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Valve: PC Gaming is the Future

Valve: Why the PC is the future on Eurogamer has more of Valve's Gabe Newell's thoughts on the state of PC gaming, once again discussing how digital distribution is rarely accounted for, and that as for MMOGs, he feels that WOW is "arguably the most valuable entertainment franchise in any media right now." Here's a bit:

Valve sees 200 per cent growth in these alternative channels - not just Steam, but including the likes of cyber-cafes as well - versus less than 10 per cent in bricks-and-mortar shop sales. Steam has a 15 million-strong player-base with 1.25 million peak concurrent users, and 191 per cent annual growth; none too far off a console platform in itself. The PC casual games market, driven by the likes of PopCap, has gone from next to nothing to USD 1.5 billion dollar industry in under ten years, and has doubled in size in just three. Perhaps most surprisingly, Valve has found that digital distribution doesn't cannibalise retail sales - in fact, a free Day of Defeat weekend on Steam created more new retail sales than online ones.

And then there is the game that many claim has been the death of PC gaming, but that Valve sees as its greatest success story, and its future. "Until recently, the fact that World of Warcraft was generating 120 million dollars in gross revenue on a monthly basis was completely off the books," Newell says. "Essentially, [Blizzard is] creating a new Iron Man every month, in terms of the gross revenue they're generating as a studio. Any movie studio would be shouting about that from the rooftops. But it was essentially invisible."

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18. Re: Yay Gabe Jun 28, 2008, 02:39 Flo
PC gaming will thrive again when Joe Average buys a new laptop (and let's face it, he WILL buy a laptop) and it already includes a decent graphics card to play current games. On the other hand, developers/publishers have to make sure that these games actually RUN on that hardware and don't require an expensive desktop graphics card.

Good example: Source Engine Games run great and look great on my 8600m GS based laptop (hardly cutting edge)

Bad example: Neverwinter Nights 2, Crysis: Run choppy even on lower settings and look ugly.

But even without cutting edge 3D graphics we have so much unused potential. I recently ran through my dusty games collection and found Baldur's Gate and Jagged Alliance 2. The visuals of those games are just great and don't require a 3D card. The PC has such a large back catalogue of great games which is not at all exploited. I mean do some advertising for those games and sell them digitally for 10 bucks.
I could go on and on, so much potential left untapped...

This comment was edited on Jun 28, 02:40.
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