Taylor: "Secure PC Gaming Is the Future"

Gas Powered Games founder and Supreme Commander developer Chris Taylor said that the PC gaming industry needs to embrace new business models which sidestep piracy concerns to survive.

"PC gaming isn't dead. PC gaming—the old model— probably is," Taylor told GamesIndustry at GDC. "Secure PC gaming is the future—it's going to thrive and we've all got to get on that,"

Taylor suggested that server-based and online-authenticated gaming proves to be the most successful business model in an industry fraught with piracy. The developer envisioned an industry in which data would be accessed from a central server rather than directly from the user's PC.

"It's all got to be secure, we can't afford to make this stuff and give it away for free," Taylor said. "It inconveniences a little but now they know why. And then we can get the economics back in line and maybe we can actually start offering it up at a lower price point in the future. So it will come around full circle."

Taylor's remarks come on the heels of many developers voicing similar concerns and rallying the industry towards digital distribution. At last year's GDC, Firaxis designer Soren Johnson said that "game design on the PC is going to bend toward persistence," noting Blizzard's World of Warcraft as an example.

2007 sales figures released by sales-tracking firm NPD noted that the PC gaming industry dropped some $60 million in revenue throughout 2007, owing to a shift towards digital distribution and subscription-based gaming. Valve's digital distribution platform Steam, meanwhile, was recently revealed to have grown to 15 million users and reported a 158% growth in holiday sales.