Civilization 5 and StarCraft 2 Save PC Gaming From Extinction

James Mowery September 27 Gaming

Cloudy days have befallen the PC as a gaming platform. Yet it wasn’t so long ago when things were different; A-list games were released for the PC on what seemed to be a monthly basis — consoles were second class. But now the world has their Xbox 360s, PS3s, PSPs, Wiis, and DSs. Subsequently, the PC had lost its touch with the gaming community and was in dire need of help. Could it be saved?

Bland, mediocre, unimaginative, stagnant — these are all words that could have been used to describe the PC gaming industry as it stood in the past few years. Ironically, the same technology that helped create a massive community of PC gamers is the same technology that has caused almost everyone to forget about it. The game console had taken over.

 

Left Behind

The power of game consoles is growing along with the amount of gamers who are switching to them. They offer all-in-one solutions to gaming: it’s a box, a controller, and a disc. It is simple. It is what the consumers want these days. As a result, everyone receives the same experience, and no one has to complain about incompatible hardware, piracy (well, it’s still a bit of a problem), and lack of multiplayer unification. Also, we can’t forget about those gamer trophies!

The growth of the Internet has also proven to be detrimental to the PC gaming industry as well. With troves of free games readily available, today’s younger generations have now turned to the likes of Facebook, Miniclip, and various other free-to-play games and websites. Farmville, anyone? And it makes sense; why would today’s youth pay for complex and expensive games (and with what money?) when they could enjoy simple and free ones instead? (Note: the entire game industry, not just PC gaming, is suffering from these trends.)

Another issue is that purchasing the latest and greatest desktop hardware isn’t as big of a deal as it once was. Times have changed: we all live in an ultra-mobile world, where technology has to keep up with our lifestyle. It’s very difficult to imagine the average consumer going out of their way to upgrade their PC just to play Crysis, let alone purchasing a beefed-up PC rig for bragging rights. Sure, the tech geeks of the world are into it, but the typical consumer doesn’t have a clue.

It gets worse, unfortunately. The only A-list title I can remember being released for the PC platform in the past two years is The Sims 3, which, after a quick search on Google, was released in June of ’09. So, in the past 15 months, I could only recall a single memorable A-list title that was (almost) exclusive to the PC. Oh wait… even The Sims series has games developed for most console and mobile platforms. D’oh!

Of course, the PC has had a few great titles over the past few years, but the problem is that many of them were afterthoughts/ports of console versions. Many were ports from the console to the PC. Few were developed in conjunction with the console. And only a handful were developed exclusively with the PC in mind. But, as we know, the PC and console are two completely different beasts. A game for a console might have to be heavily modified or completely rewritten for a platform like the PC (the keyboard and game controller are, in a word, different). With that in mind, it’s clear that developing and publishing an A-list title exclusively for the PC is a very brave action, indeed.

But, still, it wasn’t enough to restore PC gaming to its former greatness. Those creative and innovative titles that once came so regularly and such astounding quality had all but disappeared.

Fortunately, for those in an a niche that had all but been forgotten, help was on the way. But the surprising part was that it was more than anyone could have bargained for.

 

Help Has Arrived

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the successor to one of the most memorable PC titles ever developed: StarCraft. Rushing Zerg bases until mere hours before school started in 1999 was a common theme for me (this game also caused me to receive a ‘D’ in a middle school science class, but I don’t regret it). How great it is that the sequel can continue the degradation of student’s grades. It had big expectations to live up to.

Surprisingly, in only two months after being released into the wild, StarCraft II has managed to rack up well over three-million sales, a number that is guaranteed to increase. It has been receiving rave reviews and currently has an astounding 93 (out of 100) rating on Metacritic. It’s been described as “perfect” and “amazing” and even “revolutionary.” In other words, it not only lived up to expectation, but it exceeded them, which couldn’t have come at a better time.

Not to be outdone, Civilization — which is yet another series that kept me up late at night and is nearly 20 years old (almost as old as I am) — also received an overhaul in the form of Civilization V. While the Civ series has never been known for the in-your-face-heart-racing-adrenaline-pumping action that StarCraft procured, it offers gamers an incredibly rich, in-depth empire-building simulation that would make any Grandmaster chess player wet their pants. Players take turns making economic, diplomatic, and strategic decisions all for the sake of creating the ultimate civilization.

Civ 5 — while only being released on September 21, 2010 — has an impressive score of 91 on Metacritic. The latest in the series is noted as being the best experience yet for those who are unfamiliar and veterans to the series. While it does have a few bugs in the system, they will surely be ironed out as time goes on. But it’s great to see that Sid Meier’s Civilization has performed so well; civilization, as we know it, will not come to an end, after all.

It can’t be stressed enough how much PC gaming really needed these two titles deliver, and certainly have delivered beyond expectation.

 

Never Forget

Together, they have managed to reinvigorate the PC gaming industry. They could open the doors for the bigger development studios to revisit the once-forgotten PC. They could drive more sales to digital distribution services like GamersGate, Direct2Drive, and Steam. They could give indie developers hope that their efforts will still have potential to grow. They could spur on sales of the latest and greatest PC hardware. Essentially, the effects are far reaching and could be felt throughout the entire tech industry.

But, while StarCraft II and Civilization V have all the attention now, you can bet that the industry will also have its eyes on Portal 2 and Crysis 2 in the future, which are expected in early 2011 (granted, these titles will also be released on console platforms, but they are known primarily for their success on the PC). They will continue where SC2 and Civ 5 have left off. So things are looking up, after all.

But this article wasn’t written to simply highlight two great games. It wasn’t written to analyze an industry on the edge. No. Instead, it was written to pay homage to one special group that had long been forgotten: PC gamers. This is a bunch who has always remained loyal to the PC platform; they have no reason to complain. They have no reason to start a typical console war, arguing whether or not the PS3 stands a chance or if the Wii is a kids toy. In fact, they have all the reasons in the world to celebrate — because, at least for this one moment, they can be assured that they now have greatest gaming platform of all.

This is for the players who spend countless hours sniping foes on dedicated servers. This is for the players who get engrossed over a game where the main point is to shoot portals at walls. The is for the players who can’t resist stop pressing that “turn” button just one more time. This is for the players who can’t stop the endless battles with alien intergalactic empires. This is for all of them.

Remember this moment! Remember how great it is that we PC gamers have this moment to ourselves. This is the moment when we can remember what felt like like to be in the golden era of PC gaming. It’s a great feeling; it’s one that I hope never ends.

Written by James Mowery

James Mowery is a passionate technology journalist and entrepreneur who has written for various top-tier publications like Mashable and CMSWire. Follow him on Twitter: @JMowery.
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Comments
  • http://www.nds-gear.com R4DS

    PC games will never die because they can quite simply be cross-platform and have no real direct platform to compete with :)

  • Guilherme

    There’s no plataform that can catch any PC First Person Shot (keyboard+mouse) experience. Once we can get this combo on another plataform, yes, the PC Game is gone.

    • That Guy

      Because we all know that FPS games are the only good games on PC… right?

  • Spanky

    Proofreader. You need one. Good writing, but there are sentences missing very necessary words. It causes a hiccup for the reader, and breaks the flow.

    PC gaming goes in cycles with respect to console generations. When a new generation of consoles comes out, they are all the rage and everyone is making games for those platforms. PC hardware isn’t released in generations (not as much anyway), so it gradually catches up and surpasses consoles. What we’re seeing here is the pendulum swinging in that direction. It happens every time a new generation of consoles comes out. And on the opposite side, every couple of years, there’s an article in PC Gamer asking if PC Gaming is dead.

    The PS3 and Wii (the most recent consoles from the most recent generation) are almost 4 years old. That’s about the same average upgrade cycle for a PC user (let alone a PC gamer, whose upgrade cycle is probably shorter). So we’re currently witnessing that upswing.

    Vive la PC!

  • Ceev

    Is pc gaming dead? I think they already said that 8 to 10 yrs ago

  • http://roflegion.com Dark

    People have been saying this for years- when is it going to happen? Never. What a sensationalist article, since games are developed ON PCS, the likelihood of the platform dying is zilch. the consoles will stay the same, getting graphical/ hardware upgrades every so often, but the real technical innovation comes on the PC first. And gamers/hardware enthusiast know that.

    Not to mention modding- which adds so much to the replay value to any title in the gaming community.

  • Azraille

    Really, PC gaming is dead? Has no one heard of World of Warcraft?! I think some 12 million people would beg to differ with your conclusion. Like it or not PC gaming is going nowhere

    • http://onlyjames.com/ James Mowery

      MMOs were not in the scope of this article. They are quite different than traditional PC titles. However, there is no doubt that they are a huge portion of the PC gaming industry, and it is one that will help it to grow in the future.

  • John

    So i guess Battlefield Bad Company 2 wasnt an “A list” game? I love people who are for some reason, stricken to console gaming, so they make the opinion that consoles are better so they can sleep at night. Consoles are better, because of the controller, for 2 types of games, sports games, and racing games. And both of those types of games get repetitive pretty quick. Sure, there are a few games I would like to play on console, Alan Wake, Killzone 2, Red Dead Redemption, etc. But that doesn’t mean that pc gaming is “coming to an end”

    • http://onlyjames.com/ James Mowery

      This article focused on titles exclusive to the PC.

  • Artt

    WoW anyone, until they are able to port a successful MMO over to the consuls their will always be a PC gaming market.

  • Tim

    This article is so full of fail, it’s difficult to pick where to start, so I’ll keep it simple. PC Gaming has never even come close to extinction. To imply that it has, or that two games “saved” it, shows how pathetic of a gamer you actually are. Please go play your console, we don’t need gamers like this degrading our PC gene pool.

  • http://blog.codesignstudios.com Dennison Uy

    PC gaming never died. It has always been here and will always be here. Ever heard of MMO? Yeah that’s where it has been for the last few years.

    • http://onlyjames.com/ James Mowery

      MMOs are very different than games that go to retail and rely on sales instead of subscriptions. They are two different beasts, and I decided not to include MMOs as a result. But no one is denying the fact that MMOs have had huge impacts on the industry.

  • http://www.philnolan3d.com Phil

    What BS, I own a PS3 and a Wii, but I kn ow that PC gaming isn’t going anywhere, especially with OnLive starting to make a splash.

  • Fantomex

    I’m personally insulted that you would even consider The Sims 3 as a “PC Gamer” title. If that’s the case, then the general PC gamer population is more disfunctional than I expected.

    Worlds biggest overstatement: “The only A-list title I can remember being released for the PC platform in the two years is The Sims 3″. I’m 100% that every PC gamer I know wouldn’t even consider that a game. Who in their right mind would setup a Sims 3 LAN party? Like WTF! Seriously, you could have picked ANTYHING else besides The Sims and this article may have had some saving grace. As far as I’m concerned the only part I agree with is that StarCraft 2 and Civilization V are quality games.

    @Spanky: I second your call on the grammar fail. :D

  • http://- Rawr

    And what else? Yes you have Sims.. World of Warcraft and.. what else? That’s that.

    Stagnation at its finest while there are literally dozens of innovative games on the consoles, all the PC gaming crowd seem to do is try to copy WoW in every way possible (and failing hard at that too)

  • Doojus

    Why do gaming publications continue to post this unsubstantiated tripe year after year and month after month. There is absolutely no data to suggest any of this yet that doesn’t stop them from trotting out this meme. It’s madding. The gaming media are some of the most uneducated and ignorant among us.

    • http://onlyjames.com/ James Mowery

      I’d hate to see what you think of Joystiq, Destructoid, and GameSpot. However, it is common sense to see that PC gaming has been on the decline. However, these titles could change the course. They could change the eyes of the big corporations that have looked at them as option development platforms for titles.

      • Doojus

        Did I ever allude that the big tier publications don’t claim the same bunk? I don’t believe I ever did. It’s the go-to meme on a slow news day, And honestly you really need to do better research. Steam sales and the emergence of hundreds of indie developers using steam as a publishing/distribution route show that there is no downward trend. If anything there is an abundance of new titles being developed and released for the PC platform that is showing remarkable growth.

        If you would of stated that some big tier publishers are starting to avoid the PC you have a legitimate point. Even here there are caveats galore. Triple AAA titles are usually developed with consoles in mind and then ported to PC if the sales are projected to be good. AAA titles in themselves are not a good barometer of the market. To concentrate solely on them you ignore the hundreds of games released by small studios with out AAA budgets. If those games are added to this “imagined” downward trend it completely sinks the argument. But if you focus solely on the AAA titles by big corporate distributors there is a trend. But doing that kind of selective research is unconscionable to any journalist who respects his trade and his audience.

  • Peter R

    Sorry Dude, going to have to disagree.

    PC gaming will not die anytime soon. In fact it keeps getting better. I don’t even think there has been a lull.

    FPS just don’t match on console and there is still no good way to play simulation or RTS games on the console.

    PC games are better in every single way. There is a superior PC game in every genre to every console game expect perhaps fighting games.

    Yes perhaps they don’t have as many people, but do you consider Apple dead or dying because more people have Windows PCs and Apple market share has been pretty even for years?

    And why cant we include casual/browser based game on the PC? You sure cant count them in the console dept. and one of the unique qualities about PC gaming is the smaller, indie developers who put out games and many are free and now browser based now. I don’t see how someone playing Farmville on the PC or Quake Live in the browser doesn’t count.

    But if you are counting A+ titles only (which is a stupid way to rate a platforms quality but OK), how about we mention some more A+ games that are on PC. As you mentioned, SC2, Civ5, and Sims 3, but what about Team Fortress 2, Dawn of War 2, Torchlight, Battlefield, FEAR3, Far Cry 2, Command and Conquer 4, The Witcher etc.

    And as for porting games to console, lets not forget that the superior experience for most of these games (Far Cry, BioShock, Doom3, Fable, Oblivion, Dragon Age, Batman ArkAsy to name a few) is on the PC. If you really want to play the game, you get it on the PC.

    Also you forgot to mention MMOs like WoW, Everquest, Guild Wars etc that have tens of millions of players.

    PC gaming has always been and always will be the best way to plays games, the most innovative platform, the place with the most indie devs, the best control scheme, the best game replay (thanks to mods) and the best graphics/sound/effects (3D!).

    • http://onlyjames.com/ James Mowery

      While I know PC gaming will always have its place, it is the new generation that PC gamers should be concerned about. Younger gamers have been proven to take a liken to free and social-oriented games. But to make a comment that “PC gaming has always and always will be the best way to play games” is a bit optimistic, don’t you think?

      • Collector

        Not at all the thing that you leave out is that PC hardware is always superior to Consoles.
        While a console system is be developed and put out the PC is moving ahead. The console has the appearence of better graphics or fast response for a few months at best due to the speacilized code written to utilize the hardware, not due the superior systems.

      • Bolo

        Please get off the PC is dead bandwagon. I have been playing games on PC since the mid 1980’s and PCs have never been stronger. For crying out loud. YES, you do have to look at MMO, they are played on a PC right? How can you not look at all PC games regardless of They are games the last time I checked. PC direct download services are going strong.

        Do you really think two games can save the PC if your predictions are correct?

        Of course pirates are hurting sales, but what also hurts sales is a lack of good support “looking at you EA” and last year we did have a recession by the way and all entertainment took a hit. I do not know cause a decrease in money spent. I for one bought less not because PC suck, instead I had to save more money due to reduce hours at work plus the scare of being laid off.

  • Glennm

    Civilization V sucks. If this is what is saving the PC games then kiss it goodbye. I’ve loved the Civ series and was really looking forward to this one, but after trying to like it for about a week i’ve uninstalled it and am planning a firey death for it.

    I really hope there continues to be good turn-based strategy games like MOO, Heros of Might and Magic and Civ.

    • http://onlyjames.com/ James Mowery

      You think Civ V sucks? That’s amazing. I have played since Civ 3, and it is my favorite Civ title yet. I’m curious why you don’t like it?

      • Apuleyo

        Well, Civ 5 it’s all right, but… i don’t know, there are some things that i miss from Civ 4 that weren’t included in this release, i mean… i just like spreading the word of the different religions and the economic power of corporations, and i thought that they would make it better for this Civ… but they didn’t… :(

  • http://www.afkloot.com Matt

    PC gaming will never die thanks to WoW and other MMOs.

  • hawhaw

    Saying “PC gaming is dead” is like saying “This is the year of the Linux desktop!”. Both never happen.

  • GMK

    PC gaming will never die. All real professional gamers play on the PC whereas the talentless kids play with on the console with a controller.

  • Justin

    This article is crap. PC’s don’t get as many good games, but it is no where near dead..

    I only play pc games. I have a wii and a pc…. I play pc much more often.

    Mass Effect 2 anyone..

    Using a mouse is so much more fluent then using a controller. And with plenty of keys to work with, your options for games is expanded beyond what a normal controller will allow.

    The 1 think that consoles have going for them is the control stick. This allows them to walk or run depending on how har they push it… That is the one advantage the consoles have that pc gamers don’t.

    Give me a pc game over a console game anyday.

    • Apuleyo

      That’s true!!!…. and if you don’t like the keyboard + mouse combination, there’s always the option of a PC controller, and we have thousands of options and prices…. PC rules!!

  • Justin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up863eQKGUI

    Games fall through a black hole in space!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Josh

    When is writing about PC gaming being dead going to be dead?
    NPD doesn’t take into account Digital Delivery, and when they do it’s a shot in the dark based on asking a small sample group if they bought via Steam, Impulse, etc. Steam exceeds Xbox lives record user count on a daily basis.
    Only taking into account PC exclusives to talk about is misinformation at best. If you were to do the same for console exclusives, you’d have an equally narrow number of games that top lists. Chances are, if it’s released on PC, it’ll get an XBOX360 release.
    I can only think of Halo: Reach when it comes to XBOX360 exclusive titles that are as big at Civ5 and SC2. All others seem to be multi-platform.

  • Doojus

    I would agree. If solely for the hexagonal based system along with taking away unit stacking. Two changes that have been needed for many, many years. War far pre-civ 5 was an annoyance at best. Now I’m an emperor on crusade 24/7.

  • Skindog

    Until a console game can offer the “unbeatable” scenario you have with an MMO…there is no comparison. I realize you left MMO’s out of your article; but this is where the article fails. The future of PC gaming is MMO based. People enjoy playing with friends all over the world. This is why more and more console games TRY to deliver an MMO type experience. They all fail at least in my experience.

    I have a PS3, Xbox360, and Wii…my son and his friends “beat” each game in a matter of days and never play them again. The REAL reason kids don’t play PC games is they are broke. Their parents or older siblings play the REAL games on their PCs!

    • http://onlyjames.com/ James Mowery

      MMOs will eventually lose the subscription-based requirements and become fully operational from micro-payment pricing.

      It raises an interesting question: are games like FarmVille, MafiaWars, and others considered MMOs? It can be interpreted as such a broad category.

      However, if you believe that the future of gaming will be driven by subscription-based pricing, I am a strong believer that this is wrong. And this is exactly the reason why I left MMOs out of the picture. It’s such a difficult discussion because the pricing models, platforms, and future of MMOs is so incredibly volatile.

  • Cam

    Nice sources, except that NPD doesn’t take into account online transactions through say, Steam. So all PC games not sold through brick and mortar will not appear on NPD stats. Interesting, since arguably PC gamers get their games through some type of online service. The failure to look at WoW is a blatant swing and miss, despite the “focus” of your article. You cant run a headline that implies the death of PC gaming while ignoring the biggest game on earth. Or is it?

    Why wouldn’t you look at how much market share Zynga and its social networking brethren have garnered. How many people are playing Farmville these days? Is it a game? Is it on PC? It’s not as much of a “game” as SC2 or Civ5, but millions upon millions of people (and dollars) can’t be wrong. In the very least, it’s far from the death knell of PC gaming. Seriously, man.

    Finally, “bland, stagnant…” So, are these your adjectives? Are you describing Portal? Team Fortress 2? Dawn of War? I am so sick and tired of reading these craptacular opinion pieces about the PC’s impending death in the gaming world.

  • http://zomgpewpew.com Knowledg

    Left 4 Dead? Left 4 Dead 2?

    There are several games out on PC that were ported to the consoles and not the other way around and franchises forged in the PC world, making a few bucks on the console side however the experience of any FPS is horrible on a console compared to that of a PC.

    There is no way you can state that Civ 5 and Star Craft 2 are saving PC gaming. Unlike console games, PC gaming has drawing cards like World of Warcraft to suck people in. The get sucked into a game, a situation may come up where its down for a bit, patches or whatever, and those users start talking on Vent or Team speak to their fellow gamers, and talk about other games, and then the next thing you know they have Steam installed and are buying games that they would have perhaps possibly bought on their console, on their pc.

    It’s ludicrous to me that you can sum up pc gaming over the last 3 years to these 2 titles, which both are RTS and only draw a certain style of gamer to them. I personally despise RTS’s, as I do not have the temperament for the trade, however, I do love FPS’s and that’s why I am a pc gamer.

    No console can give me the experience, freedom and fun i get from PC games, and as you stated, mutliplayer, apart from paying for Xbox live in its limited title support, and Sony’s horrible setup, is not that great in the console market, and in this world hell bent on social engineering and interaction, its becoming a must.

    I hear what your saying, these titles do add a boost the PC appeal, but they in no way shape or form are saving the pc industry. The PC industry will not die due to the freedom one has in the environment alone.

  • Dotakid

    I don’t see pc gaming dying anytime soon! A lot of countries still favor pc gaming rather than console gaming esp here in asia where console systems are too expensive for us. I own a ps2 and ps3 but still nothing beats a good fps, rts, or even mmo games via the pc and playing it with your friends through lan or net. And what about mods? Mods gives you freedom that you will be able to stretch boundaries of games. These are still the things that a console system lacks.

  • Blah

    Lousy article.

    First of all, AAA titles do not an industry make. It’s like saying cinematography is dead except Hollywood because there are no blockbusters outside Hollywood. Not to mention AAAs are profit driven, and you simply cannot beat profit-generating power of consoles. They were made for profit in mind. Civ 5 has all previous Civs to compare to (because even Civ I still works on the PC). Consoles don’t have that problem – just make a rehash of some title from consoles generation old and you’re golden (to be honest, FPS do the same thing on PC).

    Skipping MMOs is a serious mistake. They are real money-generating giants. You can safely expect next generation of consoles would be made with this in mind. Every publishing company would exchange title sales with subscription model in a heartbeat. And subscription is here to stay – it’s stable and predictable, so you know how much you can spend on development and marketing without much risk (every company’s dream). Micropayments will not replace subscription as they are unpredictable – i would expect marketing manouver of saying “no subscription” but making the game almost unplayable without tons of micropayments, which equates to subscription.

    Third, did you looked at the modding scene? It’s brewing and there’s not even a similar thing for consoles. I understand that it does not hit your definition of industry (ie not making money). But the quality of some mods is on par with titles they mod, some even surpass it (Third Age for TW: Medieval 2 comes to mind).

    And finally, flash games scene – the last refuge of originality in the whole gaming industry. Only portable consoles come anywhere near it (low development costs), and that near is still miles away.

    To summarize, PC gaming is in absolutely no need of saving – it’s never been stronger. Just remove your profit-AAAs-blockbuster-filtering spectacles and you’ll see.

  • Nojopar

    Poor analysis. You’re placing artificial limits on your argument to make the argument, which is disingenuous. IF we remove games developed in tandem with consoles, AND massively multi-player games AND ‘light’ games on Facebook (which are mostly played on the….? That’s right! PC) AND we focus on retail sales and not online sales AND we focus only upon games in the last 2 years, your argument holds water. Remove any of those pillars and it just falls down on it’s face.

    Perhaps you need to review your Monty Python, sir.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso

  • Alex

    I read somewhere that video games sales in general were down… not just PC games. The reasoning that the author gave was that people are playing games longer, because the games hold their interest longer.

  • dominub

    “PC games will never die because they can quite simply be cross-platform and have no real direct platform to compete with”

    Yea cross platform so you get a console port shitstorm like bfbc2.

  • That Guy

    I understand where you are coming from. PC game new release titles that are exclusive to PC has been on a steady decline the past couple years. I am an avid PC gamer.. my XBOX gets little to no attention outside of netflix streaming.. Civ V was really a blessing for me.

    Granted, I know MMOs are not in the scope (although they are exclusive to PCs too) here but SWTOR is probably my next calling.

  • Rob

    Kinda interesting to read this sort of article from a guy who wasn’t even born when PC games were in their height (to me, the mid 80s until mid 90s, really before consoles took off). Along the way we killed entire genres of games, such as puzzle and adventure, genres which had a huge potential audience (female gamers). Its just sad that the vast majority of the gaming industry has produced only testosterone ladden games. Games that are truely successful capitalize and have models that really entice female and young/old gamers. I’m thinking of FarmVille and WoW. These are HUGE commercial successes.

    We need to acknowledge that this is the future of PC games; MMOs, which almost require a PC, and casual games, which have very low hardware requirements (remember 60% of installs still run XP; nobody is going to shell out $500 for a video card to play the latest and greatest game, when they can shell $50 and play it on their console).

    I think PC games are healthier than ever, but we need to adjust our reality. Gaming is no longer the mega-blockbuster games, which come around once in a blue moon, but the vast multitude of cross platform casual games.

  • Quijote3000

    I was going to write about how I don’t agree with the article that Civ5 and SC2 saved PC gaming. Before those AAA titles we had as exclusives Arma II, Operation Flashpoint 2, Stalker: Call of Pripyat, only on the last two years. Not counting the Wii, since it’s totally different, there is no plataform with more exclusives than the PC.

    Not counting that, every important game (except exclusives or games from japan) are also released on the PC.

    Still, I really liked the “Never Forget” part, where you betray the love you fell for the PC Gaming. So, let’s play more SC2 :)

  • Anonymous

    You can keep wishing this as hard as you want but PC gaming is not only nowhere NEAR close to death, but is actually the way of the future, in part because of its ability to easily scale with the exponential growth of technology. You either bought into the tripe that the console gaming industry is trying to sell you about the evil piracy monster killing PCs dead, or you’re a part of it.

    Of course if you selectively look at something to fit your own bias and liking, as you keep admitting to, you can distort the facts to suit your own opinion. MMORPGs are very much PC games, and one of the most successful parts about it. What you sound like to me is “Oh, I’m not taking into account that a single 6 year old PC game has more interest and ongoing players even today than fifty 6 month old console games combined. That’s not part of this article. I mean, if it was, this article would be a joke, so obviously I’m not going to include that.”

    Sorry, MMOs are PC games. People that play them on the PC are PC gamers. You don’t seem to know this, but they and their highly addictive and replayable gameplay is here to stay. But even if they weren’t, PC gaming would still easily thrive as it did before. Talk about backing the wrong technologically crippled horse.

  • skulb

    Of course PC gaming isn`t dead. Having said that it`d be a sad state if it was true that SC2 and CIV5 were our only hopes. 1/3d of a run of the mill RTS that requires a minimum of 2 kg of caffeine in the bloodstream at any time to deal with spam and a badly programmed, flawed and broken turn based that has been so simplified it`s now more suitable for farm animals than intelligent adults would not even save Amstrad gaming, let alone PC gaming.

    I`m done with Firaxis after this, and after Diablo 3 I`ll be damned if I`m not gonna be done with Blizzard as well. I`m pretty sure more people than me feel this way and new companies focusing on quality instead of hype and content instead of flash will eat up the market left by corporate swindlers like these two.

    • Sean

      Oh man, I couldn’t agree more…. Firaxis is RIDDLED with bugs. The author says that Civ 5 has a few bugs which will be surely “ironed out” which made me wet my pants. When has Firaxis EVER ironed out any of their exponentially growing bugs?

      I think the worst thing is… the game is an incredibly fun game, but can incredibly let you down at the same time. Kind of like eating the perfect steak, and washing it down with a bottle of piss.
      Cheers!

  • Bleak

    As long as pc keeps on selling… Pc games and gaming would still be there.

  • http://brothersingaming.com/index.php paul

    I agree with you James, the two games are a sight for sore eyes. I intend to only support PC only developers after my experience with Battlefield Bad Co 2. 32 players, confining maps, and inferior character to environment interaction. Every port I have played so far has suffered the same fate. My question is this, if PC gamers don’t support the ports, will this hurt us even more? At last glance, PC only makes up about 39% of BC2 players. Is that $6.5M really worth it to the developers?