ASeven wrote on Nov 25, 2010, 17:21:
Makes me wonder why guys like Nocht are able to make in average about $150K per day in sales of Minecraft, a PC exclusive game, if the PC gaming market gives no profit.
This is the most solid proof that a good, cheap game will make the author rich and why indie gaming on PC is taking off. As the publishers keep producing shit port after shit port they leave a wide gap in the PC market, a gap that is being quite effectively exploited by the indies who are now starting to produce games that go above and beyond any AAA title made today.
PC gaming isn't dying, it's changing. With each day less and less people keep their faith in publishers to deliver that killer PC game and meanwhile people like Tripwire or Unknown Worlds are making games that will simply run over any AAA game in quality and fun. PC gaming is turning indie because they rather have that alternative than continue to buy crappy ports.
You make some good points here that I agree with, especially the point that PC gaming is - and its business model - are changing (and have been for a while). The main issue as I see it is that publishers have failed to embrace new ways of monetizing their efforts, along with their embrace of DRM which punishes consumers under the guise of fighting piracy.
TF2 and Minecraft are two games that embrace the "ship continuously" model - an embrace of the idea of a game as as service and the corresponding embrace of digital distribution - versus the typical declining sales curve that result from a game that never grows organically over time, but is released as a finite physical product that is put into a box that is put onto a truck that is put onto a shelf that is then released on the big launch day - those retail efforts and their corresponding marketing campaigns cut deeply into profits. Developers like Blizzard (with WOW) and Valve have moved away from that myopic 'big blockbuster weekend' approach to great success. WOW and TF2 are just simply games anymore, they are highly profitable franchises and brands.
The relentlessly controlled console certification process and the cost of console development kits are a barrier as well: that is why WOW or TF2 (as it exists for the PC) do not, could not, exist for any of today's consoles.
For me its akin to the cash cow the music industry had for decades in vinyl then plastic records with the artist ending up with barely a pittance. Unsurprisingly, companies are slow and deeply resistant to part with cash cow models.