Possible Decline of PC Gaming, Was There A Golden Age of PC Gaming

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#1 Posted by Stowik (1222 posts) -

A few observations/facts:

1) PC Games represent around less than 10% of the sales at the Gamestops/EB Games I visit.

2) People will always have an excuse to buy a computer (word processing, spreadsheets, internet); therefore PC Gaming can never really die...but

3) Consoles in the past 10 years have gotten more competitve...at least if you are a graphics snob...

Questions:

1) Have you seen a decrease in the quality of PC Games?

2) Do you think PC Gaming is in decline?

3) If you answered "yes" to #1 or #2, then, when, in your opinion was the "golden age" of PC Gaming?

Discuss...

#2 Posted by cobrax25 (9649 posts) -

1. Thats semi true....a lot of PC games now are sold digitally through services like Steam...and while PC gaming isnt that popular in America, Its still huge in Europe....also...is 10% really that bad? with 4 main consoles (PS2 is still selling very well) and 2 handhelds...which both pretty much outsell all the consoles....10% isnt really that bad anymore is it?

2. Thats true.

3. when they come out, they are always graphiclly on par with PC's....they just fall back because they arent upgradable.

#3 Posted by sSubZerOo (44215 posts) -

Please be quiet... PC gaming is not dieing there have been numerous studies showign that PC profits are going increasing tremendously and this doesn't include online downloads.

1) Your store does not to equate to every store out there.. PC gaming is far more popular in Europe.. And online download services such as Direct2drive, Ebgames online, and Steam have become WAY more popular...

3) No they have not they are just as behind they were last generation.. PCs can still surpass all consoles ing raphics below $1000...

Questions:

1) No, the PC games are still getting the most amount of AA and AAA exclusives out there where all hard reviewing sites rank high.

2) No, its on the rebound, there havn't been so many huge games...

#4 Posted by foxhound_fox (90820 posts) -
1) Have you seen a decrease in the quality of PC Games?

2) Do you think PC Gaming is in decline?

3) If you answered "yes" to #1 or #2, then, when, in your opinion was the "golden age" of PC Gaming?

Discuss...

Stowik


1) Yes, thanks in part to the popularization casual console gaming, many older PC franchises are being "reinvented" to appeal to the more casual console audience while losing much of their more "complex" heritage.
2) No, performance graphics cards sales in Q4 2006 were higher than all console sales combined.

The golden age of gaming was from 1993-1999... ever since then, all of gaming has been declining in terms of overall quality.
#5 Posted by lived_basic (315 posts) -

1) 10% of the stores you visit? So how many a year are you able to visit? Sorry bud but I dismiss your scientific data

2) you need an 'excuse' to own a PC?

3) go to system wars really, get schooled there. PCs have been around since the 80's and so have consoles...that's around 25 years of video games and they have both been great all that time

Q:

1) No, check the ratings of the last 5 or so PC games posted by gamespot

2) according to popular belief it's been on the outs since super nintendo was released...or about the same time people were able to post on the net (with their PCs).

3) it's always the golden age, I can still play games from '96 or earlier with DOSBox if MS hasn't patched in support for older games (like they did with Grim Fandango).

#6 Posted by Indestructible2 (5935 posts) -
Only nubs believe PC Gaming is ANYWHERE near dying :|
#7 Posted by mikemil828 (7024 posts) -

A few observations/facts:

1) PC Games represent around less than 10% of the sales at the Gamestops/EB Games I visit.

Discuss...

Stowik

Gamestop/EB Games is more focused on Console Games, to whine about lack of PC games at a Gamestop is like whining about the lack of Mystery Novels in the Romance Novel section. Head over to Best Buy/Compusa/Walmart/Target/etc. if you want less than current PC games

#8 Posted by aveman1 (3383 posts) -

1. Online mass distrobution FTW! I've bought... atleast half of my year's purchases off steam, and personnaly, I HATE EB/Gamestop with a passion, so everything else I buy from Best Buy. Such horrible stores, disguisting policies and I hate how their clerks treat the customers, and all how they always offer the same promotional BS.

2. Absolutly not. For me, they have always been a cut above console games, always.

3. N/A

#9 Posted by Sumotaii (648 posts) -
PC gaming will never die, just liek console gaming will never die.. And yes gaming has been on the decline like previous post said for years overall. The 90's were amazing and back then devs took risks and had balls to do diffrent things. Now everything is all saturated and sequels and yada yada yada. These days i enjoy Pc gaming and Handheld gaming more then anything. I hardly play my 360 and the Wii i am looking to sell or give away. I still enjoy PS2 and older systems from time to time but i really enjoy the DS and PSP alot more then this current gen of consoles. Heck i still play StarCraft everynight on B.Net still. How many people are still playing other games from 1998 that much.
#10 Posted by cperry005 (490 posts) -

AHAHAHAHAHA

I only buy games at the store when I can't find them on steam or D2D.

IMO the golden age of gaming is now i mean look at my new rig

Plus console multiplayer doesnt even compare to the PC multiplayer community...

Really, I dont buy consoles anymore because every console I owned broke within a year or two....

I mean they are complete pieces of junk! atleast mine were.

PC for life!

Intel Core 2 Quad 6600 CPU
WD Raptor HDD
700 watt PSU
XFX 8800 GTX GPU
2 GB Crucial ballistics RAM
ASUS P5N32 E SLI MB
Audigy 2 soundblaster w/optical to reciever
Running on Vista 32-bit

Come out and play!

#11 Posted by Onenottoforget (187 posts) -

Can PC Gaming Die? NO

Sure it may have become tainted with many games coming out being sloppy ports. But this isn't the full story, Remember that little game called Bioshock that shined its brilliance on the PC

#12 Posted by Skullheart (2054 posts) -

Honestly, I have no idea why you people insist on hinting that the PC gaming is coming to an end. If the PC ever came to an end, logic would state that gaming itself would come to an end. We are the foundation of which all games, all consoles, all companies are based off of and we will never die out. Never.

But I will agree there was once a golden age...but that was not for PC Gaming. I remember the age of RPGs...the age of Squaresoft. I miss those days.

#13 Posted by beachbob1 (518 posts) -
I think becuase this generation of consoles will be the first to be connected to the net. We are going to see alot of title's that in the past where only PC going multi-platform. Especialy MMO'sand the budget'srequired togetus gamers excited is going thru the roof which will force them to go multi also. That bieng said this gen of consoles is still in its infancy and will ultimately fall behind the pc in tech andthe PC willshow whyits theKing again for awhile till the process begins again.It will be interesting to see how Microsoft shapes the future of PC gaming with Vista, live and the 360. Looks like they are pushing real hard for developers to support the 360 aand Vista. Not sure if thats good for the PC. They may end up duming down are games becuase they couldn't do everything they wanted on the console.
#14 Posted by thanatose (2465 posts) -

A few observations/facts:

1) PC Games represent around less than 10% of the sales at the Gamestops/EB Games I visit.

Stowik

That is only Gamestop/EB Games that does not include online stores like Amazon.com. The overall sales figures for PC gaming is actually quite a bit higher. Gamestop/EB Games sales of PC games are so low because they don't carry most of them in their stores anymore. Yes you can pre-order some of the PC titles that are released from them but they don't even carry all of the PC game titles only the popular ones.

#15 Posted by mfsa (3328 posts) -

A few observations/facts:

1) PC Games represent around less than 10% of the sales at the Gamestops/EB Games I visit. Stowik

a significant percentage of pc gamers buy their games online - the highstreet can't compete, so it's stopping trying by stocking fewer or no pc games

3) Consoles in the past 10 years have gotten more competitve...at least if you are a graphics snob...Stowik

yeah, but as each console leap brings it closer and closer to the standard of the pc - a standard which is then hardlocked for five or seven years -the pc far surpasses the console again... it's taken a while this time around, bad timing is all, but the things to come in the next few years will blow the consoles away... developers wanting to build the most advanced games come to pc, case in point, crytek... and remember that the power of the pc affords it abilities beyond simple visual flair, abilities modern consoles always stuggle with

Questions:

1) Have you seen a decrease in the quality of PC Games? Stowik

pc games - no, absolutely not... but games that should be pc games are turning multiplatform, and stuff like bioshock and oblivion - while certainly great games - lacked the depth of their predecessors, the depth that pc gamers expect... so in a sense, console gaming is dragging pc gaming down a little... but on the whole, i see no decline in quality... and in many cases, an increase in quality

2) Do you think PC Gaming is in decline?Stowik

definitely not - just to name a few games on the horizon: the witcher, hellgate, spore, farcry 2... i could name many more, but these four games are all looking to be some utterly magnificent games... late 07 and into 2008 is looking like a magnificent year for pc gaming

3) If you answered "yes" to #1 or #2, then, when, in your opinion was the "golden age" of PC Gaming?Stowik

while i feel things are generally improving, it's important to note that all machines run in peaks and troughs, no system is consistently good and it's going to be even more pronounced with the pc, since it has an unlimited lifespan... '98 was a wonderful year for pc gaming, then there was a lapse, then 2000-2001 was wonderful again, then another lapse, then 2003-2004 was wonderful, late 2005 was wonderful, 2006 and most of 2007 was pretty slow - and now, late 2007 is looking simply amazing

peaks and throughs

#16 Posted by JiMMay4ShiZZay (318 posts) -
PC gaming is pwning, the fact that i play WoW instead of all the other great games i have is proof lol. the people that say PC gaming is dying are the people that dont have the comps to play the hard hitters. i dont but then i still have WoW so basically i win folks
#17 Posted by _Pedro_ (6829 posts) -


2) No, performance graphics cards sales in Q4 2006 were higher than all console sales combined.

The golden age of gaming was from 1993-1999... ever since then, all of gaming has been declining in terms of overall quality.foxhound_fox

I have to agree with this. Games have gotten shorter and less complex to appeal to the masses.

#18 Posted by Vamenti (151 posts) -

PC gaming is dieing LOL Blizzard is HUGE! PlayNC is HUGE! the RTS genre is HUGE! the RPG Genre is HUGE! the FPS genre is HUGE! we are talking millions and millions of dollars. Basicly every PC dedicated publisher/Developer is pulling in the dollars.

PC hardware is getting faster and cheaper by the year. The games being release are more complex and graphical. MMORPG games for PC have broken records and surpass anything in previuos history I seriuosly doubt consoles will be able to cope in the next 10 years because everyone will have a very fast PC at a very low cost. Console gamming is at its peak right now we dont need dumb witted opinions stating outragous facts that dont relate to anything in real life. lol really you dont even have to read my post to see whats going on here just everything before it, we all totally disagree with you.

We have only just started the golden years.

#19 Posted by sircyrus (6358 posts) -

PC gaming will never die.

PC gaming will and has changed.

For the past several years it has been changing. We are getting far fewer high quality games designed with the PC platform in mind. Instead, we're getting simplified consolized multiplatformed titles that are of extremely low quality and substance when compared to games developed almost 10 years ago. That's rather pathetic, atleast in my opinion.

The "Golden Age" would have been around 1996-1999. At that time we saw:

Half Life ( '98 )
Starsiege: Tribes ( '98 )
Fallout ( '97 )
Baldur's Gate ( '98 )
Ultima Online ( '98 )
Diablo ( '96 )
StarCraft ( '98 )
Age of Empires ( '97 )

The MMO genre was proving it's worth. FPS games were incredibly innovative. RTS games were coming into their own. The RPG showed promise of being the greatest genre in gaming. PC Gaming was alive and well, and advancing at a breakneck speed. Not necessarily in the graphics department, but rather in the innovation and quality of the games.

The industry lacks that now. Increased development costs, an emphasis on graphics, and developers turning multiplatform has effectively hollowed the games out.
The generation of games we have now are meant to be played hard and fast until the next title comes along (usually very soon as the mega-companies can churn out numerous games a year), at which point they're meant to be set aside and forgotten. They have become sources of disposable entertainment, rather than labours of love with some soul to them.

Those of you who say PC gaming will never die are correct. People will continue to buy PC games for as long as we have PC's. However, for most people who had the opportunity to experience PC gaming's golden age, PC gaming died long ago.

#20 Posted by Gog (16376 posts) -

5 years ago, I used to buy my PC games in 3 different shops. 1 of them has closed and the other 2 don't sell PC games anymore.

The PC sections in shops where I buy games these days represent only a small portion of the goods being sold there.

I don't think this can be explained by the rise of online shopping, which only represents a small portion of all games being sold. Note that a lot of PC games are multiplatform these days. The message is clear: you can't live from just selling PC games anymore.

Another example. I've been subscribing to a PC games magazine for over 12 years. 10 years ago, those had 220+ pages with 25-30 game reviews (including 5 or 6 AA titles) every month. Now it's about 120 pages with only a dozen reviews (1 AA title) and the other content is previews of the same games over and over again.

These days asmall selectionof PC games make huge profits while the other games don't break even. As a whole you can say there is no decline but is it a healthy situation?

For me the golden age of PC gaming was between 1996 and 1999.

#21 Posted by chessboxer1 (953 posts) -
PC gaming will be around for ever in one form or another. The PC is far too flexible and far too adaptable not to keep up with current trends. PC gaming is still with us after 40 odd years - here's to the next 40 years of PC gaming! :D
#22 Posted by nikc666 (319 posts) -
maybe console sales are larger in america, PC gaming is much more popular in europe
#23 Posted by weirjf (2390 posts) -

A few observations/facts: (observations are not facts)

1) PC Games represent around less than 10% of the sales at the Gamestops/EB Games I visit.

I will never shop at Gamestop/EB Games ever again. I despise the little punks that work at these places. I buy from Steam, direct2drive, and Best Buy

2) People will always have an excuse to buy a computer (word processing, spreadsheets, internet); therefore PC Gaming can never really die...but

No buts about it, the BEST games will always be on the PC unless they come out with some other proprietary device that lets the PS75 plug directly into your brain

3) Consoles in the past 10 years have gotten more competitve...at least if you are a graphics snob...

graphics do not equal fun... mods and expensions = more replayability which are severely limited in consoles

Questions:

1) Have you seen a decrease in the quality of PC Games?

Have you been AWAKE 2007? Best year for gaming, ever

2) Do you think PC Gaming is in decline?

No, it is only getting better

3) If you answered "yes" to #1 or #2, then, when, in your opinion was the "golden age" of PC Gaming?

I have owned every console excepy the WII and X360... PC gaming is better and until console gamedevelopers stop dumbing-down their product, gamers like me will always prefer PC gaming.

#24 Posted by Johnny_Rock (40122 posts) -

A few observations/facts:

1) PC Games represent around less than 10% of the sales at the Gamestops/EB Games I visit.

2) People will always have an excuse to buy a computer (word processing, spreadsheets, internet); therefore PC Gaming can never really die...but

3) Consoles in the past 10 years have gotten more competitve...at least if you are a graphics snob...

Questions:

1) Have you seen a decrease in the quality of PC Games?

2) Do you think PC Gaming is in decline?

3) If you answered "yes" to #1 or #2, then, when, in your opinion was the "golden age" of PC Gaming?

Discuss...

Stowik

I can go back as far as the Commodore 64 to disprove point 3. When that system was out, so was the Colecovision console. I can honestly say that consoles had the edge over "PC" games for a long time prior the 90's when the voodoo graphics accelerators hit the market. PC games were of a more mature theme than the console platformers that were popular at the time. Thus it made for a different type of player. Graphics disparity was something recent and fairly short lived.

#25 Posted by AFBrat77 (24268 posts) -

1996 - 2000 was the golden age of PC Gaming

Diablo and Diablo 2

Baldur's Gate and Baldurs Gate 2

Quake and Quake 2

Half-Life

Grim Fandango

Fallout and Fallout 2

Tomb Raider and TR2

Heroes of Might and Magic II and III

Starcraft / Brood Wars

Total Annihilation

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2

Planescape: Torment

Dungeon Keeper

Homeworld

Heretic 2

Battlezone

Unreal and Unreal Tournament

That was when 3dfx was king, and nVidia was merely the new challenger, video cards like Monster 2 and TNT were all the rage.

#26 Posted by l-_-l (6718 posts) -

1) PC Games represent around less than 10% of the sales at the Gamestops/EB Games I visit.

I stopped reading right there. Of course the sales for gamestop/eb are low for PC games. All the ones around me don't sale PC games, and my guess is thats how it it most places with those stores. So gee, I wonder why those stores have low PC games sales. :roll:
#27 Posted by IMP_ACT (221 posts) -

After about 600 similar posts you'd think people would have got the message by now.

General opinion here, as voiced numerous times, is that PC gaming is as alive & kicking as ever & will be for a long time yet. So stoppit!

#28 Posted by Jd1680a (5956 posts) -
[QUOTE="Stowik"]

A few observations/facts:

1) PC Games represent around less than 10% of the sales at the Gamestops/EB Games I visit.
That is hard to obserb visiting one store. Did you consider other places such as online?

3) Consoles in the past 10 years have gotten more competitve...at least if you are a graphics snob...
PC gaming is still a competitive business. You dont think publishing companies are fighting over $2 billion PC gaming have made last year? Probably be higher with all the cool games coming out at this time.

Questions:

1) Have you seen a decrease in the quality of PC Games?
If PCGames are made only for the pc, then they are better quality than consoles.

2) Do you think PC Gaming is in decline?
PC Gaming isnt declining anymore. The market have stabled and its now on a slight increase.

#29 Posted by 9mmSpliff (21747 posts) -

PC Gaming is not on the decline. Have you even looked at the 2007 and 2008PC list? Theirs tons of games. You cant MMO,RTS, FPS, sim on consoles. Its brutal and is not fun. The PC is competing against 3 consoles. The PC section at the EB Games I goto usualy have the same amount of games as the consoles. Infact in CAlgary wher eI used to live, they said that PC game sales were up. I guess thats cause Alberta is the richest place in North America.

#30 Posted by lucky326 (3799 posts) -
At my local GAME PC Games sell a lot more simply because of the price which is something like £25-30 for new releases while Console games come out for around £40-£50 so theres a massive difference there and not much difference in the quality.
#31 Posted by pilouuuu2004 (1075 posts) -
PC gaming is always in its golden age.
#32 Posted by PutU2REM (351 posts) -

1) Have you seen a decrease in the quality of PC Games?

2) Do you think PC Gaming is in decline?

3) If you answered "yes" to #1 or #2, then, when, in your opinion was the "golden age" of PC Gaming?Stowik

Well, what I think is that a lot of people here suffer from Good Ol' Days Syndrome. ;)

Seriously, though, I don't think it's fair to say that games are getting worse. I love the classics and still play them, but few of them would fly today, even with updated graphics. Their gameplay and presentation just aren't as polished as modern games.

#33 Posted by weirjf (2390 posts) -

1996 - 2000 was the golden age of PC Gaming

Diablo and Diablo 2

Baldur's Gate and Baldurs Gate 2

Quake and Quake 2

Half-Life

Grim Fandango

Fallout and Fallout 2

Tomb Raider and TR2

Heroes of Might and Magic II and III

Starcraft / Brood Wars

Total Annihilation

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2

Planescape: Torment

Dungeon Keeper

Homeworld

Heretic 2

Battlezone

Unreal and Unreal Tournament

That was when 3dfx was king, and nVidia was merely the new challenger, video cards like Monster 2 and TNT were all the rage.

AFBrat77

BATTLEZONE!!! I was trying to remember the name of that game today!!

#34 Posted by weirjf (2390 posts) -

[QUOTE="Stowik"]1) Have you seen a decrease in the quality of PC Games?

2) Do you think PC Gaming is in decline?

3) If you answered "yes" to #1 or #2, then, when, in your opinion was the "golden age" of PC Gaming?PutU2REM

Well, what I think is that a lot of people here suffer from Good Ol' Days Syndrome. ;)

Seriously, though, I don't think it's fair to say that games are getting worse. I love the classics and still play them, but few of them would fly today, even with updated graphics. Their gameplay and presentation just aren't as polished as modern games.

There was a level of depth we lost in gaming once video cards could start making things look pretty. They had to make up for crap graphics in the past with awesome story-telling and superior game play. Games with great depth and game play are still being made, but they are the exception to the rule.

#35 Posted by bignice12 (2124 posts) -
1) Thats why you buy PC games from walmart, circuit city, or best buy.
#36 Posted by marriage0 (1735 posts) -

i cant think how anyone can say that we are seeing a decline in PC gaming, with games like company of heores, dawn of war and bioshock already out, and with games like hellgate london, CoD4, crysis,STARCRAFT 2!!! on their way in, we are in for one hell of a treat...

the reason people claim that we are seeing a decline is because people are beginning to expect so much from games that if one cant hold that standard, they roll over and cry....i mean look at games these days, once crysis comes out, people are going to start saying that all games that dont meet its standards will have "bad" graphics, thats because our recent games keep breaking the barriers of what we already have...and some stil say we are seeing a DECLINE?

seems pretty dumb to me

#37 Posted by ozbej (145 posts) -

Yawn...

Heard this last yet, and the year before that, and the year before that... etc etc. People asking every year just serves to disprove the question.

#38 Posted by shaneras (1346 posts) -
PC gaming cant die. I will always be there.
#39 Posted by mikemil828 (7024 posts) -

If PC gaming dies, then all of gaming dies so quit it.

http://kotaku.com/gaming/money/consoles-are-not-enough-for-ati--nvidia-310899.php

#40 Posted by Kanaric (472 posts) -

Is think gaming in general is declining. The only reason why consoles are doing "good" is because they are lagging behind in decline.

All we get is the same overused cloned games over and over again, no genres outside of action and rts, and a TON of garbage mas produced by EA ment only as a flavor of the week. This is happening on console as well, just because they get high rated and more garbage than PC gets doesn't mean they are ahead.

The only reason why consoles are doing good is because these games are mostly bought by 12 year olds who think, for some reason, that they are good/cool. Also a lot of people who really are not gamers are buying them as well. Those people usually dont have the hardware for PC games.

They will feel the decline eventually. You know things are going bad when Atari is losing money and EA restructures their company and says they are changing how they run things (ie. they want to get their "good" name back lose due to bad games). These companies sell on console.

Gaming has already died for true gamers, its just a bunch of garbage for ADHD 12 year olds now. Master of Orion? Baldurs Gate stlye RPGs? Tactical Strategy (x-com)? CRPGs? Lucasarts Style adventure games? Space Sims? All dead genres only released by small companies with a very small if not unnoticed released. The big companies is all action garbage, so gaming is dead for me.

Thank god I buy 3rd party however which is still good, soon all these idiots will leave for console games and PC games will be for gamers once again.

#41 Posted by rimnet00 (11003 posts) -
The reason why Gamestop/EB sell so few copies of PC games is because PC users have moved past the "hard copy" generation. We are in the digital distribution age. Don't worry though, console's will eventually get there... maybe in another generation.
#42 Posted by Stowik (1222 posts) -

Is think gaming in general is declining. The only reason why consoles are doing "good" is because they are lagging behind in decline.

All we get is the same overused cloned games over and over again, no genres outside of action and rts, and a TON of garbage mas produced by EA ment only as a flavor of the week. This is happening on console as well, just because they get high rated and more garbage than PC gets doesn't mean they are ahead.

The only reason why consoles are doing good is because these games are mostly bought by 12 year olds who think, for some reason, that they are good/cool. Also a lot of people who really are not gamers are buying them as well. Those people usually dont have the hardware for PC games.

They will feel the decline eventually. You know things are going bad when Atari is losing money and EA restructures their company and says they are changing how they run things (ie. they want to get their "good" name back lose due to bad games). These companies sell on console.

Gaming has already died for true gamers, its just a bunch of garbage for ADHD 12 year olds now. Master of Orion? Baldurs Gate stlye RPGs? Tactical Strategy (x-com)? CRPGs? Lucasarts Style adventure games? Space Sims? All dead genres only released by small companies with a very small if not unnoticed released. The big companies is all action garbage, so gaming is dead for me.

Thank god I buy 3rd party however which is still good, soon all these idiots will leave for console games and PC games will be for gamers once again.

Kanaric

Ok, lots of opinions, good. I didn't say I'm worried about PC Gaming coming to an end, or that my one store example was indicative of a sweeping trend, I just wanted to get people's thoughts about this topic.

It seems to me, after reading these posts, that a lot of people feel as passionate about PC Gaming as I do, which is great.

Out of the 40 plus posts I've read, I picked the one above because the author took a unpopular stand.

I wonder if there is an analogy to Hollywood...PC Hardware has allowed some pretty spectacular and expensive "blockbuster" titles that feature the best graphics and fX etc...

These games take a long time to create, and these games are very expensive...so I could see how a Studio would want to give the game the broadest market appeal possible to make the game profitable.

So I wonder if we will see "Hollywood Type Blockbuster Games", that aren't so deep, or subtle, and basically are "pop" type products, put out by huge studios like EA or whoever, with tons of promotion...

In the shadows of the "blockbusters", though, there are the more nuanced Indie Films for the types of people who aren't as interested in the mainstream...so more independent gaming studios could in theory fill that void.

I just wander about the economics of it all...to create a game that is graphically competitive, it seems like that costs a ton of money. For a Studio that is not a behemoth, well, they have limited resources...so it seems like the story or some part of the game would suffer...or, at least, the marketing budget would get killed and fewer people would hear about the game.

But for the studios with the money...well, I am ignorant but my experience is that corporate behemoths aren't as into taking big risks on creativity...they just seem more driven by the bottom line for shareholders and pumping out a product with a lot of promotion that will hit the biggest niche possible...and that may indeed beteenagers with consoles (or not?).

MY BOTTOM LINE GUT FEELING ABOUT THE SITUATION: As the hardware has become more powerful, it seems that the time and money required to create a product that takes advantage of that hardware increases as well. Few people are fearless enough to bet a studio on one game...therefore it seems possible that the Behemoths may be the only ones with the resources to compete in the current/foreseeable PC gaming environment.

Perhpas EA will create a Miramax type subdivision of itself that is committed first to creative/unique gaming concepts and publish them under this subsidiary studios name for gamers like myself who sometimes feel that we're just seeing "more of the same" for a number (not all) of games coming out.

At any rate, I don't think PC Gaming is dying. I just spent $2,000 on a rig and have owned around 200-250 PC games...besides my other rig, which cost more but is for travelling.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for in a PC Game...perhaps it's time to move on and give it up as a hobby...however, I know things will continue to improve.

Finally, I would say that we are still in "the golden age of PC Gaming" which began, for me, in the early 1990's...part of me feels like it may have tappered off over the past two years...but I'm an optimist who is biased so I hope PC Gaming rules and remains relevant for many years to come. Thanks to everyone who posted.

#43 Posted by Arcadius (958 posts) -

Im gonna go ahead and answerthe TCquestion about Golden Age of PC gaming without agreeing to all of the other questions.

The Golden Age of PC gaming was when it was inmensely superior to consoles, this might not be the exact date, but it was when I first noticed it. Back in 1984 all my friends at school talked about how great the ATARI and NES were, and none of them had even tried PC gaming. Of course it was too expensive/unpopular to own a PC in those days but the games were just awesome, and none could find a way to be really played on the consolish devices via ports which were awful.

Since this might be too old for some of the readers perhaps something more recent: 1992, perhaps I was playing on the Genesis games like Altered Beast or Golden Axe, but on the PC you had Xwing, you also had Kings Quest VI, and no console came even close in terms of sound, graphics, storyline and gameplay of the PC. My personal favorite for the jewel of the crown is Wing Commander 3 The Heart of the Tiger, even over doom but that's just me.

Nowadays consolish devices being more and more like the PC makes the line dividing them rather thin, thus no more PC gaming golden age. But I like to believe that it is how they say, "if you can't beat them, join them".

Oh and btw, back in those days, there was no gamestop, ebgames or whatever, there was Babbages and it was like a bizarre copy of what gamestop is, the consolish department was a tiny rack (by today's standards) and the PC dominated all the racks, even if not a lot of people bought them. Weird isn't it? And back then you also had your garden variety of consoles, the NEC turbographX or something, the SEGA Genesis, the SNK gaming console and the Super NES, much like today with the Xbox 360, Wii and PS3. Ha in fact there were more consolish devices then! :lol: So there's your PC golden Age! Before the dark times, before the Xbox... Jk ;)

So as my friend Monoco would say, "Hail to the king, baby!" (of course the king being the PC)

Edit: It's late, so I made a lot of mistakes typing this.

#44 Posted by solaris1979 (1592 posts) -

A few observations/facts:

1) PC Games represent around less than 10% of the sales at the Gamestops/EB Games I visit.

2) People will always have an excuse to buy a computer (word processing, spreadsheets, internet); therefore PC Gaming can never really die...but

3) Consoles in the past 10 years have gotten more competitve...at least if you are a graphics snob...

Questions:

1) Have you seen a decrease in the quality of PC Games?

2) Do you think PC Gaming is in decline?

3) If you answered "yes" to #1 or #2, then, when, in your opinion was the "golden age" of PC Gaming?

Discuss...

Stowik

1)

Biggest reason for the decrease for game quality is that Game publishers nowadays instead of trying to make sure game runs flawlessly, they spend more time making sure game aren't pirated. Those copy protection system are sometimes so outragous that they often make what may already been a buggy game to a new elevated level.

I started purchasing games online as they tend to have less restriction applied beside the required internet connection, which I can live with.

Another reason for the decrease for games for PC is the hardware we have. While the competition is good and allows us more choice in better graphic cards, the biggest drawback is that in order to be competitive in graphic market, a lot of these card aren't properly optimized before releasing the new and better version of the said card.

This introduce more and more variables that game makers has to deal with on top of different CPU, memory size, hard drive limitation, sound, and what not. They also have to make a graphic engine that can handle cards from 4 years ago to the bleeding-edge product. Complexity is not a good thing when it comes to programming.

With today's design project easily requiring 50-100 people team, the environment itself just ask itself to be bug-ridden.

So in order to maximumize profit and reduce patching/customer support problem, best way to go is to design a game that only works with particular hardware setup. Easy to troubleshoot, and no more bickering from people that want to play Crysis with onboard graphic card yelling at them saying why they can't play.

2)

There will always be die hard PC gamers, PC is more up front and personal experience than that of console.

Beside, since browsing internet, checking email has become daily rutine for the new generations. Having a few quick games while sitting in front of computer wouldn't hurt either.

Here's a problem though, as the production cost raise, there would be fewer and fewer major release as publisher aims to raise their profit margine. Unless you are big companies that has your root deep inside the PC industry, such as id soft, epic, blizzard, valve, games probably will remain majority of time as unpolished port from the console version or from indie developers.

Here's hope, as more and more indie developers comes into play, PC gaming may start seeing more variety of game genre then that of action-oriented wii, fps-oriented x360, or the still confused PS3 (sigh... and i am a PS3 lover:( )

3)

Golden age? Point and click adventures, iD's castle wolfstein, doom, quake series, HL, Myst, Warcraft, MUD, vs super nintendo? It's easy to see who the winner is back then...

This next genre may be a start of new thrend. Back when PS and PS2 and Xbox was released, PC took close to 2-3 years to catch up graphic-wise. With this generation, Gears of War was not super special at all compare to what already can be done w/ PC, Who knows, with the mass producer like EA in charge right now of gaming business, people may eventually grew tired of the blend games that saturated console market and the more independly developed games for PC would eventually shine.

P.S. sorry for the long post.

#45 Posted by Vamenti (151 posts) -

PC gaming will never die.

PC gaming will and has changed.

For the past several years it has been changing. We are getting far fewer high quality games designed with the PC platform in mind. Instead, we're getting simplified consolized multiplatformed titles that are of extremely low quality and substance when compared to games developed almost 10 years ago. That's rather pathetic, atleast in my opinion.

The "Golden Age" would have been around 1996-1999. At that time we saw:

Half Life ( '98 )
Starsiege: Tribes ( '98 )
Fallout ( '97 )
Baldur's Gate ( '98 )
Ultima Online ( '98 )
Diablo ( '96 )
StarCraft ( '98 )
Age of Empires ( '97 )

The MMO genre was proving it's worth. FPS games were incredibly innovative. RTS games were coming into their own. The RPG showed promise of being the greatest genre in gaming. PC Gaming was alive and well, and advancing at a breakneck speed. Not necessarily in the graphics department, but rather in the innovation and quality of the games.

The industry lacks that now. Increased development costs, an emphasis on graphics, and developers turning multiplatform has effectively hollowed the games out.
The generation of games we have now are meant to be played hard and fast until the next title comes along (usually very soon as the mega-companies can churn out numerous games a year), at which point they're meant to be set aside and forgotten. They have become sources of disposable entertainment, rather than labours of love with some soul to them.

Those of you who say PC gaming will never die are correct. People will continue to buy PC games for as long as we have PC's. However, for most people who had the opportunity to experience PC gaming's golden age, PC gaming died long ago.

sircyrus

lol what a load of rubbish, the start of your post sounded ok but then you completely lost the plot. During the 90's gaming was very limited but after 2001 Xp release and DirectX 9 Nvidia/ATI started going crazy releasing super fast cards. Now we have SLI, quad and dual core CPU's which allows games to be more flexible allowing developers to implement new features that Diablo and Starcraft could never have.

The reason why we are being bombarded by games is because the industry is booming. I have played many games in recent months that took over a year to develop. Distribution of games worldwide is faster and easy then ever before and for development well its always been costly. Companies have many sub branches with many titles under development have a look at PlayNC. So arguing that all they do is release crap and try to profit is ridiculous PC gamers have VERY VERY HIGH! expectations. I think you are confusing Console games with PC games because I have seen countless rubbish games released over the years for console.

You have a poor attitude against gaming its not all about money, embrace the future pong was only the beginning not the end.

#46 Posted by EntwineX (5858 posts) -

Console games prolly sell a bit better, at least in USA. Most PC exclusive games are now multiplatform, and what's even worse, developed mainly the 360 in mind. But that does not equal the death of PC gaming, we still have more exclusives than consoles and we still get our versions of the multiplat games as well.

As for the golden age of gaming, I dunno, there has been some great periods around '98 and '04 but it's not looking that bad atm either, other than the fact that majority of the big titles are FPS and multiplat, but that applies to other platforms than PC as well.

#47 Posted by zeus_gb (7792 posts) -

1) I've not seen a decrease in the quality of games. I've seen an increase in quality games from smaller developers.

2) It was for a little while but it's now steady growing again.

3) The golden age of the PC for me was the late mid to late 90's, great times and many great games.

#48 Posted by kyrieee (978 posts) -
[QUOTE="sircyrus"]

PC gaming will never die.

PC gaming will and has changed.

For the past several years it has been changing. We are getting far fewer high quality games designed with the PC platform in mind. Instead, we're getting simplified consolized multiplatformed titles that are of extremely low quality and substance when compared to games developed almost 10 years ago. That's rather pathetic, atleast in my opinion.

The "Golden Age" would have been around 1996-1999. At that time we saw:

Half Life ( '98 )
Starsiege: Tribes ( '98 )
Fallout ( '97 )
Baldur's Gate ( '98 )
Ultima Online ( '98 )
Diablo ( '96 )
StarCraft ( '98 )
Age of Empires ( '97 )

The MMO genre was proving it's worth. FPS games were incredibly innovative. RTS games were coming into their own. The RPG showed promise of being the greatest genre in gaming. PC Gaming was alive and well, and advancing at a breakneck speed. Not necessarily in the graphics department, but rather in the innovation and quality of the games.

The industry lacks that now. Increased development costs, an emphasis on graphics, and developers turning multiplatform has effectively hollowed the games out.
The generation of games we have now are meant to be played hard and fast until the next title comes along (usually very soon as the mega-companies can churn out numerous games a year), at which point they're meant to be set aside and forgotten. They have become sources of disposable entertainment, rather than labours of love with some soul to them.

Those of you who say PC gaming will never die are correct. People will continue to buy PC games for as long as we have PC's. However, for most people who had the opportunity to experience PC gaming's golden age, PC gaming died long ago.

Vamenti

lol what a load of rubbish, the start of your post sounded ok but then you completely lost the plot. During the 90's gaming was very limited but after 2001 Xp release and DirectX 9 Nvidia/ATI started going crazy releasing super fast cards. Now we have SLI, quad and dual core CPU's which allows games to be more flexible allowing developers to implement new features that Diablo and Starcraft could never have.

The reason why we are being bombarded by games is because the industry is booming. I have played many games in recent months that took over a year to develop. Distribution of games worldwide is faster and easy then ever before and for development well its always been costly. Companies have many sub branches with many titles under development have a look at PlayNC. So arguing that all they do is release crap and try to profit is ridiculous PC gamers have VERY VERY HIGH! expectations. I think you are confusing Console games with PC games because I have seen countless rubbish games released over the years for console.

You have a poor attitude against gaming its not all about money, embrace the future pong was only the beginning not the end.

What the hell has dual core processors and SLI cards got to do with quality in games? The industry has hardly moved forward since the games sircyrus mentioned. The RTSes and FPSes of today are just copies of those games, and the RPGs lack the depth that they once had. People have high expectations? Expectations of being spoon fed the same games with better graphics?

#49 Posted by anime-2k3 (2509 posts) -
Look at this holiday season. PC gaming isnt anywhere near dead.
#50 Posted by Delius (571 posts) -

Know what? After hearing this over and over again for the last 20 years, I'm truly tired of hearing about how mine and millions... yes I said MILLIONS of people around the world's passion is dying. I wish people would do some real research into the subject before they post these foolishly unthought out messages once every couple of days.

PC gaming won't die, period.