Just Cause boss says hiring hackers and better games will beat PC piracy

Just Cause 2

Better PC games and a better relationship with hackers are the key to fighting piracy, according to Christofer Sundberg, the boss of Just Cause creators, Avalanche. Sundberg believes that common anti-piracy measures like DRM "punishes the people who have actually paid for the game," and says that hiring hackers is a good way to discover new talent, admitting that "50 percent of the people that work for me come from a hacker background."

Sundberg was speaking to CVG about better approaches to tackling game piracy, and his belief that there is plenty of potential in the piracy community. "I absolutely think that's a fair approach, to think about how these people can fit on the right side of the law. It's one way, at least. Perhaps the truest pirates are too much down the road of anarchy to ever work with you in a proper way; these are the guys who see us as evil!

"But in Sweden the [hacking] scene was huge. We're the home of the Pirate Bay, you know. As a studio, we've found that there's definitely a lot of talent [in the hacking community]."

As well as tapping the know-how of the hacking community, Sundberg believes that better PC games will reduce levels of piracy, but admits that poor PC ports are a common problem.

"I think piracy wouldn't be as much of an issue if there were better PC games out there. We could just scrap the whole concept of stupid DRM," he says, adding "I've always been of the opinion that we should design PC games for the PC players. PC players and console players are completely two different types of consumer.

"You end up just doing a port, so there's not a lot of time, budget or creative thinking going into using the PC. I think that's quite sad. We [as an industry] should take the PC platform, more seriously. Everyone is just complaining about piracy on the PC, but when it comes to in-game DLC or social connectivity, the options on PC compared to console are endless."

"I would like at some point to do a really good PC game designed specifically for PC players."

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.