THQ's creative director Michael Fitch has spoken out about the closure of Titan Quest developer Iron Lore Entertainment, blaming piracy, hardware vendors, gamers and reviewers.
"If even a tiny fraction of the people who pirated the game had actually spent some god-damn money for their 40+ hours of entertainment, things could have been very different today," he wrote on the Quarter to Three forums (thanks, Kotaku).
Apparently the game's word-of-mouth reputation was severely damaged after pirates whose game sessions were cut short by copy protection routines - one of which dumped the player back to the desktop at the start of quests when a security check ran - started having a go on forums.
Beyond piracy, Fitch rips into hardware vendors who "make it harder all the time" with integrated audio and video ("two of our biggest headaches") that have "little or no driver support, marginal adherence to standards, and sometimes bizarre conflicts with other hardware".
As for the audience, "There's a lot of stupid people out there." That's on account of not doing "basic stuff, like updating your drivers, or de-fragging your hard drive, or having antivirus so your machine isn't a teetering pile of rogue programs."
"There are few better examples of the 'it can't possibly be my fault' culture in the west than gaming forums," he says.
Finally, reviewers. One chap complained that the game made him carry stuff around, apparently having missed a teleport system, while another had a problem with a bug in a review build, but mentioned it despite it having been fixed, according to Fitch.
"Making PC products is not all fun and games. It's an uphill slog, definitely. I'm a lifelong PC gamer, and hope to continue to work on PC games in the future, but man, they sure don't make it easy," he concluded.
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