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where is pc gaming going?
Posted on Thursday, August 21 2008 @ 04:37:02 PST

i'm surely not the only one who's noticed the trend, the pc developers are leaving pc and embracing consoles.

and i'm all for consoles i prefer them over pc myself, but as someone trying to get a gig in the video games industry, this is a bit of a problem.

you get epic, claiming unreall III has more pirated cd keys running the game than they have legitimate ones. games like stalker  clear skies about to release and almost no-one knows anything about it. crysis, possibly the most awe inspiring real time art i've ever seen, ignored on shelves.

so lets start with unreall III

it's not a new game, like game revolutions x360 review says, it's the same game it was in 1999. hell they removed many playmodes it's predecessors had.

so people pirate it. it's hardly worth the effort to buy a tenth of the previous title. it'll barely run on anything bar shader model 4 video cards. and all you'll do is get a few quick games in once in a while... or it's just to test your system out.

it's getting raped by torrents because it's not actually worth buying.

then you've got stalker, the new stalker is about to realease, and apart from a side not in game revolutions largely irritating news feed saying as much, we've heard very little.

this is because GSC has decided to self publish, they mistakingly believe that a good game sell's itself, it wont, i really hope they intend to use the initial sales to cram it's dx10 awesomeness down our throats.

now for crysis, this is a very pretty game, very pretty, too pretty. another title who's being ripped off extensively, this time because it's system requirements scare people away. publishers have adjusted the way they recommend system requirements because of this, and as far as i'm concerned they've done more damage.

in the community i run in the "recommended" is the pc the game is built on, the box art should look the same as it runs. in modern publishing, the recomended is what it takes to run at a reasonable framerate at the monitors native resolution. every performance setting is likely off and the original commander keen games look better.

this is a great slight of hand the first time, but once bitten, twice shy. you don't trust the recommended specs anymore, look at the pictures. put the numbers together and decide it's a waste of money. you would need to upgrade.

and in some cases download the game from a torrent, to "try it" play and finish it and then never pay for a copy.

broadband is getting faster, and is more frequently used in piracy. games add more and more anti-piracy to protect them but all that does is make the legitimate purchasers lives harder.

so many pc developers jump ship and become console devs. can you blame them? modding robs them of further revenue from the box title, piracy robs them of the initial revenue.

piracy exists on the consoles too, but it's generally harder to do, requiring hardware modifications, and in some cases dodging system updates that patch anti-piracy to beat even those chips. you also get the benefits of developing for known hardware with fixed specs. no random driver issues because nvidia wants more bullet points, no complete loss of 3d audio when microsoft decides directsound is too much effort everyone use openAL.

pc gaming is struggling, if your not the sims or world of warcraft...your likely not making much money.

someone needs to get it right, i have some thoughts on what right is. but it's not for everyone.

for me it's a single player game where you get new content when you log on. you pay a monthly fee for premium content, you get ads in game for basic content. the initial cost of the boxed game offsets the first however many months. the download version is free and you can select your account from there.

it gets around piracy by not selling the game, it sells the content for the game. you need to validate your game with the server so it's constantly getting patched for piracy hacks. you keep people coming back for new content so replay value is high.

you can keep content streaming in by offering modders a royalty for high quality stuff, everytime a player is served that content a royalty is earned. upstart mod groups can form into a legitimate game developer if they can make their mods desirable enough and also earn a name for themselves which inturn translates to free publicity.

of course this is my pipedream, someone might do it one day. they most likely wont/ everyone will just keep whining about piracy and convert to console developement. 

of course, i'm a someone....
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