Why did PC gaming get left behind?

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#1 Edited by warmblur (2127 posts) -

I been PC gaming since 2005 and back then devs where passionate about PC gaming they would build games from the ground up for it like Max Payne1&2, Half Life series,Battlefield up to 2142, F.E.A.R., and Crysis. What happen? I find it ridiculous in 2019 we still don't get AAA PC exclusives and no Star Citizen doesn't count I know their is alot of indie developers but I'm talking about AAA only. It's like someone pulled a plug in the gaming industry and we are not allowed to have AAA exclusives anymore. PC gaming will always be my primary choice for gaming but I feel it lost alot of what made it special. So my question is why did the industry just give up so fast on making those awesome AAA games we use to get?

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#2 Posted by appariti0n (2750 posts) -

Guess it depends on your outlook.

Personally, the number of AAA titles that are exclusive to PC has never really affected my enjoyment of it. It has always been about the flexibility, far better performance/graphics in all games, not just exclusives, and the inclusion of rts, mmo, turn based strategy/sim games that don't even exist on consoles.

So from my point of view, PC hasn't been left behind whatsoever.

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#3 Edited by VagrantSnow (267 posts) -

There's no one really pushing the platform other than the potential revenue. Xbox and Playstation and Switch all have brand name companies behind them with a lot of cash to throw around and secure exclusivity and with that, a lot of marketing for the games' respective publishers. I also imagine with games costing so much to develop now that without these big companies at your back, it just isn't financially viable to limit such a game to one platform.

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#4 Edited by attirex (1563 posts) -

Still catching up with games released three years ago, soooooo....no problems with PC gaming from my POV lol.

Lack of exclusives isn't the end of the platform, and PC gaming is doing a lot better than it was ten - fifteen years ago. Enjoy the ride.

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#5 Posted by The_Stand_In (1045 posts) -

Every platform is losing AAA exclusives, not just PC. It's just more profitable to go multiplatform, plain and simple. The fact that PC has no corporation to throw money at devs to keep games PC exclusives just exacerbates this and makes it disproportional compared to consoles. And now that the Xbox and Playstation use x86, it's easier than ever to scale down games to the hardware and port them, so why not reach a wider audience with both PC and consoles and make more money?

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#6 Posted by npiet1 (2050 posts) -

@The_Stand_In said:

Every platform is losing AAA exclusives, not just PC. It's just more profitable to go multiplatform, plain and simple. The fact that PC has no corporation to throw money at devs to keep games PC exclusives just exacerbates this and makes it disproportional compared to consoles. And now that the Xbox and Playstation use x86, it's easier than ever to scale down games to the hardware and port them, so why not reach a wider audience with both PC and consoles and make more money?

AAA games take longer to develop than they did before so it makes sense to make multiplat games.

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#7 Posted by Vaidream45 (1844 posts) -

I don’t think it has been left behind. There are a bazillion great games to play. What more can you ask for?

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#8 Edited by warmblur (2127 posts) -

@vaidream45 said:

I don’t think it has been left behind. There are a bazillion great games to play. What more can you ask for?

What we use to have it was better I miss the days when upgrading your graphics card really felt meaningful PC gaming use to be about pushing tech forward with games like Half Life and Crysis. also MP gaming was better devs where much more cool back then modding was more accepted and celebrated you can't even mod the Battlefield series anymore or even rent a server like the good old days. PC gaming is being held back and has been for over a decade now it's truly a shame so much lost potential .

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#9 Edited by mrbojangles25 (43748 posts) -

It's not so much that PC has been left behind as it is being held up. Get out of the way, consoles; we got work to do, barriers to break through, and trails to blaze.

In all seriousness, PC is still the place to go for hobbyists and enthusiasts because it offers the best selection of games, widest variety of genres, and highest-quality experience.

@The_Stand_In said:

Every platform is losing AAA exclusives, not just PC. It's just more profitable to go multiplatform, plain and simple. The fact that PC has no corporation to throw money at devs to keep games PC exclusives just exacerbates this and makes it disproportional compared to consoles. And now that the Xbox and Playstation use x86, it's easier than ever to scale down games to the hardware and port them, so why not reach a wider audience with both PC and consoles and make more money?

Exclusives are the biggest scam in history, and one a lot of gamers are willing particpents in.

The fact that a business decision somehow makes one's game higher quality is bullshit. Would PS4 be half as successful if I could play God of War on Xbox or PC?

It's a cheap move, and every time one of those hacks on System Wars use it as a basis of their argument, I think "Thank god we don't resort to that shit".

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#10 Posted by Xtasy26 (5394 posts) -

It's interesting that you chose 2005 because that was around the time where developers switched to console development in mass because that was the year when Xbox 360 was released. John Carmack even said that Xbox 360 was become the default standard for developing games not too long after the release of the Xbox 360 hence you saw ID focusing on Rage running on Xbox 360 at smooth frame rates while PC was left behind with piss poor optimizations and bugs when Rage was released on the PC. The first time ID Software game where the PC took a back seat and the first time where ID didn't push the graphics like they did with their previous releases Doom 3, Quake 3, Quake 2 and so on. The focus became the lowest common denominator. Graphics card purchases would actually mean significant jump in graphics in the late 90's to the mid-2000's and maybe the late 2000's if you include games like Crysis and Crysis Warhead. Ever since the release of the Xbox One and PS4 you could run most games maxed out with GPU's that was released around that time the 290X and the GTX 980.

So, in summary, it seems because developers have started to follow the lowest common denominator hence the consoles without any effort to focus on PC development fist and then port it to consoles like it was in the era you mentioned (Max Payne 1/2, F.E.A.R., Doom 3, HL2, etc.).

And frankly, the way it looks, looking back at the past 5 years I don't see that changing.

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#11 Posted by Xtasy26 (5394 posts) -
@attirex said:

Still catching up with games released three years ago, soooooo....no problems with PC gaming from my POV lol.

Lack of exclusives isn't the end of the platform, and PC gaming is doing a lot better than it was ten - fifteen years ago. Enjoy the ride.

Same thing here. Maybe even some games going back 10 years that I wanted to play.

But I think TC is questioning why games are not being developed with PC as the main platform where it pushes graphics and making every upgrade in graphics card much more meaningful.

Having games to play is not the issue from my perspective but I would like to go back to the days 15 years ago when games were developed for the PC first and then the consoles.

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#12 Posted by attirex (1563 posts) -

Yeah, it would be nice if PC game development was still on the vanguard of gaming and pushing graphics and everything else game-related forward, but the popularity of consoles dictates that consoles are where the money/focus/exclusives go.

And I can imagine a time in the not-so-distant future when the industry finally makes streaming a viable gaming service, and having any kind of hardware in your home to play games will be a relic of the past. But until the Tech Gods can somehow smooth out the peaks and valleys of Internet service quality and availability, and work with or around greedy, paranoid, and generally evil ISPs to solve latency issues and data caps, playing games sans local hardware will remain a future dream.

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#13 Edited by xantufrog (11155 posts) -

It didn't. Pc gaming is probably the strongest it has ever been, with the broadest development and most consistent AAA support. People counting games being shared with other platforms now as a loss are missing the point, IMO. Near as I can tell, we're gaining support. I've been playing since the late 80s, and it has never been more convenient, stable, and less fringe. Exclusives get me no special enjoyment

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#14 Posted by warmblur (2127 posts) -

@Xtasy26 said:
@attirex said:

Still catching up with games released three years ago, soooooo....no problems with PC gaming from my POV lol.

Lack of exclusives isn't the end of the platform, and PC gaming is doing a lot better than it was ten - fifteen years ago. Enjoy the ride.

Same thing here. Maybe even some games going back 10 years that I wanted to play.

But I think TC is questioning why games are not being developed with PC as the main platform where it pushes graphics and making every upgrade in graphics card much more meaningful.

Having games to play is not the issue from my perspective but I would like to go back to the days 15 years ago when games were developed for the PC first and then the consoles.

Yes and yes.

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#15 Edited by xantufrog (11155 posts) -

@warmblur: but it was a small portion of AAA games that were developed for PC first and console second - and meanwhile there were fewer multiplats that came to PC. We had fewer big budget games overall. Nowadays we still get the big stuff like Total War and the hot new ___ FPS, but we also get everything* consolites get. I wouldn't trade a handful of graphically impressive "PC first" titles for more games - and better support too. Do you remember how often PC ports were shitty ports? Much more rare now. God, I was replaying KotOR for May 4th and it's just such a bad halfassed job.

But we "owned" Crysis? No way. No interest in trading better games for that

*95%

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#16 Edited by mrbojangles25 (43748 posts) -

@xantufrog said:

It didn't. Pc gaming is probably the strongest it has ever been, with the broadest development and most consistent AAA support. People counting games being shared with other platforms now as a loss are missing the point, IMO. Near as I can tell, we're gaining support. I've been playing since the late 80s, and it has never been more convenient, stable, and less fringe. Exclusives get me no special enjoyment

QFT

@Xtasy26 said:

...developers have started to follow the lowest common denominator hence the consoles without any effort to focus on PC development fist and then port it to consoles like it was in the era you mentioned...

Like I said earlier, PC gaming has not been left behind, it is being held up.

That's not entirely true, but it's more accurate than saying PC gaming has been left behind.

I imagine we will see a big jump in technical capability when the next gen of consoles come out, but we will hit that "generational ceiling" in a couple short years afterwards.

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#17 Posted by dmb34 (1101 posts) -

hard core simulation = PC domination ....fly sims- military sims - racing sims ...this is really the only thing I care about anymore, but yeah I remember when PC had more focus and consoles were lucky to get those great games made for PC

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#18 Edited by urbangamez (3470 posts) -

i dont think pc gaming got left behind, i just think creators imaginations have taken the back seat to profits. everything is social gaming and microtransactions and games as service. hopefully we can get back to prestige stories and single player campaigns where gamers actually care about the characters in a story and the world in which the games take place

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#19 Posted by the_bi99man (11253 posts) -

Yeah, whether or not people who don't game on a PC can also play the same game has literally no effect on my own experience. That said, many of my favorite modern games which I am currently playing are only on PC, on all the other games look better on my PC than any other option, and I can use literally any controller I want, and play them on any screen in the house.

What was left behind, again?

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#20 Edited by attirex (1563 posts) -

Yep, PC gaming is fine. In my estimation, console exclusives aren't a problem (as posters above stated, zero impact to gaming experience). More negative influences from consoles on PC gaming are things like poorly ported controller UIs, for example (ie, no drag and drop in inventory interfaces), or general industry trends like microtransactions, lack of SP campaigns, etc.

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#21 Edited by warmblur (2127 posts) -

@the_bi99man said:

Yeah, whether or not people who don't game on a PC can also play the same game has literally no effect on my own experience. That said, many of my favorite modern games which I am currently playing are only on PC, on all the other games look better on my PC than any other option, and I can use literally any controller I want, and play them on any screen in the house.

What was left behind, again?

Same with me I game on PS4 and PC but I miss when PC hardware wasn't being held back for console parity I'm a true believer that every system should be able to be used to it's full power and not be held back in anyway. What was left behind was a awesome time in gaming where you knew your games weren't getting downgraded and you had devs that came from the modding scene and supported it properly. Now these days it's just a bunch of suits that are not gamers trying to make a quick buck.

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#22 Posted by NoodleFighter (10157 posts) -

Unless a game is an mmo, strategy or simulator most devs don't see a point in keeping it PC exclusive even if PC sales greatly surpass that of the consoles. Your best bet for PC only and PC first games is from Asia. Asia is heavily PC centric with the big 3 console companies not having much influence there. There are already some AAA games for PC from China but they're only in Chinese ATM. I don't think PC games will push hardware as much even without consoles because they still have to keep low end PCs in mind. The days of Crysis and other games having to make you upgrade after almost every release is long gone. It's not viable anymore. The one good thing consoles did was bring an grounded minimum requirement system for PC.

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#23 Posted by dxmcat (2562 posts) -

The last "console exclusive" I enjoyed was MGS4 so..........

I don't think its "left behind" at all, just caters to a much more diverse audience, one that isn't obsessed with cinematic third person games.

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#24 Posted by sealionact (3788 posts) -

@warmblur: Why would a game's exclusivity status effect your enjoyment of it? If it's a good game, why would you care if it's on other platforms, unless you really need to go on forums like these and troll about it being an exclusive?

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#25 Edited by warmblur (2127 posts) -

@sealionact said:

@warmblur: Why would a game's exclusivity status effect your enjoyment of it? If it's a good game, why would you care if it's on other platforms, unless you really need to go on forums like these and troll about it being an exclusive?

It's not so much that's it exclusive it has more to do with the game being built from the ground up on PC so it's able to benefit more then just being a console port that looks slightly better then the console version. It not that I want exclusives to the platform to brag like the fanboys do I want a PC game that isn't held back by console hardware nothing against them I been gaming on console for most of my life. I like getting the most out of my hardware I hate it when PC games are purposely downgraded it's ridiculous. It's like buying a sports car but your not allowed to drive it on certain roads because it might make other drivers feel that their car is inferior it's really stupid logic that the gaming industry seems to follow these days.

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#26 Edited by BassMan (10024 posts) -

@warmblur: It comes down to development budgets and the need for profits. Most AAA games these days are extremely expensive to develop. So, they need to release on multiple platforms and reach the most amount of users as possible. The scope of the game is dictated by the lowest common denominator. This gen it is the base models of the X1 and PS4. Developers can further expand and improve the game for the premium versions of the consoles and PC, but that requires additional development resources and money. So, most developers will not push it too far. It doesn't make sense for most developers to focus heavily on PC or come out with PC exclusives as they are not going to see the return on investment.

There is no governing company or platform holder on PC like there is for the consoles. Companies like Sony, Nintendo, and MS (to a lesser extent) put out exclusives to attract people to their platform and ecosystem. So, they can afford to have big budgets on the exclusives and not worry too much about reaching the most users. Those exclusives act as a trojan horse into consumer spending. They help generate revenue in console sales, accessories, services, future royalties from third party games, etc..

Big PC AAA exclusives will be limited to special circumstances like Star Citizen where it became a crowd funding phenomenon. Even then, I can see the game coming to next-gen consoles because the game has been in development for so long and by the time it officially releases, the new consoles will be out with the big jump in CPU power over last gen and capable of running the game.

Yes, the console hardware certainly limits the scope of a game and what is possible, but not everyone has a high end gaming PC either. So, there is always going to be a lowest common denominator or baseline that dictates how far developers will be able to push while still being able to reach the most users and be reasonably profitable.

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#27 Posted by Xtasy26 (5394 posts) -

@xantufrog said:

@warmblur: but it was a small portion of AAA games that were developed for PC first and console second - and meanwhile there were fewer multiplats that came to PC. We had fewer big budget games overall. Nowadays we still get the big stuff like Total War and the hot new ___ FPS, but we also get everything* consolites get. I wouldn't trade a handful of graphically impressive "PC first" titles for more games - and better support too. Do you remember how often PC ports were shitty ports? Much more rare now. God, I was replaying KotOR for May 4th and it's just such a bad halfassed job.

But we "owned" Crysis? No way. No interest in trading better games for that

*95%

It wasn't a small portion. 15 Years ago you had Far Cry, Doom 3, Half-Life 2 all were developed for PC first. Even Call of Duty expansion United Offensive was developed no PC first. Later on games like Far Cry added HDR support and pixel shader 3.0 support to support the new features of the GeForce 6000 series that was released 15 years ago. So it wasn't a small portion. Big AAA titles were developed for the PC first. In 2005 we had F.E.A.R., Quake 4 developed for the PC first even Need For Speed Most Wanted with Bloom effects had good PC support. I could probably find more but these were some big name AAA titles focused on the PC first.

@mrbojangles25 said:
@xantufrog said:

It didn't. Pc gaming is probably the strongest it has ever been, with the broadest development and most consistent AAA support. People counting games being shared with other platforms now as a loss are missing the point, IMO. Near as I can tell, we're gaining support. I've been playing since the late 80s, and it has never been more convenient, stable, and less fringe. Exclusives get me no special enjoyment

QFT

@Xtasy26 said:

...developers have started to follow the lowest common denominator hence the consoles without any effort to focus on PC development fist and then port it to consoles like it was in the era you mentioned...

Like I said earlier, PC gaming has not been left behind, it is being held up.

That's not entirely true, but it's more accurate than saying PC gaming has been left behind.

I imagine we will see a big jump in technical capability when the next gen of consoles come out, but we will hit that "generational ceiling" in a couple short years afterwards.

Held up or held back? ;)

Yeah you could argue held back. We also didn't had the issue of hitting the "generation ceiling" because games would be developed on the PC first and then "dumbed down" for consoles. Now it's "wait for new gen consoles" to come to raise the "lowest common denominator". If we had PC focused development first then we wouldn't have to wait for that "generation ceiling".

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#28 Edited by xantufrog (11155 posts) -

@Xtasy26: that's a ridiculously small portion of AAA gaming. That's a handful of games - and mostly of one genre, and most of what made them special was the graphics.

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#29 Posted by sakaiXx (5296 posts) -

Pc is a big market but people tend to forget on pc there is a lot of free to play garbage competing on that market like those chinese mmo overcrowding the market.

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#30 Posted by PCgameruk (2269 posts) -

I think PC gaming is better than ever, consoles caught up which benefited us and they are built like PC's. Ports are better we get games we wouldn't of got 10 years ago like Tekken, MK etc. Why make a game exclusive when you can release it across three platforms? Consoles wouldn't get exclusives if they didn't have multi millions backing them. Console survive from exclusives PC doesn't.

And id like to add MS is in full support in PC gaming now. Halo master race collection incoming! We are also getting a exclusive gears of war RTS that's not coming to xbox.