Microsoft confirms desire to kill PC gaming

I completely agree. What I find funny is that they no longer even bother to keep up the cheap pretense.

I would be sad for the loss of PC gaming not because of the superiority of mouse or whatever, all that is irrelevant. Because it’s the only truly open platform left. There is literally NO bar to entry.

That means Microsoft can’t actually kill it, although, if they stop developing DirectX or whatever, they could make it a lot messier. Then again, Minecraft uses what, Java and OpenGL?


I have found this blog. I will post it here, for the heck of it (but imho, is also a nice post).

The gaming habits of young people has been a hot topic over the years, and one in which I am very interested. I have sons, and they all love videogames, so we are very mindful of the games they play (like most parents, we stick to ESRB guidelines) and how long they play them. But what I find equally interesting is the gaming habits of grown-ups. Based on a recent U.S.-based study done by the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a gamer is thirty-four and 26% of people over the age of fifty play games. Additionally, 40% of gamers are female. Some of this demographics shift could be attributed to the explosion of casual and social network gaming. Facebook is now a legitimate gaming platform, with IGN estimating that Facebook games make more money than traditional videogames. Most of these games are very accessible to the mainstream and playable in “bite-sized” periods of time.

Digital distribution has surpassed retail as a viable channel to sell PC games, which has lowered barriers to entry in the market. A few of the traditional “big-budget” developers I’ve spoken with are shrinking development budgets for individual games, in favor of more nimble and creative projects to seek new markets. They are also targeting the PC so they can iterate quickly, hit a broad customer base, minimize costs, and more easily deliver content they – or their customers – can grow over time. A broad range of business models is playing out in the ~$13B PC gaming software industry, where developers can better monetize their games via subscriptions, in-game transactions, episodic purchases, free-to-play-then-upgrade/purchase, or direct sales from developers’ own sites to hundreds of millions of PC users worldwide. Minecraft is a great example. Developed by Markus Perrson, Minecraft has almost four million users with no publisher backing or advertising, and is sold directly from Markus’ site. That’s cool.

In a nutshell, it seems that the players, the games, the business models, the game delivery mechanisms, the platforms, the market size, and the way players interact with games have all changed. And through it all, the PC – the most open and innovative of all the gaming platforms – is experiencing a renaissance. For imaginative companies who take the time to digest these changes, and apply the right ideas and business models, the games industry should be a playground of profitability. Those who don’t slow down to scan the environment, and adjust their strategies accordingly, may eventually feel like they woke up and the whole world has changed.

(note: sorry for the excessive use of bolds I added to the article).

The 360 uses DirectX and the ability to run development builds on Windows is a big advantage, so I expect that Microsoft will continue developing DirectX on Windows for that reason. They don’t really have any incentive to facilitate PC game development that’s unrelated to 360 or WP7 development, though – not when everyone needs Windows for office applications anyway, and gaming on other devices is much more profitable for MS.

I think the lack of any real contribution or momentum from the PCGA is the real reason Microsoft and Nvidia dropped out and AMD scaled back. Saying they are against PC gaming is reaching based simply on this announcement. Microsoft is fairly well invested in PC gaming, the continued development and support of DirectX is a pretty clear sign of that. Nvidia has certainly profited from the manufacture of video chips for consoles, but it was first and foremost a deveolper of hardware for the PC and continues to make plenty of money off PC gaming. They would be foolish to suddenly decide to put all their apples into the console cart. Same with AMD now that they control ATI. That’s a pairing of brands that is tailor made to market to PC gamers and hobbyists.

PC Gaming is pronounced “domed” annually, and yet AAA titles continue to be released and it still remains the only viable platform for MMO games to date. PC Gaming isn’t quite dead yet, and this announcement isn’t even a nail in the coffin.

What do you mean, “from the PCGA?” The PCGA consists of its members.

The PCGA was and is useless. This is hardly even newsworthy, other than being a funny embarassment to all the entities involved in establishing that thing in the first place.

The PCGA was a joke from Day One. No one really took it seriously. Hey guys, this is just what we need to save PC gaming: a committee.

They are planning a relaunch with he new president, interview at Gamasutra.

Not sure if this news changes anything but look for announcements around GDC. Given that the new guy is from Intel and is replacing an also Intel employed, Intel is probably the main driver of this initiative. This is strange given Intel consistent inability to provide a decent graphics chip, although maybe Sandy Brige noticeable improvements in that area could be the start of something better. Also looking at the gaming space PC is the only option for Intel, out of the console market out of the mobile market they should sponsor PC gaming as driver for sales of their high end chips.

The PCGA always sounded like something that wouldn’t last forever: putting fierce hardware rivals together (Intel, AMD/Ati, nVidia), next to an OS creator which has clearly shown it doesn’t want traditional PC gaming to be popular and all kinds of game publishers who are competing with each other as well.

How on earth did they expect this would revitalise PC gaming? It’s like saying the Fifa can modernise football or that politicians of rival parties can make decent compromises. Doesn’t make any sense.

I mean the lack of anything of substance from the member companies branded with the PCGA stamp. While the organization is comprised of it’s member companies, the idea was to band those companies together to further the cause of PC Gaming through promotion, marketing and development. Outside of a couple of “hooray for us, we stand together to support PC Gaming” press releases they have done zero as a collective organization to promote gaming on the platform. Sure, individually they produce, market and sell parts and/or software for the PC, but they’re going to do that anyway, so I’d hardly call it a collective PCGA initiative.

Had the companies used their collective might to hold an annual PC Gaming convention (or even co-sponsor one such as PAX under the umbrella of the PCGA initiative), produce some mass marketing (“Hey folks, PCs aren’t just for work! Check this out!” - brought to you by the PCGA) or even tried to link a line of products together (buy these chips, these cards, this OS and these games, and we pledge they’ll work together seemlessly!) the whole thing would seem a hell of a lot less like a joke. In hindsight, the whole thing looks like a corporate knee-jerk reaction to the PC Gaming is Doomed argument, and when said doom did not come to pass, members decided to opt out.

What a sensational thread title! I give it a bazillion thumbs up.