After fans criticize Tales of Symphonia PC for being buggy, the coder behind the Dark Souls PC fix takes aim at the publishing companies behind bad ports.
Batman: Arkham Knight is probably one of the most infamous examples of a PC port gone wrong, as its problems were so bad that publisher Warner Bros. Interactive had to pull it from sale. However, the final game in the Arkham trilogy is just one title on a huge list. The PC port of cybercrime-sandbox Watch Dogs suffered at the hands of UPlay, Grand Theft Auto IV suffered from framerate and massive crashes, and Mortal Kombat X suffered its fair share of problems due to its file download process.
Someone who has a lot of experience with poor PC ports is Peter “Durante” Thoman, as Thoman is the creator of the Dark Souls ‘DSFix’ mod which, among other things, unlocks the game’s framerate. The coder has now taken aim at the PC version of Tales of Symphonia, which is a port of the PS3 version which in turn was a port of the original GameCube title.
Some problems faced by those trying to play Tales of Symphonia PC include: a locked frame rate and resolution (30FPS at 720p), incomplete localization, and issues with the game’s DRM. Though the visual problems were easy enough from Thoman to fix (the plugin of his downsampling tool GeDoSaTo took less than three hours to make, says the coder), Thoman has criticized the game’s publisher Bandai Namco for not spending this short time to fix the game before release.
Moreover, he says that Bandai Namco “cannot afford even the very minimal changes required to support arbitrary resolutions or superficially QA their product, but they can afford a completely ineffective DRM system”, a DRM system, Thoman notes, that is “ineffective” as a cracked version of the game has already shown up.
Also in the firing line is developer and publisher Koei Tecmo, as Thoman points at the sales of its PC ports, which “linger in the low 5 digits” according to data from SteamSpy. The reason for this, the coder believes, is that Koei Tecmo has not “invested even the modicum of effort required to support the very basics expected of 3D games on PC”. Some examples of good PC ports that have done well include Dragon’s Dogma which has sold 220,000 copies in two weeks and Valkyria Chronicles which has sold 600,000 copies since being released on PC in 2014 (its console release was in 2008).
Many PC gamers would no doubt agree with Thoman’s words and those in charge of PC ports will surely take that on board and think of their bottom lines. However, some will point out that bad PC ports are not the only way in which PC gamers get shafted. For example, PC players will miss out on the next lot of Mortal Kombat X DLC, and major releases such as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate have been delayed on the platform too. It is true that some publishers such as EA, are trying to do their bit when it comes to PC players, but overall, there’s clearly still a long, long way to go.
Source: PC Gamer