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PC Gaming Is Dying Blahblahblah

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.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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