It's an age-old debate, and one that Epic has been dragged into many times. Is piracy the cancer that is killing PC gaming? Ask Mike Capps, and he'll likely say yes. According to the Epic Games boss, it slaughtered several developers and changed his own company's entire business model.
"Piracy's already had its impact," laments Capps. "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. 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.
"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."
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. 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.