Crytek executive producer Nathan Camarillo has revealed that the recent leak of upcoming shooter Crysis 2 was a dark day for the studio.
"It was a very traumatic experience because we're really excited about the game and the quality that we were able to get into it and what we were able to accomplish," he told the audience at the Guardian's Gamesblog Live last night (as attended by The Average Gamer).
"We're at the end and we're really excited about where we're at and your game gets leaked. And it's not even that the final version of the game gets leaked, you know? That build was already from the middle of January. So that version is like a really ugly version that we don't want anyone to see."
Camarillo was concerned about the possible financial impact on Crytek as a result of the leak. "People were downloading it and putting stuff up on YouTube. There's a real financial concern, there's a real morality concern... ...even some gaming press have posted video links to YouTube for the first 25 minutes. And you know that that's a business.
"When you go read that story, that they're making money off of the advertising sales that are on that page from readers going to the site to look at content that was from a pirated version of the game."
Discussing the morality debate around piracy, he claimed that "We tend to talk about it in simple terms – yeah, downloading hurts the industry but how does that hurt the value of IPs? How does that hurt the branding of games? How does that hurt the customer - the first experience of the customer?"
Camarillo described Crytek as having experienced the stages of grieving in its response to the leak. Following disbelief and anger, "everyone was walking around like Charlie Brown – really sad and shuffling their feet. It was really, really tough."
The studio retained some optimism, however. "I've asked people, if you wanna support Crytek; we're an independent developer... go out and preorder it because I will see those numbers the next week and then I can tell the team 'Hey, guess what? Our preorders went up by 200% 'cause everybody's really supporting us.' And then I'll see happy faces."
Nonetheless, "piracy is a real concern. The PS3 has been cracked now as well and people are downloading PS3 games and 360 games... so that's a threat to just the industry in general."