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PC Games (Games) Games

PC Gaming Alive and Dominant 245

An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports on a panel at PAX East which delved into the strength of the PC as a platform for games, and what its future looks like. The outlook is positive: 'Even as major computer OEMs produce numbers showing falling sales, the PC as a platform (and especially a gaming platform) actually shows strong aggregate growth.' The panelists said that while consoles get a lot of the headlines, the PC platform remains the only and/or best option for a lot of developers and gamers. They briefly addressed piracy, as well: 'Piracy, [Matt Higby] said, is an availability and distribution problem. The more games are crowdfunded and digitally delivered and the less a "store" figures into buying games, the less of a problem piracy becomes. [Chris Roberts] was quick to agree, and he noted that the shift to digital distribution also helps the developers make more money — they ostensibly don't have everyone along the way from retailers to publishers to distributors taking their cut from the sale.'"
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

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  • It's not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @08:26PM (#46736899) Journal
    The console makers stopped focusing on making it a game machine, instead trying to make an 'entertainment center.' If you want to push the envelope in graphics, you need to go to the PC.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2014 @08:39PM (#46736963)

    Capitalisms is dying because during a labor surplus it becomes inefficient and cannot compete with systems that are efficient under such circumstances, such as, for example, fascism and tyranny.

    One thing a proletariat revolt does is give us a pretext to shoot the proles until none remain alive, thus solving things.

  • Simple math (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @09:13PM (#46737167)
    Most people who I know that are PC gamers are generally pretty dedicated. They have special keyboard, mice, monitors, routers, network providers, etc. This is isn't even talking about their machines. Minimally they have a $200 video card if not pushing past $500. Then there are the special motherboard, overclocking, crazy cooling systems, even the glowy bits.

    That all said, they are not building these systems to play tetris. They are going to get the latest and greatest games as fast as they come out. Then if the game is good they are going to play the crap out of that game.

    What probably distinguishes this market from the console market is that gamers typically are chosey about their games. They aren't getting these games as gifts. They are looking at the reviews and the opinions of their friends. Thus the crappy games that typically are pumped out to exploit the fans of various blockbusters (which are 90%+ crap) just won't get much traction in this market. Thus a bomb is probably a total bomb in the PC world whereas there are going to be grandparents, fanbois, and parents who get suckered into buying the latest Harry Potter movie for their little Harry Potter fans.

    This would apply all the way down to the bargain bin. Steam has a bit of a bargain bin but I suspect that a Playstation bargain bin at Walmart will do far better than the same bargain bin for PC games.

    Quite simply to have a halfway decent gaming rig you are plunking down a minimum of $1200 with many doing a multiple of that. Thus these are people who are proven willing buyers.

    And then there is Goat Simulator....
  • Re:Simple math (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Saturday April 12, 2014 @09:30PM (#46737257) Homepage Journal

    Quite simply to have a halfway decent gaming rig you are plunking down a minimum of $1200

    Hairyfeet would dispute that figure. He claims to have put together a competent gaming PC for under $500, not including a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

    On the other hand, there are a few genres that get released on consoles far more often than on PC, even when they aren't exclusive to one console. Fighting games are one of them; the PC version of Mortal Kombat 2011, for instance, was two years late. Party games, designed for two to four players holding controllers, are another genre where PCs get the shaft. True, those require bigger monitors than a single-player or online game, but that doesn't explain why established video game publishers seem to ignore the growing home theater PC market.

  • Re:Simple math (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hibiki_r ( 649814 ) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @09:49PM (#46737371)

    The 90s called, they want their arguments back.

    Today, the PC market isn't really about pushing hardware. Remember Crysis? It sold nothing, because very few people believed they even had the rig to play it. Nobody releases for really high end hardware anymore: What you get with expensive hardware is insane resolutions. Who are the big players in PC games? The people making MOBAs, MMOs, and indies. Some rely on constant updates, which do not fare well in the console world: Valve tried to keep selling TF2 on the 360, but there was no way in hell they'd be allowed to update the game for free monthly, if not weekly. There's plenty of articles about it, look it up.

    So what the PC market gives is both enhanced capabilities for constant engagement, and being able to sell your game for pennies. You'd be mad to target something like Paper's Please as a console-only game. League of Legends or Dota on consoles? yeah right. And none of those games need anything that even resembles a $1500 machine to run.

    If we have to compare PC gaming to something, it's mobile games, but with far better control options, and less fear of install sizes.

  • Good news! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by trawg ( 308495 ) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @09:50PM (#46737373) Homepage

    I'll make sure to let the 7,518,856 other people I play Dota 2 with every month know (that number from just loading the game and looking at the unique monthly players figure).

    That is, if I can get their attention while they're all trying to be the next team to win $1m in cash.

    (Related aside: check out Valve's Free to Play [] documentary; it's a great watch for some insight into the lives of professional gamers.)

  • Not True (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @10:03PM (#46737413) Journal

    This story is BS. "Crowdfunding", early access and F2P are killing gaming. Developers have learned that they no longer have to complete a game. "Game development" is no longer something you do in order to make a game, it's something you do in order to make your next game, which is also never completed. Why would you ever actually deliver a complete game experience when you can charge $20 and up for a practically empty game engine and a slick trailer?

    And don't get me started on F2P games. They're creepy, sad and even the best of them leave you empty. The only grand vision is, "Get a bunch of people playing and hope there are enough 14 year-olds with the password to their parents PayPal account to make it pay. Enjoy the kickstarter money and move on to the next project.

    The last 2 years have been the worst for PC gaming since I started playing games on my Commodore 64. I can count the number of actual AAA titles in the past 2 years worthy of the name on one hand.

    And console players shouldn't get smug. You're in the same boat. You want to pay $60 for six hours of gameplay? How many hours did you pour into the games of the past? Corporate gaming has figured out that like cereal, you can make a bunch of money charging the same price for a shrinking product. It's why consoles are being sold more for their "entertainment center" features (really a "consumption center") than for the possibility of playing a continual stream of first-rate games for them.

    The platforms are fine. It's the gaming industry that is moribund, getting fat and lazy on an increasingly locked-in income stream that has nothing to do with good games.

  • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:48AM (#46738289)
    for games *nix is definitely NOT more developer friendly, it has improved massively in the last few years but for developer simplicity and tools it is only just starting to catch up now.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler