PC piracy levels are "astounding" says COD4 dev

Infinity Ward's community manager muses, "they wonder why people don't make PC games any more."

"We pulled some disturbing numbers this past week about the amount of PC players currently playing Call of Duty 4 Multiplayer (which was fantastic)," writes Robert Bowling, on the game's community blog. "What wasn't fantastic was the percentage of those numbers who were playing on stolen copies of the game."

"The amount of people who pirate PC games is astounding," he added. "It blows me away that people are willing to steal games (or anything) simply because it's not physical or it's on the safety of the internet to do."

PC games sales have decreased in recent years due to rampant piracy of software and other digital goods over internet sharing sites.

News source: GamePro

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Well, considering most of the "good" games are aimed at the hardcore crowd with uber computers, it doesn't surprise me.

For me, I'm tired of FPS. So I do the WoW thing now. I really have no interest in 99% of the PC games anyway, and most are FPS. And I don't like consoles, unless we're talking about the SNES.

I'm surprised they aren't talking about the Console piracy, it's pretty damn rampant from what I see on the torrent sites.

PC piracy = virtually zero cost and effort. All that is required is a fast Internet connection, adequate HD space, a CD emulator tool, and sources for the games and no-CD cracks.

Console piracy = Internet connection, sources for disc images, HD space, physical media, burning apps, $100+ for mod chips OR modded DVD drive firmware (which may not work properly)... oh and for Xbox Live they ban the entire console instead of blacklisting you per game if you accidentally expose the mod chip to the network.

In my opinion, one model that seems to work on the PC platform is the subscriber based model, i.e. games purchased from Steam and Blizzard's WoW. At least for Steam they bring over part of the console experience onto PCs (friends list, common server browser, and just recently achievements).

(rm20010 said @ #19.1)
PC piracy = virtually zero cost and effort. All that is required is a fast Internet connection, adequate HD space, a CD emulator tool, and sources for the games and no-CD cracks.

Console piracy = Internet connection, sources for disc images, HD space, physical media, burning apps, $100+ for mod chips OR modded DVD drive firmware (which may not work properly)... oh and for Xbox Live they ban the entire console instead of blacklisting you per game if you accidentally expose the mod chip to the network.

In my opinion, one model that seems to work on the PC platform is the subscriber based model, i.e. games purchased from Steam and Blizzard's WoW. At least for Steam they bring over part of the console experience onto PCs (friends list, common server browser, and just recently achievements).

Correction: XBox 360 piracy: Some effort, but not much. Fast internet connection, lots of HDD space (compared to some of the new PC games today), sources for games (many of them stealthed to play online), and modded DVD firmware.

I don't really see much difference from your points to mine.

I bought COD4 the day after it came out. It was totally worth the $50. And yes theres cracked versions of servers that people with used CD keys can play on.

Over the past few years PC games have gone to crap. COD4 and maybe crysis(depending how you look at it) are the best games that have come out in awhile. Games like battlefield 2/2142 are buggy pieces of crap and they should have high piracy rates. COD4 is not exactly piracy proof. Look at all the stuff the PC version is missing, arcade mode, online server that stores stats, buddy system. Consoles get all that stuff.

PC gaming is pretty dead to me, especially after I just bought a PS3 the other day. I thought I would never get a console again, since the last one I had before this PS3 was a PS1. I finally just got fed up with all the PC game problems. I'm not saying consoles are flawless, but games are sure hell of a lot better quality.

I think more people would buy games if they were cheaper, its much less hassle to buy a game rather than download it.

What I would like to know is when are they going to address all the hacks that allow cheating. MP was fun when the game first came out, now I don't play at all because of all the hacking cheaters.

I am a big PC gamer but I will not buy games just for multiplayer! I bought The Witcher, Crysis & Sam and Max Season 2 because I prefer sp games! I will not pay $50 for a damn game that only has 10 or 8 hrs of sp experience! I've been burned on many console games in that regard & all I can think is that console gamers haven't learned what it means to have really good sp game but they are coming out with them with games like Mass Effect but sooner or later they will realize mp isn't going to satisfy them when there lives are busier and they have to work on other priorities.

The games for PCs of late ... haven't been that good. I buy SC from Gas Powered games and SC:FA ..
I prefer RTS games over FPS ... Also, I've been playing a lot of GC2 from Stardock. The game is TBSG
an has no multi-player support. The game is very addictive. Right now, if I have free time I play a few
hours of Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor.

Also, if you like RTS ... like TA take the time an try out Spring ... I also, play a lot of that game if I
have some free time ...

Right now ,, I'm only waiting for to games to get release ... Starcraft 2 and Duke Nukem ForEVER ...

Console games are ripped just as often....
Why won't the world understand that every piece of software can be pirated.

at this point PC gaming is pretty much just MMO, rpg's and maybe a good fps here and there. There's alot of shovelware fps but you can't really count that. I can't see how companies except to make alot of money in the gaming arena when it's really only a few viable genres of games that come out for the PC.

that said I haven't pirated a game in well over 3 years (yeah me!!! lol) and I was proud to buy COD4. I'm a firm believer that if you make the game good enough, you will make your money back in spades. on the flip side more companies might have to move to a steam type of system that verifies it online. I'm actually starting to like steam in many ways because at least I don't have to ever put the cd in again and it will auto update.

I don't agree with that, forcing people to do online activations, etc. Look at Bioshock and their problems with activation. Legit users have problems, while people with pirated copies enjoy their games. Consoles don't require that, so why should PCs. They both get pirated, only reason more PC games get pirated, is because the number of PC users.

Either way, the only way to beat pirates, is the make great games, that means don't rush them, and bloat them with ads(EA). There are many games out there that could have been great, but they got rushed.

Just because EA can't code a copy protection scheme to save their lives doesn't mean that plenty of other PC game developers aren't rolling in money. (Blizzard, NCSoft, and Valve say "Hi")

(Aahz said @ #27)
Just because EA can't code a copy protection scheme to save their lives doesn't mean that plenty of other PC game developers aren't rolling in money. (Blizzard, NCSoft, and Valve say "Hi")

Well the majority of those people that give money to blizzard are addicts so thats how they make their money.

The only factor in my decision to buy CoD4 was the release on Steam. I am opposed to game developers/publishers choosing to force copy protection upon legitimate consumers and tying mobile users to bulky collections of CD/DVDs to carry. Steam is a good middle-ground between DRM and non-DRM models offering license tracking in the form of connectivity and freeing the consumer from the media. It's disappointing seeing that a legitimate alternative source to purchasing a disc media package is still being highly pirated, only proving that no matter the approach, this problem will always persist. The only move the gaming industry needs to take now is to embrace the problem and relieve their legitimate consumers of the burden of the sinners, paid trust, and non-DRM mechanisms.

When presented with the choice to pay for something or not to pay for something, with no consequences guaranteed, you get to see into the true nature of people.

(Unwonted said @ #29)
When presented with the choice to pay for something or not to pay for something, with no consequences guaranteed, you get to see into the true nature of people.

Exactly.

And then people get super defensive about it because they are, at some level, ashamed of what they've done, and they can't deal with it.

the thing is PC is king when it comes to shooters as it's MUCH easier to aim with a mouse vs a analog stick at tracking stuff on screen.

and since majority of games i play (generally shooters) require aiming of some sort i MUST play them on a PC... only reason i have a XBox360 right now is cause of 1 game and one game only, Forza Motorsport 2.

as far as single player wise... im SURE the article is generally right about the high piracy rates... although if you make a game with good multiplayer then you generally dont have to worry since for those who want to play online your generally force into buying it since cracked copys pretty much dont work online.

I don't understand why this surprises anyone. Every form of popular media promotes a "do whatever you can get away with" mentality and the creators of this media are then surprised when their audience does just that.

(MrTibs said @ #32)
I don't understand why this surprises anyone. Every form of popular media promotes a "do whatever you can get away with" mentality and the creators of this media are then surprised when their audience does just that.

Plus I highly doubt these developers don't pirate any games. The last game I downloaded was bioshock because of the limit of activations. Turned out I didn't even play it more then 3 hours because of motion sickness. Only game I had that problem with.

Here's another excuse I haven't read yet, so maybe it's just me. From the days of when Napster first got in trouble, I always thought how is this different then me making tapes off the radio like I used to and giving them to my g/f or Lafawnda gave Napoleon to help Pedro win the election. I didn't pay for the music, but I gave it away. I would also borrow games from other fellow gamers for my PC or SNES or Dreamcast or PS1 or XBOX. I didn't feel the need to compensate him except for letting him borrow one of mine. Now, you can "borrow" parts of the game from a couple hundred people. Maybe only a couple actually bought it and uploaded it. So, in other words, I'm rationalizing by thinking "I can borrow a game or cd or dvd or book from a friend, but I can't borrow it from the original uploader?" The answer is "No, I can't", but...

I also agree with the other people saying most games aren't "worth" $50. I suppose that's all in how you look at it. I hear people say Alex Rodriguez is worth every penny of his $25 million/year baseball contract. I'm sorry...what? A teacher with a masters degree in her field is worth barely $50,000 after six years of work and he's worth 40 times that? Doesn't make sense. I realize that $50 has to be split up between a lot of people, but after paying hundreds for the soon to be obsolete hardware, $50 still seems way too much. Does that give anyone the right to get copies from other people? No. Will they? Yes. Do I feel sorry for the video game industry that is growing exponentially faster than the movie industry? No.

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