Square Enix Has Become One Of PC Gaming’s Biggest Names With NieR: Automata

As much as I love PC gaming, it isn't perfect. I do enjoy that I can fall into a game like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or World of Warcraft for months at a time, becoming invested in a way that simply doesn't happen when I play console games. However, when you talk about AAA single-player experiences, the circumstance isn't quite as positive.

Many of the best single-player games of recent years have been exclusive to console, particularly when it comes to PlayStation and Nintendo first party software. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn, Persona 5, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Bayonetta 2, and Bloodborne make some of us question our dedication to PC gaming. Although these first-party games will never make the jump to multiplatform, at the very least third-party publishers are making a move.

Square Enix has most recently made a welcomed effort to port its games to PC. This first caught the attention of the PC gaming community when all three games from the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy were made available on Steam with great results. This was followed by the release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, which stands as one of the highest rated JRPGs on Steam, although admittedly there isn't much competition.

NieR: Automata's release on Steam this month served as a huge statement by Square Enix. Unlike the Final Fantasy games, it arrived within two weeks of its PS4 version, debuting to incredibly positive reception. Its 60+ hours of open-world quests with 26 endings and one of the best stories in modern gaming were a huge boon to representation of JRPGs on the platform, following just a few weeks after Bandai Namco's publishing of a Tales of Berseria PC version.

These games have filled a significant weakness in PC gaming's software catalog. JRPGs aren't common on the platform, and most of the high replay value titles on PC are several years old in addition to missing a single-player component. It's no wonder most PC gamers keep a console around.

The PC ports are a cut above their console versions, too. In the case of NieR: Automata, a large number of resolutions are supported, going beyond the 1080p featured in the PS4 Pro version. There's also a 60 FPS cap, options for increased graphical fidelity, and, of course, mod development.

These efforts will continue as Final Fantasy XV's director has strongly considered a PC port, which will hopefully include DLC at no extra cost. It's also very likely that Final Fantasy VII Remake will come to the platform as it's confirmed to not be an exclusive title.

With this, not only will these great games be unlocked to a wider audience, but they will have access to greater processing power. It's a huge development that should have happened sooner. Better late than never.