PC Gaming Is Dying Blahblahblah

By Alec Meer on September 26th, 2008 at 6:54 pm.

Spore has only sold 1 million copies. Warhammer Online has a piffling 500,000 subscribers. Ah well. Might as well call it a day for the old IBM Compatible, eh?

Pffffffft. It’s been a grand Autumn for PC so far, and with Left 4 Dead, Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 (shut up) also incoming our beloved maths-box’s star isn’t going to dim any time soon. Two things worth noting about the Spore/WAR (hey, that rhymes!) success though.

In the case of the former, it seems the controversy/outrage about the DRM didn’t put too much of a dent in its sales – though of course there’s a chance it could have been much bigger if it didn’t come with that stupid limited reinstall crap. Did the anti-DRM message not reach the general populace, despite being picked up by mainstream news, or did it not make sense/matter to them? I’d imagine this tale isn’t finished yet, as EA’s semi-rectification suggests some real damage was done by the bad rep Spore’s Securom picked up after all. It’s also worth wondering whether Spore can grab the ongoing success The Sims managed, or if this one large initial gasp is it. Despite the creativity element, it’s in many ways more of a gamer’s game than the Sims ever was – its inherent science fictioniness may deter a truly huge audience.

Coming back to WAR, 500,000 in its first week is a mighty number – EA reckon it’ll shape up to be the fastest-selling MMO of all time. However, Age of Conan managed 400,000 despite a far less rapturous beta response, but as of few weeks months ago it was still idling at around 415,000 – despite shipping 1.2m copies since launch. So while WAR has been incredibly well-received and is widely agreed to be a far better game than Conan, it’s probably too early to call it a yer actual smash hit just yet. Hard to see it all going wrong, though.

, .

87 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. A-Scale says:

    I think spore would have sold far more copies if they just put in an actual evolution mechanic and geared the RTS portions of the game towards hardcore gamers (you know, the ones who owned a computer before 2005). It would have also been stupendous if the game was truly multiplayer. That would have taken it from being a 6.5/10 game to a 10/10 game.

  2. Thomas Lawrence says:

    I think A-Scale is hilariously wrong on every level.

  3. danarchist says:

    Humerously I think the AoC debacle hurt warhammers sales numbers allot. I have more than one friend who is currently “giving it some self destruction time” before they buy it.
    Allot of my friends that aren’t jaded by the aoc thing are still pissed at mythic for ruining one of the best pvp games ever made with the trials of Atlantis expansion. So they either refuse outright to buy it, or are waiting to see if mythic goes friggin insane with the balance (nerf) bat again.

  4. kuddles says:

    I think when publishers are making statements about the end times, it’s less about “PC gaming” being dead, more PC gaming as they know it. Casual games like The Sims flood the charts, and MMOs still do pretty good, it’s the more traditional games that have either become niches or moved to consoles. For instance, FPS titles like Call of Duty, Doom 3, F.E.A.R., Half-Life 2, etc. would sell millions being PC-focused or exclusive just a few years ago, even having overnight line-ups. Now most FPS titles are made with the console as the lead platform, and sell far fewer copies.

    Not to say they won’t still be around, and certainly there are still interesting games coming out from Europe where PC gaming is still strong. But the days of big budget titles in the genres we’re used to being PC-focused, like Crysis and Far Cry 2, are coming to an end. The future is in low requirement stuff like Stardock titles, casual games, subscription-based or browser based games with ads or microtransactions like Runscape or Quake Live, especially since these things eliminate piracy quite easily. I guess it’ll be interesting to see how well it sells, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Dragon Age is the last big budget RPG from America as well.

    So A-Scale, you are incredibly wrong I’m afraid. Spore would have sold either the same amount or fewer if it was hardcore. Most RTS nowadays don’t sell very well. C&C3 barely sold more than a million, and that was over a much longer stretch of time, and it made it the best selling RTS of the year by a long shot. I mean, if The Sims was made for a “hardcore” audience, it sure as hell wouldn’t be as huge as it is right now. Same as WOW.

  5. A-Scale says:

    I think A-Scale is hilariously wrong on every level.

    You’re welcome to disagree, but your point is worthless if you don’t give some reasons why.

    Perhaps you just like childrens’ games.

    So A-Scale, you are incredibly wrong I’m afraid. Spore would have sold either the same amount or fewer if it was hardcore. Most RTS nowadays don’t sell very well. C&C3 barely sold more than a million, and that was over a much longer stretch of time, and it made it the best selling RTS of the year by a long shot. I mean, if The Sims was made for a “hardcore” audience, it sure as hell wouldn’t be as huge as it is right now. Same as WOW.

    I didn’t purchase the game because it is far too simplistic. That’s one sale lost. Most reviewers criticized the game for being too simplistic, and we can be certain that spurned plenty of sales. C&C3 sold few copies because it was a rubbish game, not because hardcore RTS games are dead. Starcraft 2 will outsell spore several times over, and it has been entirely formulated to appeal to the hardcore (using Korean SC champs as playtesters, including a greater necessity for micro, etc).

  6. Thomas Lawrence says:

    People realise the first four sentences of Alec’s posts are sarcastic, right?

    And A-Scale, I thought your wrongness was so obvious as to scarcely require rebuttal, but if I must: you really think Spore would sell better if it had skewed it’s appeal to more of a niche audience, namely hardcore RTS gamers? Why?

  7. DSX says:

    3 words will save PC gaming well into our next hardware upgrade. Grand. Theft. Auto.

  8. Jim Rossignol says:

    Perhaps you just like childrens’ games.

    Are games made for the young ‘uns necessarily bad?

  9. Thomas Lawrence says:

    And as for “actual evolution mechanics”, well. I can sympathise a little with those dispappointed that Spore isn’t more scientific and simulation-y, but let’s be clear – the appeal in this game is in creativity and the sharing of said creativity. Actual evolution mechanics, whatever their simulational merits, would have restricted this creativity. It is intentional that one be able to say, utterly reshape the design of the creature at any point.

    An analogy: One can extensively remodel one’s house in The Sims without having to watch simulated builders spend eighteen months erecting scaffolding, overcharging you for the work and spamming the “Request Cup of Tea” context action.

    It’s not realistic that the new home furnishings arrive instantly, but is it better for creativity that it does? Yes.

  10. A-Scale says:

    you really think Spore would sell better if it had skewed it’s appeal to more of a niche audience, namely hardcore RTS gamers? Why?

    Because the jack of all trades is the master of none. Spore hasn’t appealed to people who aren’t interested in PC games because they, well, aren’t interested. It hasn’t appealed to hardcore gamers because it is overly simplistic and doesn’t offer a compelling challenge. It might appeal to softcore PC gamers (if that group even exists), but mostly I think its sales can be attributed to people who got wrapped up in the hype.

    Are games made for the young ‘uns necessarily bad?

    Yes, when they are dumbed down to appeal to a younger/less in tune audience at the cost of gameplay.

  11. Acosta says:

    Didn’t Mark or Paul said already that ToA was a mistake and that Mythic learnt from it? In any case, WAR is excellent and hopefully it will get more interest because it does some things that work really well.

    And yes, not a surprise. There is good business in PC for the proper product, companies just need to be clever and make stuff that cater to the audience and the strengths of the platform. I really think it’s time to kill the “PC is dying argument” and not even discuss it anymore.

  12. kuddles says:

    A-Scale, I think you’re slightly deluded. People like us, reading a video game blog in the middle of the day and who know what Metacritic scores are, are the minority when it comes to sales charts. The “softcore” exists and makes up the vast majority of the market. There’s a reason why the top ten PC titles usually is Warcraft or Sims Related. Even the Nancy Drew titles or Deer Hunter tend to outsell RTS titles by a wide margin.

    Also, if you paid attention to my point, it was that C&C3 sold much better then most RTS titles nowadays. And Blizzard is the exception that proves the rule, especially since they rely on decade long development sessions and sequels to highly established brands. I’m sure Diablo III will sell insanely well too, that doesn’t discount that as a whole, action RPGs on the PC aren’t the sellers that they used to be.

  13. Jochen Scheisse says:

    A-Scale, what’s really strange about most people is that they expect to be entertained by a game. Not challenged. That’s just us people who can talk about the necessary changes to IG build orders from DC to SS. And people don’t like us because we win and proceed to call them names.

  14. Thomas Lawrence says:

    A-Scale: so softcore PC gamers don’t exist? I guess Popcap and their ilk are making hats out of Monopoly money, then, yes?

    Spore has been out for just over three weeks, and has sold 1 million copies. You do understand that that’s actually a good number, yes?

    It was ten years ago, but Starcraft took nine months in 1998 to sell 1.5 million copies, as the #1 selling game of that year. The market for videogames is much bigger these days, of course, but still…

  15. Heliocentric says:

    My 4 year old ROCKS trackmania. This is because it is a truly perfect game, not because of simplisity, but because of a lack of flaws.

    And because i replaced the vehicles with forklift trucks and a little lego quad bike with a little lego man on it etc.

    Flawless games are kids games, by definition.

    GTA will save pc? i dont follow.

    Its more a threat with its console-firstness than anything else i can think of, hell, i nearly got a ps2 for san andreas, then i realised how hideous playing games on a crt tv was, but when gta 4 came out, again i was eyeing the xbox 360s seeing the hyptastic 10 out of 10 reviews.

    Thank god it takes me 6 months to actualy make purchases as a result of over considering or my house would be filled with all manner of crap.

    I like the idea of war (i’m an ex games workshopper), for example when i saw dawn of war, i got it becase of its background, not because of relic or reviews. But really, the best parts of warhammer are the extreme things the moments of insane intensity. Warhammer would make a much better combat-action game than an mmo. MMO’s are inherently (it seems) grind driven and monthly fee’d. Those 2 things are all i need to hear to know i’ll never play the game.

  16. BrokenSymmetry says:

    In my opinion, these sales numbers (for some of the top PC games of the year) are in fact pretty low (and probably less than expected by their publishers). Compare this to the sales of the top console games released this year: GTA4 8 million, Super Smash Bro. Brawl 8 million, MGS4 3.5 million.

  17. Thomas Lawrence says:

    Um, what? Spore has been out for THREE WEEKS.

    And it will sell well in the Xmas trade, too.

    GTA4 on console is hardly a fair comparison, either.

  18. kuddles says:

    Anyways, I don’t want that to be the last comment. Instead I just want to say, yes, it’s time to be happy. As much as I fret and fuss over the sign of the times with my preferred platform of gaming being given short shrift, I still find myself playing more games on my PC then the consoles again this year, and buying more and more of them as digital downloads. Crysis Warhead, Sins of a Solar Empire, Warhammer, Witcher:EE, STALKER: Clear Sky, and the likes of Far Cry 2, Fallout, Red Alert 3, Sacred 2 and many more on the horizon has me looking forward to another holiday season of being fully entertained with my mouse in hand.

  19. Funky Badger says:

    Jochen: same with films, same with books, same with tv, same with music…

    Saving Private Ryan was more succesful than The Thin Red Line
    Harry Potter is more successful than His Dark Materials
    Baywatch was more successful than The Wire
    Boyzone were more successful than the Stone Roses

  20. tecro says:

    PC gaming is doing really well considering that Microsoft has subsidised its Xbox projects to the tune of several billion and deliberately pushes PC gamers towards the Xbox, and that technology on the console side has eliminated a lot of the old key disadvantages like low-res displays and lack of storage or networking.

  21. Shadowmancer says:

    Isn’t the pc dead yet?

  22. A-Scale says:

    And as for “actual evolution mechanics”, well. I can sympathise a little with those dispappointed that Spore isn’t more scientific and simulation-y, but let’s be clear – the appeal in this game is in creativity and the sharing of said creativity. Actual evolution mechanics, whatever their simulational merits, would have restricted this creativity. It is intentional that one be able to say, utterly reshape the design of the creature at any point.

    A google search for Spore Evolution turns up over 5 million hits. The promise of Spore was most certainly (stated or presumed) that it simulated evolution. The game is pure creationism, in its most basic form. I was hugely disappointed when I found that the design of a creature doesn’t really matter, just which parts you include. Spore is a god simulator, and you are the god.

    A-Scale, I think you’re slightly deluded. People like us, reading a video game blog in the middle of the day and who know what Metacritic scores are, are the minority when it comes to sales charts. The “softcore” exists and makes up the vast majority of the market. There’s a reason why the top ten PC titles usually is Warcraft or Sims Related. Even the Nancy Drew titles or Deer Hunter tend to outsell RTS titles by a wide margin.

    Are you quite sure that you aren’t trapped in 2003? World of Warcraft can hardly be defined as softcore, and Spore is the exception to the rule given its hype.

    Also, if you paid attention to my point, it was that C&C3 sold much better then most RTS titles nowadays. And Blizzard is the exception that proves the rule, especially since they rely on decade long development sessions and sequels to highly established brands.

    You’ve proven that there weren’t many RTS games which sold well last year. That doesn’t prove that RTS games don’t sell well, just that people didn’t like that batch. I didn’t either.

    A-Scale, what’s really strange about most people is that they expect to be entertained by a game. Not challenged.

    Unless by game you mean film, I think the two are inherently tied. A game without a challenge isn’t a game at all, and a challenge without a game is more akin to homework.

    A-Scale: so softcore PC gamers don’t exist? I guess Popcap and their ilk are making hats out of Monopoly money, then, yes?

    I loved peggle and I am most certainly in the “hardcore gamer” sect.

    It’s a shame I have to fend off so many attacks on this particular work PC. Firefox just crashed because I had four tabs open. The joys of 128mb of ram.

  23. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Unless by game you mean film, I think the two are inherently tied. A game without a challenge isn’t a game at all, and a challenge without a game is more akin to homework.

    What I mean is, most people play their games on easy difficulty – and most people are totally happy with what Spore has to offer. People don’t want to be challenged, they want to win. Just don’t make it too obvious and they are happy.

  24. A-Scale says:

    What I mean is, most people play their games on easy difficulty – and most people are totally happy with what Spore has to offer. People don’t want to be challenged, they want to win.

    I really don’t think you should be speaking for most people without some numbers to back your point up. I have always played my games on normal/hard difficulty, but I’m not going to purport to represent most people.

    Additionally, if most people were happy with what Spore had to offer I would have expected to see more copies sold. I somehow doubt that it is just reviewers who are unsatisfied with the simplicity of the game.

  25. Thomas Lawrence says:

    Spore uses some of the language and thematic trappings trappings of evolution, yes, but an evolution simulator it definitely is not. But with player design always at the forefront since the very first presentation years ago, was anyone seriously thinking it would actually simulate evolution in any real sense?

    But I’m happy to agree that it is indeed not an evolution simulator. However, all this is irrelevant, as your contention in the first post was that it would sell better were it an evolution simulator, which is just silly.

    I loved peggle and I am most certainly in the “hardcore gamer” sect.

    Yes, well done, but you surely aren’t contending that only the hardcore are buying Peggle. The game has broad appeal. But Peggle wouldn’t be a success if it were selling only to hardcore gamers like yourself. Popcap’s game Bejewelled has apparently sold over 10 million.

    Popcap’s genius, and Spore’s genius too, is to be simultaneously charming and accessible. Both the hardcore and softcore alike can appreciate these virtues.

    It’s a shame I have to fend off so many attacks on this particular work PC. Firefox just crashed because I had four tabs open. The joys of 128mb of ram.

    Increase the size of your paging file. And no-one’s attacking you, just your arguments.

  26. Thomas Lawrence says:

    Additionally, if most people were happy with what Spore had to offer I would have expected to see more copies sold.

    Since you’re now asking for actual numbers from people, I’ll ask for some from you: after three weeks, what level of sales do you feel Spore ought to have reached?

  27. A-Scale says:

    But I’m happy to agree that it is indeed not an evolution simulator. However, all this is irrelevant, as your contention in the first post was that it would sell better were it an evolution simulator, which is just silly.

    Silly? How? Because you dislike the idea? That’s quite narrow minded.

    Were Spore an actual evolution simulator, or an evolution sim which forced you to make certain adaptations or face the extinction of your species, it would be of educational value to children learning about evolution, which Spore in its current incarnation is not. It would also be a phenomenon in gaming, and present a method of gameplay never before seen. As it stands, it is a cutesy, glorified character creation game (as seen in every recent RPG) with some very basic gameplay elements slapped on.

    Yes, well done, but you surely aren’t contending that only the hardcore are buying Peggle. The game has broad appeal. But Peggle wouldn’t be a success if it were selling only to hardcore gamers like yourself. Popcap’s game Bejewelled has apparently sold over 10 million.

    It is entirely possible that most of Peggle’s sales are to the broader hardcore audience. I don’t see why it is unreasonable to believe that 70% or more of Peggle’s sales are to people who are hardcore gamers, but can’t agree on what kind of hardcore they enjoy (Crysis players, Company of Heroes Gamers, WoW gamers, etc). I haven’t seen any numbers presented yet, so I’m not going to presume that one or the other is true.

    Popcap’s genius, and Spore’s genius too, is to be simultaneously charming and accessible. Both the hardcore and softcore alike can appreciate these virtues.

    That’s all opinion. I find Spore to be charming, but entirely boring and simplistic. As a hardcore gamer, I appreciate what they were shooting for, but I believe they fell short of the mark.

    Since you’re now asking for actual numbers from people, I’ll ask for some from you: after three weeks, what level of sales do you feel Spore ought to have reached?

    One can only imagine, but if Spore had succeeded in being cute enough to appeal to the young and uninitiated, complex enough to bring in the hardcore gamers (particularly in the RTS stages), and offered truly revolutionary gaming, its sales could be much much higher.

    Increase the size of your paging file. And no-one’s attacking you, just your arguments.

    Wouldn’t that be nice. One can only suffer so many sarcastic “well done”s and “I think you’re slightly deluded” comments before they feel assailed.

  28. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Ok, let’s replace ‘most people’ with ‘all casual gamers I know’. Of course these people often have one or two favourite games where they play through multiple times, on harder and harder difficulties. But most games they play, they just play easy.

  29. Larington says:

    Spore hasn’t sold multiple millions in a short timeframe because the hype machine tended to only reach the hardcore market imho many of which may not have ‘word-of-mouthed’ the game to mainstream audiences.

    I’m probably a core gamer, but I certainly haven’t given it a shot, can’t be bothered. I think its mostly because games that try to do everything tend to be average at all these things, whereas a game that focuses on a subset of gameplay such as sneaking or fighting a war (from above or within a soldier) tend to be easier to abstract into gameplay. So I guess I pushed myself away with my own assumptions about how the game would be.

  30. Saflo says:

    Casual games like The Sims flood the charts,

    Is The Sims really casual, though? Yes, it’s popular with people who don’t usually play games, but I’ve always found it to be pleasingly deep, as well as murderously difficult and addictive.

  31. A-Scale says:

    Spore hasn’t sold millions because the hype machine tended to only reach the hardcore market imho.

    I saw Spore hype on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, the NY Times, etc. I can’t possibly imagine how the hype could have reached more casual gamers/non gamers!

    Ok, let’s replace ‘most people’ with ‘all casual gamers I know’. Of course these people often have one or two favourite games where they play through multiple times, on harder and harder difficulties. But most games they play, they just play easy.

    How does this support your point?

  32. Larington says:

    Hardcore gamers tend to be much better at enthusing about why a game is worth buying to his mates than a news channel reporting on what is purported to be the next big hit, thats kinda of what I’m trying to get at.

    For instance someone in work asked me about spore and well, my response was meh, and, watch out for the DRM… Which I understand the media also gave mention when that issue became apparent to them.

  33. A-Scale says:

    Right, but your point was that the hype only touched the hardcore gamers, who played gatekeeper to the masses, and thanks to the DRM issues they didn’t push the game to the uninitiated gamers. But as I said, Spore hype was everywhere. I dare say that there was nary a US cable news station of any sort which didn’t mention Spore on or before launch day. Perhaps it was different in the UK (which is where I presume you hail from).

  34. Larington says:

    Yeah, that is a point. I think it’d be interesting to compare the reach of Spore to traditional media (print and televised) between the UK and US, and then compare sales for the two regions (adjusting for differences in population size/density).

    But yeah, post release, I get the sense spore didn’t generate as much excitement and enthusiasm as it could have with core gamers, the result is that when mainstream folks ask their ‘in the know’ friends about it, if they aren’t enthused and excited about the game as much as they had been about say, CoD4 (which generated huge OMG wordage) then that settles a seed of doubt in the mainstream folks which potentially (I can’t be certain) starts to counter-act the hype in traditional media.

    Yikes, I’m finding the idea of researching this very interesting, thats a turn up for the books.

  35. A-Scale says:

    I think the post release hype of COD4 goes to show what a good game it was, and the pre-game hype (and lack of post game hype) for Spore goes to show that it was a grand idea with less than great execution.

  36. TheDeadlyShoe says:

    415,000 (Age of Conan) subscribers is still six million a year… that’s pretty respectable. Plus the initial bump of sixty million. If even a ‘failure’ like age of conan can get those numbers I don’t see PC gaming dying anytime soon.. :)

  37. Larington says:

    Absolutely. As always, the mark of an idea isn’t the idea itself if experience is any judge – Its the implementation. So I’m told, ideas are a dime a dozen in the games industry, convincing someone to put the cash down to get your game made is the nigh on impossible task (Though turning up early for the pitching session and having everything ready before the execs walk through the door does help).

  38. Jochen Scheisse says:

    I know a lot more casual gamers than hardcore gamers. That’s why I guess they make up a majority of the buyers. These people will like SPORE as it is. Is that so hard to follow?

  39. MetalCircus says:

    One million copies. Jesus that’s bad.

  40. yutt says:

    …Left 4 Dead, Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3…

    There is also an expansion I heard about for some game called “World of Warcraft”. Not sure what that’s about, but it might sell a few copies.

  41. A-Scale says:

    I know a lot more casual gamers than hardcore gamers. That’s why I guess they make up a majority of the buyers. These people will like SPORE as it is. Is that so hard to follow?

    Not in the least, but your limited anecdotal experience tells us nothing about the broader market.

  42. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Sorry, must have left the “statistics to use for your arguments with freaks over the internet” book in my other pants. So I guess this ends here.

  43. A-Scale says:

    Sorry, must have left the “statistics to use for your arguments with freaks over the internet” book in my other pants. So I guess this ends here.

    No need to be rude. You shouldn’t try to make broad based statements about how “most people” act if you can’t back it up.

  44. Larington says:

    “These people will like SPORE as it is. Is that so hard to follow?”

    Well yes, they probably will, but they’ll listen to what people (particularly knowledgeable core gamers that they know in work/pub/social group or network) are saying about the game first, because £35/$50 is a lot of money to put down for a newly released game and they’ll want to know if their money might be wasted or not (Thats why people were so upset about the DRM issue prior to EA backing down and stating they’ll address the issues of de-activation and hardware changing wasting a license, because it was akin to renting a game – £35 pound for a game I feel as though I’m renting? screw that).

    Basically, the argument is, if the core audience were enthusing more about the game now its on shelves, the game would have sold quite a bit more than 1 million copies, though that certainly is a respectable number for any game it could have been more… And probably will be especially as it reaches budget/discounted prices and people decide the cost is now worth the impulse purchase.

    It is after all a common assumption that the mainstream audience is as willing as core gamers are to spend £35 on a game that could only last 6 hours in single player, in fact, the thing most likely to break open a market is affordable games, and yeah, maybe its even what you might call shovel ware, but the price is low enough you find yourself thinking, ahh what the heck, lets give it a go – I didn’t buy Mass Effect until it had reached £20 for that exact reason.

  45. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Look, it’s not as if you had backed up anything you said up to now. And I’m not even interested in you or me doing that, because we’re talking about video games here and I’m not trying to mind rape anyone with statistics for stuff like that.
    I just wanted to say that I noticed most casual gamers don’t seem to play for the challenge. Maybe I’m wrong and people who figure out perfect builds for games like GalCiv 2 and stuff like that make up the majority of customers, but I really don’t care enough to argue on a credit depression level about that.

  46. A-Scale says:

    Nor do I intend to speak for what “most people” like to do, or enjoy in their games. I’m simply pointing out that if Spore had covered a few more bases it could have presumably expanded its audience into several different constituencies among whom it was poorly received.

    Claiming that most people like their games to play out something akin to defeating a scarecrow with a flamethrower isn’t supportable without some numbers, and in my anecdotal experience it isn’t the case.

  47. gbarules2999 says:

    Let’s make up psychology and then make up market trends for that! Yay, everybody!

    Spore obviously could not have pleased everyone. It’s one game. No matter how many people work on it, it eventually has to stop somewhere.

  48. A-Scale says:

    Let’s make up psychology and then make up market trneds for that! Yay, everybody!

    I don’t think you have to fabricate an audience that enjoys a RTS with more depth than a brute force “the guy with the most units wins” experience.

    Spore obviously could not have pleased everyone. It’s one game. No matter how many people work on it, it eventually has to stop somewhere.

    How long was this game in development? A decade? For that much work, I expected much more.

  49. Iain says:

    I’d be intrigued to know what the sales figures were like for Sims 2 in its first three weeks to make a real comparison, but my take on Spore is this: it’s not going to be as successful as Sims 2 because it’s more of a game and less of a toy.

    I’m a little disappointed with Spore because it’s not as organic as I expected (or wanted) it to be. It’s too regimented and the flow of the game is too restrictive. I’m a great lover of The Sims because you can basically do whatever you like within the constraints of the game design – you’re given so much freedom to play according to your own whims. With Spore there are set objectives and goals, you can’t really just sit down and play with it, and see where the journey takes you. You may be God, but the amount of control you have over the game world is limited by comparison to something like Sims 2. This is why I’ve stuck literally hundreds of hours into Sims 2, but not completed a full run through Spore yet. Maybe the Space stage is more akin to the freedom you have in Sims 2, but by the Tribal stage I was pretty much losing my will to play the game. I mean, if Spore is anything to go by, it turns out that playing God is pretty insipid. Who would have thought it?

  50. Larington says:

    “Let’s make up psychology and then make up market trneds for that! Yay, everybody!”

    Its my understanding of whats happened based partly on what I’ve observed lately. And as far as the marketing trends are concerned, what I’ve learned from sessions on this topic at game development conferences where the results of extensive research and comparison to non-games marketting models to see how well they match up (quite well it would seem). I wouldn’t be saying it if I hadn’t observed it.