Crytek, the studio behind the recently released Crysis 3 first-person shooter, has talked about piracy, which has affected previous games in the series, and how making an experience free-to-play can definitely improve the situation.Crysis 3 is out this week around the world and acts as a sequel to the first few games in the series which, while impressing lots of people with their visuals, were pirated many times on the PC platform as well as on some consoles, like the Xbox 360.
According to Crytek boss Cevat Yerli, in an ideal world not having to pay for a game would be good, if the studio knows that you're actually playing it. Instead, however, Crytek doesn't really know the reach of its games because of piracy.
"In an ideal world, I would like to have a situation where if somebody doesn't want to pay, they can do that, along as they're playing the game. In an ideal world, at least that way I'd know how many are playing the game. Because the number might be four million, it might be ten million, we don't know," he told CVG.
"Crysis 1 was estimated to have 15-20 million users, but we sold maybe 2.5-3 million units. At least knowing the real user base would be a major step forward."
Making a game free-to-play, however, would eliminate piracy, as anyone can try the game out and only pay via microtransactions for things they want.
"Going forward, we want to enable people who don't want to pay to be able to play our games. If they want to pay they can use microtransactions to buy virtual currency, but nobody would be forcing them to spend. That's what we call the free-to-play business."
Crytek is experimenting heavily with free-to-play titles, as its Warface shooter is quite popular in Russia, and has already confirmed that it's transitioning to this business model.