Capcom: 'We never said we support SOPA'

Capcom: 'We never said we support SOPA'

By Rob Crossley

January 9th 2012 at 10:48AM

Suggestions that we do is poor journalism, company exec claims

A senior executive at publishing giant Capcom claims to have been a victim of “bad journalism” following reports that it supports the controversial SOPA bill.

Last week Capcom claimed that the ESA, which supports SOPA, represents the publisher on the matter. That in turn led to numerous reports from media outlets, including Develop, expressing that Capcom backs the anti-piracy measures.

“We've only ever stated that the ESA represents us in legislative matters like every other publisher,” said Capcom senior vice president and former games journalist Christian Svensson.

Writing on Capcom’s forums, he claimed that Capcom “has not stated any stance” in support, or not, for SOPA.

“Inferring more than that is bad journalism, which seems to be rampant [in this case],” he added.

Capcom has no plans to form an opinion on the matter, he said.

Several prominent games publishers and developers have stated their position on the matter, though the majority have kept silent.

A forum post by Epic Games claims that the studio “does not support the current version of SOPA”.

It added: “Epic Games supports efforts that would stop overseas websites profiting from pirating our games, but we have to do that in a way that's compatible with freedom of speech and due process of law.”

The ESA itself is under some pressure for its firm support for the SOPA bill. Last week the trade body said that SOPA’s principal objective – to curb excessive levels of online piracy – deserves industry support.

“Rogue websites, those singularly devoted to profiting from their blatant illegal piracy, restrict demand for legitimate video game products and services, thereby costing jobs,” the organisation told Develop.

Amid claims that the SOPA bill could suppress free speech and creativity within the entertainment industries, the ESA argued that it “understands the importance of both technological innovation and content protection, and does not believe the two are mutually exclusive”. This claim appears to echo the view that rampant content piracy forces games publishers to restrict investment to mainstream and ‘safer’ projects.

Independent data released this week suggested that the five most pirated PC games in 2011 were illicitly downloaded more than 18 million times in total. The most pirated of them all, Crysis 2, is thought to have been illegally downloaded around 4 million times.