PAX East: PC's Fragmentation Is Both Its Biggest Strength... And Weakness

With the arrival of Mantle and the more recent announcement of DirectX 12, PC gaming has been pushed back into the limelight. Timely then, was the PAX East panel "The Incredible Future of PC Gaming", which saw Star Citizen head man Chris Roberts, along with representatives from NVIDIA and Oculus VR, give their perspectives on where the platform is heading.

Roberts provides some of the more insightful dialogue, particularly regarding recent developments in graphics APIs that despite incremental attention have, for the most part, stagnated:

I think there's a fair amount of improvements that are moving in that direction, I'm pretty happy with that. It's one of the reasons I've backed Mantle and I'm quite happy to see finally the DirectX 12 announcement... we'll see [with] Microsoft saying 'Oh yeah, we care about PC gaming again' — they say that and then they don't pay attention to it and then they get back on it.

He goes on to say that PC gaming has always been big — it just hasn't taken "the same headlines" as consoles:

World of Warcraft has probably made more money than any other game, period, in the history of the game business including any of the big console franchises like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. So I think the platform is a huge platform. The problem is it's just kind of fragmented because of lots of different machines — do you have a high-end machine, do you have a low-end machine — but it's a great platform.

While I don't have any grave concerns about where PC gaming is heading, as a developer myself, I'm always happy to hear positive talk from some of the bigger names and companies in the business.

PC gaming: Not just still alive, but still dominant, says PAX East panel [ArsTechnica]


    I think my issue with "World of Warcraft has probably made more money than any other game etc" is that most other games that have made a lot of money, don't continually ask for(or demand) money...

      Guess you haven't seen all the dlc for AAA games? But I guess they don't demand it, just constantly ask for it.

      Last edited 13/04/14 4:04 pm

        yeah, that's what I meant with that part of the sentence.

          You're conveniently leaving out the part where people choose to give. They used a model that has an insane amount of risk in it, asked people if they want to pay a certain amount every month and people pay it. There's no "most other games that have made a lot of money, don't continually ask for(or demand) money..." bullshit, that's not even an argument. It's not even a reason.

          And you actually didn't mean that with that part of the sentence. He said "they DON'T demand", you said "OR", meaning it's one or the other. Entirely different words with entirely different connotations and meanings.

            Chill the fuck out man, my point was that there was this comparison which I thought was unfair because this game mentioned has a different model. The game makes more money because you have to keep giving it money to keep playing whereas the games it is compared to don't. I'm not saying that's a terrible thing or that the game is terrible, it's just silly to compare it in that way.
            Don't pretend like you know what I meant, since you clearly didn't. Yes, asking and demanding are two completely different things, congrats, even a toddler probably knows that.

              I would go as far as saying they don't demand it or ask for it but rather they tell you that you need to pay because if you don't, you get cut off. You know it's there and you can come or go as you please.

              You make a good point Neon Jackal in that their business model is not only different but also that of the double dip kind. Not only do you have an ongoing subscription cost but there's also a price of entry which, if you purchased Vanilla, TBC, WotLK, Cata, MoP, and the soon to be released WoD separately (the "early adopter penalty") you would have forked out somewhere between $200 and $300 or more if you went for collectors editions.

              It's hugely successful and sure it carried a lot of risk but that risk is equally shared by their customers. The day that it stops making money, how long before the carpet is pulled out from under their feet?


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