Piracy hit new highs with the release of the PC shooter Crysis, Frankfurt, Germany-based developer Crytek has told Next Generation.
November's Crysis sold 1 million copies worldwide as of February this year, but Crytek is nevertheless struck by how many illegitimate copies are circulating.
Crytek engine business manager Harald Seeley said that he could not reveal specific internal figures pertaining to piracy of Crysis, but he added, "I can say the level of piracy was the highest of any I've experienced on a project."
This week, Crytek president Cevat Yerli said that piracy was so bad on the PC-exclusive Crysis, that the studio would no longer be making PC-exclusive titles.
"I believe that's the core problem of PC Gaming, piracy... PC gamers that pirate games inherently destroy the platform. Similar games on consoles sell factors of 4-5 more," he said in an interview with PC Play. "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."
The question is how to curb piracy. Certain initiatives are happening in the PC games industry that are aimed at combating the piracy issue, but neither Crytek nor the recently-formed multi-company PC Gaming Alliance are talking specifics.
When asked how PC developers are going to solve to piracy issue, or if digital distribution is the answer, Seeley said he couldn't answer the question "due to various NDAs."
"...There are multiple possible solutions to the problem but I can't discuss any of them at this time, or even guess when or if these solutions will become public."
PCGA president and Intel gaming director Randy Stude said in an e-mail regarding piracy of Crysis and piracy in general, "The PCGA is not yet prepared to make an official comment on PC game piracy. Over the next several months we will be determining our position on this important topic."
May 1, 2008