PC players may have felt that they’ve gotten a raw deal as of late. Back in July one of the biggest games of the year, Batman: Arkham Knight, was recalled for having huge technical problems on PC. Framerate issues made the game almost unplayable, with Arkham Knight stuttering and lagging whenever anybody moved on screen.
Just last week, PC players were also faced with the announcement that open-world adventure Assassin’s Creed Syndicate would be delayed on their platform. Ubisoft explained that it was for extra polish – though the delay contrasted their earlier promises that they would cater to PC players better.
Although these recent events were disappointing, there was a small amount of comfort in the knowledge that Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain would be released on PC at the same time as its console counterparts. In fact, the game’s producer, Ken-ichiro Imaizumi recently revealed that the game launched on PC a lot earlier than expected and that the programmers who worked on the title even gave up their summer vacation to make the early release happen.
Many would appreciate the fact that they will not have to wait to play The Phantom Pain, which has been praised by reviews right across the board, but for some PC players, getting their hands on the game may prove to be quite difficult. The Phantom Pain is available as a retail version and although most would expect every file of the 28GB game to be stored on the disc, according to Twitter user graphμre who tweeted the above image, the only file on the disc is a Steam installer. This means that when players pop the disc into their computers, they’ll have to download Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain rather than just install everything off of the disc.
According to statistics, 75% of PC gamers buy their games from Steam, so it makes sense that Konami would assume that most people buying the retail version would also have Steam accounts. But this will result in a huge headache for the 25% of PC players who have to buy retail versions because they have no other choice. For example, many of those who buy retail versions do so because their Internet connections are slow and unreliable and so they will have to wait hours or even days for the game to finish downloading. For those who don’t have Internet connections at all, the problem is even more serious.
It’s not hard to see why Konami has chosen to do this – putting a Steam installer on the disc is likely a lot cheaper than trying to fit a 28GB game onto several and it allows them to appeal to customers who may just be interested in the game because of the retail cover. Though, it’s still massively alienating to fans and because of this decision many players will not be able to play the game at all.