I Am Alive likely to skip PCs due to piracy concerns

“So few people are paying for PC games,” says Ubisoft

It appears digital piracy is to blame for I Am Alive's all-but-confirmed PC snub. Reflecting on the future of Ubisoft Shanghai's urban disaster game, creative director Stanislas Mettra told IncGamers the upcoming title will likely appear for download on XBLA and PSN, but skip a PC version altogether for fear of losing money on illegal downloads...

"It’s hard because there’s so much piracy and so few people are paying for PC games that we have to precisely weigh it up against the cost of making it,” said Mettra, explaining. “Perhaps it will only take 12 guys three months to port the game to PC, it’s not a massive cost but it’s still a cost. If only 50,000 people buy the game then it’s not worth it."

Ubisoft's reluctance to confirm I Am Alive for the non-console crowd has caused legitimate PC gamers to cry foul. Mettra added that despite the studio's reservations, those cries are being taking into consideration, explaining, "We’ve heard loud and clear that PC gamers are bitching about there being no version for them... but are these people just making noise just because there’s no version or because it’s a game they actually want to play? Would they buy it if we made it?"

In a follow-up email to Kotaku, Mettra attempted to soften his initial statement, explaining: "I would really love to see a PC build of the game and I don't think I meant to say, 'the game won't happen on PC...It's probably an English language miscommunication. What I meant is that the PC version did not happen yet. But we are still working to see the feasibility of it, which is not necessarily simple. I gave some examples to illustrate the problematic, but obviously it is not in my hands and not my part to talk about this."

Attempts to quell a PC uprising aside, Mettra's initial concerns are valid--especially considering it's rare for a high profile PC game to not fall victim to piracy. How long will it be until other developers follow suit? Rather, should they just learn to accept digital piracy as a reality of doing business?

In follow-up email to Kotaku, Mettra attempted to soften his initial statement, explaining: "I would really love to see a PC build of the game and I don't think I meant to say, 'the game won't happen on PC...It's probably an English language miscommunication. What I meant is that the PC version did not happen yet. But we are still working to see the feasibility of it, which is not necessarily simple. I gave some examples to illustrate the problematic, but obviously it is not in my hands and not my part to talk about this."

I Am Alive is currently being built from scratch by Ubisoft Shanghai, after acquiring the pitch and some early work from its previous developers at Darkworks. It is on track for release on PSN and XBLA this winter. See what Ubisoft has in store for the end of the world in our preview.

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