The prevalence of illegal file sharing on the PC platform has given developers and publishers cause to enact drastic measures to protect their games from being stolen. This year alone has seen cases such as Crytek abandoning PC exclusivity; Codemasters, Atari, and others directly going after consumers; and EA implementing digital rights management software invasive enough to spark a class-action lawsuit.
For Ubisoft and its upcoming Tom Clancy-inspired real-time strategy game EndWar, the focus appears to have shifted from prevention to mitigation. In an interview with VideoGaming247, Ubisoft Shanghai creative director Michael de Plater revealed that the PC edition of EndWar will likely trail the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games due to illegal file sharing.
"To be honest, if PC wasn't pirated to hell and back, there'd probably be a PC version coming out the same day as the other two," said de Plater. "But at the moment, if you release the PC version, essentially what you're doing is letting people have a free version that they rip off instead of a purchased version. Piracy's basically killing PC."
EndWar won't be the first time Ubisoft has postponed the PC edition of a multiplatform game. Both 2006's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and its 2007 sequel saw PC editions arrive months after their console counterparts. This year, Ubisoft released an enhanced PC edition of its best-selling Assassin's Creed, a full five months after the game debuted on the 360 and PS3. Even still, Ubisoft was plagued by piracy issues for that release, eventually suing a disc-replication firm for leaking the game onto the Internet two months before its street date.
For more on Ubisoft's EndWar, check out GameSpot's latest preview from last week. Retailers are currently expecting the game to arrive on the Xbox 360, PS3, DS, and PSP during the first week of November, with the PC edition following in February.