Epic Games Moved to Consoles Because of PC Piracy

pc gamingMany of us know Epic Games for their successful stop-and-pop 360-exclusive shooter Gears of War, but before they made it big on Microsoft’s home console Epic was widely known as a PC-centric developer. Unreal Tournament has been a staple of arena-style multiplayer games on the PC, but Epic’s heyday as a big time PC developer is long gone.

While many of the company’s fans bemoan the studio’s shift in focus, Epic president Mike Capps says that the move from PC to console was one of necessity, citing PC piracy as the major reason for the change. Speaking recently to Edge (via 1up), Mr. Capps said that the studio still loves the PC, but they saw how piracy killed a bunch of great independent developers and lead to a conversion of business models.

Mike Capps isn’t all down on PC gaming, though, and he feels that the platform might eventually see a comeback, possibly through Facebook. While that isn’t the resurgence many of us were hoping for, we have to remember that the often looked-down upon casual games (like Ubisoft’s Petz series) subsidizes the production of larger, more “hardcore” games.

I know that we have a fair few PC gamers on this site, myself included, and I spent a lot of time in my youth playing Unreal Tournament against the AI because I wasn’t allowed on the internet. Although Epic’s console offerings have been mostly decent, one has to wonder how different the market would be today if Gears had launched as a PC title first. What do you guys think? Is piracy actually to blame, and will PC gaming make a Facebook comeback?

Source: 1up

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mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

19 thoughts on “Epic Games Moved to Consoles Because of PC Piracy”

  1. Hmm.. I think they’re moving because it’s easier to sell mediocre games to mediocre people. Don’t get me wrong, Just like you Mitch I played the crap out of Unreal Tournament against the bots… but games like that belong on Consoles now, no longer the “hard core” PC arena.

    Selling to people who don’t know how to use a computer will certainly help their sales. It’s Unfortunate, but if you want us to pay, make something good.

  2. Well when you develop hardcore games that audience you’re selling it to is usually capable of pirating, and unfortunately those SOB’s will do it if they can.

  3. [quote comment=”11417″]Hmm.. I think they’re moving because it’s easier to sell mediocre games to mediocre people. Don’t get me wrong, Just like you Mitch I played the crap out of Unreal Tournament against the bots… but games like that belong on Consoles now, no longer the “hard core” PC arena.

    Selling to people who don’t know how to use a computer will certainly help their sales. It’s Unfortunate, but if you want us to pay, make something good.[/quote]

    So, most of us are mediocre people playing mediocre games who don’t know how to use a computer?

    Wow, that’s just a touch venomous, don’t you think?

    Not sure if you realized it, but your last comment could be interpreted as making Capps’ point for him. Not saying that you pirate games or anything, but you’re certainly giving the impression that it’s okay not to pay for a game if you don’t think it’s “good.” Seeing as how “mediocre” is not a term I would choose to describe the Gears of War series, I’d like to know what qualifies as “good” in your view.

  4. [quote comment=”11417″]Hmm.. I think they’re moving because it’s easier to sell mediocre games to mediocre people.[/quote]

    I have to admit, I didn’t fully read your comment before I let it through. If I had, it wouldn’t have gone up. Keep the fanboy in your pants next time, dude. Painting people with a broad stroke on a personal level to put them beneath yourself isn’t cool.

    Moving right along…

    This isn’t the first studio that’s made comments about this, to my knowledge. Honestly, I hope we don’t see more abandon PC gaming, because there are some merits there, but pirates certainly do make it difficult for studios.

  5. [quote comment=”11422″]Painting people with a broad stroke on a personal level to put them beneath yourself isn’t cool.[/quote]

    Yeah, just to chime in here… I know why I’m a console gamer, and it’s because I don’t want to buy and maintain a several thousand-dollar PC gaming system with the newest bleeding edge technology just to play videogames.

    I like that I was able to spend $300 on a 360 and never worry about whether new games would be playable.

    In my mind, “hardcore” PC gaming is a bit like being an audiophile. There are people out there who love the sound of vinyl and insist on vacuum-tubes in their speakers. These people are particular about their music, and more power to ’em, but I’m perfectly happy with earbuds and an iPod.

  6. Same as JJ but replace 360 with a PS3. I doubt that PC gaming will go away entirely but if so many devs complain of piracy it will be on pirates heads should this happen.

  7. I don’t know about having to spend tons of cash to have a decent computer, but I do agree that being a “hardcore” PC gamer is like being an audiophile; that was a great analogy, JJ.

    Back when I used to have a PC, I treated it like a console in that I never upgraded it and treated it like a static platform until games started coming out that I could no longer run. Then I might consider putting in a new (but by that point outdated and cheap) video card, but I didn’t have the time, money, expertise, or desire to build a new system myself, which is pretty much the only affordable way to keep up in the PC arms race.

  8. I wasn’t saying everyone who plays console is mediocre, I said “easier to sell mediocre games to mediocre people”, and in a WAY bigger market, there are going to be far more mediocre people. Sorry to come off offensively.

    @Zayven, a good game usually speaks for itself. I know Mass Effect is a great game because of the way people talk about it, but it’s not a game for me. However, I did find Gears of War to be mediocre, it didn’t keep me interested at all to finish the first game’s campaign.

    @JJ Absolutely, which is why I am somewhat of an audiophile myself. I’m glad the ear buds do it for you, but it makes me cringe (mp3 players as a whole).

    Oh and it’s not like you have to buy $800 video cards every few months to keep up with the games. I’d say to keep playing games that come out, you spend about $1500 every 3 or 4 years. But with that, you get an entire media centre, all your work, editing video/audio/pictures Aaaand playing games on the side.

    I know not everyone needs a powerful PC, but I already use one for work, why not use it for games?

    Again, sorry for the first post if you were offended (and for this long post)

  9. Oops meant to change “mediocre people” to “mediocre gamers”. I’m not talking about the quality of the human lol.

  10. Other than what JJ mentioned, which is the cost of upgrading, the other two reasons I don’t bother with PCs is I work in front of a PC all day and I don’t wanna play my games in front of one.

    Also: Mario, Zelda, Uncharted and plenty more that can only be played on consoles.

    As for the TOPIC of this post…piracy sucks, I can’t stand it.

  11. PC Gamer here. Unreal Tournament was my first FPS and this genre has stuck with me for well… forever.

    I’m pretty saddened by this move as it’s like your dad that you have grown up won’t be with you anymore… even though you don’t play with him anymore XD. At least we still got Valve… 😀

  12. As far as I’m concerned, I can’t play games on my PC. I can barely manage to run HL2 and TF2 and the mods of those games. That’s it. I can obviously play earlier games like Fallout and Age of Mythology, but most of the recent games and definitely any future games simply don’t run well on my compy. I set everything to the lowest settings and its still laggy. Honestly, it’s really fuckin irritating. I have a good computer. At least I think I do. For some reason, everyone is content with having new games and all that shit, but I’m not about to keep updating my computer and spend thousands of dollars on video games that I could just play on a console. I’d rather eat, and yes, that’s a serious comment. I’m running out of fucking money.

    Anyway…I’ll stick with my consoles and my apparent mediocrity, Mr. E. Leetist Julez. 😛

  13. Oh, sorry, I forgot to write this part when I posted.

    AS far as piracy goes, fuck em. Pay your munnies, assholes.

  14. I could not say I was fond of many of the games that came from epic. However their move is somewhat understandable I still think it sucks.

    Also I’d like to say in the defense of PC gaming that if one were to buy an average PC at around $800 and you add like $300 for the cost of a console you would still get a pretty decent PC for $1100. not top of the line but would run most anything if it were properly built and set up.

  15. Emmmm…. Epic people…360 games are actually way easier to pirate. I would never do that, but all u gotta do is get a way to make the discs reproducible, and they have done that. When new protection comes out, usually, its only a matter of time till they break it.

  16. But don’t you need to physically mod the 360 to play pirated games? I haven’t looked into this, but I thought that the Dreamcast was the only system that could play burned games with no modifications to the actual hardware.

  17. @Cossack – I’ll pay for a game if they supply a demo that satisfies me and gets me pumped up. If there is no demo and only cinematic trailers, there’s no way I’m spending $60+ on a game that I have no idea of how it’s going to play/run (PC). and PS if you can barely run HL2, your computer is /not/ “good”.

    @ Ronator/Zayven – yes, it’s very easy to pirate games, that’s why I was poking fun earlier. Why it’s “harder” or “less common” for console gamers is because they usually aren’t PC-savvy.

    And Zayven, the Wii is easy to crack without any physical mods. But you’re right, most consoles require some sort of physical mods… which isn’t “hard” either. As long as you’re comfortable with throwing out your warranty… Maybe the RROD were BUILT IN because of people modding? (CONSPIRACYYYY!!!) Voiding your warranty is NOT recommended!

  18. I didn’t know the wii was easy to crack, but given that there are kids running around with ds flashcards filled with dozens of games, that sounds about par for the course for Nintendo.

    When it comes to physical mods, it might “easy” in the objective sense, but it usually involves soldering, which is not something that most people have done before. The fact that they’ve never done this relatively simple procedure doesn’t mean that they’re stupid or somehow incapable of understanding the concept. They just haven’t done it before.

    Even though I know that soldering electronics is such a simple thing, I would certainly have some trepidation about soldering something to the circuitboard of a console (which may have cost me several hundred dollars) when I’ve never soldered anything before. It’s the somewhat irrational fear of ‘screwing up’ performing an action that you are not fully comfortable doing. It doesn’t mean that I’m not capable of learning how to do it if I really wanted to, though.

    Speaking of which, do PC users even have to solder anything anymore or are all of the components plug and play these days?

    I like the RROD conspiracy theory, though. That’s just devious enough that Microsoft might have actually thought about it, especially if Steve Ballmer was involved in the decision.

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