Epic boss Mike Capps believes rampant software piracy is to blame for the noticeable decline of PC gaming and the rise of the console as a lucrative platform.
“Piracy’s already had its impact [on the PC market]. If you walked into this place six years ago, Epic was a PC company and always had been. We did one PS2 launch title, which was a port of Unreal Tournament, and everything else was PC,” Capps told Edge.
“And now, if you read our forums, people are saying: ‘Why do you hate the PC? You’re a console-only company.’ And guess what? It’s because the money’s on console.”
Nevertheless, Capps emphasized that the studio had not abandoned the stalwart PC as a viable gaming platform.
“We still do PC, we love the PC, but we already saw the impact of piracy: it killed a lot of great independent developers and completely changed our business model. [But] there’s certainly a light for PC gaming.
“Most publishers I’m speaking to right now think their money’s going to be shifting back to PC and away from traditional consoles, just because folks are in that mode of wanting to spend a little bit of time every now and then, and paying money to save time because there’s so much media competing for it.”
However, Jim Sterling of Destructoid reacted to Capps’ claim with obvious skepticism.
“It’s interesting that piracy seems to be doing a lot of ‘killing’ and yet Valve, still the last bastion of PC gaming, seems to have no problem selling its games, or indeed any of the popular games on Steam,” wrote Sterling.
“While I am certainly not trying to downplay the fact that piracy is a real problem, I do believe there are solutions already in place, but publishers would rather mess around with customer-burning DRM and insulting restrictions rather than lower themselves to a more reasonable level.”