Double Fine On Not Producing PC Games

By Jim Rossignol on November 25th, 2010 at 11:26 am.


This is baffling. Via VG247, Double Fine say that their publishers do not allow/enable them to produce PC versions of their games: “We have much of the technology in place to produce PC versions of all these games, but there is still some more work required to make them shippable and that costs money. So far, our publishers have not elected to fund that work. Not because they hate PC gamers, but because they don’t see enough financial reward.” I get that this is Schafer basically saying “it’s not my fault”, but it still seems like a peculiar decision. Small budget, download-only games… Nope, such a thing is UNHEARD OF in PC land. It must be impossible to make a profit from them. Doubly peculiar that THQ, a publisher that otherwise brings everything out on PC, should be the one falling down in this regard. I’ve asked THQ for a comment. Basically because Costume Quest and Double Fine’s new game, Stacking, look like perfect PC fodder to me.

Hell, what do I know.

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108 Comments »

  1. Malibu Stacey says:

    Yeah, well… we’ll make our own small budget, download-only games, with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the small budget, download-only games!

  2. markcocjin says:

    It’s likely a console exclusive contract signed by Double Fine. I don’t see why the PC would be such a threat to them. They could have always outsourced the PC port if they were worried so much about not having enough funding.

    Someone should just create a hack to run these games on PC similar to how Mac can run Windows programs.

  3. Eclipse says:

    I’m ok with them doing stuff only for consoles, but writing such things:
    “Double Fine does care about PC gamers, and we always push for a PC version, and will continue to do so in the future. If we ever get super stinking rich here, with enough money to fund PC versions of our games, then we will go back and make them ourselves! Oh man, wouldn’t that be cool?”
    When there are tons of much poorer indie developers doing PC games is just bullshit…
    Let’s say Shafer doesn’t want to piss off his publisher going solo or he’s scared about making a bet on PC gaming.

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/31732/Schafer_Poor_Returns_Keep_Double_Fine_Games_Away_From_PC.php

      I notice you’re copy/pasting your comment from Gamasutra and since it’s still wrong I will copy/paste my response:

      Because indies don’t have to pay salaries for an entire studio?

      To which you reply:

      “indie doesn’t mean you don’t have a studio and a real team working on a game… there are solo\very small developers but there are a whole lot of indie and small studios too, they’re maybe the vast majority”

      Which I was not going to reply to, but since you insist on believing Schafer is lying:

      If you think you can compare the finances of a small to mid-size indie team with those of a large studio you do not know how game development works.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      That might be true, but is it really the case that conversion to PC is so costly that it can’t possibly make a profit on PC, once all the art and design work is already done? I don’t think so.

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      I don’t know, my impression is that the cost of developing a port is, to coin a coder phrase, ‘non-trivial’.

      Even if the architecture between 360 and PC are not THAT different there’s still a lot of programming work involved, not to mention redesigning the interface. Can’t bring out a PC game without keyboard/mouse support. I mean, you could, but The Internet would be angry.

      Maybe you’re right it would make enough money back, but clearly publishers are unconvinced.

    • Jannakar says:

      Jim: It might be possible to make a profit. It would seem a rather risk-averse approach to not do so. A company would not normally turn down the chance to make a profit (above a minimum profit margin I imagine). It is sort of legally obliged to do so.

      But if the cost of porting a game when the majority of the development work is completed is greater than the expected income, then things are looking pretty bad.

    • Kadayi says:

      Also they don’t have to dink around with graphical settings & resolutions that much with consoles.

    • cliffski says:

      Well… the costs of a PC port ARE trivial, in comparison with porting the other way, because the PC has no platform holder with a silly list of ‘requirements’ to be ‘approved’.
      I’m not familiar with the games in question, but in terms of the UI, most games UI has less fiddly crap to deal with than Gratuitous Space Battles. Seeing as that entire game is 2 man-years of work, and even assuming that the UI re-design would be 25% of that (it wouldn’t) thats 6 months for a decent developer, so assuming what i earned in my last job, thats £20k.
      So if they sell their games at £10 each, they need to sell 2,000 copies.

      That doesn’t sound like a lot to me, and I’m just an indie.
      But hey, I’m all for people leaving the PC platform to people like me.

    • Curvespace says:

      Double Fine have restructured to consist of multiple, small, agile teams, not dissimilar in set-up to small independents. In this respect they almost act as their own stable of development teams. They should absolutely invest in the technology and process to release on PC because they can disseminate this know how (though it doesn’t really take much) across the company for all of their subsequent releases.

      They’re intelligent guys, they know this stuff, so it seems to me there probably IS more to this story than meets the eye and it might very well be bound-up in some greater political business decision with their publisher.

    • skalpadda says:

      It’s a bit strange when the last game (and only, I think?) they released for PC was Psychonauts, five years ago, and THQ has indeed been pretty good at releasing their titles on PC. I know it sold a bit poorly initially, but surely that game must have made back it’s investment by now considering it’s cult status and the amount of recommendations and hype it still gets everywhere.

      Maybe it’s a publisher deal with Microsoft that’s keeping them back, hopefully we’ll see some of their games ported eventually.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Their games are on PSN as well as XBLA apparently so a Microsoft exclusivity deal sounds highly unlikely.

    • Nelsormensch says:

      As an anecdote, it took us about four months to get DeathSpank 1/2 ready for PC and (as recently announced) Mac. There were about 5 people on average, plus a few more for QA. That may seem like a lot, but it’s more complicated than some may think. That’s presuming you want to a good job and make it feel organic, not like some crap “PC port” (and I’m pretty proud of PC DeathSpank. It’s my favourite version of the game). We probably could have been more efficient about it too, and a game with a simpler interface/controls would take even less time.

      So it’s not trivial, but it’s not a monumental undertaking either. Crude back of the envelope math puts break even somewhere between 7000 and 10k PC/Mac sales. For a game big enough to have a publishing partner, that’s practically guaranteed. Everything beyond that is profit and, probably more importantly, good will from customers. It might not be bundles of money, but one should never turn up your nose at sales. Plus you can never predict when something’s going to hit just right and strike a cord with a ton of PC/Mac people.

      If THQ doesn’t want to do it, I’d say it’s the piracy boogeyman way more than a concern about profitability. But given how many of THQ’s games end up on PC, I’m pretty skeptical about that being the reason.

    • Wulf says:

      Are we honestly arguing with someone who thinks that a port of something that exists on the XBox 360 to the PC is non-trivial? In fact, if it’s built the right way, it can be entirely trivial.

      XNA. XNA, and also XNA. With some XNA on top. Including some XNA. Also note how XNA ties into DirectX, these days. Did I mention XNA?

      In fact, it’s actually more difficult and costly to port from the XBox 360 to the PS3 (due to the unworldly hardware), than it is to port to the PC. This is something that Valve complained about for a long time, before finally giving in and admitting that they wanted the juicy profit-fruits of PS3 users. In this case, I will note that one of the largest money-making developers out there thought that the PC was a better platform for making profits than the PS3 was. They believed that the effort and cost of making a PS3 port wasn’t worth the reward, but that working on PC/Xbox 360 was.

      Now, either Newell is lying, or Schafer is. I don’t like Schafer much these days, at all, really. So I’m going to point at Schafer and yell liar, liar, pants on fire.

      So I’m sorry, Dodo (who is apparently also a ninja), you’re the wrong one.

      Also, just because I like proving how wrong people can be, you’re also wrong about this…

      “Because indies don’t have to pay salaries for an entire studio?”

      Look at Notch of Mojangg Specifications. He’s completely indie, in fact, Notch is as indie as you can get. And Double-Fine look massive in comparison to him, and yet his pet project is pulling in ludicrous amounts of money, and he’ll be rolling out other games soon, all funded on the back of how well his indie game did.

      Notch is now paying the salaries of a small studio, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

      The thing is, it may be impossible to bring something like Brutal Whoziwotsits to the PC, due to the size and complexity of it, but a small, downloadable game, like their recent one, would be the perfect candidate for building upon XNA and releasing on both PC and the 360.

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      @Wulf

      You’ll notice I did actually point out the similarity between PC and 360. The argument stands regardless. You’re not going to redesign the interface, make it compatible with countless configurations, test it and ship it overnight.

      I’m not a programmer so I’m not going to argue with you about XNA. I’m sure it’s lovely.

      My point about salaries was that the average indie team does not have a large staff to support, along with other costs involved in running a large (again, LARGE) studio… so indies can afford to be more nimble and since they are self-funded they can mostly do what they want.

      The flaw in Eclipse’s argument being “if indies can afford to develop for PC, so can Double Fine”. That’s not how it works.

      I really don’t know how Minecraft is relevant to this discussion.

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      It does seem strange that THQ would elect not to port Costume Quest, as that would seem relatively low-cost, but publishers have been known to make bone-headed decisions.

    • Mo says:

      @Wulf:
      Double Fine games come out on PS3 as well. Using XNA would definitely exclude the PS3, or heck, any platform without a .NET VM and DirectX. Which is basically every platform except PC and Xbox360. It would be shortsighted for any reasonably sized indie developer to invest significantly in a closed/limited API.

      And sure, XNA is a bit good, but honestly, I’d rather be writing unmanaged (C/C++) code. Problem with XNA on Xbox is that the garbage collector is, errr, garbage. Every time it cleans up your frame rates drops significantly. So the only way to avoid that is to allocate everything statically, thus defeating the entire purpose of writing in a managed language. With both games I’ve written in XNA, there was a great deal of satisfaction in getting stuff up & running quickly, but there was a lot of pain trying to shoe-horn C# into behaving more like an unmanaged language (ie: getting the garbage collector to never, ever run).

      But really, for Double Fine it’s more about the multiplatform thing.

    • A Nonymous Game Dev says:

      “…is it really the case that conversion to PC is so costly that it can’t possibly make a profit on PC, once all the art and design work is already done? I don’t think so.”

      I don’t know much about the specifics of Double Fine as a studio, but I do know something about the general state of the industry. Artists and Designers for games are, relatively speaking, cheap and plentiful. Programmers for games are not. Game Programmers are generally aware that they can get tons more money by working in the so-called ‘real world’, and often leave to do so. Programming resources are, at most studios, the most constrained and overworked of all categories.

      Given that most studios hate to fire people once they’ve been acquired, they like to keep their Artists and Designers busy creating new games. But those Artists and Designers need Programmer support to do their jobs. If a some of the never-enough Programmers are working on a port, then Art and Design for The Next Big Thing are being under-supported (or laid off).

      So the issue isn’t so much the cost of the port Programmers’ salaries — it’s the opportunity cost to the entire studio of not focusing on projects that use all of the studio’s people.

    • mbourgon says:

      @Wulf – yes, it’s trivial to create a garbage port nobody on the PC side wants to play. What are our bare minimum requirements? Savegame instead of checkpoints. Mouse/keyboard instead of xbox controller. A UI suited for the PC side. It does seem like Nelsormensch’s costs are high, since from what I can see the costs are all design choices, but my bet is a lot of time was spent making sure it ran well on the various “platforms” (ATI, nvidia, AMD, intel, sound cards, etc).

  4. mqzpla says:

    Well, that and GFW means that THQ does hate the PC.

  5. Navagon says:

    Tim who? So this completely unheard of Tim guy I haven’t heard of before managed to find a publisher even more retarded than Ubisoft? Well that’s a pity.

    • Eclipse says:

      never played Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango or Psychonauts?

    • LimEJET says:

      If you have never heard of Tim Schafer, you must be a sad, sad being.

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      @Navagon
      Couldn’t have said it better myself.
      @Rest of you
      Sarcasm. Look it up.

    • Risingson says:

      I know those games. You know, they are games from THE PAST.

      Back when he respected pc gamers and he didn’t tell that condescending excuses.

    • Vague-rant says:

      All your comments are from the past. HAH!

      Edit; To make this an actual comment, he still developed those games. You can’t take away the credit he deserves for that, but you can be more suspect of his future games.

    • Eclipse says:

      @Risingson: I know, that’s why I’m sad with Double Fine
      @DevilSShadoW : your sarcasm detector is broken

    • Navagon says:

      @ Eclipse

      Sarcasm usually includes some indication of, you know, sarcasm. Like how I said I hadn’t heard of the guy three times in a row. That kind of thing. This is the internet. A sarcastic tone is one that’s difficult to convey here.

    • Wulf says:

      Why play Brutal Legend, though? I spent some time with it and frankly found it to be a sucky pseudo-RTS with incredibly poor dialogue. Dialogue is everything to me, as those who know me are aware of. It’s a sad, SAD, bleeding SAD thing compared to Psychonauts, which actually had some nicely written stuff going on, there. Hell, the narrative was bad too, all in all it was an extremely subpar experience.

      I could’ve understood if you said you were playing Psychonauts, as that truly was a gem.

    • Dominic White says:

      “Oh, don’t undersell the failure. It was a dumbed down RTS that did everything it could to hide that it was an RTS”

      Wow. Way to show your ignorance. Schaefer has gone on record saying that it’s an update of (arguably) the very first RTS – Herzog Zwei. Educate yourself, spanky.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EO53h7nWEU

      You build units, you fly around looking at the battlefield, you land and directly support them – yep. Looks about right. And it is astoundingly fun in multiplayer.

  6. Rick says:

    Ok, that (very poorly) accounts for their current publisher. What’s Schafer’s excuse about their old publisher of EA, who published Brutal Legend. The very same EA that just gave us both episodes of Deathspank?

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      Since (apparently) Brutal was not a huge seller on consoles they obviously did not think they would make enough money to justify a PC release, which they may be wrong about, but it’s not hard to see why they would think that. I don’t think there’s many recent games where the PC version has outsold the console version.

    • Kadayi says:

      Brutal legend

      ‘It’s the new game by Tim ‘Psychonauts’ Schafer and the ppls at Double fine’ ‘Yay!!’

      ‘It stars Jack Black!!’ *Silence*

      ‘It’s all about heavy metal’ ‘ZZZZZZ…..’

      It bombed on 360, I don’t envisage it was going to go great guns on PC either

    • KillahMate says:

      But that’s ridiculous. That’s why Steam and Impulse etc. exist – with no distribution cost and minimal advertising, you would have to sell like a thousand copies to break even, and everything after that is pure profit. I’m pretty sure there’s more than one thousand people who would buy a new game from Tim Freakin’ Schafer – me included!

      Also, do you know what really ticks me off? Do you know why Brutal Legend sold poorly on the consoles? Because it’s an RTS! That thing that PCs were made for! ARRRGH!

    • Snidesworth says:

      Metal and Jack Black weren’t the problems. The problem was that it was a stealth-RTS. The advertising made it out to be a 3rd person action game (which would have been awesome) when it actually quickly turns into an RTS. That combined with a few other things (the general gameplay wasn’t too strong, the writing wasn’t quite as good as Psychonauts, game was based in an open world environment and didn’t populate it with absolutely loads of stuff to do) meant the game didn’t fare so well.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yeah, it was an idea that would have suited a low budget pc indie game. Not a million dollar budget console title. The budget for the game was in the millions, so even if they did release it through Steam they would have had to have sold quite a lot of copies to break even.

    • Wulf says:

      @KillahMate

      Oh, don’t undersell the failure. It was a dumbed down RTS that did everything it could to hide that it was an RTS, simplifying wherever it could, and watering down the very experience the game was built on. If Brutal Legend was built as a PC game first, had embraced its RTS core fully, had dropped Jack Black from the proceedings, and had some more work done with the plot, it could’ve been an amazing game.

      It also would’ve been a completely different game entirely.

    • Zogtee says:

      I loved pretty much everything about Brutal Legend, yes, even Jack.Black. The only problem was that it was really fucking boring. There were way too many points where I was standing out in the middle of nowhere, wondering where I was supposed to go or what I was supposed to to do. It was an empty and hollow experience.

    • crazyD says:

      It’s not an RTS, it’s a third person action game with pretty minimal RTS elements. Most of the haters tried to play it like an RTS, which will just lead to annoyance and frustration, since it is not an RTS.

    • JackShandy says:

      I think the problem with Brutal Legend was that it just didn’t give anyone exactly what they wanted out of it. The Tim Schafer fans went into it expecting a rough game elevated by a fantastic story, and got a super-polished game with a miniscule story mode. Everyone else went into it expecting an open world god of war, and got something else entirely. It certainly wasn’t a bad game, it just… wasn’t what people wanted it to be.

  7. derella says:

    It’s a shame, really. Double Fine is one of those developers I would love to support… But I just don’t like my 360.

  8. Rich says:

    Tim, you’re nothing to me now. You’re not a developer, you’re not a friend.

  9. Dude says:

    Why don’t they release Brutal Legend on the PC if that’s the case, as a download only game on Steam or something like that.

    The revenues for that one from the console retail market must surely have died out by now. I mean, even if piracy ruins it on PC, any sales they make on this platform is only a bonus.

    • stahlwerk says:

      But every pirated copy is a lost sale, which is, like, EIGHT TIMES AS BAD and manifests itself promptly in magic red on the annual report spreadsheet.

    • Tom says:

      Thats assuming that every pirate who steals a game would have bought it otherwise. I imagine thats not the case considering the main reason most people probrably pirate a game is down to three key points:

      1. They’re souless greedy cretins from the nether
      2. They can’t afford the game
      3. They want to test the game before buying (well thats the excuse they give but these in reality are probrably number 1 as well)

    • Wulf says:

      I actually belonged to group 3 for a time! 8D And honestly belonged there, I actually bought anything that I didn’t uninstall after an hour or two in complete disgust.

      Why have I stopped pirating? Money’s tight, and piracy was costing me too much damn money. If there’s not a demo of a game available, and I’m avoiding pirating it, then it’s easier to prioritise my money and interests, it’s easier to skip over certain games to get later in sales. Because I can’t miss what I haven’t had.

  10. Grape Flavor says:

    As long as they make Psychonauts 2, and it’s on PC, I’m happy.

    Brutal Legend and Costume Quest might be fun, I dunno, but they don’t have nearly the critical acclaim of Psychonauts, and BL features the ever-annoying Jack Black. So no big deal really IMO.

  11. Tei says:

    So, is that publisher doing his math the right way?

    What is the math of releasing a game “download only” on Steam, compared to the Xbox?

    Are the Xbox users easier to scam^h^h^h^h^h^h monetize?

    • rocketman71 says:

      Yep, they are.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Tei, Halo and all of its sequels were multiple bestsellers. Of COURSE those idiots are easier to bilk than us.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I played Halo on PC. The singleplayer campaign was good & the multiplayer was quite fun. That was 6 or 7 years ago though & then they scored an own goal with the “Halo 2 is Direct X 10 systems or nothing” & from my XBox owning friends I’ve heard the sequels haven’t really lived up to the original.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I think Halo 3 was the best personally. It really got the ideas from the first game down perfectly. Halo 2 was a big disappointment. So far I’m not really enjoying Reach though.

      Crysis is far better than them all in my opinion.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Halo 3 was an alright shooter. The bits with vechicles were generally pretty good, the rest of it was fairly meh.

      The plot was an ernormous pile of incomprehensible shit though. And not only that, but epic, worthy, important incomprehensible shit.

  12. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i feel guilty about this, this news happened straight after i asked him why he hates pc gamers on twitter :( i didn’t mean to cause all this fuss!

    Reading between the lines in his statement it seems pretty clear to me that Double Fine’s been offering their publishers a PC SKU bolt on fee which would be the money needed to do a good port & publishers want him to crap out a cheap port and he, rather than knowingly produce an inferior product, is choosing not to put one out at all which if true i feel is a brave and noble stance.

  13. MrMud says:

    Its wierd but considering Double Fines recent output not very sad.
    Brutal Legend was part brilliant (story, atmosphere) and part terrible (the RTS part) to the extent that I quit playing shortly after the RTS segments were introduced.
    Costume Quest is incredibly cute but utlimately shallow and uninteresting.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Brutal Legend could be a great PC game but it’d need a huge amount of re-working. Basically upping the difficulty of the RTS segments and having them done top-down and pointer-controlled.

      Released as it stands on PC it’d get one hell of a kicking otherwise, as it’d be far more obviously a dumbed-down RTS with a (on PC) silly control scheme.

      I did like Costume Quest though. Not much too it but enjoyed the time I spent on it.

  14. Deano2099 says:

    Speculation: none of those games would really be improved by a PC port would they? As in, something like CODBLOPS, it’ll look better, run faster and (ymmv) control better on a PC.

    Costume Quest would just be exactly the same as on the 360. And I’ve already bought it on the 360. While it would sell on the PC, I do wonder how many exclusively PC gamers there are that don’t have a 360 AND would be interested in a title like that.

    On this site, loads, I’ll wager. But on a wider scale.. are there that many PC gamers that don’t also own a console?

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      I Don’t know about everyone else but i personally object to the concept of the games console and so don’t own one on moral/politcal grounds and no exclusive will ever change that.

    • D says:

      Thats an interesting question Deano, you should ask WoW.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I have a tiny old tv which I only ever use to watch football, so a console is not much of an option for me anyway. Down with console exclusives!

    • zergrush says:

      I use the PS3 on my monitor with a HDMIxDVI cable.

      And I only play fighting games and Demon’s Souls on it, never got one of those download-only titles from PSN, so yeah, if Double Fine’s games were on PC I’d consider buying them.

      I only got Shank and Deathspank when they were released on Steam ~.~

    • Saiko Kila says:

      There are countries where consoles practically don’t exist, or are a margin only.

    • MattM says:

      I bought a Wii and a PS3 for console exlusives, but cant justify getting an x360 yet. My stack (and steam/gog virtual stack) of games to be played is huge. I have been doing plenty of console gaming on my PC recently though. PCSX2 is better than the real thing if you have hardware to upscale your old ps2 games and it means I can play on a high def screen without the game looking like rubbish.

    • Wulf says:

      IndieGames Blog, TIGSource, JayIsGames, and all the developers they cover…

      Right, ayep. There’s no audience for this on the PC at all, whatsoever.

      I bought Deathspank on the PC because there’s no audience on the PC for small, downloadable games whatsoever.

      A sizable portion of the catalogues of Steam, Gamer’s Gate, Impulse, and the likes are imaginary, and simply do not exist. PopCap develop purely for consoles.

      …what topsy-turvy, upside-down, back-to-front bizarro reality are you from, again?

    • Deano2099 says:

      There’s an audience obviously. It’s just the size of it that I’m questioning. And most of those indie games you mention are PC ‘exclusives’ – or they came out on the PC way earlier. Hell, I’d rather have played Brutal Legend and Costume Quest on the PC, but I got them on 360 as it was the only option.

      The same goes for WoW – the PC is the only place you can play it.

      All I’m asking is the group that want to play Brutal Legend, but don’t already own a 360, really that big? Likewise Costume Quest, though as it’s a bit more casual and would run on more PCs then there’s a stronger argument there, but I’d argue that Costume Quest isn’t *that* casual a game. It’s certainly not as pick up and play as something like Plants vs Zombies…

    • Lilliput King says:

      People really ought to read Deano’s post before replying.

    • Deano2099 says:

      The irony is that over on another forum I’m arguing with a load of console gamers that think the PC is dead, and saying to them the exact same, quite correct points (WoW, indie) that people are saying to me here. Sometimes subtlety can be tricky…

    • Hidden_7 says:

      I own a PS3 and use it to play games occasionally, but I much prefer playing games on my PC. To the point that I have bought games when they came out on the PS3 because I wanted to play them when they came out, but then bought them later when they came out on PC because I wanted to play them properly. It’s gotten to the point now where I just can’t be bothered to play games on my PS3. There are even recent games (Red Dead Redemption, for example) where I am waiting for a PC release that will probably never come. I definitely avoided Brutal Legend on PS3 because I was waiting for a PC release. Luckily for me it turns out that I probably wasn’t missing that much. I’m currently waiting for a PC release of Costume Quest, even though I could get it on the PSN.

      My PS3 sees most of its use these days as a player of videos.

      So I don’t know how many people there are like me, but I reckon it’s usually good figuring to assume that you aren’t that unique, and in any case, there’s at least me.

  15. Kadayi says:

    THQ might be waiting for all the DF download games to come out and then they might release a PC retail compilation perhaps.

  16. Bill says:

    You’re right, most peculiar… most peculiar indeed…

    It’s almost like Shafer’s talking out of his sainted arse again

  17. John Peat says:

    No-one should really care about Costume Quest – it reminded me of Penny Arcade Adventures only with a LOT more saccharine loaded onto it.

    It’s not like the PC is exactly lacking in such titles and if they don’t want our money – fuck em…

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      It reminded me of Penny Arcade Adventures, except actually funny (also cute). It has some rough edges but it’s an absolutely charming little game. Shame it’s not coming to the PC any time soon as it’d be a good fit even with a quick’n'dirty port job.

    • John Peat says:

      You realise funny isn’t a constant – yes?

      Apparently no?

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Yes, I am saying that Costume Quest is funny/PAA is unfunny and anyone who says otherwise is grotesquely wrong and a damn filthy liar, clearly.

  18. FernandoDante says:

    Nazis. A couple of years ago, I even purchased Psychonauts on Steam out of guilt.

    I’ll be here, not playing Brutal Legend or any of their games, thank you very much.

  19. adonf says:

    It’s not simply a matter of porting, because they say that already have the technology working on the PC (actually lots of console developers make PC versions of their engines for game designers to work on, this way they don’t need a development kit for everyone who works on the game. Especially now that consoles are not limited to an SD TV screen.). Well maybe they’d have to adapt some of the controls, but I believe that the biggest problem is testing and solving all compatibility issues. Professional QA is not cheap, and that’s something that is usually paid for by the publisher.

    And also, what is their label at THQ ? Some labels inside major publishers have a very console-centric culture and will always say no to PC ports. Maybe that’s what is happening there.

  20. Pijama says:

    Ah, fuck’em. Straightforward no-drama approach. Lots of folks there deserving more the money.

  21. bluebottle says:

    Well, DF’s new business model (with small teams operating effectively as indies) is unproven in the eyes of their publishers, so its easy to see, given that most publishers treat the PC as an afterthought, why THQ are trying to keep their investment costs down until its viability is proven.

    It is most definitely counter productive of them though, if not at all unsurprising. Given the realitve strengths of the indie scene on both platforms, I would suspect that there would actually be greater potential in a PC version than X-box, but then it’s not as if publishers are well known for their all encompassing knowledge of the industry nuances.
    “COD sells more on x-box – so everything must sell more on x-box”

    Shame really, because I like what Schafer is trying to do, and I think it’d sit quite happily on my little grey box.

  22. LionsPhil says:

    You’re all forgetting the need to pay for a license for the DRM middleware needed to protect a game ported to PC from tehs piracies, along with the very real and not-at-all-fabricated cost of inevitable pirated PC copies transforming into lost sales on the original gaming platforms.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Simple work arounds for both. Release on something like Steam (with added benefits like cloud saving etc) so the DRM & sales channel is covered & release a while after the console versions have gone out like EA did with DeathSpank to minimize lost sales (and hopefully use the interim time between console & PC release to fine-tune the PC version to make it more awesome).

    • Thants says:

      Something about this thread is damaging people’s sarcasm detectors.

  23. quake1istehbestgameintheworld says:

    Yeah, and all Double fine game sells so well on console. Obviouly, the market is here, not on PC.

    Wait no, they sell terribly, but that must be because their games are terribad.

  24. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Too late and unconvincing, a thousand curses upon Tim Shafer’s head =/

  25. MikoSquiz says:

    Preorders collection? Send us $10, if enough people do we’ll port it and you get a copy, if not enough people send money we’ll give you back $9.90. (I’m presuming there is some expense involved in setting up to get $10 off a few thousand people and then send it back to them again)

  26. Christopher M. says:

    Now, if Schafer had any part in this decision, it would strike me as odd… ’cause the last games Schafer brought out on PC were Psychonauts and Grim Fandango. Grim Fandango was brought out at the tail end of the adventure game genre – it didn’t sell not because of anything to do with PC gamers, but because the market didn’t want it right then. And Psychonauts sold equally horribly across all platforms. So… I’m not seeing any precedent here. At all.
    If it is just THQ, I wouldn’t be surprised; publishers chase the money every time, and it seems like every publisher on Earth right now is convinced that nobody makes money on the PC. Nonetheless, fie on THQ. It’s getting really hard to know whom to trust anymore; only Valve really hasn’t done much of anything to screw over the PC market recently.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Nay, publishers are lazy people too. They don’t chase money every time, they let it go if they think it would cost too much of their money (mostly marketing budget money) or time to invest. It’s like wholesale and detail – they don’t do detail, or so they think. I wouldn’t stop to pick up a dime.

  27. Gabbo says:

    This is why I’ve lost interest in most of Double Fine’s games. I understand and appreciate what Schafer has done on pc in the past, but I’m not buying a console just to play his new games. As THQ has recently been interested in putting out PC games of all levels of production cost, so this sounds like scrambling for excuses to me.

  28. Barman1942 says:

    Well, if they want to be stupid and make even less money by not releasing on PC, then by all means…

  29. MeestaNob says:

    Sleep with dogs, get fleas.

    The days of the publisher are numbered.

  30. JackShandy says:

    Personally, I actually have an xbox but can’t be bothered going through the whole xbox live microsoft points malarkey. Damned shame.

  31. SquareWheel says:

    The new game isn’t coming to PC either?

    Noooooo

  32. Inactiviste says:

    Not much of a loss, Costume Quest is pretty bad.

    It looks charming, but it overstays its welcome by three hours, which is quite consequent for a four hours game. Watch a youtube video of the beginning, see how cute the game looks, and then forget it, it’s not worth it except if you like playing again and again the same stupid battles with absolutely no choices required. It’s like nobody ever played (or at least understood) how a jRPG works…

    Next time I hope they have a game designer, or at least someone who played the genre they choose to make on the team.

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