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Get a crash cart!  PC gaming is flatlining!  The former titan is reeling and consoles are set to pull the plug.  But what got us here?  Did developers and publishers abandon an already sinking ship, or has their absence brought about the end of an era?  Maybe gamers have migrated?  Whatever the reason, we plan to get to the bottom of it.

We’ve made the unfortunate discovery that the podcast’s awesomeness requires a hazard suit, and we are quickly running out of staff members to humiliate, educate, and own.  However, we are doing the best we can to bring another victim, er…guest, out of the fantastic talent that makes up Gamer Limit.

It has also come to our attention that Shawn Evans, pictured below, has gone missing.  Last week he was brutally destroyed in a CS match against a drunken monster, none other than our own Josh Quinnett, and it’s rumored he is in a girl’s bathroom somewhere in Connecticut sucking his thumb.  This picture was taken a few days before the fatal match, right after Shawn decimated the drums on Lego Rock Band, on super easy, with auto kick on.  He then posed for this picture with his obscenely large dildo case.  Think of the children Shawn. I  hope when someone finds you they shove that hat up your ass.

Our prayers go out to him and his family.

shawn

We have a great show next Tuesday so Join me, Chris, Josh, and Paul as we make gay jokes, blanket statements, and the occasional thoughtful insight as we pontificate the future of PC gaming in another legendary episode of the Limitcast.

Make sure you leave your thoughts below.  What do you think about PC gaming’s future?

Also, make sure you check out Gamer Limit’s upcoming charity event, Piece of Heart.  We are partnering up with Child’s Play to bring joy to all of the children that aren’t old enough to listen to the podcast.

  1. Chase – how much did it cost you to ship him that case?

  2. Personally, I’ve always been a console gamer. As a kid it was always because it was really the only sort of gaming I had available to me. However, as I grew up and started to buy my own consoles, I realized that instead of constantly purchasing upgrades for my PC, I could instead lay down a flat $500 or so for the console, and then only use extra money for games.

    While I still love busting out some memorable FPS or Strategy games on my PC, I never really find myself WANTING to play PC games. Give me my consoles and rack off.

  3. The rumours of PC death are greatly exaggerated.

  4. pc gaming was able to thrive when it offered graphical interfaces and gameplay that couldn’t be found elsewhere. Consoles have not only caught up but overtaken pc’s in almost every capacity and when you compare that you can buy an xbox elite and a decent sized hd tv for the same price as a gaming pc, one is going to be able to play all brand new top of the range releases for as long as they are produced while the other offers no such gaurentees.

    the only thriving markets still left on pc are casual games and blizzard because games like wow don’t require you to upgrade your pc every 6 months. i like steam but given a choice even if i know there is a graphical downgrade i will buy the game on my xbox over steam every time.

    the pc had its time in sun but the only people who are left are the die hard gamers who for the most part are an elitist market that are still playing 10 year old games. the consoles bring in new people all the time because they are accesible and breed an audience who fund the games industry because they are hungry for new games every month.

    it makes financial sense as a gamer to play on consoles and it makes financial sense as a publisher to make games for them.

  5. avatar dreamhunk

    you want to know howMW2 made it money it’s called marketing

    http://www.vgarabia.com/2009/11/19/modern-warfare-2-cost-revealed/

    high production costs is the very reason console game devs are going bankupt

  6. wait what does that have to do with the death of pc gaming?

  7. I used a flat rate box, cheaper than you would think.

  8. I don’t think it can be argued that the PC experience isn’t the most comprehensive and advanced in the case of most games. However, consoles have been slowly bridging the technology and graphics gap.

    I know a lot of console gamers who say that price is what keeps them from experiencing more of what PC gaming has to offer. I think that’s a load of malarky, because those same console gamers are also the ones spending $300 at a time on controllers and rhythm game peripherals.

    I honestly feel that the convenience card is the trump card here. People want the best experience they can get for the least effort. Since the consoles have closed the gap somewhat, the fact that consoles require no upgrading or maintenance whatsoever pushes them over the top in the eyes of mainstream consumers. I think that we, as more “hardcore” gamers, really underestimate the selling power of ease-of-use, because we’re usually willing to put in more time and effort (and money) to experience the most out of our games. Add in the fact that the vast majority of gamers are not as tech-savvy as you’d think, and the ease-of-use factor increases even more.

    I know that a good portion of my gaming takes place in the living room in the late evening once my wife passes out with her head in my lap. I can simply switch over from TV to console and enjoy gaming without breaking snuggle protocols. This simple difference is worth losing out on some of the graphical leap and customization available in PC gaming to me. Even if I had a great gaming PC hooked up to the TV in the living room, I can’t have both a wife and a keyboard in my lap — so the keyboard loses in epic fashion.

    All that being said — I hate hearing terms like “the death of PC gaming”. As long as PC gaming offers things that consoles do not there will be a market for it. It’s as silly as declaring the death of sportscars. The market may shrink, but there will continue to be a profit to be made by catering to the hardcore and tech-savvy gaming enthusiasts. There will always want to be those who want to experience the “top of the line”, but I do think that you will see the pricing of PC games eventually increase to offset the shrinking numbers in overall units sold.

    /dissertation

  9. PC gaming will always thrive for years to come, at least on MMOs, FPS, and RTS games alone.

    Most major cross-platform PC FPS games have a bigger community (see: Valve) and more features. Valve has admitted that consoles can’t handle Mods/community support, and Microsoft is pigeonholing their own console when they said “we don’t like the idea of free DLC”.

    Also, console devs are too stubborn to add mouse and keyboard support to 100% of FPS titles. If they actually did, THAT would be the START of the death of PC gaming (IE: MMOs on consoles). But they haven’t.

  10. I believe PC gaming will be around for some time to come…that is as long as Valve stays on their feet. The biggest reason why I like my console is that I can easily see what friends are online and with a few clicks of a button I can be sending out mass invites to start up a party. Steam is the only thing that really comes close Xbox Live..But it only works for the games that are on Steam. If someone mainstreamed something similar to Xfire where we could easily talk to friends on all sorts of games from MMO’s to FPS’s, then I think we would have more people on the PC. Also, PC gaming has sort of been outcast from the “casual” gamer category. All of the “casual” gamers i know are playing on consoles..perhaps it is because PC’s are too intimidating and too complicated?

  11. I’m loving all of these comments. Keep them up. Do it now.

  12. Over the years, I’ve come to prefer the PC over the console due to the fact that it out performs the console on many basic levels: surf the web, watch movies, chat to friends, look at porn, etc.

    But when it comes to games, to be quite honest, I always thought console gaming has always been more trendy / popular, even when the NES, SNES, SEGA, etc were around. If you’re going to say PC gaming is just now dying because of the 360 and PS3, I’d have to disagree since it has never been more popular than the console.

    As long as dev companies like Valve and Blizzard continue to cater to the PC, there will always be a market for it.

    Also, while the 360 is making headway for small indie companies, indie dev companies still prefer the familiarity of the PC over the console and distribution companies like STEAM are still the preferred method.

  13. Its been a while since we have seen some good titles that really create a social environment that has lasted for a while. Other than the popular MMO’s..Starcraft and Counter-Strike are really the only I can think of. We need more hits like this to keep the PC gamer population thriving. For instance, Tribes was a big game I use to play and it had a huge following for many many years (especially the mod side of it), but eventually died off due to the developers. Modding is one thing that consoles don’t bring to the table..and its a HUGE thing to miss out on. Take Counter-Strike for example, this was originally a mod off of Half Life made by some teenagers in high school. We would probably have never gotten CS if it weren’t for it being on the PC. (Or DoTA??) The social environments that consoles create seem to only last a short duration of time..How many people do you see that are still actually playing Gears of War? Halo? Sure there are some, but everyone moves on..Uncharted 2 last week and CoD:MW2 this week. If i want to play a good shooter on the PC I go back to the same game i’ve been playing since high school. Its unfortunate to think that PC gaming is on its way down because it brings so much more to the table than consoles.

    Also, people saying that a decent computer rig is too costly is a crock of shit. The technological advances we have had in the computer industry over the past few years have allowed the prices to become a bit more bearable. A few years ago if you walked into Best Buy to get a mediocre laptop to handle games on decent setting it would cost you a pretty penny. Today you can go pick up a 600$ rig that is pushing 4gb ram, a plethora of hard drive space and a integrated graphics card that can play almost any game out there at a decent frame rate. A few hundred dollars more and you’ll have more hardware than you probably need.

  14. You have an angry face.

  15. “If i want to play a good shooter on the PC I go back to the same game i’ve been playing since high school. Its unfortunate to think that PC gaming is on its way down because it brings so much more to the table than consoles.”

    this is a weakness of pc gaming not a strength

    why produce games for a system if people are going to play 10 year old games. this doesn’t make pc gaming more in depth it makes it less viable for releasing games on.

    games are an industry and it supports where the money comes from

  16. In my opinion it just goes to show that there are games that still hold the same rank today as they did when they were released. You may see this as a weakness, but at the same time look what Counter-Strike did for competitive gaming. IMO Competitive gaming comes from the PC and I think it is something that helped the industry. There is still plenty of room for new games to be made. Re-makes and sequels on the PC seem to be more successful for some reason..perhaps it is because they have a longer timeline? I’m not sure. Team Fortress 2 was a excellent remake/sequel that is still a major hit. The Warcraft series consistently brought newer and better things to the table- the way sequels should be. Look how the console has done in the remake/sequel department..Halo 1, 2, 3? How many Need for Speed games do we have?
    You don’t see Blizzard making a new Diablo every year to leach every last cent out of it. They know they can take their time and create a game that they know will be worth while and people will play it for years to come. Look at Madden..How many people still play Madden 2005? They have to keep releasing a new game every year to keep their cash flow and audience interested.

  17. wait you lost me there, i am not sure wether you are for or against sequels as your points seem to contradict but i am also not sure how it was applicable to the point. The thing is while i do not dispute that a game still being played 5, 10 or 15 years after release only speaks volumes for the game, my point was that it detracts from the idea of pc gaming as a viable market. you bring up blizzard a company that knows how to squeeze the money out of pc gaming which they do by taking advantage of the pc mindset. with enough stuff in the game and the ability to run it on low specced pc’s players will play for an indifinite time and by charging for that indefinate time they have a cash cow.

    the average halo fan will of probally spent somewhere around £100-£150 in the last 4 years on all the games and map packs for what is basically 3 games. the average warcraft fan probally closer to £300-£400 where as people who have spent the last 4 years playing countersrike maybe £20-£30

    im discluding live subscriptions or periphals for pcs as that is not going to the game publishers.

    competitive gaming encourages people to play and practice the games they want to compete in. it doesn’t encourage buying new games.

    Your point seems to be pc gaming is strong and will live on because the games from 10 years ago have longevity to them. My point is that the world just doesn’t work that way.

    the madden point seems a bit out of place as the reason that happens is people who enjoy thos egames enough to buy more than one do it because they are fans of the sport and like to see updated rosters they do not do it to retain interest. if they had the option of just dowloading a patch each season i am sure they would take it, but why would a company not try to make money.

    in a world without capitalism you may have a point and in a world where gaming is a hobby alone even more so, but we don’t live in either of those worlds.

    pc gaming won’t die because of the experience it offers or the capability it has, it will die because it is the hardest to draw money out of (blizzard withstanding) . currently the only harder way to make money is trying to sell a wii title that is an actual real game.

    since 2001 pc gaming sales worldwide have gone from 1.6 billion to 701 million (not inc subscription or digital markets) and have dropped every year

    you don’t think publishers see that and want to invest elsewhere.

    why do you think iw barely blinked at a pc boycott of mw2

  18. Not a big PC gamer myself. May put together a gaming rig in the next couple months though.

    What keeps me from wanting to play PC games is the constant feeling of needing or wanting mods for every single game. A large dependency on a game’s life is driven by modding on the PC. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is definitely a different type of gaming.

    But modders are definitely a large part in keeping PC gaming alive. Which is fantastic since gamers actually have a tangible impact on games while gamers impact on console games is simply improving its community.

    Having previously played WoW for 4 years I have also felt the need to get back to connecting with a majority of my friends in games they actually play. Because this is primarily console games, I have never felt the need to play any PC games.

    So I really think the future of PC gaming will continue to be dependent on not so much developers, but modders and the PC gaming community as a whole.

  19. Well I have decided to finally come out of hiding and share some thoughts on the “Death of PC Gaming”, but after reading what everyone else has written, I’m not sure I have anything more to add.

    I know this much. There is this niche group of people who are hardcore PC gamers and who probably always will be. Most of these people don’t particularly like any of the consoles, but they might actually own one or two and play them from time to time. These people will always fight to keep PC gaming alive and well.

    I think we should all keep in mind that people havfe been saying that PC Gaming is dying for a really long time, and it still hasn’t happened. I have a feeling we’ll still be having this same conversation in 10 years, and possibly 10 years after that.

  20. On a side note, and this is possibly something that should be brought up in the podcast, I had an oppurtunity to play MW2 on the PC at a LAN party this weekend. It was absolutely horrendous. While lots of people and companies are fighting to keep PC gaming going, Activision and Infinity Ward are single handedly trying to kill the LAN experience. I wish I could say more, but I plan to write a feature on this, so you can all read about it then!

  21. avatar dreamhunk

    I don’t have time to fill you in right but I am going to post reason why pc gaming will be around for along time to come with facts and links.

    I have tons on links I can post abput this subject.

    the fact is console gaming is on a decline.

    there is more pc games being made

    the used game market
    piracy on consoles
    rented games
    high production costs

    they are killing console game game devs

    play logic for exmaple is good exmaple

    oh ehre is a list of pc games

  22. avatar dreamhunk

    Summary

    Asian games companies (particularly in Korea and China) have led the way in creating innovative online business models. They have tackled major issues including piracy, the high cost of consoles and low disposable incomes to create a growing, profitable business.
    The idea that they need to change their business models to reflect those in the West is preposterous. It is Western companies who need to change, and fast.
    Analysis

    At any moment of every day, 2 million Chinese are playing online games. 64% of all Chinese internet users are online gamers. And by 2012, China will represent half of the forecast $12 billion market.
    The Asian companies have developed new businesses suited to their local markets. But to suggest that they would benefit from copying Western models is preposterous.
    The Western market is dominated by consoles. The console market is characterised by:

    * Massive investment in R&D, manufacturing and marketing by the console manufacturers: The Home Entertainment division of Microsoft has invested $21 billion over five years, with an operating loss of $5.4 billion. Sony lost $3.1 billion in the games division in the two years to March 2008, arising “from the strategic pricing of PlayStation 3 hardware at points lower than its production cost”.)
    * Massive investment by publishers in new titles: The smash hit of 2009, Modern Warfare 2 from Activision, cost over $50 million to develop and a further $200 million in marketing and manufacturing. Few companies can afford in a portfolio of titles with capital requirements like that.
    * Significant investment by consumers in the hardware: Even several years after launch, a PS 3 or Xbox 360 is likely to set you back around $300.
    * Continued investment by consumers in software: With RRPs often above $50, gaming is a major financial decision for Western consumers.

    In contrast, companies like TenCent and Shanda have built their business on free-to-play games that make their money from the sale of virtual goods. And these games can be incredibly profitable.
    The virtual goods/online business model is better than the traditional console model because it:

    * Addresses piracy: there are no DVDs to copy, and the virtual goods have no value without the servers and game infrastructure to use them
    * Requires less upfront investment: Playfish, a British developer of games on Facebook that was recently bought by Electronic Arts , for up to $400 million, estimates that an average Facebook game costs $1 million to make, but they typically launch the game when it is only 20% complete and continually iterate – or kill it if players don’t like it
    * Allows consumers to pay as much they like: Consumers can play for free, but if they wish to pay for virtual goods, they can pay as little as a few cents or as much as thousands of dollars for a product

    In short, there is a major difference between Western business models and Asian ones (although there a dozens of private Western businesses exploiting this model including Zynga, Playdom, Bigpoint, Gameforge, Gameduell, Jagex, Ankama and others).
    But it is the West that needs to adopt Chinese business models, not the other way round.

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