virtually no one playing online and for a game that really is about multiplayer, who was going to buy it.

switchblade327
05-02-2008, 12:30 AM
I wanted to stay away from this because it really chaps my hide but... well, whoops.

For everyone making the argument that if the game was better and that the good games of 2007 sold fine on PC, I invite you to look at the 2007 NPD sales figures for PC:

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17129

ONE game in 2007 cleared the million mark and that game requires a monthly subscription to even play it. The THREE Sims related games sell more to a casual audience then the hardcore one and casual gamers are less likely to be tech savvy enough to pirate.

The first, more traditional 'hardcore gamer' title on the list is the critically acclaimed COD4 at less then 400k units. Whether or not you personally liked COD4, most people love it and it's sold like gangbusters on 360. It is by all measural metrics, a great game. So why are the sales so low on PC? Surely not every PC gamer has a 360 too! I'd be interested in seeing how many times it's been downloaded in comparison.

To the person who said TF2 sold great because it's great, please note it's total absence from the list. You're assuming. Granted, NPD numbers don't include Steam sales figures (these arent public) but only 15 million people even have Steam installed where the whole world has access to brick and mortar. If it were a mega-hit on Steam, it would at least register in brick and mortar sales.

If someone tried to argue that low PC games sales this year were because of bad games, I would say they just don't like games. I don't think EA did a great job of marketing Crysis and the holiday season always has stiff competition (and Blizzard and consoles aka the ones who's games are very difficult to steal, were the only winners) but there is a mountain of evidence suggesting that piracy is destroying PC gaming and the only rebuttals are assumptions that people everywhere are moral enough to pay for quality even when there's an opportunity to steal it.

Newsflash! They're not.

richcz3
05-02-2008, 01:59 AM
If a developer/publisher are going to produce/finance a PC game. No matter who its targeted to, should they really entertain multi-million unit sales for an FPS style shooter?

I would personaly be interested in knowing how many units Far Cry sold and over what period of time. Does anyone have a guess at how many units over how much time? These numbers would be interesting to know because developers like LucasArts had or were making the shift to consoles around this time.

Even in PCs heyday mid/late 1990s, what was the gross sales of some of the best selling PC titles? Lets dispense with the engine licensing altogether.
Can we come up with number PC sales to compare that to todays consoles. I'm searching - cant seem to come up with immediate numbers, but I'm going to bet comparable numbers aren't close to what is being sold on console systems on a regular basis.

With the exception of WOW and similar titles that have had time to grow their market base, console games sell volumes. High end/hardware selling PC games have been a tough sell and will be an increasingly tough sell.

arquebus
05-02-2008, 02:59 AM
I dont think pc sales are down because people just disovered pirated games this last year, I think there are just hardly any good games out. Crysis and CoD4 both have very definate improvement in graphic quality and detail of levels as well a certain improvement in AI. But overall the gameplay is very run of the mill compared to the earlier versions of these games. I think overall pc gamers are pretty smart and only buy when the games are good. Take Silent Hunter 3 for example, that game sold close to a million, showing that there are gamers out there who understand quality. Another example is Age of Empires which sold I believe 20 million units (20 million x $40 dollars per unit = 800 million, getting close to a billion gross), but you cant expect every AoE clone to sell 20 million units can you?

lebada
05-02-2008, 03:20 AM
i personally have nothing against piracy so long as you respect the "if you like it buy it" law...i do the same with some movies and after i see them i end up buying the dvd and nowadays the blu ray as well.

on the flip side...i saved $70 by NOT buying turok...which some sites gave a 7.5 / 10 or more and i personally found out it wasnt even worth wasting a download on nevermind getting over a 2/10

the part of piracy that actually hurts sales is people who use it to SELL pirated copies...thats the main issue. forget torrent users...most are kids or tech saavy enough to go around some hoops and even more are pack rats (collectors who download everything just to have it) ...but even an average person can buy a game for $3 instead of $60+ at a mall and go home, install and play.

thats what it boils down too.

..and mind you the PC gaming market is chock full of crap games...EA gave us some of the best ones too...NHL 08 ooh oops 2005 anyone? Why pay $50 for a roster update, bad graphics and the same game that was released 3-4 years ago with MORE bugs than it originally had(how can a goalie bodycheck 3 players at once i dont know).

Yet for consoles....08 is an ACTUAL new game with better graphics (for some odd reason), new NHL jerseys (they had to release a patch for PC users 1 month after game release...again...they expected people to pay money for this game?) and actual new gameplay moves,etc

Its companies and games like that, that coupled WITH piracy, bring PC markets to a stand still and then blame end users for not buying their bad products.

switchblade327
05-02-2008, 04:24 AM
If a developer/publisher are going to produce/finance a PC game. No matter who its targeted to, should they really entertain multi-million unit sales for an FPS style shooter?

I would personaly be interested in knowing how many units Far Cry sold and over what period of time. Does anyone have a guess at how many units over how much time? These numbers would be interesting to know because developers like LucasArts had or were making the shift to consoles around this time.

Even in PCs heyday mid/late 1990s, what was the gross sales of some of the best selling PC titles? Lets dispense with the engine licensing altogether.
Can we come up with number PC sales to compare that to todays consoles. I'm searching - cant seem to come up with immediate numbers, but I'm going to bet comparable numbers aren't close to what is being sold on console systems on a regular basis.

With the exception of WOW and similar titles that have had time to grow their market base, console games sell volumes. High end/hardware selling PC games have been a tough sell and will be an increasingly tough sell.

Unfortunately, NPD is paid-for service and most of their statistics and information are not public. Half-Life 2 I know sold in the millions on PC but that's not a fair comparison. I did find this chart (http://www.philsteinmeyer.com/40/retail-pc-game-sales-off-57/) that's a few years old but it at least answers your question about older games; PC game sales were less then half in 2005 of what they were in the late 90s. Console sales numbers are usually higher; that's a fact. What's changed is that PC sales are no longer enough to sustain a company and not just because of rising development costs.


the part of piracy that actually hurts sales is people who use it to SELL pirated copies...thats the main issue. forget torrent users...most are kids or tech saavy enough to go around some hoops and even more are pack rats (collectors who download everything just to have it) ...but even an average person can buy a game for $3 instead of $60+ at a mall and go home, install and play.

Seriously? Do you have any information to back up this assumption about people's moral use of pirated software? You really don't think hundreds of thousands of people taking a game for free doesn't hurt game developers?

In most places in the western world it is far easier to log onto the internet then to find a shady street merchant selling dvd rips. Whether it's downloaded from a torrent site for free, bought from a street vendor in Calcutta, the end result is the same: the developers don't get paid for their work.

BigJay
05-02-2008, 03:58 PM
I think blaming piracy is the easy way out. Yes it hurts sales but I bet pirates fall into the same catagory of people that will wait for Crysis to hit the bargin bin at gamestop. Developers don't make money on used games and i remember some developers and even the record industry wanting to go after used game/cd stores.

No matter what the companies think. most people wont want to pay full price for a game unless its a must have game. I'm sure every publisher thinks their product is the must have item of the century and don't understand what people really want.

Moving to steam or a console will just reveal that something is lacking in the game and their sales will still be slow. I bet the sales will pick up in a few more years when people have hardware that can actually run it.

I enjoyed the game although i had to run everything at med to get decent frame rates. But looking back at it I realized that when i show it to other people i am happy to show them a level and leave the game.... when i've shown people half-life 2 I wind up playing it all over again. I swear i must of played it 10 times by now and know i will play it again. And I just can't put a finger on why half-life 2 grabs me while crysis doesn't the same way.

Also downloading the high rez textures mod for hl2 helped...lol

lebada
05-02-2008, 04:23 PM
Unfortunately, NPD is paid-for service and most of their statistics and information are not public. Half-Life 2 I know sold in the millions on PC but that's not a fair comparison. I did find this chart (http://www.philsteinmeyer.com/40/retail-pc-game-sales-off-57/) that's a few years old but it at least answers your question about older games; PC game sales were less then half in 2005 of what they were in the late 90s. Console sales numbers are usually higher; that's a fact. What's changed is that PC sales are no longer enough to sustain a company and not just because of rising development costs.



Seriously? Do you have any information to back up this assumption about people's moral use of pirated software? You really don't think hundreds of thousands of people taking a game for free doesn't hurt game developers?

In most places in the western world it is far easier to log onto the internet then to find a shady street merchant selling dvd rips. Whether it's downloaded from a torrent site for free, bought from a street vendor in Calcutta, the end result is the same: the developers don't get paid for their work.

not saying people wont use and abuse...something that was made too blatantly available due to torrents nowadays (which before was much harder to access)...but a good chunk of those torrent seeds like someone put it...will actually buy the product.

good things can actually gain more reputation about their quality THROUGH being shared and sales can inadvertedly pick up.

im not saying everyone follows that rule but i know a lot of people who do and everything that they do use (games, apps or resouraces), they end up buying because its worth their money.

i still believe though that one of the biggest issue in this market is the people who actually sell piracy, not just download a copy of it.

switchblade327
05-02-2008, 04:39 PM
not saying people wont use and abuse...something that was made too blatantly available due to torrents nowadays (which before was much harder to access)...but a good chunk of those torrent seeds like someone put it...will actually buy the product.

good things can actually gain more reputation about their quality THROUGH being shared and sales can inadvertedly pick up.

im not saying everyone follows that rule but i know a lot of people who do and everything that they do use (games, apps or resouraces), they end up buying because its worth their money.


Could you provide any evidence to support this theory other then 'you and your friends do this'? Because with sales this low and piracy that high, you're suggesting that pirates make up a major chunk of retail sales and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think you're overestimating the kind of morality people really have when no one is looking.

eirenicon
05-02-2008, 04:46 PM
To the person who said TF2 sold great because it's great, please note it's total absence from the list. You're assuming. Granted, NPD numbers don't include Steam sales figures (these arent public) but only 15 million people even have Steam installed where the whole world has access to brick and mortar. If it were a mega-hit on Steam, it would at least register in brick and mortar sales.
The only assumptions being made here are yours. TF2 sold extremely well. According to Valve in February (http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/36952/The-Orange-Box-1-5-Million-Console-Sales-Significantly-More-On-PC), the Orange Box sold 1.5 million copies for consoles... and PC sales were higher than that by at least a two-digit percentage (at least 10% better). That means over 3 million copies of Team Fortress 2 were sold. As you admit, NPD numbers don't include Steam, which makes them meaningless for PC games because a huge proportion of PC game sales are now done digitally. Valve also said (http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/02/steam-reaches-1.html) that Christmas game sales were up 158% from last year.

lebada
05-02-2008, 04:52 PM
Could you provide any evidence to support this theory other then 'you and your friends do this'? Because with sales this low and piracy that high, you're suggesting that pirates make up a major chunk of retail sales and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think you're overestimating the kind of morality people really have when no one is looking.

no one can provide evidence of this outside of perhaps breaking into random apartments and slapping people around.

like i said, i go by my standards and by those of my friends or aquaintances that know either uphold them or avoid them (piracy) altogether and just buy the product.

ive personally had movies ive seen in theaters 3-5 times (batman begins, transformers,etc) and then i bought the dvd and now the blu ray as well.

The question is why do these people think i would do the same for spiderman 3? (as an example)

I got burned by "trusting" the hype and so forth..went and saw it and literally was squirming in my chair waiting for the horror show to end. I had a friend give me the bluray from his ps3 beause he was gonna throw it away.

There's good products and bad products...making something look good doesnt mean its not crap. Crysis was okay, i played it and then passed it back to a friend who actually bought it. We both(sp) thought it wasnt worth the $60 past the graphics engine. You can put it on PS3 all you want...its not going to get better..in fact it'll look worse.

Also...a company that DOESNT triple or quadruple release their games on every platform is getting short changed (do what rockstar does and release pc version later..problem solved)

My next game purchase for example will be surely mass effect for pc. a majority of people i know loved it and knowing myself as well..it'll be worth its money.

Companies need to be realistic about their products as well as the platforms they are releasing on. PC's to play games on cost thousands...consoles cost hundreds..PC's are all in one machines...consoles are games only.

the market is obviously going to be bigger on something cheaper...this is a non issue. crysis was a mediocre game with good graphics. it sold what it sold, it got pirated a lot less than what you might think (just because you download doesnt mean you have a 3 grand pc to run the game) and thats that.

im not supporting piracy but blaming it fully for a mediocre game's poor sales that requires a $2000-$3000 machine to run well is a joke.

Laa-Yosh
05-02-2008, 05:14 PM
I think blaming piracy is the easy way out. Yes it hurts sales but I bet pirates fall into the same catagory of people that will wait for Crysis to hit the bargin bin at gamestop. Developers don't make money on used games and i remember some developers and even the record industry wanting to go after used game/cd stores.

Tell that to the 8-10 million people who have already payed full price for Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 console versions, not to mention another 6-7 million people buying Assassin's Creed, then there's Guitar Hero, Fifa, and GTA4 has just been released.

That's the kind of success that a PC-only game will never have nowadays, unless it's an MMO or Sims. That's what Crytek's envious of, and they've finally realized that it can only be reached on consoles.

Solothores
05-02-2008, 05:25 PM
Unfortunately, NPD is paid-for service and most of their statistics and information are not public. Half-Life 2 I know sold in the millions on PC but that's not a fair comparison. I did find this chart (http://www.philsteinmeyer.com/40/retail-pc-game-sales-off-57/) that's a few years old but it at least answers your question about older games; PC game sales were less then half in 2005 of what they were in the late 90s. Console sales numbers are usually higher; that's a fact. What's changed is that PC sales are no longer enough to sustain a company and not just because of rising development costs.

Agree on this. Multi-platform clearly is a path, most of the studios can't ignore anymore. However, you still end up with contenders that beat the trend. Recent example: CDProject with "the Witcher".

Besides of such rather rare releases you have stuff like Nintendo DS, Nintendo WII, World of Warcraft & Starcraft that in my opinion show that technical supremacy is a curse, as it comes at a price, which is that you leave a major part of your potential target audience behind. (There was some study concluding that laptops might overcome desktop in absolute sales figures in the not so distant future, saying a lot about a shift in peoples mindset imho) Which are those, that simply lack the funds to update their systems regularly. (In that relevance I point at that study from Valve that showed the penetration of typical hardware setups of the steam customer base)

I remember the 90s, back when game studios pushing the boundaries (i.e. Origin, Westwood etc.) where a minority, today it seems that they form a majority. (Actually since 3D Acc. Cards came on the market, the visual aspect suddenly became more important that ever to developers while the genre-consolidation started. Then there is something that basically is just human nature, saturation. Don't know about you, but I am getting bored if I have to play the same stuff over and over again. Seeing how the genre diversification has basically vanished in mainstream computer games to a me2 product mentality that exploits the same way while tying to keep the usual key differentatiors, as what you have in Movie or Music industry. I am simply getting annoyed as soon as I encounter specific genre clichees, they annoy me enough to simply avoid said products.

For myself this means no excuse to pirate, it's simply my justification to not buy as much as before anymore, while spending my time elsewhere. (Watching good TV-Shows on DVD for example or reading books etc)

I also find it questionable that the whole MMOG market is completely ignored by game studios that release the offline/multiplayer-experience. We are talking about dozens of millions potential clients that are completely fed up with their online experience.

Back in my days when I played DAoC, which was for nearly two years, I never bought any single/multiplayer product in between, because they simply failed to attract me in any way whatsoever due to me being completely consumed by a vivid community aspect.

In my opinion a major shift has happened on the client side, as the distribution of your ordinary computer game playerbase, that would have guaranteed you a million buyers if you product was actually excellent, has shifted in favour of console, handheld stuff and mmog's or other forms of entertainement. (your hdtv setup doesn't come for free)

Piracy is something that happens, however it is not something that happens more or less than before. In my opinion it's a quota that remains more & less the same. It was always easy to pirate games. You didn't need the Internet to have it accessible enough to let it become an epidemic. The same happened before, when you could basically put 5 games on your regular C64 floppy disc and stuff was being exchanged on your schoolyard, where 100 bucks bought you 500 games.

Cheers
E.

switchblade327
05-02-2008, 06:03 PM
The only assumptions being made here are yours. TF2 sold extremely well. According to Valve in February (http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/36952/The-Orange-Box-1-5-Million-Console-Sales-Significantly-More-On-PC), the Orange Box sold 1.5 million copies for consoles... and PC sales were higher than that by at least a two-digit percentage (at least 10% better). That means over 3 million copies of Team Fortress 2 were sold. As you admit, NPD numbers don't include Steam, which makes them meaningless for PC games because a huge proportion of PC game sales are now done digitally. Valve also said (http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/02/steam-reaches-1.html) that Christmas game sales were up 158% from last year.

Going off of NPD numbers isn't assuming; sales data that goes public is pretty limited but it's all we can work with without picking these breadcrumb details out of interviews. I'm surprised as hell that Orange Box could sell that well over Steam and not even register in retail but then again, all of Valve's previous customers and then some have Steam installed.

But just like Half-Life 2's sales aren't a good comparison for Far Cry/Crysis, they aren't for anything else either. Valve, like Blizzard is a top tier PC developer guaranteed to sell millions and even if 3 in 4 people stole their games they'd probably still turn a profit. Do you have any sales numbers of non-Valve games over Steam? I remember when HL2 came out in 2004 they said brick and mortar sales were still the majority. If things changed that much in 3 years, that's huge news.

eirenicon
05-02-2008, 06:31 PM
I'm surprised as hell that Orange Box could sell that well over Steam and not even register in retail
Steam has certainly become a powerhouse distributor. It'll be interesting to see how well the Orange Box games do in retail as individual items, though (they were just released this past April).

But just like Half-Life 2's sales aren't a good comparison for Far Cry/Crysis, they aren't for anything else either. Valve, like Blizzard is a top tier PC developer guaranteed to sell millions and even if 3 in 4 people stole their games they'd probably still turn a profit. Do you have any sales numbers of non-Valve games over Steam?
Like you said, they don't release sales numbers. However, it was a bit of news back in February when the indie game Audiosurf was announced as the best-selling game on Steam. Games other than Valve's do sell on Steam, and sell well. At the rate their catalog is growing, I'm sure other publishers are noticing. 15 million users is nothing to laugh at. After all, there are only 13 million PS3 owners in the world.

lebada
05-02-2008, 06:34 PM
I also find it questionable that the whole MMOG market is completely ignored by game studios that release the offline/multiplayer-experience. We are talking about dozens of millions potential clients that are completely fed up with their online experience.

Back in my days when I played DAoC, which was for nearly two years, I never bought any single/multiplayer product in between, because they simply failed to attract me in any way whatsoever due to me being completely consumed by a vivid community aspect.


Cheers
E.

just wanted to also add to that as a true argument. ive played star wars galaxies for 2 years in which i never touched any other game...same with world of warcraft for 3 years almost though i did get some stuff like cod 4 in there once every 4 months or so.

mmo's are huge and that pushes i think , further, the pc market..and lets be honest..nowadays PC means, MMO / FPS / RTS.

everything else is console bound with few exceptions.

Venkman
05-02-2008, 08:18 PM
The first, more traditional 'hardcore gamer' title on the list is the critically acclaimed COD4 at less then 400k units. Whether or not you personally liked COD4, most people love it and it's sold like gangbusters on 360. It is by all measural metrics, a great game. So why are the sales so low on PC? Surely not every PC gamer has a 360 too! I'd be interested in seeing how many times it's been downloaded in comparison.

CoD4 was victim of massive piracy according to the developers as of January of 2008. AND it was a number one seller! That's got to be frustrating- knowing that you could have significantly higher numbers and cashflow if the pirates just bought the thing they are clearly enjoying online:


Call of Duty series developer Infinity Ward has joined a growing list of companies to cite piracy as one of the reasons for the PC's fall from grace as a gaming platform. As Shacknews reports, the company's Community Relations Manager—who calls himself Fourzerotwo—has posted on his blog to express his amazement at the number of people who have pirated his studio's latest title, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Prefacing his comment by the heading, "They Wonder Why People Don't Make PC Games Any More," Fourzerotwo explains:

On another PC related note, we pulled some disturbing numbers this past week about the amount of PC players currently playing Multiplayer (which was fantastic). What wasn't fantastic was the percentage of those numbers who were playing on stolen copies of the game on stolen / cracked CD keys of pirated copies (and that was only people playing online).

"Not sure if I can share the exact numbers or percentage of PC players with you, but I'll check and see; if I can I'll update with them. As the amount of people who pirate PC games is astounding. It blows me away at the amount of people willing to steal games (or anything) simply because it's not physical or it's on the safety of the internet to do."

Last year, both Epic Games and id Software said they were dragged into console development as a result of PC piracy. Former Ritual Entertainment QA Manager Michael Russell told Shacknews in an interview two years ago that he had seen studios close and people "lose their homes" as a result of piracy. Russell, too, named piracy as one of the reasons PC game developers were moving to consoles.

Luckily for the folks at Infinity Ward, piracy didn't stop the PC version of Call of Duty 4 from hitting the number-one spot on the PC game charts earlier this month. According to the NPD numbers, CoD 4 pushed Blizzard's ever-popular World of Warcraft to the number-two spot and EA's The Sims 2 Deluxe into third place.

lebada
05-02-2008, 09:03 PM
CoD4 was victim of massive piracy according to the developers as of January of 2008. AND it was a number one seller! That's got to be frustrating- knowing that you could have significantly higher numbers and cashflow if the pirates just bought the thing they are clearly enjoying online:

thats all good but arent those playing online in need of original keys? its what makes online fps a must buy...or it has for me anyways. been playin UT series ever since it came out..good times :)

NanoGator
05-02-2008, 09:09 PM
Although piracy is indeed a bigger threat for PC titles, it wasnt the reason Crysis had problems selling. Its developement was rushed and the hardware required to run it was rediculous. Less eye candy and more design'n'engineering.


That and the PC gaming market is nowhere as near as big as the console market.

Venkman
05-02-2008, 09:29 PM
thats all good but arent those playing online in need of original keys? its what makes online fps a must buy...

No, they were using cracked keys, or stealing keys to play online without paying. Since they were online, they could track it somewhat.

What wasn't fantastic was the percentage of those numbers who were playing on stolen copies of the game on stolen / cracked CD keys of pirated copies (and that was only people playing online).

Boone
05-02-2008, 09:52 PM
That and the PC gaming market is nowhere as near as big as the console market.




You can say the same for Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tournament 3 and any other PC title - Crysis is not the only game on the PC market that has to worry about that.

Infact, those two titles are prime examples of why Crysis was a screw up. I can go into either of those games and simply select a resolution of 640*480. At this resolution - with a few careful choices of additional vfx options enabled - I can play them at full speed even on my aging XP machine. Those games are a solid job.

So why is the so-called technological masterpiece known as Crysis unable to do this simple thing? The lowest resolution you can select from the menu is 800*600, yet why is it I have to enter the game's config file and type in the following...

r_width = 640;
r_height = 480;

...to get the desired effect? Honestly - what excuse do Crytek have for this sloppy work? None because any programmer worth their salt knows that setting res modes in DirectX belongs in the Beginner section of GameDev.net. Hell, two patches later they still havent fixed it...go figure. And the result of this meant a higher minimum spec so those even entertaining the demo wont even bother.

I'm sorry, but Crytek deserve no mercy whatsoever.

Reuben5150
05-02-2008, 10:41 PM
I think lowering the settings and running at 640x480 !, defeats the object.

Crysis was over-hyped as a next-gen state of the art engine, it was bound to fail due to the demand on hardware, and if scalled down the visual quality suffers very badly IMO.

Compared to ID's past engines its junk.

BTW, i read that the crysis engine runs well on PS3 with visuals equivalent to the HI setting on PC.

Piracy IS killing PC gaming and the "glory days" of the platform are over, unforunately.

R

ambient-whisper
05-02-2008, 11:02 PM
whoa. saying its not a good game is one thing but a bad engine? its far from a bad engine. when was the last time you had destructible plants, wood planks, houses in an id game? volumetrics? similar types of physics? HUGE environments? parallax mapping, caustics in the water element, motion blur, god rays from the sun, vehicles with interactive parts ( tires, gas tanks ), huge amounts of foliage, trees, etc., ( even quake wars, though its huge, it still has a tiny technical feature list compared to crysis, and uses stuff sparingly ( ie trees )

i think you get the point. id makes really optimized games, and they are awesome at that, but most often their focus is only on a few new features. crysis added sooo much to the playing field that its no surprising as to why it plays slower than most games. but one thing is for sure, they have such a strong base for making future games. from now on, they could just work on optimizing their engine for a few of their future games, because the technology is so far ahead of everyone else.


by the way, im just curious about this article. does this mean that far cry 2 wont be making it to the pc? are they switching gears for their current projects as well? or just their future projects?

arquebus
05-02-2008, 11:11 PM
Im a total fanatic for hi-res games, and anyone who could play a game like Crysis at 800 x 600 should be put in a mental hospitol in my opinion. Quality graphics add so much to the emersiveness of the game. But despite that Im glad to see that Crysis flunked and that their future developement will be concentrated on console level graphics. Maybe then they will concentrate more on fun gameplay and not expect everyone to shell out $40 to $60 bucks for any and every hi-end graphic game they pump out. Im sure they will still port to the PC to squeeze out every little bit of profit they can. Ive heard that the Project Entropia MMORG will be switching to the Crytec engine, so at least someone is going to carry the ball with this engine technology.

Venkman
05-02-2008, 11:13 PM
y the way, im just curious about this article. does this mean that far cry 2 wont be making it to the pc? are they switching gears for their current projects as well? or just their future projects?

From Wikipedia:

Far Cry 2 is an upcoming first person shooter published by Ubisoft and is the sequel to Far Cry. Crytek, developers of the original game, are not involved in the development of Far Cry 2. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were announced on January 3, 2008, and will ship simultaneously with the PC version.

Ubisoft has developed a new engine specifically for Far Cry 2, called Dunia, meaning "world" or "earth" in Persian, as well as in other languages including Bengali, Marathi, Arabic, Turkish, Hindi, Urdu, Swahili, Assyrian, and Malay. The engine will take advantage of multi-core processors and support DirectX 9 as well as DirectX 10. Only 2 or 3 percent of the original CryENGINE code is being re-used, according to Michiel Verheijdt, Senior Product Manager for Ubisoft Netherlands.

switchblade327
05-02-2008, 11:16 PM
by the way, im just curious about this article. does this mean that far cry 2 wont be making it to the pc? are they switching gears for their current projects as well? or just their future projects?

Far Cry 2 is being developed by Ubisoft Montreal and has nothing to do with Crytek beyond the name of game, which Ubi owns the rights to.

Reuben5150
05-02-2008, 11:20 PM
whoa. saying its not a good game is one thing but a bad engine? its far from a bad engine. when was the last time you had destructible plants, wood planks, houses in an id game? volumetrics? similar types of physics? HUGE environments? parallax mapping, caustics in the water element, motion blur, god rays from the sun, vehicles with interactive parts ( tires, gas tanks ), huge amounts of foliage, trees, etc., ( even quake wars, though its huge, it still has a tiny technical feature list compared to crysis, and uses stuff sparingly ( ie trees )

i think you get the point. id makes really optimized games, and they are awesome at that, but most often their focus is only on a few new features. crysis added sooo much to the playing field that its no surprising as to why it plays slower than most games. but one thing is for sure, they have such a strong base for making future games. from now on, they could just work on optimizing their engine for a few of their future games, because the technology is so far ahead of everyone else.


by the way, im just curious about this article. does this mean that far cry 2 wont be making it to the pc? are they switching gears for their current projects as well? or just their future projects?

They are saying no more exclusives for PC, thats all.

I do realize how advanced the crysis engine is, but thats the problem, its the same old story, by the time that "mainstream" hardware is able to run the game well it will be forgotten about, yeah they do have some cool stuff for future projects but this release will be an expensive lesson for them, easy to see the attraction to the console market.

BTW, my brother played though the game and said it was "good", i only tried the demo which didn't run that well for me.

R

tuna
05-02-2008, 11:22 PM
So why is the so-called technological masterpiece known as Crysis unable to do this simple thing? The lowest resolution you can select from the menu is 800*600, yet why is it I have to enter the game's config file and type in the following...

r_width = 640;
r_height = 480;



I really hope this is some sort of very bad joke.

Boone
05-02-2008, 11:33 PM
I think lowering the settings and running at 640x480 !, defeats the object.



Believe it or not Crysis is choosen over other FPS for its gameplay. The opening movie does a good job of getting this point across. An improved FarCry with the addition of not only a Nano-suit but also a custom-gun feature. Quite a few PC gamers will quite easily accept a bare-graphics solution so long as they can play the game itself with little or no lag.

Oh wait - I can give you more proof of Cryteks amazing skills! Lets now look at the other end of the spectrum - the PC Gamer with a top of the range PC. Crysis boasts Vista-exclusive graphic features. Only, they are not exclusive because once again you can hack a file and just switch the values, as with the resolution, to enable them in XP.

So now, its not only "Stop whinning and get a decent computer" but also "Tough, switch to a new OS". I'm amazed because Crytek have actually managed to piss off both low and high end users due to their lazyness.

j83
05-03-2008, 12:41 AM
You can say the same for Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tournament 3 and any other PC title - Crysis is not the only game on the PC market that has to worry about that.

Infact, those two titles are prime examples of why Crysis was a screw up. I can go into either of those games and simply select a resolution of 640*480. At this resolution - with a few careful choices of additional vfx options enabled - I can play them at full speed even on my aging XP machine. Those games are a solid job.

So why is the so-called technological masterpiece known as Crysis unable to do this simple thing? The lowest resolution you can select from the menu is 800*600, yet why is it I have to enter the game's config file and type in the following...

r_width = 640;
r_height = 480;

...to get the desired effect? Honestly - what excuse do Crytek have for this sloppy work? None because any programmer worth their salt knows that setting res modes in DirectX belongs in the Beginner section of GameDev.net. Hell, two patches later they still havent fixed it...go figure. And the result of this meant a higher minimum spec so those even entertaining the demo wont even bother.

I'm sorry, but Crytek deserve no mercy whatsoever.

I'm sorry, but that's about the worse example of an argument I have ever seen.

640x480 probably wasn't included because once you get that low, the user-interface often gets chopped up, and people who are wanting to play Crysis would have a monitor that'd run higher than 640x480, and would want to run higher than that. My laptop can run Crysis higher than that, and it only has an 8400m GPU, and it also has Vista on it, so that also hurts performance.
;)

And for one more thing, while most effects can be enabled in DX9, the top-tier motion blur (which in my opinion looks almost on par with cinematic motion blur) and a few other effects just are not able to be ran in DX9c. :)

Grim Beefer
05-03-2008, 02:26 AM
Could you provide any evidence to support this theory other then 'you and your friends do this'? Because with sales this low and piracy that high, you're suggesting that pirates make up a major chunk of retail sales and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think you're overestimating the kind of morality people really have when no one is looking.

How about this (http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/2347/125/)? This is for music, mind you, but there is a reasonable case that the same thing would be true for all media. Of course pirates make up a major chunk of retail sales, as they are often the most enthusiastic media consumers.

switchblade327
05-03-2008, 03:31 AM
How about this (http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/2347/125/)? This is for music, mind you, but there is a reasonable case that the same thing would be true for all media. Of course pirates make up a major chunk of retail sales, as they are often the most enthusiastic media consumers.

I don't think it's quite applicable. Music CDs get listened to tens or hundreds of times where games usually only get played once. Paying for something you'll continually use versus paying for something after you've used it and decided you like it enough to go out of your way to compensate the creators is a lot different. Not to mention the price difference.

Now admittedly, your example may be closer to the truth for multiplayer games where it gets used continually and is a PITA to play multiplayer due to protection measures from the developers.

As for the 640x480 thing... I agree with MrJonathan; it's a weak argument. Unreal Tournament 3 has a 640x480 setting; it's like trying to play with salt in your eyes. Really, it's so blurry it's unplayable. If a feature is useless, it get's excluded. It's not 'laziness' or 'sloppiness' on the part of a programmer who's already written tens of thousands of lines of advanced engine code.

richcz3
05-03-2008, 04:24 AM
What's changed is that PC sales are no longer enough to sustain a company and not just because of rising development costs.
There's more than a few reasonable quotes people have been putting in their posts along the same lins. I would agree that (FPS titles) PCs as a prime or sole source aren't sustainable.

Anyone remember CroTeams Serious Sam and more recently GSC's - Stalker:Shadow of Chernobyl?
I think there will always be new developers (in far away places) that publishers will back for effective FPS titles within scaled budgets. Even with these examples, I imagine if these kinds of teams experience a reasonable market success with an FPS title, any follow ups will most certainly need to include console considerations. I remember Croteam did just that.

When it comes to FPS titles on a PC, I think there is a low ceiling of diminshed returns.
I'll include I imagine developers have a hard time hanging on to talent as well.
Infinity Ward started on the PC with the original COD and expansion COD:UO. By the time COD 2 was announced, both PC and Console versions were in the works. So for the franchise they've built to date (Activision) it makes some sense that current PC version of COD4 is getting short shrift.

I don't see the piracy argument as valid. Piracy affects all software industries.
Its the simple idea that the number of units sold for of an FPS on a PC is simply too small to support (marketing/testing/patches). With every successive version the returns on investment are considerably less.

Grim Beefer
05-03-2008, 04:58 AM
I don't think it's quite applicable...

What the study is trying to explain is a little abstract. It's making the case that people that illegally download music also buy more music in correlation, as compared to those that do not illegally download music. The study is stating that the amount of music pirated is more than offset by the amount of music purchased, in ratio. This is important, because if this study is generalizable (it needs to be repeated), it turns the claims of the music industry on it's head. This study supports the idea that piracy has no noticeable negative affect on the industry in the aggregate, and a positive effect in specific instances. There is not an expressed connection between specific music downloads and purchases.

You give the example of someone playing a game, and then purchasing it. However, following the model in the study, a better example would be someone pirating a game, and then subsequently purchasing a different game. The potential argument is that if you were to average out how many games were actually purchased by this hypothetical pirate in a given time index, you would find a direct positive correlation between the amount of games also pirated. There is no direct empirical evidence to support this exact argument for video games, but like I said, the cases are similar enough that we could make a reasonably sensible hypothesis. At the very least, I think this study dismisses the notion that quantified piracy is tautologically equatable with a value representing lost sales potential.

Surely, as you allude, the situation is different for interactive media, but I don't think it's as different as you make it out to be. A quick look at this sales list (http://gigaom.com/2008/01/24/top-selling-video-games-show-growing-casualcrossover-trend/) will easily throw into doubt game completion as a definitive factor. Most of the games listed contain a primary multiplayer element, and some are completely open ended. It would appear that, as with music, people mainly play games until they are sick of playing them. Perhaps the increased price range would allow for a measurable effect in video games, but the only evidence that it made an impact on music pirates was indirect. This study supports the notion that content creators are quick to blame piracy for decreased sales, when in reality, other factors are at work.

bluemagicuk
05-03-2008, 08:37 AM
2 cents

1) I bought crysis last week from amazon for £18 second hand ... if the game
had been a little cheaper available directly from the publisher including the
physical media sent to me then i would have gone with the publisher direct,
but saving £16 is just too easy. I wonder how many people did the same as
me ... it must be a fairly large percentage. There is no way im shelling out
£30 for a freaking download from EA.

2) I will probably never buy another product from steam either .. i loose far
too many rights.


3) It is an incredible game to play, absolutely stunning, the best game i
have played since hl2 .... in fact it is probably the only game i have
played since hl2 :P


And crysis runs almost perfectly on full high res (no AA tho)
q6600 @ 3.4 or 2.4
1066 ram @1066
7950 gt 512mb

Boone
05-03-2008, 10:09 AM
I'm sorry, but that's about the worse example of an argument I have ever seen.

640x480 probably wasn't included because once you get that low, the user-interface often gets chopped up, and people who are wanting to play Crysis would have a monitor that'd run higher than 640x480, and would want to run higher than that. My laptop can run Crysis higher than that, and it only has an 8400m GPU, and it also has Vista on it, so that also hurts performance.
;)

And for one more thing, while most effects can be enabled in DX9, the top-tier motion blur (which in my opinion looks almost on par with cinematic motion blur) and a few other effects just are not able to be ran in DX9c. :)



If 640*480 is so bad as you claim then why is it still included with other best selling releases such as Call of Duty 4 and Unreal Tournament 3? The point is that there is still quite a few people that will play it in that mode if necessary - these are called potential customers. Crytek have basically told these low-end customers to piss off - which they have done so and bought Call of Duty 4 instead.

And the 640*480 option was indeed included in the game but it had to be "switched" in a cfg file. Basically some lazy programmer couldnt be bothered to simply add it to the drop-down box in the game's menu screen.

j83
05-03-2008, 02:32 PM
UT3 also has an option for 320x240. :)

I guess the programmers were too busy implimenting the latest technology to worry about 640x480. :p

Boone
05-03-2008, 03:48 PM
I guess the programmers were too busy implimenting the latest technology to worry about 640x480. :p



Well, I have to say it does appear to be the case.:)

richcz3
05-03-2008, 03:49 PM
Well consider the minor squables of resolution support, thats just a minute issue with PC games and the varied hardware.

3+ years to develop on a platform that is always moving. Now consider the OS split. Consider if you are PC game developer designing a game today for release in 2011. You will need to consider WinXP, Vista, and Windows 7. :argh: This doesn't include the anticipated memory in 2011 or the the base CPU/GPU that far out.

I play more PC games that consoles, but I empathize witht PC game developers that want to target dedicated hardware.

with that said *** is going on with console game releases these days? bugs - lockups - crashes with new game releases on both the 360/PS3. Wheres the QA at? Wasn't dedicated hardware supposed to reign that all in? Updates (pathes) are starting to sound like the old PC market place.

Boone
05-03-2008, 04:15 PM
with that said *** is going on with console game releases these days? bugs - lockups - crashes with new game releases on both the 360/PS3. Wheres the QA at? Wasn't dedicated hardware supposed to reign that all in? Updates (pathes) are starting to sound like the old PC market place.




I was thinking that as well. You see the thing is that those two particular machines have had changes to the original model so even consoles are now beginning to slip away from dedicated hardware. I dont know how true it is but I hear rumours about yet another PS3 model coming out next year thats smaller, larger harddrive and BC reintroduced. If that is the case then thats another worry for developers. You'll notice that the Wii has only had one model and - to my knowledge - no bugs in its games.

CHRiTTeR
05-03-2008, 04:17 PM
for me it was pretty clear they were aiming at making money by selling licences.

All the marketting they did were techdemo's and no actually gameplay or story stuff.Always talking about the engine but not about the actual game

Then when the game was finished, first thing i thought was that the game was designed to make the engine look great. But normally it should be the other way around, make an engine to make yr game look good.

To us thats verry intresting and fascinating, because its part of our job and we understand how complex some stuff is and we think about it.
But for the average gamer, it just looks verry cool. It impresses them for a verry little time and then they will fairly quick get tired/bored of it and search for something else.

Just do a search on youtube for crysis. All you will find are short movies of gamers having meaningless tests with the physics engine. No movies to demonstrate gameplay stuff like sharing smart tactics to solve a level or something

thats why games like the sims and world of warcraft are so succesfull. They constantly keep you bussy with gameplay elements and reward you when you succeed.

Reuben5150
05-03-2008, 06:36 PM
with that said *** is going on with console game releases these days? bugs - lockups - crashes with new game releases on both the 360/PS3. Wheres the QA at? Wasn't dedicated hardware supposed to reign that all in? Updates (pathes) are starting to sound like the old PC market place.



I've only ever had one lock-up with a game on PS3, and thats the only problem i've had in fact, i wouldn't expect anything less from M$ though....

R

j83
05-03-2008, 06:48 PM
I've had about 8 locksups on my PS3 since I've owned it, which is only about 2 months.

richcz3
05-03-2008, 07:27 PM
I've only ever had one lock-up with a game on PS3, and thats the only problem i've had in fact, i wouldn't expect anything less from M$ though....

R
I didn't write that to start a PS3 vs 360 war. I have all three systems so Im not going to play one up over the other.

Simply put - in the past 6 months, there has been a number of performance issues with newly released games for both the 360 and PS3 right down to GTA4 this week. Some issues effect specific SKUs more that others.

Someone noted early on in this thread the number of SKUs for both systems. From what I have been reading this week, these and any new hardware changes could represent unforseen challenges for developers if MS and Sony continue to introduce new hardware variants (SKUs). That leaves the burden of increased compatibility testing on the developers which slightly undermines the whole advantage of dedicated hardware.

j83
05-04-2008, 04:16 PM
If someoen wants to see how well Crysis can look, go here,
http://crymod.com/filebase.php?fileid=1463

I feel sorry for Crytek. They probably assumed that Nvidia would continue at the pace they did with the 5,6, and 7-series, but it seems after the 8-series launch, they took a break.

The 7800gtx doubled the performance of the 6800Ultra, the 8800gtx doubled the performnace of the 7800gtx, but the 9-series is just a mess. :( The CPU is just twiddling its thumbs due to the GPUs being a huge bottleneck.

From what I have read, there was a large layoff of engineers from Nvidia a while back, so I'm not quite sure what Nvidia is doing.

Maybe Intel's dedicated gaming card will put some life back in the industry.

Reuben5150
05-04-2008, 05:49 PM
I didn't write that to start a PS3 vs 360 war. I have all three systems so Im not going to play one up over the other.



All i'll say is that the problems with PS3 (i dont have any other console) are nothing to what you have to deal with on the PC, and its looking like a much more attractive option to me, i'm buying more and more Ps3 games, i hardly ever buy anything for PC now.

The PC as a gaming platform has become more and more expensive, the hardware is inefficient and power hungry, to top that you need to run vista to be "current"

Another thing that bugged me about cyrsis was the apparent poor performance on ATI hardware, no matter what "settings" are used.

SheepFactory
05-04-2008, 05:59 PM
I didn't write that to start a PS3 vs 360 war. I have all three systems so Im not going to play one up over the other.

Simply put - in the past 6 months, there has been a number of performance issues with newly released games for both the 360 and PS3 right down to GTA4 this week. Some issues effect specific SKUs more that others.

Someone noted early on in this thread the number of SKUs for both systems. From what I have been reading this week, these and any new hardware changes could represent unforseen challenges for developers if MS and Sony continue to introduce new hardware variants (SKUs). That leaves the burden of increased compatibility testing on the developers which slightly undermines the whole advantage of dedicated hardware.

The problem with GTA has nothing whatsoever to do with SKU's and its just a bug with the network connectivity. Disconnecting from PSN or Live solves the problem. Rockstar said they are releasing a patch this week to remedy the problem.

Do you think bugs are something new for next gen consoles? All the past console games had their fair share of console crashing bugs but they didnt have any means to deliver patches for those. Now with all nextgen consoles having net connectivity its possible.

Reuben5150
05-04-2008, 06:24 PM
Good point sheep ;)

Kanga
05-05-2008, 11:14 AM
The only sort of game you would want on your comp is a decent flight sim, for the ammount of controls. A well designed game is better off on a consol, and leaves your comp free to make stuff:D .

Chris

ambient-whisper
05-05-2008, 04:17 PM
some would argue that with saying that its better to have a game like unreal crysis on your comp so you could learn to create content for the respective engines ;). its a bit harder to create content for a closed game, and learning to do it is a bit more involving.

bluemagicuk
05-05-2008, 04:41 PM
some would argue that with saying that its better to have a game like unreal crysis on your comp so you could learn to create content for the respective engines ;)..

Like these crysis sandbox videos, the engine looks incredibly intuitive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5w3JrX6fJw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BxIvFh7l5Q

switchblade327
05-05-2008, 05:27 PM
Do you think bugs are something new for next gen consoles? All the past console games had their fair share of console crashing bugs but they didnt have any means to deliver patches for those. Now with all nextgen consoles having net connectivity its possible.

Absolutely, I think the presumption of broadband connectivity has definitely eroded quality standards for consoles. It was a pretty rare occasion for a bug to slip through last gen and this time around it seems almost expected. I've already had GTA4 lockup once.

A well designed game is better off on a consol, and leaves your comp free to make stuff:D .

Chris

Assuming you're serious, I couldn't disagree more. The hardward itself doesn't matter; it's what you plug into it. A well-designed game takes into account the user interface, be it a contoller, a mouse & keyboard or a Wiimote. There is no one interface that is universally superior for all genres of games.

richcz3
05-05-2008, 05:47 PM
The problem with GTA has nothing whatsoever to do with SKU's and its just a bug with the network connectivity. Disconnecting from PSN or Live solves the problem. Rockstar said they are releasing a patch this week to remedy the problem.
Opinion is one thing sheep. "Has nothing to do whatsoever?"
60GB PS3 (http://kotaku.com/385183/rockstar-support-no-gta-freeze-fix-in-sight)
the problem is apparently only effecting the 60 GB version of the Playstation 3, but that it didn't matter than my particular console was a launch console (Yes, I told a little white lie and said my copy was locking up.) He said the problem is not across the board for the 60GB PS3s but rather only impacts some, so their tech folks are working around the clock to try and figure out what is causing the issue.

He also said that the Xbox 360 is having the "exact same problem," which has further stumped their tech folks. -
Thread 1 of issues and working solutions (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10970599#post10970599) , Thread 2 (http://boardsus.playstation.com/playstation/board/message?board.id=gta&thread.id=370524&view=by_date_ascending&page=3)

Do you think bugs are something new for next gen consoles? All the past console games had their fair share of console crashing bugs but they didnt have any means to deliver patches for those. Now with all nextgen consoles having net connectivity its possible.Fair share??
I'm not going to gloss over the obvious sheep. Anyone who has owned and played consoles for 20 or more years knows that there is an increasing number of issues with new game releases. That is the point being made - period - excuses spared. Complexity and cost are bigger factors now. The point of dedicated hardware is simple and specific. If developers/game publishers are going to adopt the PC Game mind set of release first and patch later, that will eventually catch up with them.

Connectivety? - the presumption that a majority of console purchasers have or know how to use internet connectivety?

Kanga
05-05-2008, 09:28 PM
some would argue that with saying that its better to have a game like unreal crysis on your comp so you could learn to create content for the respective engines ;). its a bit harder to create content for a closed game, and learning to do it is a bit more involving.
Are you talking about sandbox 2? Hmmm well maybe Crysis then:banghead:

lebada
05-06-2008, 12:19 PM
read this article, it reiterates some of what ive been saying or trying to explain but put into better words.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080320-pc-game-developer-has-radical-message-ignore-the-pirates.html

Kanga
05-06-2008, 01:26 PM
..Assuming you're serious, I couldn't disagree more. The hardward itself doesn't matter; it's what you plug into it. A well-designed game takes into account the user interface, be it a contoller, a mouse & keyboard or a Wiimote. There is no one interface that is universally superior for all genres of games.
Deadly serious actually. Tested out a new game this morning which shall remain nameless. Having a huge problem with the combat system I knew I couldnt expect top frame rate from my desktop so put it on my laptop that is souped up for heavier 3d apps (the one I use to work on location) and pretty new. Right down to 800x600 res to get the game to even run so that all the characters were short stubby individuals because of the broad view and no aspect ratio options in the game itself, with everything turned down to minimum it was a disaster. Running like a fetterd sow it was. Google away and a dedicated pc gamer said the same thing of the new comp he bought this summer or last depending on where he was in the world, and had the thing on the same res as I. Without going into specs my general impression is that the only reasonable pc game I ever played was the hornet flight sim on an old imac in combo with a thrustmaster joystick. I had HL2 on my comp for the SDK and it also had to be set to minimum, Same with Battlefield and a LAN connection with the guy sitting opposite me.

I have a PS2 still and every game I ever played on it has run sweet so what's up then. I dont care to run out and grab the latest gear just to play a game. A dedicated system like a consol just does it perfectly for me and thats my way of partitioning. All over the net there are crits about performance issues with games/new games. So where are the well designed ones I wonder?

Edit: Haing spewed all that out I must say new games in general are amazing but I dont see how my comp which has to do everything except brush my teeth can or would have to compete with a console for games even if it fell from the hand of god with a gold OS, ram to your bung bung and a graphics card that whistles dixie!

Chris

j83
05-06-2008, 02:13 PM
HL2 is easy and cheap to run (you can build a PC to run HL2 cheaper than the PS3), BF2 is easy to run, Crysis isn't that expensive to run now ($170 8800gt), etc. I don't see your point. :p

Kanga
05-06-2008, 02:35 PM
HL2 is easy and cheap to run (you can build a PC to run HL2 cheaper than the PS3), BF2 is easy to run, Crysis isn't that expensive to run now ($170 8800gt), etc. I don't see your point. :p
Indeed and that is where it is at.
nuff said

switchblade327
05-06-2008, 05:27 PM
Deadly serious actually. Tested out a new game this morning which shall remain nameless. Having a huge problem with the combat system I knew I couldnt expect top frame rate from my desktop so put it on my laptop that is souped up for heavier 3d apps (the one I use to work on location) and pretty new. Right down to 800x600 res to get the game to even run so that all the characters were short stubby individuals because of the broad view and no aspect ratio options in the game itself, with everything turned down to minimum it was a disaster. Running like a fetterd sow it was. Google away and a dedicated pc gamer said the same thing of the new comp he bought this summer or last depending on where he was in the world, and had the thing on the same res as I. Without going into specs my general impression is that the only reasonable pc game I ever played was the hornet flight sim on an old imac in combo with a thrustmaster joystick. I had HL2 on my comp for the SDK and it also had to be set to minimum, Same with Battlefield and a LAN connection with the guy sitting opposite me.

I have a PS2 still and every game I ever played on it has run sweet so what's up then. I dont care to run out and grab the latest gear just to play a game. A dedicated system like a consol just does it perfectly for me and thats my way of partitioning. All over the net there are crits about performance issues with games/new games. So where are the well designed ones I wonder?

Edit: Haing spewed all that out I must say new games in general are amazing but I dont see how my comp which has to do everything except brush my teeth can or would have to compete with a console for games even if it fell from the hand of god with a gold OS, ram to your bung bung and a graphics card that whistles dixie!

Chris

Bad luck then. I've been PC gaming since the early 90s and can remember exactly 2 games I had any major problems with; Deus Ex 2 (didnt run well until I had new hardware a year later) and STALKER (buggy as hell game). Everything else has been gravy and I never have bleeding edge hardware. I upgrade every 2 years; that's it and any 3d artist with a capable rig is pretty much already set up for gaming.

Don't get me wrong, I love my console games too. But playing HL2 or Starcraft with a Dualshock controller sounds like hell to me. I even played GTA3 and Vice City on PC. The difference between those and ps2? Better graphics, better aim and easier to cheat through the missions that sucked.

Again, I'm not putting PC on a pedestal; I'm just saying all platforms have games that suit them best.

richcz3
05-06-2008, 05:46 PM
Unfortunately it's not going to get any easier for the PC.
In 2009 or 10 we'll be seeing Windows 7's release. PC Game developers designing a game today - right now, need to contend with the variables in the XP and Vista environments as well as Windows 7. I'm no programmer, but the range of hardware in PCs seems infintely broad enough. The task of design and testing for 3 seperate operating systems must numb the mind. :argh:

arquebus
05-06-2008, 06:17 PM
Unfortunately it's not going to get any easier for the PC.
In 2009 or 10 we'll be seeing Windows 7's release. PC Game developers designing a game today - right now, need to contend with the variables in the XP and Vista environments as well as Windows 7. I'm no programmer, but the range of hardware in PCs seems infintely broad enough. The task of design and testing for 3 seperate operating systems must numb the mind. :argh:
MS has cut their feet off with Vista. And reports say that the hardware requirements for Win7 is no better. So when MS finally goes through and cuts off support for XP, I think you are going to see a lot of game studios getting off the DirectX boat and taking a serious look at making linux versions of their games.



wow! this thread is now stuck back on the second page of the thread list and still going strong!

Kanga
05-06-2008, 06:33 PM
....I'm no programmer, but the range of hardware in PCs seems infintely broad enough. The task of design and testing for 3 seperate operating systems must numb the mind. :argh:
QFA it must be a bitch.

Sorry for the tone of my earlier posts, its been a rough day:eek:.

switchblade327
05-06-2008, 11:34 PM
Maybe this story warrants it's own post but here's more piracy-related news:

Spore and Mass Effect PC to require Online Validation Every 10 days (http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/52547)

Valve, Infinity Ward, Crytek and now EA/Bioware... Maybe this really is a legitimate problem?

tuna
05-06-2008, 11:52 PM
Maybe this story warrants it's own post but here's more piracy-related news:

Spore and Mass Effect PC to require Online Validation Every 10 days (http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/52547)

Valve, Infinity Ward, Crytek and now EA/Bioware... Maybe this really is a legitimate problem?


The truth is that the online validation will be cracked within days and this solution hasn't stopped anything but perpetuated the annoyance to paying customers. Good job!

Solothores
05-07-2008, 11:25 AM
Besides of being destined to be cracked within a couple of days, it sounds like begging murphy's law to come down on them, I predict a security exploit that affects the loyal customer base. (Considering EA's image issue, it will be something like a run for a trophy to catch them pants down) Seeing that coders struggle to deliver bug-free stuff these days, they surely will not disappoint in something as sensible as this.

switchblade327
05-07-2008, 04:05 PM
The truth is that the online validation will be cracked within days and this solution hasn't stopped anything but perpetuated the annoyance to paying customers. Good job!

While I'm not an advocate of intrusive copy protection, desperate measures like this are a sign of a worsening problem. And really, 99% of Steam users know it's not a big deal (assuming 1% of Valve customers have no internet connection). It's potentially way less intrusive then most previous countermeasures. Remember the codewheel?

And of course it will get cracked, just like the Steam games have been. But the principle isn't much different then locking your house or putting a club on your steering wheel; nothing if thief-proof. But if you make it harder to steal or crack then less people are going to go through the hassle and just pay up.

richcz3
05-07-2008, 04:28 PM
After reading that SecuROM is being used on Spore and Mass Effect, I can see that will create further furor and dissention for legit PC game players everywhere.

I completely understand why a publisher wants to protect their investment. Unfortnately the level of compatability problems issues is usually compouned by the very protection schemes designed to protect them. Bioshock was the last SecuROM PC fiasco I remember reading about. It was precisely the reason I went with the 360 version.

It's unfortunate that honest purchasers of a product are subjected to jump through hoops, patches and work arounds. All because the protection renders their purchases gimped or unusable. Meanwhile - the very people that would get a cracked version anyway use the protection scheme as the reason they do.

Grim Beefer
05-07-2008, 11:46 PM
Consoles are more valuable to the average consumer, and that value is increasing. We 3d professionals, or otherwise avid PC users, might disagree, but this is not the case for the typical gamer that isn't married to their PC. Even a high end game console, like the PS3, is relatively inexpensive compared to a PC equivalent, once all factors have been taken into consideration. Consoles have relatively few headaches. There are no complex/confusing parts to replace (PCI-E huh? DDR2? 3?), no hardware redundancy (most TV's are multi-purpose), no obfuscating OSs (my dad can play a Wii, but barely knows how to surf the Internet, let alone install a game), you don't need a spare desk's worth of space, "free" and hassle free local multiplayer, they can be left out for children to access, and have no drivers, spyware, etc. that must be teased out/worried about. On a console, you put a disk/cartridge in the machine and press a button. Ease of use is a value in itself. Add to that a thriving game market with easily stored media, simple exchange policies, and an unparalleled diversity of game software. Finally, we must take into consideration the fact that consoles are introducing some innovative hardware, such Nintendo's systems, that change the way we play games. Nintendo has been highly successful with these gambles, which would bolster the argument that people are sick of the same old same old. Games like Crysis, however, look better than ever but aren't that innovative gameplay wise, and the same can be said for most big name PC games.

Take a look here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games) at the best selling games of all time. You will notice that the top 20, console wise, are not dominated by "hardcore" games, despite an ever expanding video game industry, and a video game press that focuses almost entirely on said hardcore games (would you believe that "Nintendogs" is the second best selling console game of all time! Ha! Take that GTA!). A quick look over of the PC side will show a different world, where such hardcore games are the vast majority. The 20th best selling console game (Super Mario Bros. 2), has sold as much or more copies than all but 1 of the best selling PC games. Mega-hits such as "Starcraft", "Half-Life", and "Diablo II" can't hold a candle to "Brain Age" for the DS.

All things considered, what is the highest selling game, cross-platform? Everyone's favorite uber-hardcore, system chugger, "The Sims" (50m on the PC, that's more than the copies of SMB floating around that came bunled with the original NES!). There's a reeeaaallly big dropoff to No.2 on the PC (WoW, 10m). What does this tell us? That despite lot's of attention and trumpeting, hardcore games are not the only thing that matters, and PC game sales have always been a relatively low, niche market. A quick look through the individual consoles will show plenty of embarrassing console games that far outsold beloved PC gems (Diddy Kong Racing for the N64 sold more than twice as many copies as Neverwinter Nights, the Baldur's Gate series, Civ III, and Black and White, for example).

Does this mean that "piracy is killing the PC game market", end of story?. Or is it possible that as the advantages of PC gaming (online play, vastly superior hardware, hard drive access, exclusive titles, etc.) become more and more diminished, and the advantages of console gaming (the previously mentioned rant) become more and more apparent, people previously associated with this niche market are converting? I think the latter. Assuming that you are only interested in games, how can anyone make the case that you get more value from PC gaming? PCs may be fun for enthusiasts, but most people would obviously rather just push a button and play a game, and that is what consoles do best.

Kanga
05-08-2008, 01:51 AM
Well said James!
:D

switchblade327
05-08-2008, 03:48 AM
Does this mean that "piracy is killing the PC game market", end of story?.

Nobody said it's the only problem, not even Crytek.

richcz3
05-08-2008, 05:11 PM
Grim Beefer - longish read but your points are well put.

The PC is an enthusiasts market because of cost and complex nature associated with it. It would seem a niche is rather small. But that didn't keep Dell from buying Alienware or HP from buying VooDoo PC. Which has always made me wonder.

Just how important is the enthusiasts market to nVidias, ATI, Intels, and AMDs bottom lines?

seith
05-09-2008, 06:01 AM
There is something in Crytek's arguments that seems slightly flawed to me. I can understand that a developper be annoyed by pirating, but they're saying that they basically lost the business of hundreds of thousands of customers because they (the customers) were able to download the game for free.

The problem I have with this reasoning is it implies that every "pirate" would have bought the game in the first place. Take the example of a bookshop selling a highly acclaimed book on molecular science; they have piles of books on display in front of the bookshop, and the people passing in front of the shop know they can actually pick up a book (as in stealing) while passing by, without any risk to be caught at all. What do you think's going to happen?

Well, at the end of the day, the bookshop owner will find out that a ton of books has disappeared, while they have sold comparatively few. Now does that mean that everyone walking by was actually going to buy a book on molecular science to begin with?

I have no problem with a developer diversifying its maket opportunities, but that argument sounds a little llike fuzzy logic to me...

KaronT3
05-09-2008, 09:36 AM
They say that the problem is the piracy, but they don´t say nothing about the system you must buy for playing that game. They must think that all the people could buy a new computer for playing a game....This must be a joke....

Sorry for my English

iSOBigD
05-09-2008, 04:19 PM
Going past the fact that not everyone who downloaded the game could even run it well or liked it or was going to buy it...and going past the fact that they have no official numbers on any potential lost sales because of my points above, the fact of the matter is Crysis sold over a million copies on the PC alone.

They didn't lose money on this - in fact, they made a shitload of money with Crysis...just not as big of a shitload as they "could" have had they released it on more platforms. Piracy has nothing to do with this - this is pure greed. Crysis most likely beat Halo 2, 3 and most major games ported to the PC in terms of PC sales...and they weren't happy. It did better than most of the biggest games on the consoles but they blame pirates for what? Not bad sales, since the game did great, but just for forcing them to buy one Ferrari and giant mansion instead of two of each.

Boo freaking hoo. Not all games need to sell 2-3 million copies for the developer to break even since not all games cost $100 million to make (like GTA IV). Just because Halo, GoW and GTA4 sold a ton of copies doesn't mean all games do (and these games did well because they advertised on TV where tens of millions of average Joes saw the commercials btw, unlike with PC games). Most games don't even sell close to a million and the developers have no problem making huge profits anyway, because it's in relation to how much they actually spent making the game. Crytek just got jelous of other people and got too greedy - piracy has nothing to do with this. Even if they sold 2 or 3 million copies instead they would have said the same crap.

arquebus
05-09-2008, 06:33 PM
What about the fact that a lot of people rent console games instead of buy them? I never hear anyone factor that in as related to sales.

switchblade327
05-09-2008, 07:43 PM
What about the fact that a lot of people rent console games instead of buy them? I never hear anyone factor that in as related to sales.

This actually gets talked about a lot within the games industry. Used games and rentals are a potentially pretty big factor in lost sales but just like you can't measure what percentage of pirates would buy a game if they couldn't steal it, it's hard to tell how much. I also think this is a major reason why no one wants to ship a game without multiplayer anymore. Even the most beautiful, fun and amazing single player game in the world is going to get reviewed as a 'rental' if it's only 8-10 hours.

The thing with rental places like Blockbuster is they buy TONS of copies of games so publishers are hesitant to anger some of their best customers. It's still not clear how it effects long-term sales. Used games are a bigger issue since they don't have any real upside for a publisher while still eating into new sales.

A lot of games now include a warning in the EULA screen that unauthorized rental or resale is forbidden (COD4 and GTA4; maybe all 360 games). We'll see if publisher's ever decide to act on them.

richcz3
05-09-2008, 08:18 PM
I don't have the numbers of people involved with developing Crysis (over lets say a 3 year period). Its fair to say that Crysis is a AAA title sold exclusively for the PC. Equally as important is what Cryteks cut per sold unit is with Electronic Arts. Be sure that the publisher makes the lions share in the sale profits.

Throw in Marketing and Support and I'm sure the cost of total development is a hefty sum. A million units sold hardly qualifies as greed.
I personaly question the number of units sold as these include units bundled with hardware. I personaly have two Crysis copies that came with GF8800 cards.

arquebus
05-09-2008, 08:38 PM
Be sure that the publisher makes the lions share in the sale profits.
As it should be. The publisher is putting up millions of dollars in developement costs up front, and there is no garantee that will be recovered. So the studio is in effect the employee of the publisher.

Badsight
05-09-2008, 09:25 PM
both the x360 & the PS3 suffer from low FPS

games are given high graphics priority over gameplay development

richcz3
05-10-2008, 05:15 AM
As it should be. The publisher is putting up millions of dollars in developement costs up front, and there is no garantee that will be recovered. So the studio is in effect the employee of the publisher.I'm more than aware of that. I stated that because of the notion that Crytek is a greedy company. Unfortunately people see 1 million units @ 50-60$ a pop and see huge wads of profit.
When you distill all the costs down and 1 million units sold, I wonder just how they (Crytek) made out.

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