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Old 05-07-2010, 04:02 AM   #1
StormBringer
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What's the Problem With PC Games?

The head programmer at indie developer Wolfire Games shares his thoughts about poor PC ports, not piracy, hurting business.

Quote:
David gives a simple reason for the problems in PC gaming: developers do it poorly. "It's easier for these developers to point their fingers at pirates than to face the real problem: that their games are not fun on [the] PC... they are not fun to play with a mouse and keyboard, and don't work well on PC hardware. Their field of view is designed to be viewed from a distant couch instead of a nearby monitor, and their gameplay is simplified to compensate for this tunnel vision."

He points to Blizzard as a success story, a company that focuses exclusively on PC and Mac gaming, and has been wildly successful as a result. "If developers spent more time improving their PC gaming experience, and less time complaining about piracy, we might see more successful PC games."
Well that's different.

More at ars technica.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:42 AM   #2
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So very true.
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:13 AM   #3
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Yeah it's true, but whats more true is that nobody will do anything about it.
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:35 AM   #4
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This man proves just how rare a reasonable rational human being is. Him being one of the few.
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:37 AM   #5
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Wait a second... Stormwatcher, are you watching Stormbringer? Should we get the courts involved here?
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:58 AM   #6
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This is a good point, but only on why these certain console ports aren't always selling well on the PC.

The main hypothesis that PC sales are low is false. Sales on the PC are higher than ever before due to better access through Steam and an enormous game library that caters to so many different types of gamers.

If he is saying that publisher worry about monetizing PC-only games, then that is a fair statement. The PC should be the "icing" platform for some extra money for most new IP game releases that are not MMOs as there is simply so much on the PC to choose from and it is all immediately and easily available to purchase via the internet.

I'd say another big obstacle for publishers on PC is the large number of superior titles that players go back to over and over again. For instance, Global Agenda probably would have taken off if not for Team Fortress 2, and if WoW wasn't such a good game, sales of single player games on the PC would probably triple.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bean19 View Post
This is a good point, but only on why these certain console ports aren't always selling well on the PC.

The main hypothesis that PC sales are low is false. Sales on the PC are higher than ever before due to better access through Steam and an enormous game library that caters to so many different types of gamers.

If he is saying that publisher worry about monetizing PC-only games, then that is a fair statement. The PC should be the "icing" platform for some extra money for most new IP game releases that are not MMOs as there is simply so much on the PC to choose from and it is all immediately and easily available to purchase via the internet.

I'd say another big obstacle for publishers on PC is the large number of superior titles that players go back to over and over again. For instance, Global Agenda probably would have taken off if not for Team Fortress 2, and if WoW wasn't such a good game, sales of single player games on the PC would probably triple.
I was just looking at Walmart's website where they list 392 PC titles. Somebody is buying them.

We all know piracy exists but the closest the average Joe or Jane get to it is borrowing a friends copy of a game and playing it. The whole of PC gamedom is not living off of torrents.

My $.02.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:20 AM   #8
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There is no problem with PC games, in my view. There are crappy games on PC, there are crappy games on consoles, there are crappy games on handhelds. Buyer beware, buy with care. There are plenty of great games on all the platforms.

There are great places to eat and there are lousy ones. There's not a 'restaurant' problem, there's a lack of informed consumers. Get informed and spend your money wisely.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Johan View Post
There is no problem with PC games, in my view. There are crappy games on PC, there are crappy games on consoles, there are crappy games on handhelds. Buyer beware, buy with care. There are plenty of great games on all the platforms.

There are great places to eat and there are lousy ones. There's not a 'restaurant' problem, there's a lack of informed consumers. Get informed and spend your money wisely.
If 10% of all restaurants should start putting feces in their food, I would say we have a "restaurant problem". You can't just blame it on the user for not knowing what he eats.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:52 AM   #10
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If 10% of all restaurants should start putting feces in their food, I would say we have a "restaurant problem". You can't just blame it on the user for not knowing what he eats.
90%+ of all restaurants have feces on the food. If you're eating meat, you're eating feces.* People who buy crappy games have nobody but themselves to blame. People who eat at crappy restaurants have nobody but themselves to blame. STOP! They will go out of business!

PC games don't have any more of a 'problem' than games on any other platform. There will always be crappy games. Avoid them.

* Unless, like me, you buy your meat directly from the owner, who butchers the cattle and packages the meat to your specifications, one cow at a time, and prepare it yourself; then, you can avoid fecal contamination. And let's not even talk about what's in the lettuce and other vegetables we eat daily...
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:58 AM   #11
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PC gamers should stop being cheap bastards and just buy a gamepad......
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:00 AM   #12
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Do the math. Which games are topping pc sales over the years? Online dependent games- FPS games like MW, BF:BC, MMOs like WOW etc are...
They are all hard to copy since: THEY NEED A ONLINE CONTECTION.

"that their games are not fun on [the] PC" ??! Idiot
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:01 AM   #13
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online connection... sorry. Lol
Now I am an idiot too...
But still, he´s an idiot.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:18 AM   #14
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PC gamers should stop being cheap bastards and just buy a gamepad......
This is a fairly simple statement with a lot more behind it than one would initially suspect. Think about it....

If all PC gamers had an 360 controller hooked up to their systems how much more easy of a decision would it be for devs and pubs to release on the PC platform? The problem is that with a PC the only standard set of controls is the keyboard and mouse. A dev can safely assume that the PC gamer will have at the least these two peripherals.

If Microsoft would quit being a bunch of fucking assholes and embrace PC gaming for what it is (a major driver of OS sales and brand loyalty) they would quickly come to the conclusion that packaging at least one 360 controller with every copy of home use Windows 7 would make good business sense. If the home user-base started to grow into a three-peripheral platform (including the 360 controller, mouse and keyboard) then I bet we'd see an explosion of sports titles and many others that were never destined for the PC. Hell, it might even become a leading platform again.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:23 AM   #15
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Wait a second... Stormwatcher, are you watching Stormbringer? Should we get the courts involved here?
The plot thickens!
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If women didn't have vaginas, men would hunt them with dogs. For sport.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:36 AM   #16
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If Microsoft would quit being a bunch of fucking assholes and embrace PC gaming for what it is (a major driver of OS sales and brand loyalty) they would quickly come to the conclusion that packaging at least one 360 controller with every copy of home use Windows 7 would make good business sense. If the home user-base started to grow into a three-peripheral platform (including the 360 controller, mouse and keyboard) then I bet we'd see an explosion of sports titles and many others that were never destined for the PC. Hell, it might even become a leading platform again.
MS is the reason you are gaming on a PC. They could just kill of what makes the games run you know...(direct x) And release consoles at prices they seem deem.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:36 AM   #17
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my problem with pc games is drm. i have to go home and check online to see if i can buy a game or not because of drm.

funny that i can find the torrents free easy, but i don't pirate.

publishers are so stupid. but unemployment apparently pays pretty good.

3 install limits, constant internet connections, give me a break.

anybody agree?????
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:41 AM   #18
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Johan - i'm impressed w/ your level of food cleanliness. You're either a germ freak or used to work as a Chef

My wife wants us to start going out to farms and pickin' out animals, kill and clean 'em...

I'm on the fence. Mostly, because it's expensive. And a lot of these places want you to kill and the clean the animal yourself (they give you facilities to do it). Seems like if I have to do all that work I'd expect it to be a lot cheaper, not more expensive.

YMMV tho

As for PC games, there's stuff on my PC i just can't do on my pswii60. The ability to tweak games, use workaround and internet patches to get around bugs, make my visuals better (not to mention the obvious control differences), etc. etc. makes them not dead for me. Did Valve save PC gaming? It's arguable.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:56 AM   #19
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An interesting idea, brandon, except I'm pretty sure that MS makes more money off the sale of an X-Box 360 than it does off the sale of Windows. I think the truth comes down to this:

Gamers love the PC because it's an open platform.
MS and Sony hate it for the same reason.

On the X-Box, MS can force people to buy indie games through the XBLA and take a cut. On the PC, developers can sell indie games direct or through Steam, and either way MS doesn't make a cent. Even if MS loses money on each X-Box 360 console sale, little things like that add up and more than make up for that initial loss over time.

And when you look at, for instance, the degree of effort Valve and Blizzard have to put into making their games scale to all different types of hardware for their PC games, there's a strong incentive for developers to write for consoles as well. Less initial development, less QA both pre- and post-launch, because the target devices are more or less homogeneous, etc.

So both MS and games developers have clear financial incentives to develop on consoles instead of PC. What would be awesome is if everybody could admit that, instead of blaming piracy, but for some reason our culture labours under this fiction that companies don't exist solely for the purpose of generating profit. They just do, and that's a basic fact about the basic nature of corporations.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:58 AM   #20
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MS is the reason you are gaming on a PC. They could just kill of what makes the games run you know...(direct x) And release consoles at prices they seem deem.

Few are as aware of the point you are trying to make here as I. You're bringing sand to the beach, my friend, as I've defended that same point many a time on this very site.

All I'm saying is that they could be doing so much better in relation to the topic at hand.
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