#1 Edited by spyder335 (285 posts) -

Totally missed that destiny is not being released on PC, is there any benefit at all for not releasing on PC?

Rockstar tend to be irratic with their releases, one game is released immediatly along side console releases, still waiting on red dead redemption, but then we got L.A. Noire, and nothing but rumors of GTA V.

Why the PC hate?

#2 Posted by wemibelec90 (1557 posts) -

They don't have to port it, piracy isn't as big an issue on consoles, and the market for them is still smaller overall. Some companies just seem to prefer to focus on consoles.

#3 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1783 posts) -

Take your pick:

-Exclusivity deals

-Outside the teams expertise (endless hardware configurations vs a couple or one)

-Don't believe the investment in time and energy is worth the return

#4 Edited by crithon (3081 posts) -

console manufactures pay a really nice price, hello gears of war franchise.

#5 Posted by Bollard (5267 posts) -

@spyder335: Save loads of money on development costs where they can't guarantee they will sell as many copies. Maybe the team also lacks people who even know how to develop a AAA title on PC, only consoles. Some people still bitch about piracy too.

Basically money, money and money.

#6 Posted by SingingMenstrual (327 posts) -
#8 Posted by thatdutchguy (1271 posts) -

They don't have to port it, piracy isn't as big an issue on consoles, and the market for them is still smaller overall. Some companies just seem to prefer to focus on consoles.

This and GTAV still made a billion in sales in one day or so on consoles.

#9 Posted by m4r71n2012 (41 posts) -

i didn't even know it wasn't on pc. Was looking in game yesterday and did wonder why they were only showing the xbox one and ps4 versions but assumed that was just because they wanted console pre orders. Do we know a lot about Destiny yet though does seem a lot of halo to me.

To answer the question I think porting will be less of an issue going forward once devs cut off the ps3/x360 since they will be making purely x64 architecture games so in theory making that run on pc should be minimal work, I think that is why the wii u is being cast aside so quickly now as it uses power pc plus the sales aren't spectacular.

Sony and Microsoft have big wallets to pay for exclusives too, usually that just means console exclusive and they don't seem to care about the pc version but with pc gaming getting stronger I can see an argument to cut out that too and bending a few more arms into buying an xbox one or ps4

#10 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1455 posts) -

On the topic of Desiny in particular, that game is already on four different consoles, this coming from a developer that has made nothing but exclusives for over a decade. The amount of manpower and development time that's required to get game up and running on four different systems for a simultaneously release is substantial, and combine that with the game's persistent multiplayer component, it's probably a significant challenge.

The fact of the matter is that the PC has lower sales potential than any one of the consoles, piracy is much easier, and there is also an expectation that you'll be able to get a game for 50% off or more within a few months on PC, whereas disc based console games hold their value a bit longer and the console digital marketplaces don't have the kind of sales PC services do. Also, keep in mind that many with a gaming PC are likely to have at least one console, so like we saw with GTA V and now Dark Souls II, though some people would rather get it on PC many would be willing to go with the console version at launch rather than wait (I was one of those for GTA V).

I bet we see Destiny on PC sometime in 2015, but the extra effort and development resources it would take to get it ready for a simultaneous launch with the console versions obviously isn't worth whatever potential gain there would be.

#11 Posted by Andorski (5197 posts) -

Consoles is where most of the money is made (most of the time). PC ports usually just pads the revenue a little bit.

#12 Edited by Sammo21 (3212 posts) -

To curb piracy as much as possible. They can't get rid of the piracy entirely so if they can mitigate the risk then they make better money in the long run as if someone was holding out for the PC version then those same people will still buy it in the end. Businesses go through risk mitigation practices in many different forms and this is one of them.

In the case of a developer like Rockstar, they may be worried about releasing a version worthy of PC? An argument against that is that they never released RDR on PC when they had plenty of time. Grand Theft Auto IV was a mess on PC and completely unoptimized, in my opinion, even with mods. I personally was more interested in a PS4/Xbone port, which I assume we'll hear about at the same time a PC port is announced. The "jaded" part of me wants to say Rockstar is attempting to get fans to double dip when they announce next gen and PC ports, but that's just me.

Also, as other Bombers have pointed out, PC sales are pretty low in comparison to console. No matter what PC elitists want you to say (and I game on PC frequently), developers lose out on their PC versions many times over. The number of stories I've heard from developers who are frustrated that they are doing tech support on pirated copies of a game makes me sick sometimes...especially when I hear people flippantly admit, and almost brag, about pirating PC copies just because they want to play it. Either way, that's a rabbit trail so...

#13 Posted by Slag (4033 posts) -
  • Less piracy risk
  • Significantly larger install base
  • larger market share potentially available for AAA games on consoles due to superior marketing budgets for large games like Destiny, it's easier to dominate the channel on consoles by outspending your competition. Plus retailers will also help promote your product and give them exposure.
  • price controls, closed platforms allow them to sell their game at artificially inflated prices for more or less however long they want. Used games while they dent into this are ultimately supply constrained unlike digital.
  • financial incentives from M$ and $ony to keep it on their platforms

If they sell it on PC which may be technically superior experience, the lack of the closed platform may drive the price down, ultimately training their customers to buy their product where it is far less profitable for them to sell it.

I don't like it, but it is what it is.

Online
#14 Posted by Hailinel (23927 posts) -

@slag said:
  • Less piracy risk
  • Significantly larger install base
  • larger market share potentially available for AAA games on consoles due to superior marketing budgets for large games like Destiny, it's easier to dominate the channel on consoles by outspending your competition. Plus retailers will also help promote your product and give them exposure.
  • price controls, closed platforms allow them to sell their game at artificially inflated prices for more or less however long they want. Used games while they dent into this are ultimately supply constrained unlike digital.
  • financial incentives from M$ and $ony to keep it on their platforms

If they sell it on PC which may be technically superior experience, the lack of the closed platform may drive the price down, ultimately training their customers to buy their product where it is far less profitable for them to sell it.

I don't like it, but it is what it is.

On the development side, there's also the point that when it comes to console development, there's far less hardware optomization work that needs to be done. On a console, or a gaming-dedicated handheld like the 3DS, you know the basic hardware configuration that each and every player will have, save relatively small differences brought on by hardware refinements that occur as a generation proceeds. On a PC, you can't be sure exactly what hardware any specific player has. You have to design with a hardware range in mind and be able to scale for both high end and low end requirements.

Online
#15 Edited by Slag (4033 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@slag said:
  • Less piracy risk
  • Significantly larger install base
  • larger market share potentially available for AAA games on consoles due to superior marketing budgets for large games like Destiny, it's easier to dominate the channel on consoles by outspending your competition. Plus retailers will also help promote your product and give them exposure.
  • price controls, closed platforms allow them to sell their game at artificially inflated prices for more or less however long they want. Used games while they dent into this are ultimately supply constrained unlike digital.
  • financial incentives from M$ and $ony to keep it on their platforms

If they sell it on PC which may be technically superior experience, the lack of the closed platform may drive the price down, ultimately training their customers to buy their product where it is far less profitable for them to sell it.

I don't like it, but it is what it is.

On the development side, there's also the point that when it comes to console development, there's far less hardware optomization work that needs to be done. On a console, or a gaming-dedicated handheld like the 3DS, you know the basic hardware configuration that each and every player will have, save relatively small differences brought on by hardware refinements that occur as a generation proceeds. On a PC, you can't be sure exactly what hardware any specific player has. You have to design with a hardware range in mind and be able to scale for both high end and low end requirements.

That's a very good point and one I should have thought to include.

Especially pre-steam and GOG it was a bit of nightmare on the player's side knowing if a game you bought was going to work properly. It's a bit easy to forget that consoles in recent memory were so much easier to use (obviously I did). The difference is still there, but it's nowhere near as stark as it used to be on the consumer side.

Given the huge number of potential configurations a PC could have, you're absolutely right coding and support has to be significantly more difficult for developers. That probably hasn't changed much.

Online
#16 Posted by miko1222 (208 posts) -

It's because corporations pay extra for these games to be exclusives. Sony payed Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream a ton of cash for Last of Us and Beyond Two Souls to be Sony exclusives. Microsoft also payed Remedy Entertainment and Crytek for Quantam Break and Ryse to be Xbox One only exclusives. Also, porting games on PC costs, and is a pain in the butt.

#17 Posted by mikey87144 (1665 posts) -

@miko1222 said:

It's because corporations pay extra for these games to be exclusives. Sony payed Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream a ton of cash for Last of Us and Beyond Two Souls to be Sony exclusives. Microsoft also payed Remedy Entertainment and Crytek for Quantam Break and Ryse to be Xbox One only exclusives. Also, porting games on PC costs, and is a pain in the butt.

Sony owns Naughty Dog. Also the couple of past Quantic Dream games would not have been made if Sony didn't fund development. Same with the Remedy games. Yes, Microsoft paid for Ryse to be exclusive but that game was originally supposed to be a Kinect game. Also devs have stated on many occasions that porting to PC isn't too difficult since they basically already have one. This generation with the architecture of both consoles being even more PC like the cost to make a PC port is relatively trivial.

#18 Edited by audioBusting (1477 posts) -
@miko1222 said:

It's because corporations pay extra for these games to be exclusives. Sony payed Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream a ton of cash for Last of Us and Beyond Two Souls to be Sony exclusives. Microsoft also payed Remedy Entertainment and Crytek for Quantam Break and Ryse to be Xbox One only exclusives. Also, porting games on PC costs, and is a pain in the butt.

Paying extra for exclusivity is something I never quite believe in. That would mean they have to pay more than the potential earnings from the other platform markets, which would be incredibly huge, and I'm skeptical that it would be worth the extra earnings from the exclusivity. Most of the time, those exclusives seem to be simple publishing deals. Like how Platinum keeps saying that Bayonetta 2 is Wii U only because Nintendo's deal is the only way they would get funded in the first place. And of course Nintendo did not spend money to develop ports for other platforms. Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls and Uncharted are published by SCE (heck, Naughty Dog is actually a subsidiary of SCE), and Quantum Break and Ryse are published by Microsoft Studios. It's more like cutting corners than paying extra, which makes a lot more sense business-wise.

Edit: Oh and to be more on topic, that's kind of unrelated anyway since Destiny is coming out on both Xboxes and Playstations. So their reasons must be something else.

#19 Posted by miko1222 (208 posts) -

@audiobusting:

It's so people are encouraged to buy their consoles.

#20 Posted by expensiveham (289 posts) -

@slag said:

  • Significantly larger install base

That is not true. There is definitely a smaller number of PC gamers that would buy the game but the install base is much, much larger on the PC.

#21 Edited by audioBusting (1477 posts) -

@miko1222: You're missing my point. Sony and Microsoft probably did not pay extra for those exclusives; in actuality they're likely to have paid less to have exclusivity since they're not paying for the extra development costs.

In the case of Destiny: it is not in Activision's interest to not release to PC. A payment for that exclusion has to be more than estimated profit from selling PC copies of a AAA multiplayer shooter from the creators of freaking Halo (the opportunity cost), but also -- in the interest of the console sellers -- less than the profits from possible consoles sold from the shared console exclusivity. I'm not sure if those ranges even overlap. Who would be paying for the shared console exclusivity anyway? Are Microsoft and Sony conspiring together against the PC market? And the Windows platform is Microsoft's, so they have to be paying less than their possible earning from the possible expansion of the Windows marketplace too. It all just sounds way too complicated and unlikely to be profitable.

Edit: confused myself with the maths, made it clearer.

#22 Edited by Dixavd (1305 posts) -

I'd also like to bring up player feedback on this. In general, there is a larger vocal minority in the PC gaming player-base than on consoles which can respond in some very extreme ways to what a developer does. This means that minor design decisions can be blown out of proportion by the PC player-base (obviously this can happen with any game on any platform - but on PC there are more people likely to respond in this way).

Nevertheless, where the reactionary audience may affect the choice of releasing on PC occurs in the event when the developer thinks they'll make a shitty port. When a game is announced that it won't release a game on PC, there's usually an outcry of players in their disappointment but due to this usually occurring months before release, the negative response doesn't usually affect the sales of other platforms. Fast-forward to release day of a game which has a shitty port and suddenly the wave of negative feedback occurs at the pivotal point of the first 1-3 week period of a games release. Now the decision to release on PC despite having a less-than-good port could have created enough of a strong negative response as to affect the sales on consoles.

This would certainly be a bad reason not to release on PC, it's probably the kind of PR-headache that they'd really not have to deal with. So while all the other things people in this thread have said are more legitimate reasons for not having a PC release, I think this also plays into it when they're unsure if they have the resources to make a good port.

#23 Posted by AdequatelyPrepared (324 posts) -

If it's the case that development on PC is harder and piracy is more common, why does it seem that many independent developers can successfully get a start on PC rather than on the consoles?
Is that more to do with the policies that the consoles have for the independent developers?
For example, most kickstarter campaigns seem to have the PC as the default platform, with console-versions being stretch goals.

#24 Edited by Slag (4033 posts) -

@slag said:

  • Significantly larger install base

That is not true. There is definitely a smaller number of PC gamers that would buy the game but the install base is much, much larger on the PC.

That's what I meant by install base, For the sake of this discussion it doesn't necessarily matter how many PCs are actually bought since they have such a wide variety of intended uses (business, education, research, gov't work etc) many of which exclude gaming as a possibility. That's completely different from the console market where the primary use of the hardware is games.

What really matters to the Publishers, would be the number of Steam customers, Origin customers etc on the various PC platform distribution platforms. Which in my head I was considering the practical install base.Especially since the boxed retail channel is more or less defunct.

Potential audience I guess would have been a better way for me to put it since those are software platforms not hardware. Basically it comes down to perceived potential market.

Online
#25 Posted by SexualBubblegumX (542 posts) -

It's not that uncommon for butchered ports to happen. So it makes sense for a dev studio to not bother due to risk of the port being a glitchy mess.

#26 Posted by YukoAsho (2001 posts) -

PCs have undoubtedly become far, FAR easier in the post-XP era, but you'll never get the same ease that you get with consoles. Fun story, I bought Carmageddon 2 on GOG a few weeks back, and it wouldn't run on my Win8 drive. I could get it to run in Linux under WINE just fine, but no matter what I did to run the game in Windows, even with tech support from GOG, there was just no going. Turns out, I was able to get the game running by removing Spybot S&D from my system. Something SO far out of field, that I'd only thought to try out of curiosity, and it worked like a damned charm.

And that, my friends, is the downfall of PC gaming as a mainstream enterprise. With a PS4 or an Xbone, every player has the same hardware, and the same system software, with the only variable being what other games are on the HD, none of which will be running simultaneously anyhow. By contrast, a PC can have so many hardware, software, and firmware configurations that tech support is a damned nightmare. Also, since console retail is as vibrant as it ever was, there's way more chances of casual exposure (and constrained supply for popular titles keeping prices high) than with PC, and as has been stated before, the PC digital space is rapidly training people to wait until prices are unsustainably low. We all hear about the big Steam sales, but how many people buy games full-price versus the people who only buy when games are < $5? It's basically the cheap app mentality brought to AAA, and why WOULD a publisher want to deal with that?

Also, even the most recalcitrant publishers are learning that DRM, including always-online DRM, is nothing more than a feelgood measure, and that pirates are going to break it in days, if not hours, of release. While some are releasing games DRM-free, others are simply sticking with consoles, which can take years (and in many cases, hardware modification) to crack.

#28 Edited by Lunnington (153 posts) -

I think you're more likely to see games not coming to PC if they're releasing for PS3 or Xbox 360, purely because those have such a big market share. If the game is only releasing for PS4 or only releasing for Xbox One then they are probably owned by Sony or Microsoft in some way.

Looking at Titanfall for example, the main reason they probably released on PC was because PC has far more players right now than Xbox One does.

#29 Edited by expensiveham (289 posts) -

@slag said:

@expensiveham said:

@slag said:

  • Significantly larger install base

That is not true. There is definitely a smaller number of PC gamers that would buy the game but the install base is much, much larger on the PC.

That's what I meant by install base, For the sake of this discussion it doesn't necessarily matter how many PCs are actually bought since they have such a wide variety of intended uses (business, education, research, gov't work etc) many of which exclude gaming as a possibility. That's completely different from the console market where the primary use of the hardware is games.

What really matters to the Publishers, would be the number of Steam customers, Origin customers etc on the various PC platform distribution platforms. Which in my head I was considering the practical install base.Especially since the boxed retail channel is more or less defunct.

Potential audience I guess would have been a better way for me to put it since those are software platforms not hardware. Basically it comes down to perceived potential market.

PC gamers buy more games then the average console user and pirates still buy more games then the average gamer. There is no shortage of PC users buying games, publishers are just not doing a very good job at appealing to us.

I was not counting every computer out there as a part of the install base. Steam has far more active accounts then the total number of registered Xbox live accounts. Steam has 65 million active users while Xbox Live has 48 million where only half of them are paying for a gold subscription. The potential audience is much larger on PC. But the Origins numbers EA are touting are largely a lie as they count mobile users and accounts that have been automatically converted into Origin accounts from other EA services on both consoles and PC.

TL;DR: The estimated sales on PC are lower but that is not because the market is dead. Install base of potential customers is much larger.

#31 Posted by Altered_Confusion (197 posts) -

It really depends on what platform you originally released your game on. That determines how much porting has to be done, if any, to get the game on the PC. Some companies don't have the revenue to make a port. Other companies have exclusive deals with a specific platform, though some of those deals are only for a certain amount of time.

#32 Posted by NMC2008 (1231 posts) -

I see the phrase "I will wait for the steam sale" a whole lot these days and I am sure devs and pubs probably hate that shit, also the other reasons in this thread.