Despite the doom and gloom that seems to follow the future of PC gaming around there have always been a group of stalwart supports. Developers and companies whose best works appeared first on PC and later, if ever, on consoles. But these days those few shouts in the dark seem to be dwindling. The latest to make the jump? id Software.
But id CEO Todd Hollenshead, doesn’t totally agree that they have switched sides, or that there even need to be sides for PC gaming to survive.
“That whole PC first thing, you have to go back in id history to see why id initially developed for the PC”, he said.
It used to be, he said, that developers had to change so many things, jump through so many hoops, to get their games on consoles that it just wasn’t worth it for some.
“Wolfenstein 3D, there was a Nintendo version of that, that was like a black day in id history, how they made us change it to run on the Nintendo platform”, he said. Platform owners “wouldn’t let you publish games on the console. We didn’t want to have our content governed by a third-party”.
“But that dynamic isn’t really like there anymore. There are lots of games that have content, whether it’s language or other forms of adult content, that is pushing the bounds of content on all platforms”.
With that hurdle gone, the decision comes down to one of economics, Hollenshead said.
“Our decision about multiplatform is dictated by the market”, he said. “We need to have all of these coordinated and released at the same time because that’s the way to get your game out to the most people”.
And doing that, he says, also allows you to maintain quality control, making sure all of your versions are good.
In many ways, that was the impetus for id Tech 5, to be able to create top notch, quality games for all platforms at the same time.
“So there is no stepdown or dilution between platforms”, he said.
But that doesn’t mean that Hollenshead and id Software thinks PC gaming isn’t important anymore.
“I think there are still some problems in the PC market”, he said. “There are issues in the market from a business standpoint, which means having a PC only title that the level of investment to make a triple A game is a tough thing if your not doing a subscription model”.
id actually thought about tinkering around with a subscription model for some of their games, but in the end realised it wasn’t a good fit for what they create.
“To open that up for the type of games we make isn’t really appealing to us”, he said. “World of Warcraft I can understand that, they have a service based aspect to that game. With our games we have always been about the free multiplayer stuff”.
Despite that, id still sees PC gaming as viable platform for games, even some exclusive games.
“Obviously Quake Live is only pc and we certainly hope we do well with that”, he said. “We still feel PC is a very important market. “