Q&A: id's CEO discusses his studio's new multiplatform strategy, aversion to Wii development, Quake Live, Doom 4, and unannounced projects.
In late February, id Software launched Quake Live, a browser-based free-to-play remake of Quake III Arena. Currently in open beta, the service will be entirely ad-supported when it goes live later this year--or at least that's the hope of Todd Hollenshead, id's CEO.
While turning a shooter from 1999 into a profitable business using 2009 cloud computing is ambitious, it's just one of the many projects on id's plate. The Texan developer is also hard at work on Rage, a postapocalyptic action game that blends racing and shooting with a dash of role-playing. First revealed at QuakeCon 2007, the all-new property will be published by Electronic Arts instead of id's traditional publishing partner, Activision.
Though remarkable for its graphics, Rage is also noteworthy because it will be the first game that id will develop internally for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac, and PC. Indeed, Hollenshead told GameSpot that id's technology chief, John Carmack, considers the 360 the game's "primary platform." Such sentiments are surprising, coming from one of the minds that put PC gaming on the map in the 1990s with the original Doom and Quake series.
id's new embrace of multiplatform development is just one part of how it is adjusting to the game industry's rapidly changing landscape. To learn more about the legendary studio's thoughts on its games, the id Tech 5 engine, the Wii's effect on the market, and what surprises id has in store for E3 this year, GameSpot recently sat down with Hollenshead in an upscale San Francisco drinking establishment. Steve Nix, id's director of business development, also popped in for a round.
MULTIPLATFORM AND PC PITFALLS
GS: Now, id was a huge pioneer for PC gaming. But when you announced Rage, it was the first time you guys announced development of a game in-house for the PS3, 360, and PC.
TH: Yeah, multiplatform.
GS: So do you guys still consider yourself first and foremost a PC developer?
TH: Well, actually it's been a fundamental, sort of philosophical shift at the company, is that we really have transitioned from, first and foremost, a PC developer to a multiplatform developer. And so when John [Carmack] developed id Tech 5 (see below), it really was targeted from the initiation as a multiplatform technology solution.
Now, there's no question that our roots are in PC gaming. And when I play a first-person shooter, keyboard and mouse is the configuration that I want to play on. I'm devoting my gaming time right now on the PC to Quake Live. I like a little Rock Band on the console, to be honest about it. But we feel like, in terms of your triple-A, big-budget, big-market title, that you really have to be cross-platform to be successful, unless you're a first party.
So as an independent developer, we feel like we have to be on all the relevant platforms. So we don't really view ourselves as PC first. I think I would say that John says that probably the primary development platform for Rage is actually the 360.
GS: OK. Now, how do you see the PC landscape changing in the next couple of years? Do you see it becoming almost all digital downloads?
TH: Well, I think that's an interesting question. I don't know really where it's going to go. But there's a few problems you have in PC gaming right now that cause friction in the marketplace. Piracy is a big problem. And I've gone on and on about that, so I don't think I need to underscore what the issue there is.
The other thing is, is that retailers are more focused on consoles than they are on the PC platform, primarily, I think, because Microsoft is campaigning for the 360, probably to some extent to the expense of Windows-based games. Even though they have their whole Games for Windows initiative today, it's a lot less than it was a year ago. Clearly the 360 is where their big bet is. And, of course, Sony could care less about the PC.
So retailers are devoting less shelf space to PC games than they were in the past, and there's more emphasis on the consoles. And, to get the big huge marketing budgets behind games you need to make them a huge success. If you're on PC, there's World of Warcraft, the Sims--and there's everything else, if you're not multiplatform.
So the question is, what is the solution? If you do an end run around retail, and you deliver it all digitally, is that going to be the solution? Are you going to deliver it through a browser, like Quake Live? Is it going to be a different market? Are you going to do microtransactions? I think the jury's out on all that.
I do believe that for PC games to be successful independently, as our experiment with Quake Live is, I think you have to do something a little bit different. I mean, you have to think about what your market is and where you're going and what you can deliver. Because even though they may have had critical success, games that have been PC-only haven't achieved the same sales success as titles of similar quality in the past would have achieved.
So, yeah, I think that the PC market is in a period of transition. And ultimately what it's going to shake out to be, we're finding out. That's why we're doing things like the grand experiment with Quake Live, to find out if it's going to be viable.
THE WII CONUNDRUM
GS: One of the bigger questions is the Wii, because that's dominating console sales now. Your company has been on the cutting edge of graphics since your foundation. But with the Wii's success, do you worry that a lot of bigger public developers are going to take resources away from triple-A development and then move them into mass market, Wii party games, for lack of a better term?
TH: I'm not really worried about that, because if you look at the data, the Wii is Nintendo--and then everybody else. And then among everybody else, it's licensed properties--and then stuff that people lose money on. So, for a really original, game-centric IP, if you're a third-party developer, I would say, "Show me what makes such a compelling case for the Wii." I'm not saying that it's not out there, but there hasn't been anything that's been demonstrated to be a really huge success.
So the game-centric game-based properties are successful on 360 and PS3, and PC, especially if you have a combined launch. They're not as successful on the Wii. In fact, if you're already doing those others, then maybe you add the Wii as your fourth platform. But if you look at the numbers, independent Wii-centric development is not really justified yet.
Now, maybe it's just that we don't know how to exploit it, and Nintendo does because they made the Wii, and they're really that good. And I'm not trying to take away from those guys at Nintendo. Their games are awesome--I'm a fan, too. But as a company that doesn't make Nintendo-type games, the Wii is less of a compelling platform for us to really sink a lot of resources into.
So somebody needs to demonstrate that there's going to be buyers out there that actually would show up and buy the games on the Wii. Even if we make an awesome game, there's still a question as to whether we're going to justify our investment. And also, I mean, if you look at the market, the type of games we traditionally make, those games are selling record numbers on non-Wii platforms. But despite the success of the Wii, and the fact that it's the largest-selling console out there, games like we make are still doing bigger numbers than they've ever done before.
So that doesn't give us a lot of cause to be worried about the Wii. We celebrate it, we love the Wii, but it's not for the type of games we make. I think that sometimes people lose sight of the fact that almost every company doesn't try to be all things to all people. Nintendo isn't trying to be all things to all people either. They have a great console with the Wii, they make great games. But they're really not trying to push the graphics envelope. They're doing other things.
So I think sometimes you have to figure out where you're going to make your bets and then go for it, as opposed to trying to do everything at once. Because the concern would be for us, especially as an independent developer, is that we place too many bets and our attention is spread out all over the place. We're making a focused, measured bet that says, "We really are confident that this is going to pay off." And that's what we've done with Rage. John's made technology that is cross-platform, we've made a game that we feel like we can deliver on console controllers just as easily as on keyboard and mouse. That's what we're going for.
ALL THE RAGE
GS: Let's talk about Rage, then, now that we're on the subject. Now, there's been a little confusion. For the record, it is not coming out this year, correct?
TH: No, it won't. Rage won't be shipping this year. I'm not confused on that at all. [Laughs] Let me put it this way, I certainly hope it doesn't ship this year, because if it does, that means someone's stolen our code and game and they're publishing in Russia or something. [Laughs]
GS: OK. But it's coming along pretty well, right?
TH: Yeah, yeah. What John would say is, the technology is basically done at this point. And so we're really focusing in on honing the gameplay, leveraging the technology with amazing art, and all those sorts of things. And one of the awesome things about id Tech  is that the artists are gated, not by the limitation of system memory, but more by their imagination.
GS: Yeah, I mean, didn't John say that the Rage art assets alone were 20GB?
TH: Yeah, on our servers it's actually quite a bit larger than that. The game, ultimately, when it's done on our servers, will be huge. I don't know, 100GB? But then we'll have to condense it down to price it down, and then do the passes on actually what goes into the levels. But we fully expect to saturate a Blu-ray disc, and it will be on multiple discs on the 360 and, obviously, multiple DVDs on PCs as well.
GS: Is this going to be as totally open-world as Fallout 3? I've heard you've mentioned that it's going to be slightly different, but I'm kind of wondering exactly how open-world it will be.
TH: We don't really conceive Rage as an open world. It's more open environment. So, you're not just going to be going out and doing arbitrary things for however long you want to do them. There are some things that you can do within the game that you can do for an arbitrary amount of time, like racing circuits or whatever, to improve your time or to climb up leaderboards and things like that. It's kind of an activity that you can participate within the game. But the game does have a story, it does have a progression. You can deviate off of that, and there's some things that you can do that, again, don't follow this linear path, and you can go off the path and do different things
GS: So how vehicle-centric is the game?
TH: Well, there's racing, you can go out and fight in the wastelands and things like that. If you go out in the wastelands, there's always going to be bad guys that are out there that are kind of an impediment for you to get from A to B. There's stuff that you do to mod your car, build it up and do pit stuff and that. Those things obviously will get to a point of diminishing returns at some point.
I think there's going to be a limit of stuff that you can put in [Rage], but that isn't necessarily a limit to the amount of fun that you can have doing it. But it's not like "I'll just go out, and I'll do this," or whatever. There is actually a game with a story there that we're going to try to encourage the player to progress along, sort of, this line to completion.
GS: A gentle hand pushing him forward.
TH: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
GS: How big will the role-playing elements be?
TH: Yeah, I'm not a huge hardcore RPG guy, so it may go a little more into the action RPG-type stuff.
GS: Well obviously it will be an action RPG. I'm just wondering how much.
TH: Well, you'll have an inventory system of things that you can hold. And some weapons have some different things that you can do based on what your ammunition is. But you won't be able to "Oh, I'm going to boost my magic up by one, at the expense of my strength," or whatever.
id TECH 5 REVS ITS ENGINE
GS: Now, let's talk about the id Tech 5 engine. How hard is it breaking into a middleware market that is pretty much dominated by Epic Games' Unreal engine?
Steve Nix: Well, we don't have to break in, because id was one of the original tech licensees, as is [Wolfenstein-maker] Raven [Software]. There are a number of studios throughout the world who are evaluating id Tech 5 right now, and we don't disclose licenses that haven't been announced for games yet.
However, our goals are obviously going to be different from Epic's. I mean, Epic does a great job with their engine technology license, and they're very dominant right now. There are a number of other engines out there--the Infernal engine, Gamebryo--that are sort of going for a larger market share. But id's goal has always been to work with a small set of high-quality partners who are going to build really, really great games full of technology. It's not to build a large middleware technology organization.
Also, we are primarily a game developer. It just so happens that we create, in our opinion, the best technology in the world, and we occasionally license it out to other game developers. Games like Half-Life, Call of Duty, and Medal of Honor use our technology. But again, our goal is not to be a middleware organization.
The other thing is that, with respect to the way we've always done technology, is we're very careful with what we promise is going to be in the Tech, so that it's actually there when we do it. So we've been guarded about getting it out to people until we knew how things were ultimately going to work out. It's only been recently that all the things that we expected to happen are now working, or demonstrable.
GS: So Doom 4 is still way down the pike, right?
TH: Yeah, I mean, we're in--it's not preproduction, but we're still early on in that. The team is relatively new. We're still actually hiring people for the team as well, so it's not completely built out. But we really just started on that last year. It's very much deep in development. But everything I've seen on it is classic Doom, so I don't really have worries that people aren't going to like it and start talking about it.
GS: And is it a sequel? A reboot? A prequel?
TH: Gosh, that's actually an excellent question. It's not a sequel to Doom 3, but it's not a reboot either. Doom 3 was sort of a reboot. It's a little bit different than those, and if I told you why, I would get my ass kicked when I got back. So I'll just have to leave it at that.
GS: So Quake Live went into open beta February 24. How has the response been so far?
TH: The response is literally overwhelming--we had more people show up than we had slots for people to play in initially. But that was--it's kind of a good problem to have, and we'd definitely rather have that problem than the opposite. We had 60,000 people in the queue to get into the game at one point, but there's no queue now. Anybody wants to come in, we're ready to play.
So now the issue is that we need to find out who's playing and who the people are, so we can actually get demographic data out to appeal to the advertisers. We have the people, now we need to get the advertisers.
GS: Have you guys announced a hard launch date for Quake Live?
TH: We don't have a hard launch date. We'll probably just roll it out. We're in the beta process, because there's a few things that, because of the numbers and the sheer amount of data that we're processing, that we want to get to. Right now, for instance, we have leaderboards turned off. Obviously that's not where we ultimately will be.
GS: So are the ads turned on yet in the game?
TH: We have ads in the games, and some of them will be replaced by real ads later on. Quake Live has an ad now, but we're obviously not going to advertise Quake Live in Quake Live. QuakeCon is another large ad. But those are sort of more just to test things out. But we're actually starting to have ads from Dell and a few other people as well. But all the stuff works, I mean, it probably works better than we even could have expected.
TH: Not at all. Wen we made Quake III, the game was intended to be sort of a spectator sport. With Quake Live, we made it more into a sort of sport. It's just like if you're watching a hockey game. You see--but you're not bothered by--ads on the boards. Or when you're watching baseball, you've got an ad behind the catcher at the backstop. So I think those things, in terms of a competitive sport, are things that people expect. It almost actually makes it kind of cool that we have real ads in it. It sort of makes it like a real sport.
GS: So do you think the ad-supported, browser-based shooter is going to be a growing trend?
TH: Well, I mean, Quake Live is still a big experiment. When we embarked on the project, we didn't know how much it was going to appeal to people. What we know now is that in one month we're over 50 percent above our target for the first month, in terms of accounts. So that's been a huge success for us.
But advertising, in this economy, it's a tough market, it's a tough sell, and advertising in games is kind of new. It's not your typical TV or magazine ads or things like that. But one of the unique things that Quake Live offers is sort of the new aspect of having these in-game streaming ads, combined with your traditional banner ads across the whole Quake Live site. And so the ability to not only just deliver impressions within the game, but actually convert those into click-through with banner ads within the games as well.
So it's a lot different than what you would normally expect if somebody's saying, "Oh, well, on a console game, a 360 or PS3 game, I'm partnering with advertising agency XYZ or whatever, and I'm just going to get these in-game impressions." But advertisers still, I think, are a little unclear about what all that means. I think we have to make the connection between impressions to actual actionable things.
id A NO-SHOW AT E3 2009?
GS: OK, so one last question. Since id is out of the Entertainment Software Association, what are you going to do for E3 2009?
TH: Our departure from the ESA [in 2008] was simply because we weren't going to have a booth [at E3] last year, and that was sort of the primary reason to be in the ESA. So the story got spun into something that wasn't really accurate. And the timing was just coincidental with other people leaving the ESA. We have no problem with the ESA. I still keep in touch with those guys, and I fully support what they're doing. But it doesn't gate us from being at E3.
But what I expect is, I expect that we'll be showing Wolfenstein at E3, I expect that we'll have some new stuff at E3 that we haven't announced yet. So I don't want to pre-announce it now until I at least get a chance to talk to our partners that we would announce it with. That would be another subject of me getting my ass kicked. But yeah, we'll be at E3; it just won't be an id booth. It'll be games that will be there in other publishers' booths.
GS: Well in the history of E3, id's had one booth right?
SN: Right, and that was just one year when we really wanted to show some early partners what we were doing with id tech.
GS: And you say "new stuff," can you get any more specific?
TH: I'll leave that as a tease.
The graphics on Rage look AMAZING!!! That game is truly a mystery at this point...I can't tell tell from footage what type of game it's going to be! Car racing? Car Combat? FPS? Open-world? Whatever it is...I'm sure it'll be great!
Every gamer underestimate their computer you don't need to spend thousands to get a good computer you can play on.. well with that out of the way Shame om you Todd you were a No show at the e3
Whatever the future lies for PC Gamers like us, I always believed id would make great games for us. I'm a lil bit disappointed on multi-platform intentions, but I'm still all cool. I just hoped that id would make the PC-version games a little bit more exclusive (and more "PC feels") than its console counterparts.
this game looks pretty ba, piracy is all the rage.. lol get it, but i could not for the life of me see how a person could spend all the money for a computer to either run these games, or mod their xbox so that they can play em there. its really a shame
@jordan_johnson, Regarding VALVe I understand your opinion as you understand mine, and will agree to dissagree on a couple of your points, i just think its a shame that a company such as ID are willing to throw the towel in on PC gaming for reasons such as Piracy, i know this might sound like a stupid comment, but if software piracy is such a killer, then why not take MS's approach and make Internet connectivity a pre-requesite for all games, whereby the game connects to a server to authenticate the gamers credentials (e.g. MS OS's), this would surely make a huge difference, as it would seem that whatever 'Disc Protection measures' are put in place are simply taken apart by 'No CD patches' etc. Just a thought.
@ jordan_johnson PC is great for single player, but there are ton of cheaters and trash talkers in multiplayer.
"thenephariouson Posted Apr 17, 2009 12:10 am GMT Ulimately its only iD after all, im sure this article would have a much greater impact if was regarding VALVe instead of iD" [Sarcasm] Yes, because Left 4 Dead was SO amazing! [/Sarcasm] Really, I think Half-Life is GREAT, but a bit over-rated, especially the Gravity Gun. Anygame that has anything like it is abused by VALVe's fanboys. FYI, VALVe didn't invent the gun, it was going to be in Halo: Combat Evolved but was taken out, and i'm sure games before that probably had it. Once again, I do love VALVe's games (Except Left 4 Dead, simply because they rushed it) but I personally think id is a better company. @AlmondMan I wouldn't say PC gaming evolves faster, it's just that you can't go out and upgrade your 360 or PS3 like you can with a PC. I'm still runing a GForce 8800 on my computer.
Ulimately its only iD after all, im sure this article would have a much greater impact if was regarding VALVe instead of iD.
@AlmondMan: I see exactly what you're talking about. You will have to admit though, that it's more realistic than spinning the control stick to turn a crank. I agree that being asked to wave the controller in the air breaks immersion, but no more than being asked to wail on the buttons. Oh, and thanks to everyone who gave me a negative rating. Keep 'em coming.
Two biggest problems for PC games are piracy and online cheats. You all should know that by now. Multiplatform is the way to go. I started PC game with DOOM in DOS 3.0. Fun time in 15 years but PC gaming is shifting. All my PC gaming gears are wasting on daily pc uses. Just my thought.
@Cabal23 I too am in my 30's, and while I do not have any kids (nor want any), my daily life is also involved and I no longer have the time or inclination to maintain a gaming PC and operating systems and drivers, etc.. I have to agree with your sentiments about the simplicity of console gaming. To me it's quick and fun, and I've found that playing first person shooters with a gamepad really isn't all that bad. I've never played an RTS with a gamepad, but maybe I will once I pick up a PS3. Still, I was a PC gamer for a lot of years and enjoyed my time with it, but I've pretty much moved on now.
Even after many negative articles like this, you will still end up with positive thumbs up for your post if you say PC gaming is fine, and you get negative thumbs down if you hint in any way that you think PC gaming has problems! I really don't know how bad it's going to have to get for many PC gamers to be able to admit publically there may be a problem. Because even after 100 articles like this, they will still insist all is well! Personally, I don't get it. As a 20 year PC gamer, I think it's obvious things are no where as good as 10 years or even 5 years ago. But that's just me, I suppose. So feel free to mark this with a thumbs down for daring to say PC gaming is not in prefect shape!
I never really understood the whole thing with people bothering about PC games not working or their videocard being too weak or whatever. I never really had that problem, except about 3 years into my videocards' lifetimes. 3 years for a high-mid range card is a good lifecycle. You just need to realise that PC games evolve more than console games, and so you should turn down detail levels accordingly. The balance between performance and visual quality is not that hard to hit. Just stop bying really bad cards, like ones that cost 75$ and expect to be able to run anything but stuff from last year. This seems to be what most people do. Noone's telling you to buy a 400$ graphics card either, read a review before you buy rather than just throw cash at something that says LOTS OF MEGAHERTZ AND LOTS OF RAM! on the box...
@Triaxx2 conversely I'll say that the Wii controls do not make it a more natural thing to play the games. Indeed in many cases it makes it less natural, by demanding that you wave the controllers around in ways that seem to not be very close to what it says you should do. In the end, most games on it just end up a kind of "rattle the controller and hope it does what you want, when you want it" kind of thing. Swirling the controller in the air to simulate turning a crank in the game does not make a game more immersive.
Id's business model is going to set them up for great success in the evolution in gaming and technology we are going to see in the near future.
Go tell Blizzard pc gaming is dying and they have to make Diablo 3 for consoles.. As it was said, pc gaming is in transition such as the music industry.
ppl often forget that piracy also exists on consoles... actually it is growing.... and i dont think this is the end of pc. i think new rise of pc gaming will come when Cloud system arrives..... it will turn heads and minds... it is same with global market crash... u need to wait and save to survive
@Ebougile I agree, so nice to pop a game in and play without installing, patching, hoping your year old video card can run it. All of that is non-existent with consoles. Patches take seconds, games 98% of the time work out of the box. My only gripe is not all games translate to the consoles(rts's) but that is minor in comparison to the fun I have with other types of games that really never make it to pc ported correctly like the REsident Evil games. The last RE game to come out on PC blew soooooooooo hard. I suppose it comes down to what you want to deal with. I am older with kids, I don't have hours to get a game working. I just want to plop down and play. No questions asked. My next computer will be a laptop for email and facebook and that's it. It's a shame my 25 + years of pc gaming is coming to an end. But what I need now is reliablility not headaches.
I was a PC gamer first and foremost for a lot of years, but my passion for it has been on the decline for some time now. And since piracy is a big issue, publishers have been tightening the noose with copy protection by putting certain limitations on you. For me, this has added to the effect of making me turn away from the PC as a gaming platform. More and more of my gaming time is spent on the consoles now, plus I also enjoy the plug and play simplicity they offer. My current gaming PC was built in November 2006 and it's probably going to be my last one.
This interview doesn't give me a lot of confidence about the pc version when they say their primary focus is the xbox360. This sounds surprisingly similar to that nonsensical drivel that Monolith used and looked what happened to FEAR 2. What a disappointment that game turned out to be. It's true that piracy is rampant on the pc platform but on consoles you have to factor in that a lot of games are rented or bought used at Gamestop which doesn't provide any profit towards the developers either, and factor in piracy on consoles as well and it's actually worse. I used to trust idsoftware as quality pc game developers and have preordered all their games but for this game I'll probably wait until reviews and more importantly pc gamer's reviews come out before I even touch this one. FEAR 2 left a really bad taste in my mouth and I'll be damned if I get burned with another console port trash.
I kind of wonder just how he managed to end up in charge of such an amazing company as id. Of course that Nintendo is only Kiddie-games. It's just a stupid gimmick that'll never sell a single console. Right. I think that he needs to get his head out of the sand and realize that the Wii is the single most accurate control scheme since the introduction of the mouse. The reason only Nintendo is making money on the Wii is because Nintendo is the only company willing to take it seriously. Every other company just sees it as a Gimmick and a way to make some fast cash. And when they start pushing through mini-game compilations, they turn it into a gimmick. If you want to be convinced by the Wii, you have to take it seriously. So here is your challenge Mr. Hollenshead. Go pick up a copy of Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. Play through the to the church bell with the Gamecube controller, then play through to that point with the Wiimote and tell me that the Wiimote does not make the game infinitely more natural than the control stick. Go ahead, I'll wait. If you want to be impressed by the system you have to look past the graphics, which frankly mean absolutely nothing. Metroid Prime 3, Twilight Princess, Bully, RE4. All games that are fantastic despite not being graphical giants. Gameplay is the entire crux of the matter. Without gameplay, it's just a movie, and there are enough bad movies in the world. Without gameplay, the story is just a novel with pictures. Gameplay is the key, no matter what system, but when you realize that the Wii draws you in, and makes you part of the game instead of merely letting you control the action, then you come to understand just why the Wii is an amazing platform. But I realize you have to look at it from a purely monetary standpoint, since that's all you're really after, and so I present it to you this way. If you were to make a game, that didn't play well, no one would buy it. And you would lose money. But if you put as much care and resources into the design of a Wii game and make it worth spending money on, then people will spend money on it. Just because it's a Nintendo system, does not mean that only Nintendo makes money on it. They make money only because they take it seriously. PC gaming isn't dying, it just needs to evolve to the next iteration, as it always has.
pc gaming dying havnt they been saying that for 10 plus years now ? this is bs im sick to death of this BS consoles are for retards that dont know the differnce between a stick of ram and a hard drive, computers rule end of transmission
I don't care about ads in a game - put them on the loading screen, put them in-game, so what? That doesn't bother me AS LONG AS I DONT HAVE TO PAY 60+ bucks for it on top of the ads! But you all know that they will charge us the same amount AND get the ad money, if not now then later. Look at cable TV - they started off getting people hooked with no commercials - after they got rid of air broadcasting it's back to business as usual, but now we pay AND have t watch commercials. Why expect any different from any other corporation? And I don't know why Id decided to team up with EA. They must have Bozo the Clown doing their finances for them when everybody is using their engine and they still aren't making enough to stay independent. EA is constantly getting criticized for screwing up great franchises, but every day someone is joining their fold like they are blind, deaf and dumb or something. I just don't get that - are we gamers the only ones that can see that joining EA is the kiss of death?
As long as World of Warcraft has its ~11 million person fanbase. PC gaming with still be alive and kicking.
PC Gaming is Cool if you have the right PC... Console gaming is cooler because the system is already optimized to play the games 360 -- PS3.. Agree to Disagree / Say what you will...
How cool this game ends up being relies heavily on how smoothly the game transitions from FPS to driving segments, and whether or not those transitions make good sense. I hope it will be good, but for years now id has been about cool tech and mediocre games. Regardless of what Hollenshead says, they are more about selling their engine than making good gameplay.
Weddum, good post. Without the graphics card, my PC cost about $600 to build. I would have spent that anyway even if I didn't game just to surf the net. Another $150 for a decent video card (HD4850) and I was in business. So, the cost of gaming on my PC: $150. The average cost of a PC game: $40. I am currently playing NWN2 at full detail, 1440x900, 8x AA. Looks just about as good as any PS3 or 360 game from the same genre, and it is an old game. I can run Crysis at medium to high settings at 720p and it looks incredible. Still, the direction of the industry is concerning. Whether it is Microsoft's push of the 360 that is causing it, piracy, or both, it really sucks. I still like gaming on my PS3 and 360. Sometimes you just want to sit in your recliner with a controller. However, it will be a sad day if and when PC gaming is relegated to obscurity.
Mr. Hollenshead got the luscious locks of hair like John Romereo. Ahh ID software, what have you done to yourselves?
I agree with all the extra controllers, paid DLC, memory cards and things like that console gaming isn't as thrifty as it used to be.
I find it completely amazing how misinformed so many of you are about PC gaming. Some people still go on about having to upgrade often? Seriously? Wake up. What are the majority of you typing on right now? Thats right, a PC. And chances are that many of you are using poor pre-built Dell/HP junk that have nice CPU/RAM but a poor video card. Now this is the part I don't get. You console gamers always rage on about the "value" of owning a console. Frankly I don't see it. First you have to go out and spend $250-$400 buying a console, then another $800 buying a decent HDTV if you actually want a good gaming experience. Then another $250+ on top of that for a decent sound system (though arguably, you'd want one of these for a PC also). Now all the extras. In the case of Xbox Live, you pay the monthly subscription fee's if you want to play online, on top of what you already pay for your monthly Internet access. And then you keep paying microtransactions for little bits of DLC which you should already have in the first place, or the same game offers for free on a PC in form of patches. And your games are always more expensive than their PC counterparts by $10 or more. It all adds up. And you are only given one option to control your games in most cases. Now lets look at a PC. Chances are you need one in your home for one reason or another. You can get a good powered PC, with a nice 24" monitor (1920x1200 or 1920x1080), for around $800. Add an extra $150 or so for a video card that will handle all your games flawlessly, with higher performance than a console will give you. Technically with a gaming PC, the only "gaming" part you are paying for is the video card. Many of you could probably buy a card tomorrow, pop it in your PC and you'd be set to start playing. Games are cheaper, you don't have to pay for a lot of DLC, you get a more versatile platform that lets you play with just about any device you can plug into it, and you can hook it up to your TV and play it just like you would a console if you prefer. And every game that has ever been released for the PC is immediately playable. So I ask you console gamers, where do you see the value in your console? Why go out and buy a PC, then go out and buy a console? When its likely to just be cheaper to throw in a new video card. And yes it is true every two years or so, you'll need to upgrade your card to handle some of the newer games. But think of the savings from buying the cheaper priced games, and all the money you save not buying DLC, and all the money saved not paying for Xbox Live. I can assure you the amount you saved would be more than what you'd pay to upgrade to a new video card. Many of you get confused thinking gaming PC's have to cost thousands of dollars. This is only the case for enthusiast gamers. For your average console gamer, any average powered PC would be amazing compared to your console experience. I think console gaming is a case of brainwashing. You think that because you are getting a simplified, easier to use solution, you are getting a better product. When really you are just getting a closed platform, with practically no freedom to play games how you want to play them.
Rage actually looks sweet. At least for me, it's a welcome change from id's normal dark corridor environments. And haha, looks like another awesome game NOT coming to the Wii-- "...the Wii is Nintendo--and then everybody else... as a company that doesn't make Nintendo-type games, the Wii is less of a compelling platform for us to really sink a lot of resources into." He makes a great point--they're not trying to be all things to all people. Think about it: id Software and Nintendo. Could there be two more different companies? It's smart--stick with what you know works and will be profitable (i.e. a multiplatform game to your core audiences that fits your style). And despite Wii's success, it's not with Wii. They'll just continue doing well with games like Wii Sports Resort and more accessories like the Motion Plus.
Mmm yeah, having a mouse and keyboard won't make a console a PC. Having an open platform will make it a PC. And you have an open platform, then the pubs will no longer be interested because they lose control.
fps_dominator, yeah, you just know you couldn't play a real FPS like UT2004 and actually compete.Spam shots my ass buddy.Dumbest thing i've heard in a LONG time, and that's saying a lot.
The day that happens, consoles become bona fide PC's, so i wouldn't really have a problem with that as long as the quality of games stays up.Which it hasn't, it's gone down over time.And DarqKiller, right...you totally ignore the fact that playing an FPS with a controller is disgusting, among many other things you completely ignore.Shows how smart you are.
I agree with atopp399. If/When a next-gen console has full keyboard and mouse support out of the box, then that's when PC gaming is going to have to start worrying.
@ zomglolcats: well... in therio you can also do that for the ps3... but... most of the games for it either doesnt support it at all or is poorly supporting of keyboard and mouse for the said game.
I wonder what would happen if one of the next gen console makers decided to fully support a keyboard/mouse setup with their next systems. I don't mean just as an option but fully supported so that games could be developed with them in mind. They are cheap to produce so it wouldn't raise the cost of the system too much if they were included along with a controller. Imagine what that would do as far as RTS and MMO games are concerned for consoles. If I could play Zelda or Mario and and then switch over and play World of Warcraft or a game like Age of Empires all on one system(legally) I probably wouldn't build a PC for gaming any more.
Until that happens PC gaming will be fine.
I like console games, but PC will always be my platform of choice for things like RTS and FPS. A game pad just doesn't offer enough control for something like an RTS. So far, they've all been mediocre on consoles comapred to the PC counterpart. And no matter how many FPS games I play on consoles, the controls are just clumsy compared to a mouse and keyboard.
@zakkess: well... OnLive will be fully supported for OSX so... Mac users can now get to play games like Crysis and so on in a near future. i'm considering throwing out my pc when OnLive comes up, but i'll give it a test run first and see how smooth it is first. @DarqKiller: well... some of us just like a keyboard and a mouse better than a gamepad (gamepads are for weaker gamers *wink*) and we people also use our pc's for more than just silly gaming. but yes... for all those mortals that can hardly use a tv a console is great!!! you people probably only use ur pc for facebook and other re****ed stuff like that *grin*
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