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Volition: 'We want to make games worth stealing'

Volition: 'We want to make games worth stealing'

Volition has said it wants to make games that are worth stealing, rather than worrying about piracy.

Cracking down on piracy is not considered a priority for Saints Row and Red Faction developers, Volition. Instead, the developer is mainly focused on making games that are ‘worth stealing’, according to Studio Manager Eric Barker.

The studio, owned by THQ, still considers PC versions of multi-platform releases to be worth their time and money despite the threat of piracy, according to Eurogamer.

Some people say PC is dying,’ said Barker. ‘Some people say PC is the future,’ he said. ‘PC is the most variable, because it depends on what you've got under the hood.

For us, the key thing was making sure the PC version was done in-house.

The threat of piracy is often used by studios as a reason for not bringing multi-platform releases to the PC. Most recently, Crysis 2 showed up on torrent sites 49 days before its release.

As Barker suggests, despite PC development being difficult, the pay off can be significant. We recently explored some of the untapped potential of the PC in our Farewell to DirectX.

Consoles aren't immune from piracy either, however. Sony's Killzone 3 was leaked for PlayStation 3 ahead of release too.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

34 Comments

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liratheal 18th March 2011, 11:13 Quote
...Hot damn, someone said something sane about piracy, while also being a dev house?
Hustler 18th March 2011, 11:34 Quote
The only thing that gets me annoyed about the industry and piracy figures, is the automatic assumption that every copy downloaded is a lost sale.....its not.

Only a small percentage are actual lost sales, the vast majority are people downloading it because they are simply curious to 'have a look' and because they can, and would simply let the game pass them by if they had to actually pay for it anyway.
DriftCarl 18th March 2011, 11:44 Quote
Indeed, it isnt a lost sale 99% of the time.
Some people i know have hundreds of albums on their PC, and hundreds of games. If every one of those was a "lost sale" then they would have had to earn about £250k a year just to pay for the stuff they have on their PC. When in reality, most people buy games that are worth buying.
Nowadays I buy games that are easy to aquire, like steam or blizzard digital downloads. Personally I dont even bother with most other games now because the reveiws are usually terrible, I learned my lesson when I bought FF13 without reading reviews.

So really the dev studios need to make games that are worth buying, and stop spending time trying to put stupid DRM on them. Just develop a good game, with a great storyline, PC worth graphics and bug free gameplay. I guarantee that will sell in the truck load.
BRAWL 18th March 2011, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
The only thing that gets me annoyed about the industry and piracy figures, is the automatic assumption that every copy downloaded is a lost sale.....its not.

Only a small percentage are actual lost sales, the vast majority are people downloading it because they are simply curious to 'have a look' and because they can, and would simply let the game pass them by if they had to actually pay for it anyway.

Exactly mate, after the abismal games that have come out the past two years... MW2, BlackOps, CnC4... I think we're entitled to have a snoop when these developers don't even bother with demo's anymore. Of course, I don't pirate games at all... just isn't my thing. I'd rather check it out at a friends, or hear reviews before hammering it.
DragunovHUN 18th March 2011, 11:53 Quote
Oi, guys, no need to defend piracy, this isn't one of those articles. Volition are being(pretending to be?) cool about it.

Nice to hear that their future PC versions will be in-house though, their outsourced SR2 port didn't work too well for a lot of people. I'm glad they learned their lesson, even though i had no problems with the PC version.
do_it_anyway 18th March 2011, 12:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Oi, guys, no need to defend piracy, this isn't one of those articles. Volition are being(pretending to be?) cool about it.

Nice to hear that their future PC versions will be in-house though, their outsourced SR2 port didn't work too well for a lot of people. I'm glad they learned their lesson, even though i had no problems with the PC version.
Agree with all of this.
I see the "try before you buy" or "I wouldn't buy it anyway" argument as being totally beside the point.
In no other industry would you get away with this. If you nicked a car and then said "its OK, I would never have bought one anyway" its unlikely to help when Plod knocks on your door.

I like volition's stance, that its more important to make a good game which turns up on torrent sites, than make a bad game that nobody wants anyway. And I particularly like the way they are maintaining an interest in the PC as a platform.
SMIFFYDUDE 18th March 2011, 12:10 Quote
Love "99%" statistics. Always trustworthy scientific analysis gone into them. Well at least 0.001% of the time.
snootyjim 18th March 2011, 12:25 Quote
SR2 on the PC was absolutely terrible.
Podge4 18th March 2011, 12:26 Quote
From quite a few people i've spoke to i have found that maybe more people have at least 1 chipped console rather than playing pirated pc games. weather its because its easier to play it once the console is chipped i don't know, maybe its also because they don't know how to get the games. it would seem its easier to go to a guy in a pub and get 10 games for a few quid.

Take Crysis 2. I've just pre-ordered the Limited Edition for pc for £25, now i think £25 for what would be a AAA game is a good price, compared to the £40 for a console version. this article suggests that "despite PC development being difficult," why is it then that pc games can be anywhere upto about 50% cheaper than their console counterpart. Surely you would charge more to compensate for that extra difficulty.
BigDaddy600 18th March 2011, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway

If you nicked a car and then said "its OK, I would never have bought one anyway" its unlikely to help when Plod knocks on your door..

But that's not the same is it? For a start you can test drive most if not all cars before you buy and stealing a car is actually stealing. Now if you made a copy of the original car at no expense and took that..
wuyanxu 18th March 2011, 12:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
The only thing that gets me annoyed about the industry and piracy figures, is the automatic assumption that every copy downloaded is a lost sale.....its not.

agree, piracy figures are meaningless. may of those downloads are from people who already own the game. just it is difficult to obtain it through legit means. i bet Steamwork games are less pirated for the very simple reason that it's so easy to use Steam to download those games.
DragunovHUN 18th March 2011, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Podge4
this article suggests that "despite PC development being difficult," why is it then that pc games can be anywhere upto about 50% cheaper than their console counterpart. Surely you would charge more to compensate for that extra difficulty.

I'm sure there are other market demographic factors, but publishers also have to pay a license fee to release something on a console.
Landy_Ed 18th March 2011, 12:57 Quote
NiHiLiST 18th March 2011, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDaddy600
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway

If you nicked a car and then said "its OK, I would never have bought one anyway" its unlikely to help when Plod knocks on your door..

But that's not the same is it? For a start you can test drive most if not all cars before you buy and stealing a car is actually stealing. Now if you made a copy of the original car at no expense and took that..
Exactly. To tackle piracy, everyone needs to stop treating intellectual property like physical property, the comparison in most situations is ludicrous.
Parge 18th March 2011, 13:22 Quote
If you want to make a game worth stealing make Freespace 3
NuTech 18th March 2011, 13:26 Quote
Statements like this from devs always make me laugh. They puff out their chest and make it sound like they're standing up for the PC gamer. Truth be told, they're making a PC port because their publisher has allowed them to make a PC port.

If THQ had said no to a PC port due to reasons such as very high piracy rates on single player focused games, his statement would have towed that company line instead.
Paradigm Shifter 18th March 2011, 13:41 Quote
I just want Volition to make Freespace 3. :D
itrush07 18th March 2011, 13:51 Quote
*this person has been banned for advocating piracy (actually in this case advocating outright theft) in accordance with the bit-tech forum rules.*
Claave 18th March 2011, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiHiLiST
Exactly. To tackle piracy, everyone needs to stop treating intellectual property like physical property, the comparison in most situations is ludicrous.

I think the point actually being made is that all games should have a demo, or at least a limited-time free-play mode. That means you can legally give a game a try and base your purchase on your own experience.

Might be I've read the original post wrong, but the above seems a perfectly reasonable demand from gamers to games studios.
Landy_Ed 18th March 2011, 14:33 Quote
Toploaded 18th March 2011, 14:47 Quote
SR2 was never patched to work correctly on Windows 7, which considering how close it was to Win 7's release is just ridiculous. It's still sold on Steam, with no warning that it will run way to fast on 7 for most users. Even if they did outsource it, I'm surprised they didn't take some responsibility for it.
chelseascum 18th March 2011, 15:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
If you want to make a game worth stealing make Freespace 3

This
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 18th March 2011, 15:47 Quote
Every copy pirated does not = a lost sale....just like
Every NEGATIVE review does not = a lost sale.......just like
Every Bug in your dam game does not = a refund of my money!!
Funny how I can return every other product that does not meet my satisfaction except media but these *******s whine the most about sales figures.....STFU and make a quality product.
Kiytan 18th March 2011, 17:23 Quote
I would be right on their side if the PC version of Saints row 2 wasn't the buggiest PoS software I've played. Seriously. I had to download a 3rd party app to get it to support widescreen resolutions. That and I still could barely reach above 30fps on medium-high settings (and I'm on an i7)
Landy_Ed 18th March 2011, 18:11 Quote
thehippoz 18th March 2011, 18:18 Quote
make another freelancer with all the original ideas
maximus09 18th March 2011, 20:37 Quote
did they get this backwards or something? Surely the games should be worth buying and not prirating?

From my experience people only download games that they don't feel are worth buying. Not neccessarilly because they are really crap but maybe because they are not great and darn expensive, also you have to either go out to buy it or order it online and wait for it to be delivered.

So several things contributing to piracy; crap games, price and accessibility. IF they fixed the "crappynes" or price and the accesibility then it would actually be worth it.

Obviously Steam has fixed accessibility and sometime price (when there is a nice juicy sale) but they can't make crap games good :(
bigkingfun 18th March 2011, 20:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
If you want to make a game worth stealing make Freespace 3

Best series ever. Nothing else comes close in that genre.
+1
Sloth 18th March 2011, 20:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus09
did they get this backwards or something? Surely the games should be worth buying and not prirating?

From my experience people only download games that they don't feel are worth buying. Not neccessarilly because they are really crap but maybe because they are not great and darn expensive, also you have to either go out to buy it or order it online and wait for it to be delivered.

So several things contributing to piracy; crap games, price and accessibility. IF they fixed the "crappynes" or price and the accesibility then it would actually be worth it.

Obviously Steam has fixed accessibility and sometime price (when there is a nice juicy sale) but they can't make crap games good :(
They likely just meant it as a figure of speech, people seem to have really taken that and ran with it. No doubt Volition doesn't want their games to be pirated, they put their hard work into them afterall.

Although a quick comment on the rest of your post: what does it say about society when people pirate games because they can't be assed to go and buy them?
shanky887614 18th March 2011, 21:17 Quote
im not saying piracy is legal or i condon people using it

but i personally know quite a few people that actually get hold of a pirated game to see what its like before they buy it becasue very few games have demos know

if a developer made demos that were portable aplications and didnt need installing then they would sell a lot more games

i dont buy many games becasuse the last few i bought have been awful and ive actually watched the walkthroughs on youtube to see whether the game is anygood but you cant tell if its any good by just watching a video
rollo 18th March 2011, 21:53 Quote
SR2 Worked pretty well for me when i got it for pc and was not on anything to fancy then just a 4890 card or sumit close and some old amd system
enciem 19th March 2011, 00:19 Quote
Yeah, SR2 worked pretty...oh hang on, who gives a balls about SR2, this is about piracy.

I agree with the peeps saying no demos contributes to piracy and also the fact that a computer game is one of the few products that can be released fundamentally broken and the seller can get away with "yeah, we'll get around to partially fixing that at some point for you, don't forget to thank us when we do". That latter element is proper crap.
maximus09 19th March 2011, 12:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus09
did they get this backwards or something? Surely the games should be worth buying and not prirating?

From my experience people only download games that they don't feel are worth buying. Not neccessarilly because they are really crap but maybe because they are not great and darn expensive, also you have to either go out to buy it or order it online and wait for it to be delivered.

So several things contributing to piracy; crap games, price and accessibility. IF they fixed the "crappynes" or price and the accesibility then it would actually be worth it.

Obviously Steam has fixed accessibility and sometime price (when there is a nice juicy sale) but they can't make crap games good :(
They likely just meant it as a figure of speech, people seem to have really taken that and ran with it. No doubt Volition doesn't want their games to be pirated, they put their hard work into them afterall.

Although a quick comment on the rest of your post: what does it say about society when people pirate games because they can't be assed to go and buy them?

yea your right! maybe people are getting more and more lazy these days, but I think thats the direction of media anyway; just have everything come straight to your home instantly with the press of a button. I know I am darn lazy and inpatient, thats why I love steam lol
AcidJiles 21st March 2011, 11:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
Indeed, it isnt a lost sale 99% of the time.
Some people i know have hundreds of albums on their PC, and hundreds of games. If every one of those was a "lost sale" then they would have had to earn about £250k a year just to pay for the stuff they have on their PC. When in reality, most people buy games that are worth buying.
Nowadays I buy games that are easy to aquire, like steam or blizzard digital downloads. Personally I dont even bother with most other games now because the reveiws are usually terrible, I learned my lesson when I bought FF13 without reading reviews.

So really the dev studios need to make games that are worth buying, and stop spending time trying to put stupid DRM on them. Just develop a good game, with a great storyline, PC worth graphics and bug free gameplay. I guarantee that will sell in the truck load.

QFT
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