Molyneux: PC Gaming Deflates, Reiterates

by Nick Breckon, Feb 20, 2008 8:27am PST
Related Topics – PC Gaming, Peter Molyneux

Echoing comments made last week by Epic designer Cliff Belszinski, Lionhead chief Peter Molyneux expressed frustration today at what he feels is an increasingly vapid PC gaming market.

"The Sims and World of Warcraft [are] sucking all the air out of the PC market. It's just incredible," said Molyneux to "I think it's a huge tragedy. The weird thing is everyone's got a PC, they're just not buying software for it."

Gears of War creator Bleszinski had similar comments to make last week on the topic, categorizing the PC market as being in "disarray."

"That's driving the PC right now is Sims-type games and [World of Warcraft] and a lot of stuff that's in a web-based interface," said Bleszinski. "You just click on it and play it. That's the direction PC is evolving into."

Molyneux elaborated on the web-based sector of the market, complaining of a lack of innovation even within the casual sphere.

"There's an enormous amount of gaming happening with PopCap, Big Fish and Reflective. The fascinating thing is when they first started, all these games came out like Peggle and Mystery Files and Alice Greensleeves and Diner Dash, and it felt quite exciting. There was a lot of innovation going on.

"In my view, that has completely stopped. They're doing the same game over and over again with a different wrapper. It's like a mini-universe in itself which is emulating what's happening in our industry," he added.


25 Threads | 138 Comments

  • I'll probably get flamed for this, but I don't think the Shack community can provide a good opinion on the state of PC gaming. Most if not all of us here, by the very fact that we frequent a predominately PC gaming website, are emotionally involved with PC gaming.

    However, the very fact that many PC companies have joined even a loose alliance to promote PC gaming, something never before done with such a wide scope of different organizations, surely has to make one consider that things aren't especially healthy for PCs.

    How many developers, how many companies, how many game studios would have to tell Shack community that PC gaming isn't doing well before they even considered it?

  • I don't buy the "The Sims and World of Warcraft are sucking all the air out of the PC Market" stuff.

    If that was the case then you could say <insert popular console games> were sucking the air out of x platform. We do see trends where the month a game like Halo3 comes out the other games don't come close to sales and publishers avoid doing that on purpose but all the months surrounding Halo3 plenty of other games are successful.

    PC publishers and developers should look into getting a stronger word out there and create better products if they want to help the PC gaming market. I would like to see a few things myself.

    -Create games that run on more varied hardware.

    If you look at the success of Valve and Blizzard not only have they recently made games that run on low/mid level hardware but going back to Stracraft days you could run that game on a P100 (i used to) when other games were starting to use 3d acceleration or higher end P2's. Same goes for the original HL which still supported software rendering for example.

    I've talked about this before in other posts but I absolutely hate not knowing how well a game will run when it comes out. Everytime a new PC demo or retail game comes out message boards are flooed with "will x game run on y hardware" and if technically savvy people like shackers don't know then it's a problem for the mass market.

    -Create more stable software

    This is a harder issue because of the thousands of hardware configurations out there but even today you still have games like The Witcher which release patches that lower the load times of the game by like 5-10x or whatever it was. This is really unacceptable imo, stuff like that shouldn't get through Q&A and it just helps perpetuate the stereotype that PC games are slow or buggy. This isn't even talking about crash bugs that seem to slip through all to often.

    -Create a better method of patching

    This has actually been improved 100x the last 5 years which is awesome. However you still have issues where a game like Company of Heroes requires you to download multiple patches instead of one patch that has everything you need. Steam does this right for the most part and something all developers should continue to improve on.

    PC gaming is awesome but it's just inconsistent which is my biggest gripe. However companies like Valve and Blizzard are thinking differently, more efficiently and it's paying off. Starcraft 2 and EP3 will most likely sell well even with The Sims and WoW sucking the air out of PC gaming. Both companies have created a feeling with consumers that just give you faith in their products and you have a good idea that it may run on your machine and run well.

    my .02