Game developers have recently been expressing their preference – both subtly and vocally – for consoles like the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, choosing them as lead platforms over the stalwart PC. But Volition, the THQ-owned studio behind upcoming multiplatform games Red Faction: Armageddon and Saints Row: The Third, is putting their full support behind the PC, and claims piracy is on the bottom of their list of concerns.
In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Volition’s Eric Barker had this to say:
“For us, the key thing was making sure the PC version was done in-house. We definitely believe PC games are great and if they’re done right and done well by a studio, they’re phenomenal.”
Barker is referring to Volition’s previous PC games Red Faction: Guerilla and Saint’s Row 2, which were indeed outsourced to other companies. But primarily he’s referencing the increasing trend of PC versions of games being handled by outside developers. One recent example was Homefront, which saw its PC version ported over by Digital Extremes, a company which was also hired by 2K to handle both Bioshock and Bioshock 2 on PC. Even renowned developers like Bioware and Infinity Ward, who have early PC adopters to thank for the success of their current franchises, are catering the development of their games and funneling more of their resources into the console audience.
Piracy is often another deterrent for publishers looking to produce their games for the PC crowd. From sneaky SecureROM to release-date checks to requiring a persistent online connection just to validate copies of games, DRM is likely here to stay. And with blockbuster games like Crysis 2 (Whose predecessor was a PC exclusive) and Homefront consistently leaked early to torrent sites, it’s a valid cause for concern. We recently checked multiple torrent aggregators and discovered at least 4000 active “leechers” downloading the PC version of Homefront.
Barker, however, would disagree with that conventional fear:
“I don’t think [piracy] is something at the forefront for us. First and foremost, we want to make sure we’re making a game people would want to pirate. Let’s make a game that’s worth stealing, and then we’ll worry about making sure they don’t.”
Kudos to Volition for not abandoning the PC market, and indeed for not handing their work to an outside developer.
Red Faction: Armageddon will be released on May 31, 2011.