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Thread: PC neglecting devs
31-10-2012, 12:52 PM #1
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PC neglecting devs
I know this isn't a new thing, but it strikes me as bizarre when developers seem to have no interest in the PC platform or fanbase. It's clear to me, at least, that there is a decent PC market - perhaps healthier now than a few years back - and it also seems that developing for the PC market might be pretty useful in upping the ante ahead of next-gen consoles to come. Call me naive, maybe - I know that PS3 and Xbox360 makes a whole shed of money. But why oh why do people like Rockstar, who owe so much to the platform in the past, utterly neglect 'us'? Never releasing the [much desired] Red Dead Redemption, not bothering, apparently, to port GTAIV well, and now not having a date or any info for GTAV on PC despite release windows for the console versions.. it annoys me. They are not alone, of course, but if anything everyone else seems to have got back on the ship a bit of late.
31-10-2012, 01:12 PM #2
Most of the target demographic also has a console (if only because a PS3 is a very affordable media PC/bluray player and the XBOX has halo :p) so they are already hit up. So all you are doing with a PC copy is splitting your fanbase.
Also, a PC game is a lot more effort. You have more than two hardware configurations to deal with and have to deal with things like drivers breaking compatibility (which, fortunately, doesn't happen much anymore).
Less economic answer:
PC gamers are dicks. Take a look at Dark Souls. When it first came out, pretty much all PC gamers (rightfully) screamed how much we wanted it (I have a PS3, so it didn't bother me :p). So the publisher/devs decided to dedicate a small team to the porting. Everyone was happy
Then PC gamers learned (because the devs told them...) that there were some problems. It wouldn't render at a higher resolution than the console versions and it would use GfWL. The former (at the time) made sense: everything was optimized for that resolution. The latter still makes sense: It probably has the same API calls as XBOX Live. And we would be getting the new DLC for free. Holy crap did PC gamers bitch.
Now, yes. The devs were idiots apparently (or so DSFix suggests :p) but the fact is, they made the effort. They delivered an experience on par with (if not better than) the native version. But PC gamers still treated them like garbage.
And that is the problem. A port is not a trivial amount of work. And considering that most of the vocal PC gamers argue how consoles ruin all games and that they are the master race (just check any of the other threads on this topic...). And when all you can expect are a few more sales to next quarter earnings at the cost of having hate and bile thrown at you, it makes sense to say "Screw it, let's just make another game for the consoles"
31-10-2012, 01:37 PM #3
I suspect that cross-platform games are getting harder to produce as the limits of the hardware are being tested. Every year people expect fancier and fancier graphics, which are only possible on aging consoles through hardware-specific tweaks. Porting that mess from one console to another can't be fun, but at least they expect significant sales to result from that. Porting it to PC is the same amount of work but with less reward. You demand fancy graphics, and this is what you get.
Yet another reason to look forward to the next generation of consoles.
31-10-2012, 01:54 PM #4
Ok so admittedly I work for PlayStation. But most the devs here haven't even played a PC game since the early 90s if at all. I had to explain slowly to one of our third party relations people what Steam was and what it could do.
So I'm sure some devs it's just a lack of interest or knowledge, especially amongst the decision makers.
31-10-2012, 01:55 PM #5
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- Jun 2012
What gundato is trying to say that pc gamers are more discerning and have standards:p
Also SMH at people who make games or work for a game company not knowing what steam is, are you making that up? If anything ever showed that for some developers making game is nothing more than a paycheck, this would be it.
31-10-2012, 01:59 PM #6
Yes there were many complaints. Unfortunately Dark Souls bore the brunt of the PC community's anger over being neglected by big publishers for so long, anger that wasn't meant for them alone, but the whole industry. I really don't think PC gamers whine any more than their console brethren.
31-10-2012, 02:12 PM #7
31-10-2012, 02:17 PM #8
And what I actually said was along the lines of this:
If you do simultaneous releases, you split your fan-base. You get access to more people, but you also potentially hurt your MP communities. Not a big deal, but something to consider. Also, how many more people is arguable since many "non hardcore" PC gamers have a console too. More importantly, you spend a lot more on development. I have no idea if they make that up, I don't have the numbers. Obviously there are special cases, but they aren't the norm.
If you do delayed releases, you pump a non-trivial amount of money and effort into something that will (generally) be treated as a bargain title by most gamers (regardless of how "evolved" they are :p). Because most of the people who NEEDED the game already bought it for their blu-ray player. That leaves bargain hunters and people who already have other games on their plate. Obviously there are special cases, but they aren't the norm.
And maybe DS was a special case (it damned well deserves to be :p), but I think we can both agree that PC games are better at the "slow burn, boost during Steam sales" approach whereas console games tend to go for "Lots of release quarter sales". And it makes sense. Those initial sales are what make back investments. The later sales are what you use to help absorb losses.
And while it is likely that consolers and PC gamers do bitch to the same degree (I disagree. I think console gamers tend to be more optimistic and hopeful. But I have nothing but anecdotal evidence to back that up), the big difference is WHY they bitch.
A console gamer will generally bitch because they are prejudiced against the inputs used (Move and Kinnect support causes lots of rage) or because they want a game or wish a game was better.
PC gamers bitch for all those reasons and one more: They bitch because a game IS available. Seriously, just go check basically any thread about the ports: PC gamers have a tendency to get angry that a game exists. The mere presence of a game is enough to insult the master race's platform of choice. And that is the big difference.
Maybe DS "bore the brunt of the PC community's anger over being neglected by big publishers for so long". But that doesn't matter. What matters is that a publisher/dev team decided to give it a shot (admittedly, a half-assed one :p) and were basically screamed at and treated like garbage. I don't care how abused the puppy was. If a dog at the pound tries to bite my hand off when I go to pet it, I am gonna go adopt a different dog.
31-10-2012, 02:19 PM #9
As for developers neglecting the PC, I think it's partially a cultural thing. In Japan, the success of a game is determined by the number of sales it has in the home market, rather than the overall sales. Since PC gaming in Japan isn't very large, most of their developers focus on the consoles. This is also why franchises like Metroid, which are fairly succesful in Europe and the USA but don't sell many copies in Japan, tend to get fewer sequels.
31-10-2012, 02:19 PM #10
Also Japanese devs especially barely know that the PC exists. So it will tend to be low on their radar.
31-10-2012, 02:26 PM #11
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31-10-2012, 02:27 PM #12
31-10-2012, 02:30 PM #13
31-10-2012, 02:31 PM #14
31-10-2012, 02:37 PM #15They bitch because a game IS available
31-10-2012, 02:43 PM #16
31-10-2012, 02:46 PM #17
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31-10-2012, 02:53 PM #18
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- Jun 2012
So much for reasonable discussion happening in this thread.
PS: pass and boycot are the same thing, you choose not to support it.
The US could have said 'I'll pass on doing trade with cuba'.
Dark souls isn't the jesus allmighty savior of pc gaming, a part of the community asking for a port and the port being incompetent are not mutually exclusive.
The devs get thanked with a big fat paycheck for a fairly minimal amount of work (they did not recreate any of the assets or textures, in fact they did not put in the baseline amount of effort into any aspect of the port, which is what the community lambasted them for), is that not enough?
In your mind they also deserve the unconditional love and eternal gratitude from the community? Getting paid is not enough now?
If starbucks had opened a chain in the UK (which they did), and put some kaka in their coco, then they wouldn't have deserved to be free of criticism either.
It's kind of sad how much you seem to look down upon the gaming community sometimes, and how high a pedestal you put content providers on.
Btw did you know that at one point in the past, pc and console versions of the same game were developed alongside eachother by independant development teams? Not ported?
Did you know that it is a lot more work to go through the motions of developing an entire game from scratch twice, than to redo part of the code (and not the art, assets, ai logic and everything else) and charge 60 bucks for it?
Did you know that just because something is ported from another platform, that does not mean that certain baseline standards dissapear for the pc platform?
Last edited by Finicky; 31-10-2012 at 03:03 PM.
31-10-2012, 02:57 PM #19
I have friends who passed on Saints Row 3 after finding out the PC version was going to be definitively better (and not having "gaming level" PCs). It sucks, but I can't blame them since I have done similar things in the past.
31-10-2012, 03:03 PM #20
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- Mar 2012
Um... there's a perfectly reasonable explanation, and everyone knows it but doesn't want to admit to it. Making games on the PC is hard. AAA games, that is, because they have custom-built renders that have to take literary hundreds of different PC configurations into account. Libraries like DirectX help a lot with that by taking the brunt of the work on itself, but not completely.
It's simply cheaper and faster (same thing as cheaper, really) to make games for Consoles, whose demographic is also not as shattered into different niches that is the PC market. You make generic bland shooter/action game on console and you're pretty much guaranteed a profit these days. Not so much on the PC.
And like some people have already mentioned, this isn't helped by a new generation of developers getting into the industry now that have only ever played on consoles.