December 5, 2010

Crytec Says Consoles Holding PC Gaming Back


Cry­teq CEO held an inter­view over the hol­i­days and stat­ed that the PC plat­form is a whole gen­er­a­tion ahead of the Xbox 360 and Playsta­tion 3.  While PC gamers have known this for years it has­n’t real­ly been offi­cial­ly stat­ed by a promi­nent com­pa­ny until now.  Cry­tec was one of the last com­pa­nies that held PC exclu­sives how­ev­er with it’s new release of Cry­sis 2 it will be releas­ing the game on the PC, PS3 and 360.
I’m sure for any PC gamer read­ing this that they are jump­ing out of their seats right now but this is actu­al­ly a dis­ap­point­ing state­ment.  Because of the focus on con­soles games, qual­i­ty games on the PC and exclu­sive titles for it have been far and in between.
“PC is eas­i­ly a gen­er­a­tion ahead right now,” he told Edge Mag­a­zine. “With 360 and PS3, we believe the qual­i­ty of the games beyond Cry­sis 2 and oth­er CryEngine devel­op­ments will be pret­ty much lim­it­ed to what their cre­ative expres­sions is, what the con­tent is. You won’t be able to squeeze more juice from these rocks.”
“I gen­er­al­ly think it’s still devel­op­ers’ men­tal­i­ty [that is to blame],” he said. “A lot nowa­days don’t con­sid­er PC a big issue any more; their [sales] expec­ta­tions are nowhere near what they are for the con­sole ver­sions. Until the PC mar­ket cre­ates com­pa­ra­ble rev­enues, com­pa­nies are not going to spend enough on the PC SKU of a game.”
While this does­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mean that Cry­sis 2 would be a bet­ter game on PC vs con­sole it does mean that because of this Cry­tec’s cre­ative expres­sion could be held back because of it.  Yer­li also said that because of pira­cy it has forced them to go mul­ti-plat­form.
“We seem to lead the charts in pira­cy by a large mar­gin, a chart lead­ing that is not desir­able. I believe that’s the core prob­lem of PC Gam­ing, pira­cy. To the degree PC gamers that pirate games inher­ent­ly destroy the plat­form. Sim­i­lar games on con­soles sell fac­tors of 4–5 more. It was a big les­son for us and I believe we won’t have PC exclu­sives as we did with Cry­sis in future. We are going to sup­port PC, but not exclu­sive any­more.” said Yer­li.
While I don’t believe pira­cy is the pri­ma­ry cause for this I do believe it is a huge issue.  I hap­pen to know a great many peo­ple who refuse to pay for any­thing unless they absolute­ly have to.  A great num­ber of my friends pirate their soft­ware if they have the option.  The prob­lem with PC game pira­cy or the pira­cy of soft­ware in gen­er­al is that isn’t that stig­ma attached to it that “I could get in trou­ble”.  It’s the “no one can see this so is it real­ly steal­ing” type of men­tal­i­ty.  I must admit at some point I had this same men­tal­i­ty.  I also did this because I felt the prices for games were to high.  This was when PC titles were $39.99 and a far cry for then $59.99 and now that PC titles are head­ing that way I sus­pect pira­cy will head the way of the pric­ing… up.
In addi­tion to pira­cy we have had a huge influx of casu­al gamers who don’t have or have the inter­est in com­put­er hard­ware.  Most causu­al gamers don’t know how to build a com­put­er cape­able of run­ning your aver­age com­put­er game.  Con­sumers can buy pre­built ones that will han­dle it from com­pa­nies such as Cyber­Pow­er PC, Alien­ware or IBuy­Pow­er but those machines cost range from $1,000 to $5,000  and com­pared to a $200 — $400 con­sole it’s a hard sell on a plat­form that has a dwin­dling amount of titles.
PC Gamers have long been argu­ing that they are tired of pay­ing for games that are sub­par ports of their con­sole counter parts.  Star Trek: Lega­cy and Turn­ing Point: Fall of Lib­er­ty are prime exam­ples of this.  One could argue that PC gamers don’t want to pay $60 for a title that was­n’t devel­oped for their sys­tem and does not offer all the fea­tures usu­al­ly offered to their plat­form.  It would be like releas­ing a game that can only work with a mouse and key­board and release it on the 360.  Xbox own­ers would be furi­ous at this.  The only dif­fer­ence between PC Gamers and Con­sole own­ers is that it is far more com­pli­cat­ed to pirate a con­sole game and they can’t just go down­load the game and play it.
I have heard the death knell call of PC gam­ing for years now and while I would agree that many of the recent releas­es on PC have been deplorable I hard­ly think that PC gam­ing has end­ed.  The recent and upcom­ing releas­es of Bad Com­pa­ny 2, Bad Com­pa­ny 2: Viet­nam, The Witch­er and The Witch­er 2 are prime exam­ples of suc­cess­ful PC releas­es that have had great com­mer­cial suc­cess.  While they may not make $500 mil­lion dol­lars overnight they are still com­mer­cial suc­cess­es.  I per­son­al­ly believe when PC gam­ing capa­bil­i­ties are so far ahead of con­soles and when devel­op­ers counter this with anoth­er con­sole which if it fol­lows the trend of recent releas­es will most like­ly cost $600 — $800  we will find PC gam­ing gain­ing back some of it’s lost ground.  In addi­tion to all this we have com­pa­nies like Steam and Impulse Games who offer games at gen­er­al­ly low­er prices then their con­sole counter parts and because they are dis­trib­uted over their net­works it makes it incred­i­bly com­pli­cat­ed to pirate them.  In a world where mon­ey is key hav­ing access to over­all cheap­er games could help dri­ve PC sales.
Here are a cou­ple of videos from a few upcom­ing PC releas­es… enjoy!:



6 comments

  1. Bartholomew P. Skibbenhiems III - December 5, 2010 8:17 pm

    Con­soles are definit­ly hurt­ing the PC gam­ing mar­ket. Thing is I dont care if PC gam­ing gets exclu­sive titles I just want good titles that arent watered down by bull­shit con­sole match­mak­ing sys­tems and no ded­i­cat­ed servers for games and garbage like that. Also, games like Alan Wake look­ing amaz­ing then out of the blue after many PC gamers fol­low its devel­op­ment they annouce oh xbox only or ps3 only or wtf ever it was with that game.
    True because con­soles are the biggest sell­ers they are hold­ing PC gam­ing back, but atleast the com­pa­nies mak­ing the game should put a lit­tle effort when they port a game from con­sole to pc to make it not so watered down option wise. Mod­ding, map­ping, skin­ning are all rea­son why I stick to PC gam­ing. Dra­con­ian con­trol over a game is just a bad move imo and it wont stop hack­ing or pira­cy any­way.

    Reply
  2. T8 - December 5, 2010 8:49 pm

    Of course con­sole gam­ing is hold­ing the gam­ing world back as a whole, not just PC gam­ing. You are lim­it­ed to 3 year old hard­ware when the con­sole first comes out and even more out­dat­ed as its life increas­es. You take away some of the most cre­ative minds from the bleed­ing edge to work on half assed sys­tems build to cre­ate the largest prof­it mar­gin pos­si­ble. Its a shame real­ly…

    Reply
  3. PimpmasterF - December 6, 2010 12:40 pm

    Tis a shame, I miss the good ol days when devs would have a seper­ate team ded­i­cat­ed to the PC ver­sion of a game. Oh well, it’d at least be nice if like barth said they did­nt water down ports into pieces of garbage.
    and HELLZ YEA for BC2 Viet­nam, countin the days till the 18th 😀

    Reply
  4. CharcoalCoyote - December 6, 2010 8:48 pm

    Con­soles aren’t what’s hold­ing gam­ing back. IMO, and this is going to sound incred­i­bly hip­ster, it’s the “main­stream­i­fi­ca­tion” of gam­ing. When you have com­pa­nies milk­ing games for all they’re worth, rather than aim­ing for a playable, enjoy­able game, you get the crap we have today. This is eas­i­ly dis­played by the rebirth and near­ing redeath of a genre once con­fined almost sole­ly to arcades: Music/Rhythm.
    Gui­tar Hero was an amaz­ing, break­out suc­cess that was a gen­uine­ly fun game to play. It brought us back to our child­hood stages of over­com­ing chal­leng­ing stages (songs in this case) and duk­ing it out with friends to see who was the best. As the games pro­gressed, they got even bet­ter. Throw in a few more instru­ments and cus­tomiz­able avatars, and for a few hours, you and your friends are an awe­some rock group. Week­ly song DLC ensured that the game stayed fresh, and there was always some­thing for every­one.

    Reply
  5. ScrotusKilmystr - December 10, 2010 10:56 am

    I also think it’s all about the bot­tem line con­soles do have 5+ year old tech (or 10 when u have a wii) but its a sin­gle form fac­tor to make com­pat­i­ble with only 2 hard­ware load outs to make com­pat­i­ble.
    microsoft is also sneaky with it’s dash­board updates they revamp the os and peo­ple think they have a new con­sole even­though it looks real­ly gay!
    Also it’s ease of use I will nev­er say con­soles are bet­ter that pc when it comes to games the options you can have on a pc sim­ply are to great. but, I work alot I mean ALOT! and when I get home to get my game on I don’t want to fire up the desk­top, load the soft­ware fum­ble with the key­board etc, etc I hit a but­ton from my arm­chair and my fat ass is play­ing a game
    I’m just say­ing when I play a pc game I have to devote large amounts of time to it because it is a bet­ter expe­ri­ance but for that quick and easy fix like the cor­ner crack head I hit the con­sole for a few

    Reply
  6. ScrotusKilmystr - December 10, 2010 11:01 am

    I will say this I may buy BC2 on the pc becuase it is my favorite shoot­er on the con­sole and read­ing all the posts here I think I may be miss­ing an evern bet­ter time on the pc!

    Reply

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