Splash Damage Emphasizing Console Games, But Still Making PC Games at Heart

By Blake Ellison, Nov 12, 2008 3:40pm PST Splash Damage founder Paul Wedgwood finds a discrepancy between the depth of PC and console games, and he finds it rather appalling.

"This is not to dismiss what people have achieved in the past, but Halo 3 multiplayer is really Quake 3 from 1999. Even Call of Duty 4 is just Counter-Strike on the PC from 2001," said the long-time PC fan to Edge.

"That's not because the [console] audience is dumb," Wedgwood clarified. "What a ridiculous thing to say, that because someone has a console controller in their hand, they're somehow less intelligent than a PC player," he added.

Splash Damage, like its long-time partner id Software, is transitioning to focusing primarily console games for its next project. But Wedgwood dismissed notions that his company is making the jump due to piracy like id.

For its next project, the studio is partnering with Fallout 3 developer Bethesda instead of id. "Despite Morrowind and Oblivion being, frankly, PC-style RPGs--incredibly deep, incredibly complex--they still made a really successful translation to console," Wedgwood remarked.

The Splash Damage founder hopes that the partnership will enable the Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (PC, also PS3, 360) developer to channel Bethesda's console knowledge--not for commercial reasons, but to add to the depth of console games.

"Irrespective of whether the PC is a commercially viable platform, what we have on the PC are some incredibly deep and compelling games, or elements of gameplay, that just deserve to be on console," Wedgwood concluded.

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  • "That's not because the [console] audience is dumb," Wedgwood clarified. "What a ridiculous thing to say, that because someone has a console controller in their hand, they're somehow less intelligent than a PC player," he added.


    I wouldn't say that you're "dumb" for playing on any platform but I can safely say that console gamers are raised and trained to expect ease-of-use and simplicity. Thus the games for consoles tend to lack the same depth I find in PC gaming. Each has its strengths and there are valid reasons why each succeeds in its fashion and fails. The tricky part is that "depth" is a broad term. When I speak about depth and console games, someone invariably jumps in with a comment similar to this "but what about Game X, that took hours and hours to play." The thing is depth doesn't have to refer to length of play-time or side-quests or whatever, it can relate to amount of control the player has in the game as well as the complexity of the game's component parts and interactions. In that regard, I frequently find console games lacking...and not for a lack of wanting to like them, I own a 360 after all and have enjoyed at least a couple of games quite a bit on it.