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  • Is the population of PC gamers declining?

    I have noticed it is increasingly more difficult to find PC games in stores. Of course, they mainly promote their merchandise to the console gamer.

    More and more games have become associated with Steam, and can be downloaded through the client. The PC gaming community, however, has seemed to decline in my opinion,
    due to console being more user friendly to the average gamer. For example, not having to upgrade their hardware for newer, more graphical games. I think its for this reason exactly,
    that Activision has not created a new engine for their Call of Duty series since Modern Warfare.

    It also appears that more first person shooters have been designed for the common game style of the public servers. While there is an objective, it is still too simple for a team to win
    that has not completed their primary objective. A huge thanks to the TG officials for making this particular game style obsolete. I think it is great that TG keeps the older games alive.

    I would like the communities feedback on this. Do you think its an existing issue? Do you think multiplayer game creators are loosing the aspect of teamwork and proper execution of
    objectives and tactics? Do you think the market for PC gamers is declining? Just a thought.
    |TG| Mr. Jingles
    Callsign: Preacher115
    End Transmission...

  • #2
    Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

    I can't exactly comment because I feel like PC gaming has stayed the same over the years. There are more console gamers than what there used to be, and developers/business people want to attract the biggest crowd of potential buyers. That isn't to say it has 'died', there's always a hardcore group of players (Either like us or someone else) who will always stick with their system of choice and their game of choice. I doubt PC gaming will ever die, but I think developers and their publishers just want to get to the biggest market while excluding the loyal and faithful PC base. Developers are finding Steam to be the best way to reach PC gamers, while other companies explore other routes. Personally, I feel like the market is currently stagnating, simply regurgitating modern warfare clones, shooters, and whatever because everyone can pick it up and play, then continue grinding through the multiplayer achievements. But like any game out there, a community can breathe life into the deadest of games and make it a game worth playing. I don't know if that makes sense, but essentially, communities make multiplayer games worth playing for hours and hours on end.




    "Certainly, being bombarded with 105 millimeter shells is bad. But the knowledge that you've armed your enemy thus, with your sloth and your ineptitude, unfolds in the heart like a poison." Tycho from Penny Arcade in reference to the nuke in MW2

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    • #3
      Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

      It is not declining. There have been studies done which you can look up online.

      Stores don't bother much with pc's because most of us use digital copies. I havn't been in a game store since I was 10 and had a nintendo 64.

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      • #4
        Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

        Originally posted by Kwalc View Post
        Stores don't bother much with pc's because most of us use digital copies. I havn't been in a game store since I was 10 and had a nintendo 64.
        This is an important point. Valve don't release their sales data for Steam, so some games that sell mostly digital copies can look like they performed pretty badly, because people only look at hard copies and sales from other sites.

        PC gaming is fine, it's been fine for years and it'll be fine for years.
        |TG-Irr| westyfield

        Sig pic by Sonic, avatar by Chalcas. Thanks!
        Irregular since 2007.

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        • #5
          Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

          Yeah people having been trying to say PC gaming is dead since the original X box came out, but more and more I think people who really enjoy gaming see computer gaming as the way to go, for it's increased complexity, it's greater range of control options, and because lets face it mouse vs game pad..there is no comparison



          Fate whispers to the warrior "You will not survive the storm."
          The warrior whispers back, "I AM the storm."

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          • #6
            Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

            Originally posted by Charles Darwin View Post
            Yeah people having been trying to say PC gaming is dead since the original X box came out, but more and more I think people who really enjoy gaming see computer gaming as the way to go, for it's increased complexity, it's greater range of control options, and because lets face it mouse vs game pad..there is no comparison
            I agree there's no comparison. Many console gamers tend to think the keyboard has too many controls. I'm not sure where they get the notion you use every key. But joysticks are trial and error when it comes to console controllers. I'd like to see someone get consistent long range headshots on a console controller.

            The thing I don't understand is, if the majority of gamers are still utilizing PCs for their gaming habits, then why are they slacking on developing new engines and graphics for sequels? It seems to me that they're more worried about making a new one as quick as possible and getting it on the market to make an extra buck on a very similar game. In the last decade computer graphic technology was rapidly developing. So it wasn't uncommon for one to buy two games within a few months of each other and have to upgrade their hardware. I suppose I just answered my own question. It would make sense to slow the need for upgrades in order to make more profit in a short amount of time after the release.

            I suppose I'm anticipating a new tactical graphical game that will dominate the gaming industry. Such as Counter-Strike: Source did for several years after its release. It was the number one played game worldwide for a long time.
            |TG| Mr. Jingles
            Callsign: Preacher115
            End Transmission...

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            • #7
              Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

              PC gaming is healthy overall but has gone through some dramatic shifts since the last generation of consoles have come onto the market.

              Shifts - in no particular order:
              • Consoles have clearly become the main cash cow. I am sure they always were but console gaming really went mainstream with the PS2/Xbox and has continued upward with the 360/PS3/Wii trifecta this generation. Whether we like it or not, it is understandable why former pc only developers shifted their priority to consoles when they realized they had games that would work there and have broad appeal. You can't deny the sales figures some games are pulling in. See Call of Duty, Crysis and now Battlefield
              • Budgets are rising bigtime - rivaling the movie industry. AAA games cost a ton of money now and for all but a few games it would be suicidal to build your game solely for an audience that is perhaps 1/4th of the total market. If your hangout is TG - you may share the viewpoint that pc gaming has been dieing because the games you likely play the most (tactical shooters) have been few and far between. Simply put the budget to make the pc only tactical shooter you want at the graphical quality you expect is a HUGE risk.
              • Digital is taking over in the pc space. PC games were already being squeezed out of the retail space as consoles took priority(moved more volume, made more $$$) but as digital's appeal spread that accelerated quickly. Since there was never a huge used pc game market and steam provided a reliable and more convenient buying experience at cheaper prices - pc gamers accepted the shortcomings of digital.(you don't actually own your games!)
              • For the genres PC still does best - sales have been rising and big AAA games are still being made. See: MMOs (WoW, Star Wars MMO, Guild Wars 2 ), RTS's (Starcraft 2, Total War Series, Company of Heroes 2, ) Action RPG's (Diablo III) , Simulation (Arma, Sims)
              • Digital distribution is bringing about a rise in indie development. Developers like the low cost of entry as they don't have to attach onto a distributor and worry about all the costs associated with retail - gamers like the cheap prices. See: Minecraft, Terraria, Torchlight, Defense Grid, Garry's Mod etc
              • Free to play is surging - this shift is still in the early to mid game but it may start to affect genres you will notice more in the coming years.



              Right now pc gaming is seeing a surge as the current crop of consoles are on their death beds awaiting replacement. Gamers see console games looking and playing better on pcs - they also see more innovation happening in the pc space as consoles mostly innovate early in their lifespan. It also helps when the same console game that is $30 at retail is on sale for $7.50 on steam. lol

              Things will get really interesting when the new batch of consoles come out. Will they allow games of larger scope, more online players or more depth in customization or control methods? The combo of having those answers and the tech jump will have big impacts on the quality of games(read -> ports) we can expect.
              Last edited by FBmantis; 09-02-2012, 04:14 AM.
              |TG-12th|mantis

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              • #8
                Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

                Yeah, I think one benefit to PC gaming that people don't often take into account when comparing it to consoles is that for some people(most people in my opinion but a good portion for sure) it would ACTUALLY be cheaper. Let's examine most people's digital lives.


                Large LCD TV in the living room($1000)
                Xbox/PS3($300)
                Laptop/Desktop for email/surfing etc($400)

                Now, I know most people are not like my wife and I where we have no TV in the living room, our "tv" is my computer's monitor. I think this is becoming more popular, but we will exclude the TV price from the analysis.

                That leaves us with $700 that we could spend on a nice gaming PC, It will not be the fastest gaming PC ever, but it should be able to smoke through most current gen games and hold its own for at least 4 years.

                When you figure that consoles probably last 6 years before they are old news, and many people, especially anyone who does anything other than surfing will want to upgrade their computer every 4-5 years, this means Gaming PC or console, you spend about $700 bucks every 5-7 years.

                Factor in the cost savings of games, anyone buying 10 games or so a year would be an idiot to buy a console vs a gaming desktop, UNLESS they specifically HAD to have a laptop. If you factor in that you could save money on not having to a buy a TV + monitor and could do both with one LCD panel, then you get even cheaper.

                that is my two cents anyways :D



                Fate whispers to the warrior "You will not survive the storm."
                The warrior whispers back, "I AM the storm."

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                • #9
                  Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

                  Not at all. However with the stance of UBIsoft on PC gaming I largely am beginning to hate the big name publishers.

                  Though I am happy I am Alive is coming out on PC. Big fan of Survival Horror.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

                    I feel PC gaming is still very much alive. We might not have the focus of the industry anymore, but there are still dedicated developers and new indie developers in the fold. I seriously feel we were stagnating a bit with the big names, with more indie devs coming into the fold, we'll probably see a new surge in PC gaming in the coming years and a whole crop of new games the big devs might not even try much less consider (they seem to like being locked into redos of their various cash cow franchises). And given the indie devs listen better to their target audience/community, we're in a much better position to help improve on the quality of the games.

                    Originally posted by Charles Darwin View Post
                    Factor in the cost savings of games, anyone buying 10 games or so a year would be an idiot to buy a console vs a gaming desktop, UNLESS they specifically HAD to have a laptop. If you factor in that you could save money on not having to a buy a TV + monitor and could do both with one LCD panel, then you get even cheaper.

                    that is my two cents anyways :D
                    I don't really agree with this view. A decent rig that'll last you even 4 years of solid gaming will typically cost $1000 if not more. Your typical console costs what $300? As for games, there are deals with console games too hence the still growing popularity of GameStop (and similar retail outlets) as well as online etailers. Given the launch pricing of AAA titles for both console and PC are the same, it's rather a moot point to factor in the cost of games unless we start looking at deals, and even then it's hard to say for certain which side has better cost savings. Not to mention PC and console gamers don't play all of the same games (we have titles the consoles don't have or have in a much reduced form).

                    Given the pricing of systems however, $300 vs. $1000 is a significant difference. If we take the current generation of consoles, it's been 6 years and counting since either the 360 or PS3 has come out. Rumor mill is expecting the release of the Xbox 720 and PS4 within the next two years. If interval between generations is about 8 years, then you're looking at $300 vs. $2000. If we factor in the cost of a HDTV, we're looking at ~$400 (46"). Add on extra controllers, $200. $900 vs. $2000.

                    Factor in the ease of sharing and playing with friends online and offline with consoles and it makes consoles so much more appealing with the mass populace. Consoles still rely on physical media whereas most in the PC gaming realm has gone digital. You can't typically share your digital library with others, especially if have to share your own private account with someone you might not fully trust with your info. Playing with friends, again PC side you have to make sure your friends also have a good gaming PC and their own copy of the game. Not so with consoles, one game + one system + 4 controllers. Tack on about $200 extra for the three controllers and you can suddenly play co-op or versus with 3 of your friends (assuming the game supports multiplayer and co-op).
                    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                    Former 9th & 13th

                    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                    TG Primer and Rules

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                    • #11
                      Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

                      I think the quality of gaming as a whole has taken a severe nosedive. Games like Delta Force have been replaced with the likes of CoD. A frantic and unrealistic style that's now been copied by games like MoH (the upcoming release). Flight sims were extremely popular and even mainstream publishers like EA were putting out hardcore titles. Series that were once methodical and tactical (Rainbow Six) have now adopted a far more arcade and accessible gameplay approach.

                      For the competitive gamers out there, things aren't what they used to be either. There's yet to be a good replacement for the likes of UT or Quake. Anyone that tries (Nexuiz) usually fails. Also, shows that the demographic of gamers have greatly changed and there are not a lot of people who are into challenging games anymore.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

                        I would have to agree with Tactikill Jay and Acreo. Maybe its just our generation of gamers, maybe its me getting old and looking for something new and challenging. I moved to Arma2, and Dayz as I grew tired of BF3, got tired of shelling out huge amounts of money to developers that dont allow community modding, and have gotten tired of buying beta games. I have thought about buying a console, but the games are mostly the same, I cant do half of what I do on a console that I can on a desktop, and I suck with a controller. So I will keep hanging around here with you old sods and wait for the next big game that will hopefully fulfill my gaming needs.

                        |TG-IRR|

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                        • #13
                          Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

                          Beinseth brings up a good point about our relative ages. Each generation has a different expectation of their games and we can go back and forth about whether or not PC games is dead and the honest answer is simple: it's not. If it were, we'd all be on our fancy-smanshy consoles posting to this forum (is it really a console at that point?) instead of posting from our various gaming rigs and PCs. There is a surge in mobile and casual gamers as evident by the last few Steam Hardware surveys from the past year, but I see this as a sign the market has grown rather than "oh PC games are dead".

                          Let's make it simplier by asking: What PC game are you looking forward to in the coming months? If you can think of even just one title, then PC gaming is not dead.


                          Something else to consider:

                          Consoles have limited hardware. This forces us developers to think within a box (in a sense) and thus games have to be pretty efficient, lean, and pretty much work out of the box. Having a closed system simplies some of the headaches, but this could also be rewarding for PC gamers. If a developer (and publisher) is willing, they could apply this efficiency to make a even more hardware-challenging game (hopefully without resorting to lazy programming or development) that could "WOW" us. Now if a developer would actually do that, we'd be using consoles as a basic platform in which to make better PC games. :icon24:'ing eh?

                          Originally posted by Beinseth
                          So I will keep hanging around here with you old sods and wait for the next big game that will hopefully fulfill my gaming needs.
                          *ahem* points towards OldGunney *ahem* Not all of us are that old. *wink wink* :p
                          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                          Former 9th & 13th

                          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                          TG Primer and Rules

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                          • #14
                            Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

                            If you check the 'actual' numbers and not what developers who are heavily invested in the console market would have you believe, PC gaming is increasing exponentially from an already thriving position. Yes, the next gen of consoles will refocus those developers on the console market and increase the number of ports, however, the quality of those ports at least in terms of visual fidelity will increase as they won't be restricted by catering to say a GPU that was mid range at best 6 years ago. The GPU's and processors in the next gen will be more up to date.

                            Couple that with the generational advance that we see across all tech, ie quad core processors in phones!!!! (anyone over 18 will appreciate how bizarre that sounds), the companies dabbling in media/gaming specced PC solutions for the living room and the proliferation of fibre optic broadband and you start to see a future where people become more tech savvy as consumers simply by osmosis.

                            Think about it. We are looking at 4K displays for the home in the next 2-5 years. Japan is already working on 8K (or something ridiculous) and the compression techniques needed for that. Consumer tech is moving so fast that an increased number of people will demand the same level of visual fidelity and customisation from their gaming platforms that they can get from their other content delivery platforms. It simply needs the providers to keep up.

                            Add to that Valve's potentially market changing plans. They have already released their living room 'big screen' solution and I would bet good money they are looking very closely at a non Windows 8 Steam Box for pc titles for the couch gamer that can deliver PC type content without the artificial barriers that traditional locked down content providers create. Tie that into Kickstarter and indie development models and you have a very exciting future potentially.

                            As regards Tactical Titles I hope, with the likes of Kickstarter, we are at a point where we are reaching an almost bespoke relationship with small developers and independents. As Kickstarter gains credibility we will see titles like Groundbranch actually get off the ground. It will in effect simply create a tiered type of modding community where some former modders will say "hey, we want to make this game, would you like to invest and get a guaranteed copy".

                            If people started viewing projects like that in the same way as say pre-ordering "Generic Warface Medal Of Honourfield 27: Deluxe Tactical Combatives Good to Go Premium Edition" with early unlock access to 'Increasingly cramped Elevator Spawn Spam' and 'Claustrophic Circular Choke-point Arena' maps and overpowered 'Sniper Strafing rifle, the 27lb rifle you can dance with whilst one shotting' then we have a chance to cater to many of our tastes, at our own request. The PC community has long had free mods, as such the 'Console Devs' want to shut that down. They don't want you playing a title and its mods for 5 years, it makes nothing for them. So they nickel and dime you. Take your money elsewhere, give it to people who are trying to make what you want, be a real consumer.

                            The future is bright.


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                            • #15
                              Re: Is the population of PC gamers declining?

                              Wicks where would I find these "actual" numbers? In the months of recent searching I've never been able to come up with a reputable source of stats for the games industry when it comes to PC developers vs. console developers.

                              As for Valve and a home media center/gaming box, Gabe has already admonished (right word?) Windows 8 and Valve has talked increasingly about their platform and Linux, I wouldn't be surprised if future media game box ends up having some Linux flavor of OS on there along with the Steam platform.

                              "Generic Warface Medal of Honourfield 27", sounds very British. I wonder who is developing it...:p
                              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                              Former 9th & 13th

                              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                              TG Primer and Rules

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