Ubisoft don't learn, contemplate skipping PC release for I Am Alive, piss off a lot of people
Ubisoft’s downloadable post-apocalyptic adventure I Am Alive fell off the map a few years ago, re-surfacing only in the last couple of months with a trailer and a mini press blitz. In an excerpt from a recent interview with incgamers, creative director Stanislas Mettra expressed his team’s reluctance to pursue a PC release thanks to the threat of piracy.
“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 after acknowledging the PC crowd’s frustration at the possibility of being overlooked.
“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.”
Those statements didn’t help matters (though to be fair, he may have been quoted out of context), prompting Mettra to try diffuse the situation in a follow-up e-mail, where he clarified that though they haven’t ignored the platform overall, there has thus far been no work put towards a PC part.
“We are still working to see the feasibility of it, which is not necessarily simple. I gave some examples to illustrate [the problem], but obviously it is not in my hands and not my part to talk about this. ”
While it’s easy to understand developer’s frustration when it comes to piracy, alienating the PC audience altogether is not the solution. Gabe Newell’s spoken about how up until recently, Western developers wouldn’t bother localizing their games for the Russian market because it was understood that everything in Russia was pirated. In actuality that flippant attitude fed a vicious cycle: Russians pirated their games because developers refused to localize their titles. When pirates offer a better service than the legitimate distributors, the onus should be on developers to better cater to their customers; not to point fingers and cry foul. Moreover, isn’t this Ubisoft we’re talking about? The publisher with the most restrictive, supposedly ironclad DRM in the entire industry? The same publisher that dares pirates to crack its games? What a way to service your customers.
incgamers [Despite the ‘bitching,’ piracy means I Am Alive is not likely on PC]