PC gaming is still doomed

Looks like the numbers are down 10% compared to last year. Console numbers are down too. I’m starting to hate handhelds now hehe.

Thats just retail sales remember.

Online subs etc are not counted. There is plenty of money in PC gaming, just not where it used to be.

Yeah, I know. But it’d be nice if retail weren’t slumping so much. And there’s been a ton of great PC games released the past year or two – I just don’t see why sales are down. I think I could make a pretty strong argument that the past 12 months has been the best 12 month period ever for PC gaming. Oh well…

I’ve asked some people what games they’ve bought recently, and a lot of people have said, “I used to buy like 4 - 5 games a year, but now that I’m playing World of Warcraft I haven’t bought any.” I think there may be some merit to the fact that MMORPG titles can hinder sales of other titles. But you’d really have to see if the base of MMORPG players has grown or not. That would really determine how much of an impact those games have had.

K

I think WoW in particular had an impact because it introduced a lot of gamers who weren’t normally into RPGs but were Blizzard fans who really enjoyed the their RTS sagas. They’ve got a pretty big fanbase to draw from and I’m pretty sure a lot of subscribers were Blizzard fans who hadn’t played MMORPGs before.

Anecdotal, but one of the local EBs shrank their PC section again. It’s just a little more than the area that they used to have Mac games in when I worked there years ago. :(

–Dave

No.

FWIW, I don’t really think PC gaming is doomed. It’s just disappointing to see a platform that has so many good games, especially in the last year or so, not doing as well as it once did.

I haven’t bought a PC game from EB Games in almost 2 years now. The EBs back in Oregon were in good shape when I left a year and a half ago, but the ones here in Nashville are just atrocious. Actually, I think I may have bought a game or two from EB online. But all my local retail purchases are either from Comp USA or Best Buy. Not that I especially love those stores, but they’re the least of the evils I guess.

As a former employee, I still like to shop at EB, if only because I know how they discount stuff and tend to find good deals there often. I’ve also done really well with their pre-owned games, specifically PC games, because they tend to way underprice them compared to eBay and of course compared to new.

There are two here in Reading and the one in the strip mall has a much larger selection of PC software and games in general than the one that I used to work at (over ten years ago now) in the regular enclosed shopping mall. Their PC section easily allows me to find newer titles for good prices used and sometimes new too.

All that said, the further you get from the home office, the more wildly varying EBs tend to be. I was always amazed at how clueless some of the people were at stores outside the PA/NY/NJ/DE area. I guess you just work differently when someone from the home office could walk in at any moment. EB’s headquarters is in West Chester, PA which is near Philadelphia.

Come on, how many console-to-PC ports with low-res menus and crappy optimizations do you have to play before you admit that things aren’t going our way? Things aren’t looking good.

Come on, how many console-to-PC ports with low-res menus and crappy optimizations do you have to play before you admit that things aren’t going our way? Things aren’t looking good.[/quote]

At least you’re getting them unlike poor Gamecube owners.

I can’t believe that the PC sells more copies than the Gamecube for “console games.”

I don’t know, when you look past those console ports, there are still a lot of PC-only titles that are of high quality. Some of them are even recent franchises like Freedom Force, Rise of Nations, Dungeon Siege, Battlefield, Painkiller and more. That’s excluding the absolutely huge MMOG market. Yes, there are fewer PC-only developers these days that have big dollars for production, but there don’t seem to be that many less games of high quality production today than there were, say, three years ago.

I wrote in my column last week that it’s never going to be 1998 again for PC gaming. I think that’s really an unrealistic proposition. However, it’s still pretty damn good to play games, even exclusively, on the PC. It’s just become more like the Nintendo Gamecube, you get a smaller number of games but they’re mostly of very good quality as long as they aren’t targeted at budget gamers in the first place.

There’s a lot of good stuff due for the PC this fall. Codename Panzers Phase Two just came out. Battle of Britain II and Dungeon Siege II in a couple weeks. Longest Journey 2, Dawn of War expansion, D&D Dragonshard, Myst V, Age of Empires III, F.E.A.R, Shattered Union, Serious Sam II, Black & White 2, Call of Duty 2, etc. There’s a lot of games on the horizon. They may not all appeal to you and yes there are less total titles these days, but there are still more games than any one person can keep up with. That doesn’t take into account the sheer volume of time PC games tend to consume. I know I’ll play Age of Empires III for a number of months after its release. I’ll still be playing Battlefield 2 then too. MMOGs are even more consuming of time.

Just ignore those console-to-PC ports and play them on consoles if you really want them. Either that or play the PC version to supplement all I listed above. I didn’t even take into account things sold online through companies like Battlefront and Shrapnel among others. There are a lot of PC games here and coming. It’s just not going anywhere.

–Dave

The next-gen ports should look pretty good on the PC.

EB is a pawn shop for used console games, so it’s not surprising they keep shrinking their PC sections.

They can’t resell all those MMOs (though bless their hearts, they often try).

Kind of OT, but related to the discussion of PC gaming shelf space–how much space was given over to used PC games? Whenever I go to EB or whatever, fully half of their console selection are pre-owned games, often selling for 80% (or more) of their “new” price.

But I don’t even think they stock used PC games anymore; at least, not in significant numbers.

I think the fact that they make SO much money off of used stuff contributes to the extra shrinking of PC game shelf space. If I head over to Circuit City, or Best Buy, they’ve still got a decent amount of PC shelf space; more space for PC games than for any single console. But they don’t sell any pre-owned stuff, so it makes sense.

Well, PC games, with their multiple CDs, jewel cases, separate manual, and box are more difficult to keep together. A console game has everything included in the DVD case, so most people can actually give the full package. I don’t think that happens for PC games as often. Not to mention that PC gamers tend to be picky and probably won’t buy a used game unless it had all components.

The EB’s I’ve been to in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Cali all still stock used PC games. I haven’t noticed much hesitance to stock less-than-complete copies, either, though they certainly have less of those proportionally than of console games. You’re dead-on about the pickiness though - I hate buying less than a complete package for any system, but especially for the PC.

All I have to say is, Spore.

PC gaming is doomed, but Windows Vista gaming is not. I think we are hitting the bottom here. PC games will dip below a billion in the us and will have dissappeared from store shelves. Microsoft is finially waking up and is going to attempt to deal with this mess.

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3142401

According to the Microsoft message: Windows games is becoming a big priority…
Sikora talked about big plans to get the PC out of the gaming ghetto – the back, crap racks in retail stores. Basically, there’s going to be a big push at retail to create a Windows gaming space, right there next to where you’re accustomed to seeing the Xbox/X360, Playstation 2/3, and GameCube displays
But the big news, obviously, is the new OS. “When people want to show off what Vista and DirectX 10 can do, people will be showing off games. That’s what [Microsoft’s] executives do,”…
The other thing I immediately noticed, as a gamer, was a link to a Games folder, right off the start menu…
Making gaming a big part of the OS also makes this a pretty big target for Washington, D.C. hacks that insist on using GTA: SA as political tool. However, Donahue assures that adding parental controls isn’t some sudden cow-towing effort: “We’ve been planning on adding parental controls into Vista for a long time now.”…
Other new features, like the Xbox-ish “Tray and Play”-ability have been talked about for a while. No more installation fuss is required. Drop in the disc, the game is cached/installed on the PC, and you’re good to go…