I was thinking about the topic for the new article and I came across to this article where Dishonored 2 developer Arkane Studios made a promise to make the PC version of an upcoming game called Prey to be “flawless”. I’m going to ask the question, why wasn’t the Dishonored 2 already “flawless” on PC? If I recall correctly you advertised it to be on PC, you sold it on PC with the same price tag with its console counterparts. To me as a consumer, it should be “flawless” on PC as well on release day. Shouldn’t it? Other than that, the same studio’s original Dishonored was great on PC. What went wrong this time around, one may ask?
I think I know the answer. For some reason, the suits in the video games industry still in 2017 think that all PC gamers are pirates and do not buy games. That’s obviously isn’t true by a long shot anymore and when the management creates the development schedules they just don’t allocate enough time and money to the PC development because they are in the belief it isn’t worth it. This might be true somewhat because it creates a paradox between the publisher and PC gamers. Gamers will avoid buying your game because they know it’s poorly optimized and/or broken some way and publishers don’t want to invest the time and money to make sure the product is in proper working order because there won’t be enough profit.
As a PC gamer, I’d say it’s more of a publishers’ fault. I can guarantee you that if you take the time and money to properly polish the PC version of your game, and PC gaming critics like the Totalbiscuit and many others can verify that it really is the case and the publishers’ attitude towards PC as a gaming platform will change your game will sell. Take a look at The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and CD Projekt RED. There’s one example for you of a developer/publisher who enjoys the trust of the PC gaming community. They make a game that has no DRM (Digital Rights Management) or any other copy protection at all and they still sell very well on PC.
According to GameRant 30% of all The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sales came from PC and 70% from the consoles, but let’s remember the PS4 and XOne are two separate platforms like they also said in the GameRant article. 50% of those console sales might be from the PS4 or from the XOne, I don’t really know, but I’m pretty sure they are NOT 50/50 split of that 70% of overall sales. That being said the PC’s 30% of overall sales is impressive, considering it’s a game that has no DRM and no copy protection of any kind and would be super easy to pirate for the full experience. This was an article from at least one year ago, it might be an even bigger percentage for PC nowadays.
To all other triple-A developers and especially publishers. Take the thumb out of your asses and start to treat the PC customers as equals to your console customers and us PC gamers will start to treat you with the same courtesy. This thing works in both ways, guys. Stop shitting on us and we will stop shitting on you. Stop treating us as second class citizens and we stop treating you as second-class developers/publishers.
I really hope the Arkane Studios, Bethesda, and Zenimax Media learned their lesson with the Dishonored 2 and the Prey will actually be up to snuff on PC at release day. To wake my interest it will have to have separate toggles for motion blur, depth of field, lens flare, film grain, chromatic aberration and any other post-process effect you plan to implement into your game. Of course in PC game (even if it was third person game) you have to have a field of view adjustment slider. Mouse acceleration and smoothing have to be able to turn completely off, I personally prefer this to be the default setting, but the choice must be there, some might prefer acceleration and/or smoothing to be on. That’s the short list of things that has to be in “flawless” PC version of a game. Of course, you add to that proper graphics scalability settings and a wide variety of resolution options and windowed, borderless windowed and fullscreen modes.
And of course, the best way to avoid problems and disappointment is by not pre-ordering games! Make them earn your money!
Tired of triple-A publishers’ bullshit second class citizen PC gamer signing out. Have a good one!