I Am Alive Creator Pisses Off PC Gamers

Here's a heartwarming tale full of good holiday cheer. In an interview with IncGamers, Stanislas Mettra, the creative director behind Ubisoft's thought-provoking survival tale I Am Alive said chances of a PC port are about zero because a) um, piracy and b) lol, nobody buys PC games anymore.

U mad? Oh, it gets better, Mettra thinks your outrage may be sincere but it's not predicated on any real desire to actually buy the game. He thinks you just want to bitch about it. Let's play the Feud!

"We've heard loud and clear that PC gamers are bitching about there being no version for them," Mettra told IncGamers.

"It's hard because there's so much piracy and so few people are paying for PC games that we have to precisely weigh it up against the cost of making it," he told IncGamers.

As for those who want to debate that, "Are these people just making noise just because there's no version or because it's a game they actually want to play? Would they buy it if we made it?" Mettra says sales of 50,000 copies on the PC wouldn't be enough to justify a dozen guys doing a three-month port job.

Well alrighty! That sounds like a giant screw-you to me, and par for the course from a publisher already widely despised by the PC gaming crowd. If I were Ubisoft, I'd prepare a sorry-if-you're-offended apology but make sure it's sent only via email. That way PC gamers have to have an Internet connection to read it.

Despite the 'bitching', piracy means I Am Alive is not likely on PC [IncGamers via Shacknews]


    Wow, I don't think this article could have been more bias if it tried. Not to mention that every point Mettra presented is damm valid. Remember when Rage came out, and almost every second post was someone saying they were glad they pirated the game?

      Oh, you are going to love this RPS write up: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/11/23/i-am-alive-dev-dismisses-bitching-pc-users/

      wait, "every point he makes is damn valid", seriouslly?

      If you think rampant piracy is killin PC gaming, and that small games/new IPs can't do well on PC, you are definitely living the pre-modern steam era.

      Look at super meat boy, amung the plethora of others, as examples.

      As with your rage example, perhaps a case of the vocal minority?

        I never said it was killing the PC gaming market, but it certainly isn't helping. Piracy is a massive issue on PC, and there's no way to deny it.

        As an example, I can have a torrent of Skyrim (Or hell, pretty much any PC game to ever exist) up and running in less than 30 seconds if I wanted to, it's that damm easy. And once that torrent is done, it's only a few more clicks, and maybe a copy+paste to make it work on my PC. Where as to pirate on a console is a fair whack harder, which means a lot of lazy people just don't bother, making it a smaller problem on consoles.

        When Rage came out, and there was some graphical issues, there were so many people voicing their opinion about how they were glad they pirated the game. Check some of the older Kotaku articles on Rage to see what I mean. There were also plenty of people who spoke up and made claims of having no intentions to get the game in the first place, but were more than happy to speak out and against Rage/ID and support their down trodden brothers.

        Mettra is certainly wrong about few people paying for PC games. Steam is a shining example of this. But for a game like I Am Alive, which let's be honest here, isn't going to sell any sort of big numbers, the effort put in to port Vs the actual amount that will sell really doesn't seem worth it.

          I'm still not convinced the rage number aren't the boysterous vocal minorities we see whenever a game has issues.

          And I completely agree that piracy is a problem, and more can be done, a level of piracy will always exist, and if the music industry can find was to minimise its impact, so can we.

          The was music has combatted piracy is by making it so EASY to get it legally. One click in iTunes and you have you Beatle's album.
          Steam is very much the gaming version of itunes, and more services like it would do a hell of a lot to combat piracy. A hell of a lot more then running around shutting down torrents.

          But I still agree with you

            Maybe is most certainly is/was a vocal minority. Unfortunately, they are the ones that get listened to, and it appears Mettra was listening.

              Priacy is just as bad on the consoles as it is on the PC platform. It used to be that when games were released, a pirate version would be on torrent sites a day or two before its release on PC. But slowly and surely Console Torrents started rearing its ugly head and now they are making a show in force in a way that makes PC piracy blush.

              Remember MW2, Black Ops, LA Noire, and Battlefield 3. Those games whilst readily available to be pirated in its PC form, had Console torrents out a day before the game was released.

              Personally I think all platforms are responsible and on another point. I agree with Volition Inc's policy on the issue.

              'Make a game worth stealing, then worry about piracy'.

              To sit there and say that PC piracy is why developers arent developing for PC is stupid and on many levels gratuitous. Its just an excuse. Console piracy is there and its affecting sales as well as the trade in of second hand games and such. And yet no real measurements are being put in place to prevent it.

          fyi I can find and burn a copy of the x-box 360 version of most games a hell of a lot quicker, and it'll not have the whole DRM mess to worry about. Piracy is hardly PC-exclusive

      No the only point he makes that is valid, is that it probably isn't cost effective for them to port it.

      And if he had said that and only that most people wouldn't have cared.

      Instead he basically come out and said, oh i realize you guy's want this but stop sooking your not getting it because of pirate's so suck on that.

      There's a right way to handle thing's and a wrong way. And this is the wrong way.

      saying you can't have something because of pirate's is moronic.
      A) people can't stop other's from pirating.
      B) pirate's are not lost sales

      Most likely there game is shit, and as a result it's not worth wasting their time porting it because after the first people find out it's shit it will have a black mark. And it's lifetime sales will suck.

      If the game is good and actually worth the money they would charge for it i'm sure it would be able to stand among the other great 15 dollar titles that have prospered on PC.

      The fact that it was once meant to be a triple A release that was downgraded to download title. To me suggest's that 5 years ago this game would have gotten the axe. instead ubisoft is trying to get some return on their investment by releasing it on consoles at download prices

    Who cares? The game is going to flop anyway. If I'm wrong feel free to bring this post up in the future.

      maybe, who knows? Shame they're not making a PC version, cos you could've pirated it and decided for yourself.


        I'll buy anyway, but I have very low expectations.

    I plan on buying this game, there's good reason why I wouldn't buy it on the PC even if a version existed. The DRM which makes it by far an inferior product. I suspect that's what they want me to think too, have us all migrate to the consoles. :(

    From reading this article I can tell that the author is a PC gamer, and he is REALLY PISSED OFF!


    Meh, he could have also said he didn't think their hardware would run it.

      It'd run too fast.

      Only the PC gamers who had a turbo button could play it at the proper speed. They'd have to turn turbo off. 32Mhz to 16Mhz.

      Well if we run down the cpu and gpu cycles to about 1/10th of their current, we'd probably match the speed of the top of the line technology of when the current generation of consoles came out. Just sayin...

    Whilst his use of the term 'Bitching" was uncalled for, his reasons are valid.

    This article is biased as all hell, and is extremely disappointing.

      eh, the author isn't happy with the baseless statements, and derogatory attitue, and wrote a rebuttal with similar levels of maturity.

      Tit-for-tat I guess

    LET'S DO MATH! Assume they sold the game at $10 per copy. They think selling 50000 copies wouldn't justify it, well... 50000 * $10 = $500,000. Divide that by a dozen people and that's roughly around $42k per person, which is just under an average person's yearly wage. In 3 months work? Not worth it? Lol

    Not that I really care, I'd never even heard of the game until now, and I'm primarily a console gamer, but at least now I know to avoid these greedy fuck's games just out of principle.

      You forget overheads - space rental, power, water, food, benefits etc.

      An average developer here costs around $460 a day to the business = ~$42000 (3 months), multiply by 12 you get ~$500,000 for 3 months work. I agree with him, not worth it.

        Presumably they'd work in the same office as the rest of the people making the game, the overheads would only be that high if they were running a completely separate shop for three people.

          Also, bear in mind the game's being developed in Shanghai, not the US or Australia.

        I don't think the game would be sold for about $10 per copy. If you use teh Australian market where most games are about $60 plus and the US price is about $40 (I think I'm close) then you have a larger number then $500,000. You would have over a Million Dollars if they sold about 50,000 copies. His remarks seem to me unjustified as the PC is still the best gaming machine you can get (PS3 and XB360 are about 5 plus years old). Console games do make more money than PC based games but you have to remember, they create the game (code and that) on PCs, they test it on both PC and Console. PC to Xbox games is a lot easier then PS3.

        Let's look at other thing here, the companies make their money by selling copies to stores and once done they have their money so selling 50,000 just through stores is a strong possibility. Of course that would be at a lower cost but it would still be more than $10. I would say it would be about $30 per copy to stores.

        It's a huge screw you to the PC market even though PCs are still the best gaming machines you can get. He isn't bothering with PCs because consoles make more money. Example - Id doing Rage for consoles, id used to be PC only and they used to push the PC with it's games.

        hang on, why are the overheads multiplied by 12? you wouldn't be paying 12 lighting bills, or 12 lots of rent...

      Pretty much exactly what I was going to type.

      I'm assuming from this that the game is a steamy turd and they're not confident it will sell at all.

      Except he's not selling every single PC copy of the game out of the boot of the car, is he? C'mon mate. It's not as simple as that.

      K now add production, marketing, distribution costs...etc

        Most of those costs would be bundled into the production costs for the console versions. Marketing especially. The biggest extra cost would be testing.

      I'm sorry did you really just demote game developer salary's to like 20 dollars an hour.

      Your number's are terrible.

      And rule of thumb is that whatever the salary for those 3 month's cost's. Doubled will equal the real cost.

    I always pictures PC games (especially digital ones) to be more of a slowburning sales kind of thing, it may not sell as much initially, but with Steam, and all other Digital Distribution services keep games on their stores for basically as long as the company is running, while disc games eventually become preowned after a few years and they no longer receive any money at all.
    Funnily enough Indie and Budget Games are the ones making a killing on Steam, a couple of them selling more in a day than on XBLA's lifetime

    WTH is I Am Alive? This article sucks, not even 1 sentence to give a synopsis of the game and people it is about at the beginning. And the passive aggression does nothing for me either.

    "Mettra says sales of 50,000 copies on the PC wouldn’t be enough to justify a dozen guys doing a three-month port job." If Mettra is being honest and sincere, then there is all the reasoning you need for no port. Maybe their time is much better spent on other projects, or in jobs if this is their hobby?

    Am I the only one getting a 'all publicity is good publicity', and 'troll to get a reaction' vibe from all of this?

    I am alive has been off my radar for a long time, but now, suddenly, a lot of gamers are gonna be talking about it this weekend...

      People can talk about it all they want. It's not a AAA title and it's not getting a PC release so it's going to flop.

    No one buys PC games?

    I guess STEAM is a giant flop then. Owait, Steam is one of the most successful retailers.

    Meh. Let the wanker have his "PC is not worth it" attitude. Even with Ubisoft's name it's going to be just like any indie game and without a PC release it will fade into obscurity.

      Indie games don't have to be on PC to not be a 'flop', and to fade from peoples mind.

      Gunstringer comes to mind, and although not indie, Q-games aren't a big developer, and look at how popular the pixeljunk games are

        Blind squirrel, occasional nut.

          Perhaps attitudes like this that permeate the PC crowd are part of the reason the 'other entitled wankers' don't want to port their games across to PC?

            What attitude? The simple fact is that the biggest indie and single A titles thrive on PC. Cmon man, use some logic! There's a reason that the vast majority of them have PC releases. Do you really think that Bastion, Minecraft, Dungeon Defenders, AAAaaaaAAAaaa, Grotesque Tactics, Steel Storm, Jamestown, Orcs Must Die, Sanctum, Amnesia, Mad Balls, Foreign Legion, Binding of Isaac, Hard Reset, Limbo, EYE and Frozen Synapse (just the ones I can think of) would release on PC if it's so hard to make a profit? PC offers are more stable and consistent amount of sales not to mention that when your game is long forgotten on console it can still be making sales on PC.

              To be fair, you actually have to buy SDK's for the consoles. If you're indie, it's usually better not to do that, as it costs money you don't have.

                I take it, Zap, that you're reply was not aimed at me :P

                Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you will find that several of those games (such as Limbo) decided to port to PC after console successes - ie. after they already had the money to do so.

    I was always of the impression that when companies chose not to publish on the PC, it's not necessarily because they won't make the cash back through sales, it's that they are worried about the amount of sales they will lose by having the game on PC. That is to say, a portion (potentially a sizeable one) of people who would have bought the game on a console if they had no other option*, will instead opt to pirate the game on PC if it is released across all 3 platforms.

    I'm assuming that is the line Rockstar took with RDR, why else would they completely neglect the PC?

    *When I say no other option, I realise you can still pirate on the consoles, but it's nowhere near as prevalent as it is on the PC.

    There is too much PC Piracy for SINGLE player games , Multiplayer is different when you need a legit copy to play on their servers ( same as X360 ).

    There is too small a market to launch single A titles on PC if you are a big publisher , you need to just focus on Triple A.

    Some of you people whinge so f'n much its not funny. I feel like opening up Facesook just to cash in on your sorry little asses.

      two things.

      1. Steam shows that you can do almost-always-on drm on single player games,

      2. The 250k players playing skyrin on PC at any one time shows that piracy is not an overly large problem for single player games either, IMHO

        Skyrim is a 5 A title , it is massive and an exception to the rules. Your arguement is like saying there should be NRL teams in every town in NSW because state of origin gets 80k people to it.

          hm, true, I'll give you that for skyrim, but AFAIK super meat boy also did very well on PC?

          Not AAA title numbers, but still very good number for an indie game. And bastion did alright as well, I think

    Not bothered.
    Games have a longer life on PC than people realise.
    Thanks to services like steam and GOG, games have a longer shelf life than ever.
    Just look at the recent article about games that launched at the same time at WoW. Which ones are still available? Which ones are still selling? Which ones are still being played?
    PC games have more longevity, especially considering how close the next generation of consoles must be.
    Wonder what sort of shelf life Mettra's game will have when the next PS and Xbox are twinkling on the horizon with no reverse compatibility?

      The Xbox is already backwards compatible, why would you assume that will regress in its next iteration?

      Honestly, there is next to no chance that both systems won't carry over their libraries, online especially. Not allowing a user's online libraries to carry over would see an absolute erosion of trust from consumers, it'd be a suicidal move.

        I believe he is referring the the sale of the games, i.e. the developers making money off the games.

        There is no reliable market to get new xbox 1, PS1, or even snes games, outside of niche stores that have a few copies of old classics which are being sold for inflated prices.

        GoG sell great old games cheap, nothing like it on the console side

        well one reason could be the fact that most console's generally aren't.

        The wii is already ditching Gamecube backwards compat so the wii-u ain't going to have it either.

        The PS3 dropped it early.

        The fact that the xbox is software emulated though could give it the staying power it need's. But not every title is backwards compatible and not every title runs as well as it did on the original xbox.

        Though once consoles have mandatory Digital and Retail on every title backward's compatibility will be here to stay(but at that point they'll essentially be hardware locked computer's anyway) meaning porting probably won't be as much of an issue

    PC gamers want a proper game, but the dev won't give it to them unless he gets good sales from the PC version. Catch 22.

    Yeah, if the pc market is so shit, why did The Witcher 2 sell over 1.5 m on PC alone.

    Oh no!

    Pc gamers won't get to play Assassins Creed 7, or Driver 15!

    Whatever Ubisoft. Your ports are late and poorly done and your overall game lineup is lackluster at best. Not to mention your absurd DRM.

    Surely none of that could be the cause of poor pc sales?

    Nah must be pirates.

    This might sound sour grapes or whatever BUT

    I heard about I Am Alive back when it was first announced. "That sounds pretty cool" I thought. Years later, ie this year, there was more information released (I believe Kotaku did an article?) and I thought "that sounds pretty cool".

    So I come across this article and think "aww, why?" And then I get to the second line and see "Ubisoft" and immediately lose all interest forever.

    Honestly, not porting to PC (lol PC ports, we saw how well it worked for From Dust) seems like Ubisoft's next logical step for their terrible DRM.

    Even if the developer's points are valid (but isn't it developed on a PC in the first place? Meaning that a PC version of the game would've been completed at the same time as the consoled version? wtf) it gives him to right to be such an arse about it. I was interested in this game but now, no way. Maybe once it's flopped and in the bargain bin.
    See, Mettra has obviously forgotten that some console gamers also play PC. I am one of those such people. So technically, he is also insulting potential console customers.

    I went back and double checked his job title and was horrified to realise that he wasn't some producer or marketing guy from the publisher but the goddamn Creative Director. The guy who's meant too be hired for his overwhelming passion and skill at focusing development of the game into a working enjoyable product: to see his words with so much bigotry against an audience that simply want to enjoy and may very well BUY his art.

    It's so depressing to see developers that are driven by the money - Of course they deserve to get paid, including their games being bought instead of being pirated. AND of course they need to weigh up the risks and benefits of something and therefore make hard decisions, BUT you don't have to be a dick about it.

    If I was in his place and the publisher gave me the option to quickly port the game to as many platforms as possible and I actually knew they would do a decent job of it, I'd say, "YES, DO IT! GET AS MANY PEOPLE PLAYING THIS GAME AS POSSIBLE!" I mean he's lucky he could do it in three months; it just goes to show how easy it is to get the likes of running code on an xbox (that was made on pc/directx) running on PC. Which we already know that would have sold through Steam since this is a download-only title.

    Yeah this guys points have some basis in fact, but surely there could have been a more diplomatic way of voicing his opinion

      What a shame, I have played games on my consoles (I own them all) probably 3x over the last year, putting in maybe 20hrs total....and purchased none, they are usually just rehashes and boring.

      On PC (ignoring Blizzard titles), I've purchased over 20 in the last year, all on steam, it's almost the only way I buy games now, I just want to decide to buy it, pay for it with my credit card by clicking next a couple of times in my steam window (or purchase it from some UK site if the publisher is trying to rip me off....BETHESDA!!!) and download it and play, I get really pissed at the games on Steam that have extra DRM too...that shit is really annoying, I almost with steam wouldn't allow those games.

    If this guy is so much of a dick then I don't want to play his game anyway. he just lost all that potential revenue... his problem

    cost > profit = bad investment

    Can I add that the pic up the top of the article has had me in a giggle fit for about 20 minutes? Very appropriate.

    Anyone else?

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