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Monday, 07 February 2011 09:53

PC gamers will be shortchanged

Written by David Stellmack

Trend of DLC not being released will continue
The recent trend of studios and publishers electing not to make available all of the downloadable content that they are releasing on console platforms will continue. That is the word we are hearing from industry insiders that tell us that the PC gaming market space continues to be very challenging for publishers.

Most recently, Electronic Arts announced that DLC content for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 would not be arriving for the PC versions of these titles. While it might sound as if we are picking on EA, they are not the only publisher that has canceled DLC content for PC releases that were also released on consoles as well.

The reason why this is happening is complicated and is dependent on the actual publisher as well as the studio. While in many cases, the company line seems to be that they don’t have the resources available to get this done because they are engaged in working on other things, this seems to only be a half truth based on discussions we have had with those in the industry.

Apparently, there are multiple reasons that the downloadable content is canceled, but it does seem that potential sales are the biggest factor. While we all know that the console market is much larger than the PC gaming market, it does seem that the potential return on investment is so much less that it just does not make sense to convert it to the PC platform for sale.

Making the content available for sale is also the reason in many cases we see publishers that do release additional content for the PC platform electing to bundle it for free in a patch release, rather than attempting to sell it in many cases. As one studio insider told me; “By the time you spend the time to set it up for sale and you look at the potential sales numbers for the DLC content on the PC when compared to the actual number of copies that you sold on the PC platform, the numbers just don’t make a lot of sense to release it for sale.”

Setting it up for sale is another problem altogether because unlike the console platforms which have their own dedicated store, the PC platform does not have a single point where all versions of the DLC can be downloaded. While you could offer it on Steam or Game for Windows, for example, that only services those digital releases of the software; and for example, if you happen to own the boxed copy of the title, the DLC content from those sources most times will not work with the boxed version of the title.

While Microsoft has again launched a new initiative to promote gaming on the Windows 7 platform, it remains to be seen if it will attract more gamers, many of which have left the PC for the console systems due to the fact of a wider number of gaming offerings for the console platforms over the PC. While we suspect that you might see a bit of a trend in more PC gaming releases, don’t expect to get all of the DLC content that you see on the console releases. It simply just does not make a lot of sense for publishers to spend the money to offer it when PC title sales only represents such a small portion of the total sales of a multiplatform release.

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+15 #1 mmalinek 2011-02-07 10:32
I think, that if there would be less Gamers on the PC platform, it would be even worse for many different parts of the Industry!
Just think of the Hardware-Sales... Many, if not the most, invest large sums of money into the goal to have a nice and Powerful Machine, if not 1 of the best available.
My Opinion is, that they should find a way (Bundling with new Hardware, NOT only Graphic Cards, but also Mainboards aso.)
I know, that there are more Consoles out there, than PC players, but only looking out for the COnsole , thats just Wrong...
The Worst is, if they think, that now evrybody goes, and buys him/herelf a Console, they not thinking right! ( Im sure there are some insane ones, who will do it :D )
+32 #2 JAB Creations 2011-02-07 10:39
Developers who code the games deserve the money, not jackasses like Activision. I'd rather buy the game direct from the developers and see the publishers go out of business. If you want to support musicians go to their concerts or donate on their website whereas 70 cents out of every dollar MP3 goes to the pricks in Hollywood. I think Steam takes 30% cut? COD made a billion in sales and they didn't want to pay a few tens of millions to the developers?
+17 #3 yasin 2011-02-07 10:50
thats why steam is good for developers-no need for thousands of dvds to be made.
+40 #4 Warhead 2011-02-07 11:17
I think, that if there would be less Gamers on the PC platform, it would be even worse for many different parts of the Industry!

Although I agree with your statement I could never see myself moving from PC to console after more than 20 years gaming.

If I have to play FPS on console I'd probably spend most of the time shooting the clouds! :D
-55 #5 Warrior24_7 2011-02-07 11:18
Just say it..."piracy",
“By the time you spend the time to set it up for sale and you look at the potential sales numbers for the DLC content on the PC when compared to the actual number of copies that you sold on the PC platform, the numbers just don’t make a lot of sense to release it for sale.” Translation: "we don't want to invest our time and effort for a bunch of thieves!" Also, there is apathy, "this seems to only be a half truth based on discussions we have had with those in the industry." Translation: NOBODY GIVES A DAMN! This goes way beyond DLC, the devs just aren't making the games the PC is capable of playing...they just refuse to do it! So all of the fanboyism and denial won't change reality, NOBODY GIVES A F*K ABOUT PC GAMING!!
+24 #6 Zone 2011-02-07 11:44
@ Troller24_7

Being a "Fanboy" and preferring one thing over the other is not the same.

Speaking of fanboys, could you explain to me how on these topics you always say "nobody gives a f*ck about pc gaming" yet on topics about CPU's and GPU's you are always bashing on ATI and AMD and praising Intel and Nvidia?
I know CPU's and GPU's are for more then gaming sure, but are those purposes really why you are so passioned about them?
+15 #7 Systemlord 2011-02-07 12:14
PC Gamers are already shortchanged, most spend thousands of dollars on a mid-end to high-end gaming PC and then the publishers don't want to support us! I believe that if Microsoft really wants to have success in selling their Windows 7 platform (and Windows eight) Microsoft should be the one to create an online PC store similar to the Xbox 360 site where all of the download content is available! Microsoft in the end will be the one hurting in sales of their operating systems and not the studios and publishers! Its time for Microsoft to get their heads out of the sand, Microsoft is competing with itself with the Xbox 360 and Windows 7 gaming platform, shooting themselves in the leg if you ask me!
+7 #8 Zone 2011-02-07 13:11
Just as an answer.

If the DLC comes out for free for the PC, hey, that works for me ;) (here is hoping for some free COD BO DLC)
Also I would not say to quickly that EA's DLC is not coming to the PC, I mean, look at Bioshok 2, "NO DLC FOR THE PC...oh no, wait, yeah here you go".
(yes I know thats a THQ game)
The last DLC for Borderlands was top seller on steam for a few weeks (I bought it too and its awesome)

I think people make too much of an issue, PC gaming is fine, just check for example Magicka, great game for a great price and it has great sales.
+25 #9 123s 2011-02-07 13:39
Actually thats good news, they can keep their shitty DCLs and should release full games again.
+12 #10 Freddy30 2011-02-07 13:40
I predict that we're running in a dilemma soon.

The next gen Xboxes and Playstation's will largely benefit from the development, improvements and innovations of the graphics industry (AMD/ATI & NVIDIA). As usual. Unfortunately NVIDIA & ATI earn their money primarily with selling high-end graphics cards to the PC enthousiasts.
Since all the latest games are boring cross-plattform developments without innovation and with no eye-candy DX11 stuff no PC ushould buy a new graphics card with DX11 that is not being used. Without a benefit of having superior hardware no PC enthousiast will b willing to invest 300-600 $/€ in a graphics card only to subsidize further console development. No new state of the art games for high-end PC's, no innovation. Period.

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