Before anyone gets the wrong idea, this article is not supporting software piracy in any shape or form but the two high profile leaks in recent days have both been very significant for reasons that may not be immediately obvious. While Crysis 2 leak was completely negative, the leak of Killzone 3 however is actually positive from a gamers point of view.
Let’s start with Crysis 2 which is potentially the game that will define PC gaming for the next few years. According to previews, hand-ons and general press release information from Crytek, the PC version of Crysis 2 is due to take full advantage of the power of a gaming PC. Working on the assumption that a gaming PC will have components released in the last year, when you compare that to the 5 year old technology of an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 then the logical conclusion will be that Crysis 2 on a PC should blow either of the consoles out of the water in terms of graphics and possibly sound. Opponents to this sort of logic tend to fall back on the age old argument that good graphics does not equal a good game, but with my argument, I am simply concentrating on a single game, Crysis 2, so we are dealing with the same story, same gameplay, in fact the core elements should all be the same.
With this in mind, PC gamers hung their head in shame when the news broke that a near final version of Crysis 2 had been leaked onto torrent sites and anyone with basic internet knowledge could get hold of the game. The internet was once again sharpening its knives and queuing up to put the final nail in the coffin of PC gaming. Some critics were claiming that this was the first sign that if there is a Crysis 3, that it would not be developed for PCs due to the widespread piracy.
Just a few days after Crysis 2 was leaked and many articles were being composed to herald the death (yet again) of PC gaming, the shocking news that Killzone 3 could also be grabbed from torrent sites broke. So here was a high profile Sony PS3 exclusive out in the wild before the release date. Suddenly the PC was not the outcast anymore, here was a flagship game that was not on the PC which anyone with the knowledge of torrent sites and the hardware to burn to a disc would be able to play.
The PC is being held back by this generation of consoles and if Crysis 2 had been leaked in isolation you can beat your bottom dollar that gaming writers would have been referring back to Cliff Belinski’s comments from September, 2008 when he claimed that Gears of War 2 was not developed for the PC as it would simply be pirated. Why on earth would you invest time and money into developing a game for a system which would see a large proportion of gamers just illegally downloading it instead of paying for it? Since this was now possible on the PlayStation3 this argument does not stand up anymore.
No one likes to see years of work suddenly appear online and in the short term the leaks of Crysis 2 and Killzone 3 are definitely negative and will more than likely affect their respective game sales. In the long term however, the leak of Killzone 3 could have saved PC gaming and ultimately gaming as more competition on different platforms is always good. Thankfully now, the PC can continue to push the envelope in terms of graphics and challenge consoles to continue to improve and develop.
In conclusion, the leak of Killzone 3 has been good for gaming.