The “PC is made for gaming”, says BioWare, a company very familiar with the market. Not an unreasonable statement for them to make considering the last few games they have put out were high sellers on the platform. The company says there is “no question” they will continue to develop for the PC, with them currently working on Star Wars: The Old Republic.
In an interview with CVG, BioWare designer and writing director Daniel Erickson talked about the positives of creating games for the PC as opposed for the consoles.
“Every two or three years we hear the announcement of fantasy being dead, PC gaming being dead and RPGs being dead. And yet, all of the biggest games that ever come out – that set the records – are nearly always PC games, and a lot of them are fantasy games. The biggest game in the world is a fantasy, PC, RPG MMO.
We all know the drawbacks of PC. We all scream at our boxes and try to make stuff work. But at the same time, the interface is made for games. The mouse/keyboard interface allows so much less restriction [than console]. There was not a question when we started Old Republic – or any of our games, for that matter – [what the lead format would be]. There’s a reason the lead SKU for Dragon age was PC as well. When we’re developing an RPG, it’s a natural place to be.”
Erickson makes a great point. I’m a fan of fantasy settings; I play Dungeons & Dragons (the tabletop game); I am a huge fan of Dragon Age, and if my PC could be able to run games, I would be more of a PC gamer. However, the “luxury” of playing console games without having to worry about whether or not your system can run the game is a nice attribute.
The PC is always going to be a viable platform to develop for because they are easily adaptable, contrary to any console’s locked technology. I’m very happy to see Erickson admit the problems that all PCs encounter, but when they work, they are great to play games on. A lot of companies still believe in the power of PC gaming, like Blizzard, Bethesda and Valve, and they all still experience wild success.
Would I call the PC a dead platform to develop for? Absolutely not. To me, I think it exemplifies the idea of the “hardcore” gamer a lot more. Gamers put work into their rigs to make them run the latest and greatest while a console gamers can play out of the box, but may not have the latest graphics. The disparity will always be there and it’ll always be a friendly rivalry, kind of like the two Starbucks across the street from one another.