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First Person Shooters (Games) PC Games (Games) Piracy Games

Crysis 2 Leaked Over a Month Before Launch 203

iviv66 writes with this excerpt from Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "According to a thread on the Facepunch forums, a developer build of Crysis 2 containing the full game, multiplayer and the master key for the online authentication has been leaked, and is currently freely available from all sorts of astonishingly illegal websites. This sounds like it might be a serious tragedy for Crytek. Crysis 2 was scheduled for release on the 22nd of March, so the leaked build could be dangerously close to finished." EA and Crytek have responded to the leak, saying that the illicit copy is incomplete and unfinished, and that "Piracy continues to damage the PC packaged goods market and the PC development community."
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Crysis 2 Leaked Over a Month Before Launch

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  • Astonishing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quiet down ( 1795010 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @04:26AM (#35184408)
    " currently freely available from all sorts of astonishingly illegal websites." So these websites aren't just illegal, they're *astonishingly* illegal! This changes damn near everything about my view of the story!
  • Just fantastic... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Saturday February 12, 2011 @04:32AM (#35184440) Journal

    Oh well that's just fantastic, isn't it?

    Look, I know that there are all kinds of flaws in the copyright legal system. And yes, I know that there's plenty wrong with the approach that most of the industry takes towards DRM. But seriously, who the hell thought that leaking this was a good idea? All this is going to achieve - beyond letting a bunch of scabby teenagers play the game a bit earlier than they would have otherwise - is to seriously piss off one of the few remaining developers who really cares about the PC as a platform. Yes, Crysis 2 may be getting console ports, but everything I've seen so far suggests that it is still a PC game first and foremost and, most critically, one of the few around to really be pushing the limits of the platform.

    PC gaming isn't dying. In fact, it should be positioned for a real comeback over the next few years. The current generation of console hardware is aging, there are no successors on the horizon and there are a lot of people out there who got into the development business because they want to make games for the latest and greatest technology. Whatever the corporate priorities, it's almost inevitable that we'll see games over the next five or so years on the PC that far outperform their console cousins - in terms of both graphics and gameplay (because like it or not, better technology does sometimes unlock new gameplay options). However, I say "almost" inevitable. Because, justified or not, if there's one thing that could prevent a PC renaissance, it's arseholery like this, which goes beyond even the usual day-one piracy. It's not just about the impact on sales - which slashdot can and does argue over all day on occasion - I can just imagine how galling it must be for developers to have people playing their work for free, before honest customers even have the chance to buy it. Particularly if the build is unfinished and the game is now going to get criticised for flaws not in the final version.

    I'd like to think that people would just ignore the leak en masse. Sadly, we all know that isn't going to happen.

  • Re:Astonishing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lul_wat ( 1623489 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @04:32AM (#35184442)
    I'm astonished there are illegal websites. You'd think the content of the website would be illegal but this takes it to a whole new level. Better put down those illegal magazines and that illegal sandwich.
  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Saturday February 12, 2011 @04:39AM (#35184468) Journal

    The HL2 leak was of a build that was nowhere near ready. If I remember, Valve was somewhat guilty of having pretty heavily exaggerated how close HL2 was to being finished at the time. This doesn't in any way justify the leak, but it does explain why the game changed substantially and for the better - it wasn't really much to do with the leak at all. Crysis 2, on the other hand, has a release date that's not much more than a month and a half away. There's not much that can be done.

    There isn't really an upside to this one. The only way there could be would be if whoever in the supply chain is responsible for this leak were to say, trip up and fall out of a third floor window into a skip full of broken glass and dogshit.

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Saturday February 12, 2011 @04:43AM (#35184486) Journal
    "Incomplete" almost certainly doesn't mean "the last two levels aren't in there". Not when the game is this close to release. Games development doesn't work that way any more. What it probably means is that "the final 20% of the serious bugs that we needed to eliminate before launch are still in there". In other words, if this differs from the version that gets submitted as gold master, any differences will be a pronounced negative and will be the kind of annoyance that will just put people off from buying anyway (and create the worst sort of pre-release publicity).
  • Re:Astonishing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by McTickles ( 1812316 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @07:23AM (#35185040)

    Everything is "illegal" nowadays, im not astonished.

    Only media corporations are pretending to be astonished so they can go and whine about the "astonishingly illegal" sites to politicians.

  • by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @07:30AM (#35185070)

    The pile of matter that works together to call itself "Stellian" apparently decided it lords over more piles of matter and that other piles of matter may not touch or manipulate those piles of matter.

    You can make anything sound absurd by abstracting enough but there is no inalienable right to download, store and copy copyrighted works. Sure, nature itself won't prevent you from doing it but that's not a standard to form a society by.

  • by Nagrom ( 1233532 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @07:34AM (#35185086)

    If everyone thought like you then your supposed inalienable rights would be irrelevant as there'd really be no more games being made for you to download anymore anyway.

    Well, ok, there'd still be floods of free Flash games and indie stuff but let's not pretend that anyone downloading this leak is disinterested in the kind of AAA games that depend upon the current publishing models. Making them is simply unsustainable in the face of sufficiently high piracy rates and this is primarily why most publishers barely care about PC anymore. (I work in the industry. This isn't just PC gamers bitching about inferior ports; the publishers really aren't very interested unless it's a low cost by-product of the console versions.)

    I find it bizarre that so many people are incapable of appreciating that the economy and the nature of products being made have simply changed over the last decade or so. I see no reason why digital content should be inherently less valuable or worth protecting than physical product. The fact that no-one happens to have invented a way of magically cloning the latter without damaging the original isn't really relevant; the point is that without continuing the long-standing arrangement of someone investing money to make a product and then people paying for it if they want it, thereby providing a return on that investment, no-one will make the product anymore. Who exactly wins in this situation?

    The music industry is a different case as there seems to be a very plausible and arguably superior model of artists providing their work more directly via the various alternative distribution channels that have sprung up in recent times. But for anyone that enjoys movies with non-trivial budgets or any form of cutting edge video games then the amount of money they require upfront to create is only viable in something like the traditional arrangement.

  • by Stellian ( 673475 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @08:04AM (#35185204)

    I was pointing out that his ferocious attack against the leaker, be it an insider or not, was baseless. If GP sympathizes with Crytek he should lash out at Crytek for this obvious blunder which is entirely their fault, bot some 3rd parties who were excising their freedoms.

    Saying this is Crytek's responsibility is like blaming someone for having their car stolen while it was being repaired at a garage.

    Information cannot be stolen. Information can be duplicated, and secrets can be leaked. The fact that you are conflate physical property with information shows you have no idea what property is.
    Further more, property over information does not exists and cannot possibly coexist alongside with property over physical objects. If I assert property over a certain pattern of letters or bits, then I clearly assert the right to randomly seize property or strip-search individuals on the street that I suspect are hiding my pattern - how else would I be able to protect the property over my information ? This symptom is clearly seen in today's consumer electronics that are no longer behaving like property but rather like little living-room agents always communicating with their corporate overlords and conspiring against the owner's legitimate interests.

  • by WankersRevenge ( 452399 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @09:02AM (#35185458)

    Bill Bryson wrote (and I'm paraphrasing here) in his book "At Home" that often times aristocrats held unreasonable expectations of their servants because they had never preformed the work that the servants did.

    I'm reference this because people who wrap themselves up in the ideology of "internet freedom fighters" probably don't understand the process of creating something and how debilitating it is to have that work released before it is ready. Especially after years of hard work and personal sacrifice went into it.

    I don't expect you to understand because I'm not talking about laws and rights and the inherit freedom of digital bits - I'm talking about what it takes to be a good neighbor.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 12, 2011 @09:16AM (#35185512)

    Aside from the fact that your rant is TL;DR, you seem to miss the basic point. At this point in time, the only people that rightfully have access to the game are under non-disclosure agreements. So someone broke that contract, either willfully or unwittingly.

    So the car theft analogy still stands. The point is that as long as Crytkek took all the measures they could (locking the car and handing the keys over to the repair shop), they're not as responsible as you say they are. It's like saying they shouldn't have taken their car to the shop that was going to be burglarized that day.

    This isn't a matter of what you can and can't do with your copy. This isn't a matter of theft vs. violation. This isn't a matter of information wants to be free. Someone put the code in a compromised situation that they were legally bound not to do by contract.

  • by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @12:02PM (#35186548)

    There are no imaginary strings that force me to use my property in such a way as to support the goals or business objectives of other private individuals. The right to use my property as I see fit for my goals is the cornerstone of freedom. Conversely, the confiscation of my freedoms by a handful of powerful entities is totalitarianism.

    I have the unalienable right to download, store and copy the leaked copy using my physical property, regardless of what the copyright or anti-circumvention laws claim. If Crytek can find the individual that leaked said secrets, and has some form of legal binding contract with said individual that covers confidentiality, they are well entitled to damages under that contract. But by all means, don't hold me responsible when your business model fails because of your own ineptitude. Using your clout to draft laws against me is not only unjust, but a violation of my inalienable rights.

    That's kinda like shooting someone, then saying "there was a gun and I have the right to shoot it, it's not my fault he got in the way of the bullet!"

    If you used your computer to hack into bank and transfer a load of funds to your account could you say I was just using my computer how I saw fit. They should've had better security. I don't think that'd fly to well. Or more like this situation someone else had done the hacking but just left it open for anyone else to get in. just because a door is open you're not necessarily allowed through it.

  • by RoFLKOPTr ( 1294290 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @12:41PM (#35186796)

    I have the unalienable right to download, store and copy the leaked copy using my physical property, regardless of what the copyright or anti-circumvention laws claim.

    Um... if there's a law against something, then you, by very definition, do not have the unalienable right to do that thing, regardless of what your contradictory social ideals claim.

  • by JackDW ( 904211 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @02:41PM (#35187684) Homepage

    "I have the inalienable right to anything nature allows me, for as long as I don't overstep some other individual's inalienable rights."

    Thing is, that's a circular definition. I might assert that I have the inalienable right to not have my software duplicated by you. So then we just end up arguing over whether that right is inalienable or not and we get nowhere. It's not like God is going to make a personal appearance and set the record straight.

    This is clearly a subject you care very much about. But I think you are missing something. IP rights are actually socially useful, just like physical property rights. There are useful businesses that just could not exist without IP rights, i.e. businesses that benefit everyone. Yes, we can do without movies, games and musicians who don't tour if we have to; they may be entertaining but they're hardly essential.

    But IP rights also protect things which are useful. Some software could simply never be written on the "free as in freedom" model. I'm thinking particularly about specialised tools, such as the EDA software used to design chips, or the simulation software used to model and analyse biological processes, or the CAD software used to design and manufacture physical objects.

    These are a few examples of programs that take thousands of man-years to develop. They are engineering projects on a vast scale, which require huge investment but produce something useful that could not be produced any other way.

    If not for IP rights, we would not be able to benefit from this sort of software, because it would be sold once and then pirated forever. Any investment would be worthless. The software would never be made, and therefore, whatever it enabled would also never be made. Technological progress would stagnate.

    Thus, I think there is a pretty strong argument for governments enforcing IP rights like they enforce physical property rights. Just as physical property rights allow businesses such as shops to exist, IP rights enable the investment in highly specialised projects to be recouped. And that is valuable to everyone, not just the people making a profit from those investments. The ability to watch big-budget movies and play non-trivial games is just a nice side-effect.

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