The Average Gamer

Crysis 2: Camarillo Speaks About THAT Leak

Nathan Camarillo of Crytek spoke from the heart yesterday, hitting out at the gaming press over profiting from piracy, talking about the devastating effect that the leak had on team morale and praising the community for their support on the recent leak of a late Crysis 2 build. Thanks to The Guardian’s new series of Gamesblog Live events, me and a hundred other gamers were treated to an incredibly passionate speech.

Destroying Your Experience

In response to a question from the floor on piracy and how it affects the PC as a platform, executive producer Camarillo said:

“Piracy is a real concern. The PS3 has been cracked now as well and people are downloading PS3 games and 360 games are being downloaded so that’s a threat to just the industry in general. For us specifically, 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… …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?

“People are like ‘It’s 40/45 days before launch, Crysis is leaked’ but that build was already from the middle of January. With 250 people working on a project, thousands of bugs get fixed in a heartbeat. So that version is like a really ugly version that we don’t want anyone to see… …[someone] posted the first 25 minutes of the game and there’s some really important story in there that we wanted people to experience for the first time when they can continue to play the game for another hour or so after that.

“So we were really secretive with the story, not because we don’t wanna tell you. We want you to have the whole experience of the whole final game. The awesome music that we created that’s also on the internet for download now. We had announcements that we were gonna make with the talent that we worked with – we were so excited about that. All the movies; we spent a lot of time really thinking them through. The loading screen movies are actually informative and tell you about the next mission; they’re not fluff. They deliver story elements to you. All this stuff starts going up in pieces and even if someone downloads it and plays it themselves they might make a bad decision based on the fact that there are so many bugs in it. ‘Oh, there are so many bugs in the game I wanted to play. It’s so buggy, I’m not gonna buy it now.’

I love his passion for the integrity of our gaming experience but I think he’s doing gamers a disservice here. We’re intelligent enough to realise that a pre-release leaked version is not representative of the final product. Those who choose to download the leaked version, those who choose to watch a 25-minute video on YouTube are not the people who would have appreciated the first-time “Wow!” factors of your artistic endeavours in the first place. Some people like spoilers. Others work hard to avoid them.

Artistic Integrity

“There are multiple dangers. It’s not just the sheer act of people copying it and stealing it. That’s the financial one but to the quality of the product and the first way someone experiences the game and gets really excited about it like, ‘Wow, that was a really good game! Yeah, I saw that online. Yeah, I saw that online.’

“And we had that problem with the original Crysis in that Crysis 1 was announced and then the date moved a few times, over and over and over again but meanwhile the marketing machine was going about promoting the game. They just kept putting more and more videos up online and content out there. By the time people played it… they said ‘Aw, I saw this all already.’ It’s fun. It looked good. But you’d already experienced it.

“We were really trying to go the opposite way this time – hold as much as possible but still get people excited about it enough that they wanted to buy into it and get into the game world but then experience that all for the first time”

Morals and Profiteering

Camarillo was unimpressed, not only by the people distributing gameplay footage but by the press who helped to publicise it.

“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. And you know that 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.

“So then you start getting into this whole mental dilemma about “Where is it right? Where is it not?” I mean it’s definitely not right to copy it and download it and steal it, but other people then benefiting off someone ELSE’s actions… where does that line stop and get blurry? 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?”

How did it hurt Crytek?

“Oh god, that was terrible. We went through all the phases of loss in the office. Afterwards it was denial. ‘No, this isn’t happening. No, this isn’t true. Oh, this can’t be happening.’ The whole denial phase of it. Then angry. ‘WHO DID THIS? How did this happen?’ People saying like, ‘He’d better not come to the office’ It wasn’t an employee but you know, whoever did this, whoever was Patient Zero. If I ever find this guy…

“This kind of thing, there’s anger and then people just kind of get into acceptance. ‘Oh, it’s out there’ Then people just get horribly depressed. And that went on for two or three days. Our office is generally really upbeat and really communicative. People are really tired because they work hard but we all collaborate and work with each other and get around and talk around problems and everyone was walking around like Charlie Brown – really sad and shuffling their feet. It was really… really tough.

I try not to work seven days a week ’cause it’s just so exhausting and you get into a really bad cycle where.. I work from home and try to stay out of the office for just one day. We try to make sure everyone does that because you get into a cycle where you basically just work 21 days straight without stopping and it fries your brain. So I specifically didn’t go into the office that day after becase I was in such a pissy mood. After that happened I didn’t want to be around anybody because I’m one of the people that help get everyone fired up and come into work every day and… I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go into the office and just be around everyone. It hurt ME so bad to know that people were watching what we tried so hard to perfect and getting it spoiled for them. “

What eventually pulled Crytek out of their slump was the incredible response and support from their community.

“Even people that hate on Crytek for whatever reason said ‘I know I said bad things about them in the past but I just feel terrible about this – I’ll never say anything bad again. This was an awful, awful event that happened to them. Please don’t download it’. So the community self-policed in some regard. It is still out there and it is still being downloaded but a lot of people just said ‘No, I’m not downloading this. I’m boycotting it.’ ‘I wasn’t gonna buy it but this is terrible. I’m gonna go buy it now.’

“…The only thing we can see quite quickly is if people go out and actually pre-order the game. So I’ve asked people, if you wanna support Crytek; we’re an independent developer. The number that we see that says people still want a PC version, that they’re supporting a PC version or a console version is 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.

Yup, there’s your take-home. Want to support Crytek? Buy Our Shit. Message of support are nice and all, but games are still a business. Put your money where your mouth is and preorder Crysis 2. So says Camarillo.

Crysis 2 will be available on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 from 25th March 2011.

27 Comments

  1. Pingback: Crysis 2: Camarillo Speaks About THAT Leak

  2. NoNeed

    21st Feb, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Honestly, I downloaded it and it only made me want to buy the game more. And it’s funny how RIGHT he is with what he says. I noticed all the bugs, saw all the graphical errors, and heard… or didn’t hear, all the missing sound effects and it totally killed the experience for me. So I’m definitely buying this one. I may not be getting the PC version, but I’ll be getting it on PS3 and I’ll be enjoying it.

    I love the gameplay (although you pretty much see “most” of it in the trailers) and the story actually seems very interesting. Plus the Multiplayer was tons of fun, but since I played it on Xbox360, I didn’t like the controller so much. But I’m sure I’ll enjoy it on PS3.

    Anyhow, you’d be better off buying it when it comes out. The pre-release version isn’t anything impressive, and it’s much better to play the story in full when it’s perfected. Support these guys who continue to push the boundaries when it comes to gaming on the PC.

    • Debbie "Weefz" Timmins

      21st Feb, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Well said, NoNeed.

    • MadSeer

      21st Feb, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      I did the same NoNeed, my curiosity got the better of me. But even with the bugs and some stuff that wasn’t finished, it just makes me want the game even more. That’s because I was actually able to finally see some PC footage of the game and get a feel of how it plays out (A demo should’ve come out on PC too, not just on the consoles). Personally I just ran through the first few levels and removed the game from my PC, so that I don’t spoil it all.

      The Beta flabergasted me, I expect to have a seizure when I play the full game on DX11.

  3. xino

    21st Feb, 2011 at 11:06 am

    so…..
    who was the judas that leaked the game!?

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  7. Badgame

    21st Feb, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Leave it up to EA to make death threats about their own company “he better not come to the office or….”

    I played it and these little shits turned Crysis into a streamlined mission based Call of duty game with 4 weak unoriginal powers, they destroyed Crysis franchise to turn it into a consolised piece of crap, im glad those idiots leaked this game, because now im just going to mak sure and not buy it and download it even harder, so there EA another one of your crappy consolised games you put on PC is geting downloaded, and you wonder why

  8. Pingback: Crysis 2 - Crytek: Leak ist alte, verbuggte Version

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  13. Devvie

    22nd Feb, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I downloaded it too and it does not seem linear one bit…this game made me CRAZY like HELL and i was like ‘how can people still like Halo? Mjolnir Armor is so gay! Halo itself is so gay!..’ and the leaked beta has given me a hell lot of reasons to buy the game even more..gonna buy the PC version of course..i dont believe in consoles..they play like shit..the most crazy thing is the plot..its like the most interesting new york alien destruction friendly plot i have ever seen..this game deserves to be made in a movie..and the name should be ”THE LAST SUPERSOLDIER” indicating the nanosuit..Go crysis 2!

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  20. CryTears

    26th Feb, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Wihout the leak, i would have buy crysis 2, because i still wanna play
    crysys 1, its a damn good game! but well.. leaked version, sure
    have lots of weakness, bugs, and most ppl dload it out of curiosity,
    especially after being “advertise” all over the place. but, the leaked gave
    some insight of the game that crytek have kept a secret,
    i mean, what is it all about, who the main character, is it nomad?
    and lots of other questions and expectations of the upcoming game.
    Crysis 2 is all about infection and stuff like Resident evil
    or something. this sucks actually. because its like the same old same old,
    storyline. cmon crytek.. be more creative pls.. crysis 1 is a wow,
    crysis 2 … well.. hope u guys catch the dude that leak the beta crysis2,
    coz with the full storyline, gameplay and such on the leak,
    most ppl can see how boring the game can be..
    u guys can watch it all on youtube.
    the story is so weak, infection, destruction.. i have played this
    before, in various games such as left 4 dead, half life,
    resident evil… damn.. i’m bored..

  21. DaydreamBlighter

    2nd Mar, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I’m just worried about whether I need to fork out another £200-£300 for a new graphics card like I did with the original. I hope not. Downloading the demo via Steam to find out. DAMN I love Steam :)

  22. Simon

    4th Mar, 2011 at 1:44 am

    It is sad when a game gets leaked, especialy if its a game that took alot of work to make it a reality. I remember the time when Doom 3 Alpha was leaked from ATI, and people where downloading like crazy goons. ID Software changed the game alot after that. Pirates and teenageers alike (those ho are pirates) cant seems to feel compassion about this and still downloading and judging Crytek’s game from the leaked build.

    Its just like showing an incomplete art that missing the details for it’s complete state, and people judge it right away. Creating a game is art, a work of art that take effort and time to complete, and i mean not just any art.
    Think of you, doing some amazing work on a project, like on a car or a whole new TV or monitor that is meant to be amazing, and its blueprints leaked out and being judged by pirates and giving bad review about it when you have’nt even completed the project.

    Just think of how many years Crytek has worked on Crysis 2, how many sleepless nights they spent, and how stressful their work was to make this game a reality. Pirating a game is like stealing something important from someone. Just imagen someone kidnapping your dearly loved pets taht you care most in your life, but no, no no NO! You dont feel compassion and still pirating games like a drunkard and sometimes say *I go download this game and im not giving a single cent to anyone since i want to spend them on beer and prostitutes on the street because is f*cking cool* Well guess what? You morons just makes things worse when you steal. You might now think of it, but every person ho downloads a game by pirate means, a company looses a gamer and by the same time, money. Dont be an brainless and selfish nerd and think that jsut because only you downloads, not everyone does. Well guess what again?

    Let me put it more simple so some of you might understand. 1 person might not do a difference, and maybe 2, but think of several 100 thousand people downloading. Lets say a game that costs 50 or 60 bucks, and that pirates downloads the game without paying, wich make them lose about 60 million dollars if not more if a million pirates download it.

    Unlike pirates, i can feel compassion for people and gaming companies, such as CryTek. Gamers please support Crytek and buy Crysis 2 when it comes out and dont do like that incompitent plastic-brain Badgame said. I have been a gamer since back in the 90s and i support gaming companies by buying their games.

    If you think i am a gay just because i can feel compassion for a company, Then you better go search for an asylum where the rest of the pirates are.

    This is how i feel about the story. Still want to pirate games? Well see you in prison scumbag.
    You might feel safe in your little basement, but time will tell when you are either in prison or begins to feel bad for what you did.

    For you Crytek, i salute you and your hardwork. I be buying your game once its out :)

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  24. Dude

    19th Mar, 2011 at 1:37 am

    @ CryTears
    FYI its not about infection maybe you should actually play the game before assuming its about infection..

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