The threat of piracy has always been a point of terror for the gaming industry. Sony has been fighting it, Nintendo is trying to stop it before it starts, but no platform knows this threat more than the PC. In the world of preventative copyright protection and ‘always online’ DRM systems, hackers are considered the enemy by most. One person sees a different path for hackers though; one that doesn’t hurt the game industry, but helps it.
Christofer Sundberg, founder and head of Avalanche Studios (The people behind Just Cause), thinks that the ‘hacker’ community could be an untapped talent pool for development studios. In a recent interview Sundberg said,
“Piracy is always worrying. It's never been a helpful thing. We'll let our publishers fight that battle. But I mean, 50 percent of the people that work for me come from a hacker background - that's true… As a studio, we've found that there's definitely a lot of talent [in that community]."
In addition to hiring hackers, Sundberg called for developers to support the PC market more. Developing games, specifically for PC gamers is at the core of his theory.
“I've always been of the opinion that we should design PC games for the PC players. PC players and console players are completely two different types of consumer. It's always unfair to not design the game for the consumer you're targeting.”
Sundberg also feels that more polished, exclusive titles for the PC would help to curb piracy. He feels that current anti-piracy measures only hurt gamers who legitimately buy games.
“DRM does not stop piracy…It's completely useless. Forcing people to be online all the time and so on doesn't show respect to the people who actually buy PC games.”
Better PC games? Hiring from the hacking community? The abolishment of DRM? It sounds like Sundberg has listened to the complaints of the PC gaming community. PC gamers have been looking for someone to lead their revival in the face of their console ‘rivals’, Sundberg may be the right man for the job.
What do you think of his theories? Could hiring ‘hackers’ and developing more PC exclusive titles help to slow piracy? Or is Sundberg simply an idealist?
Share your thoughts in the comments and with us on Twitter @gamerant.