Crytek was “hit really, really hard” by the leak of Crysis 2 but got a big morale boost from the support of the online community, which has so far largely avoided downloading the upcoming shooter.

Piracy is pretty much a fact of life for every game developer but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel a sting when it happens. And when your whole game winds up on torrent sites more than a month before the scheduled release of a major, long-awaited title, which is what happened to the upcoming shooter Crysis 2, it hurts a lot.

“We were really high off the feeling that wow, we’ve got this really awesome game that came together, that we want to play and which will be a lot of fun. Then, getting that kind of news swings your emotions in completely the opposite direction,” Camarillo, the executive producer on Crysis 2, told his audience at Gamesblog Live. “We’re normally very communicative at the office, but people just weren’t talking to each other like they normally do – it hit really, really hard.”

What pulled the studio out of its collective funk, he said, was the same thing that put it there in the first place: the online community. “They were saying, ‘Don’t download it, don’t post anything from it, don’t participate in file-sharing of this – it’s not the final version, so it’s not what they want you to see. Don’t spoil it for me – I want to see the final version. I’m glad, at least, that it runs on your PC – it runs on my PC as well, but you still shouldn’t have downloaded it’,” he said. “Everybody was very supportive, and the community exercised self-policing in that regard, so it didn’t quite erupt like when, for example, a final version is leaked.”

He’s not just blowing hot air, according to TorrentFreak, which said that although the leaked game is widely available, its stats show “just” 10,000 completed downloads on public BitTorrent trackers. “And that’s not because this title isn’t popular with gamers. Indeed, given the current mood, it’s not unthinkable that these low download numbers may well be a result of it being quite the opposite,” the site explained. “While some people are clearly happy to get an advance copy, it’s eye-opening to see people on torrent sites encouraging others NOT to download it. Sure, there is the usual crowd throwing a middle finger up to the publishers while delighting in their juicy booty, but so many others are pleading with people to support Crytek by putting their hands in their pockets next month instead.”

Crysis 2 comes out on March 22 for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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