View Full Version : PC gaming industry strives for comeback

Fighting Spirit
10-30-05, 07:33 AM
Great news guys :D


10-30-05, 08:14 AM
Can't read the article without registering.

10-30-05, 08:22 AM
Yeah me too cant read it without registering, it will be better to copy and paste it here.

10-30-05, 08:33 AM
comeback ???? Where did the game industry go??? hehe
imo....I don't think PC gaming was getting ready to take a dirt-nap...I mean think about how many people have been playing WoW, EQ2, BF2 and a ton of others....It seems that over the last few years really good PC titles have been few and far between, not that the industry is in the throws of death.
Then all of a sudden *BanG* end of "05" turns us back to good times :)

btw: I couldn't read the artical either...

10-30-05, 08:39 AM
Well with the amount of Piracy that goes on I cant see developers developing titles just for the PC anymore. A game called championship manager here in Europe has sold 12 milion copies in 10 years. 60 million copies are estimated to have been pirated. Ouch.

Fighting Spirit
10-30-05, 10:28 AM
Okey here it is!


PC gaming industry strives for comeback
Consoles have been on top for years, but fans of computer games may have something to cheer about again thanks to the efforts of big players like Microsoft, GameStop and Dell

By Victor Godinez
Dallas Morning News
Published October 29, 2005

DALLAS -- The last few years have not been all fun and games for computer game fans, but that might be changing.

As attention has shifted to sophisticated video-game consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation 2, PC gamers have watched their preferred platform wither.

Retailers have been squeezing shelf space for PC games to accommodate more console and hand-held titles, and many PC game creators have migrated to the console market.

PC game sales in the United States peaked at $2 billion in 1999 and then fell every year after that, landing at $1.1 billion last year.

Console game sales, on the other hand, were already twice the size of PC game sales in 1999 and have increased every year since, reaching $6.2 billion in 2004.

But several major companies--including Microsoft Corp. and heavyweights such as GameStop Corp. and Dell Inc.--are trying to revitalize PC gaming.

"The shelf space has been shrinking," said Chris Donahue, director for the Windows gaming and graphics team at Microsoft. "We underinvested in making sure that hasn't happened, and that's one of the things we're going to fix."

The big boys are getting help from scores of smaller game developers and sellers who want to bypass retail shelves altogether and turn online game sales and downloads into a thriving industry.

Microsoft--which makes the Xbox game console and its coming successor, the Xbox 360--is one of the companies responsible for the ascendancy of console gaming.

In 2001, the Xbox console was launched with a multimillion-dollar advertising blitz.

Last year, Microsoft pushed video-game hype into a new realm with the release of its Xbox game "Halo 2." Sales of "Halo 2" hit $125 million on the first day of availability, the largest first-day gross of any entertainment product in history, to that point.

Now, the Xbox 360 is set to hit Nov. 22, and Microsoft has proclaimed its goal to attract 1 billion gamers.

Whether or not that lofty pinnacle is reached, it's clear that Microsoft, as well as competitors Sony and Nintendo, have turned console gaming into a mainstream entertainment medium on par with movies and music.

Lost in the shuffle has been the PC, the original king of interactive entertainment.

Dan DeMatteo, chief operating officer and vice chairman at GameStop, a Grapevine, Texas-based video-game retailer, recalls two decades ago when consoles were mere upstarts.

"I remember when, back when I was at Software Etc., the day came when console games became 25 percent of my business, and I said, `Oh, my goodness, this is terrible,'" he said.

Now, GameStop--which recently spent $1.4 billion to acquire its biggest competitor, Electronics Boutique Holdings Corp.--reserves about 85 percent of its store shelves for console games, DeMatteo said.

"I would hate to see it go away," he said of the PC games segment. "I wouldn't be the one to cause it to go away. If the consumer is there and publishers are making good games for the PC, I will be there."

The Dallas area is home to some of the hottest PC gamemakers in the world.

Ensemble Studios, a Microsoft-owned studio based in Dallas, is finishing up "Age of Empires III," an eagerly awaited update to its empire simulation series.

Even bigger is Id Software, in the suburb of Mesquite, creator of the "Doom" and "Quake" franchises.

At a game expo in August, Id Chief Executive Todd Hollenshead said the slide in PC game sales is pushing developers to consoles such as the Xbox 360 and Sony's coming PlayStation 3.

"`Doom 3' did very well on the PC platform, but those macro trends at some point come to bear and start having issues for the market overall," he said.

Another challenge for the PC games industry is that many gamers never see titles that lack the name recognition of "Doom." GameStop is looking to change that.

GameStop has more than 4,000 retail locations--mostly in the U.S., with a growing presence in Europe--making it by far the largest games-only retailer in the country.

Many of its stores have demo kiosks for consoles such as the PlayStation 2 or Nintendo DS so gamers can try before they buy.

Testing a PC game has been impossible. Not anymore. In a trial collaboration announced a few weeks ago, GameStop and Round Rock, Texas-based Dell have rolled out computer game kiosks in 25 GameStop stores.

Customers can test a handful of the best PC games the same way they test-drive the latest PS2 release.

The kiosks will be powered by Dell's revamped and supercharged XPS computers, coupled with 42-inch Dell high-definition plasma monitors.

Todd Bartee, director of sales for Dell's consumer team, said that while it's too early to quantify the results of the GameStop collaboration, anecdotal observation of a GameStop store in Austin, Texas, has him excited.

"It's the hit of the store," he said. "It's in the premier location, and all the kids are lined up playing on it."

While Dell and GameStop focus on the hardware, Microsoft is campaigning to bring enthusiasm back to Windows as a gaming platform, culminating in the release sometime next year of Windows Vista.

When that operating system launches, Microsoft will treat it as if it were launching a new video game console, Donahue said.

Vista is being designed as the most game-friendly Windows operating system ever, and it will include prominent game folders on the main Start menu so users don't have to hunt through a list of all their applications to find their installed games.

In addition, Microsoft is campaigning for game developers to start releasing their games on DVDs instead of just CDs, to eliminate the bulky multiple-CD sleeves needed for the most sophisticated titles.

Donahue said Microsoft is also encouraging companies to enable their games to start playing as soon as they're inserted into the computer, rather than forcing users to install the game on the PC's hard drive.

That would allow PC games to match some of the plug-and-play capabilities that have made consoles so popular.

"If you think about a 5-year-old that wants to play `Reader Rabbit' and they have to sit though an install process, it shouldn't be like that," Donahue said.

While billion-dollar firms such as GameStop, Microsoft and Dell may be leading the charge for PC games, there are other soldiers on the battlefield.

On Oct. 17, for example, Turner Broadcasting launched GameTap, a service that lets PC users download and play a variety of mostly older titles for a monthly subscription fee.

And small independent PC game developers that would never get their products on store shelves may soon find a home at Manifesto Games. The site will start selling downloadable PC games next year.

Perhaps the biggest proponent of downloadable PC games is Valve Corp., which sold its blockbuster "Half-Life 2" both in stores and through its Steam download service.

With the new focus on PC games in retail stores and the ability to buy and download games online, industry professionals insist there is a future for the PC games industry that doesn't include a eulogy.

"With the new consoles coming out--and I said this five years ago when the PS2 and Xbox came out--people all rush to ring the bell for the death knell of PC gaming, and it never seems to happen, and I don't think we're looking at that now, either," Hollenshead said.

10-30-05, 11:59 AM
Awesome!! We have great times ahead of us!!

I was getting pretty pissed when I went to Gamestop and they either wouldn't have the games, or the worker there would look at me like "WTF is that"

Times are changing and its good ;) I guess Microsoft realized that there is much more margin to be made in the Vista area, than in the XB360 area...

10-30-05, 12:07 PM
A couple of local Gamestops here outside of Boston have quit selling pc titles alltogether, not even used. Be nice to see that change.

10-30-05, 02:44 PM
The Gamestop near where I live (well all of them that I've been to, which is two of them...) don't have any PC games at all. I always just though they were only in the business to sell console games.

The Software Etc that used to be here, then changed to gamestop, then went away all together... the one in the mall here... It had a bigger section of Anime style toys then it did PC games. Pretty sad state of affairs, the only two places around here with even a small selection is BestBuy and CompUSA.


10-30-05, 04:09 PM
This is great news for sure. :)

10-30-05, 07:14 PM
Wish M$ would revive MechWarrior 5 for the PC.

10-30-05, 10:09 PM
Wish M$ would revive MechWarrior 5 for the PC.

lol, just was talking about that yesterday with my friend during lunch.

10-30-05, 11:10 PM
EB near my house in a new mall is barely 5% PC games. Everything in the small store is just filled with used and new console games, even ones that aren't even popular AT ALL. There was a small 'rack-shelf' of PC games, but they were old titles. So, i had to up front and ask if they had a copy of Battlefield 2. They did, about 6, with none being sold yet. That kinda upset me. I want PC gaming to thrive, since I just got back into it. So, after i held that copy in my hand, 2 other people in the store came up to the front and asked for it :) ... They need to advertise more and have a shelf for PC games. (My local Best Buy has crap for PC games) One thing that could easily get people to come back to gaming would be to lower the price on hardware. I mean c'mon, you buy a graphics card, it gives you good graphics. I've played on people's with top of the line stuff. It's great an all, but paying $500 one doesn't real give you all the bang for the buck. I'm sure a lot of people nowadays do not have $500 laying around and decide to hop on teh Egg one day and order a gfx card. So, what I'm saying is, a lot of people have lower-end computers and do not no how to upgrade, or it costs too much, and/or do not no how to build or too much of a hassle (becuz its cheaper building ur own, usually.) And the people with these lower-end computers just stick to console gaming because its much cheaper. Look at the 360 coming, out, that thing is going to own for under $2500, the price of nice gaming computer today, varying if you buy or build...Personally, i notice hardly any difference on my 6600, which i OC'ed, from my previous 5200FX. This makes me want to cry. Well, now, if I can sell some of my old PC parts and the processor, and graphics card i have now, i will be able to buy a 7800GT, which I hope will completly wipe out my 6600...

Anyways, what i meant to say was, GO PC GAMING!!!!!!! :D

10-31-05, 02:50 AM
It's not so easy to "make cheaper hardware" as it's obvious that console companies take rather large losses on their hardware and make it up with game sales. This is not possible for PC hardware.Nvidia dosent make games, they cannot take losses on hardware or they would be out of business.


10-31-05, 04:30 AM
The "shelf" situation here in Europe is by far not so bad at all. Actually PC games have the largest shelves (by 10-30%) compared to consoles, at least here in Germany.

Also the "numbers" in the article are not showing the true state of the PC gaming industry, I highly doubt they included all the branches that the industry has. Also, why compare the PC games sales (1 system) against 3+ console systems, I´m sorry but you don´t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the numbers will be obviously larger on the console side.

Console games HAVE TO SELL good, imagine games, many games selling bad on top of the loss they made on each and every console in the first place. PC gaming industry doesn´t need to worry about that, and considering how much it suffer from piracy, its are far from dying. The music/movie industry suffered hugely from piracy, why should they make it out and the PC gaming industry not? Because its smaller? BS, the PC gaming industry suffered from piracy every since the first game was released. Piracy can be fought on different levels, active steps need to be taken, block the P2P networks from the ISP side, and see how piracy will be reduced (just an example).

Finally, lets consider what pain in the ASS Microsoft´s Windows systems can be and what headaches it can give you, and still, considering all these odds that speak against the industry, its still here and I hugely doubt it will die.


P.S. I do hope that Vista will be more efficient and reduce the system overhead when people want to play a game. The last thing we need is a bigger hog than XP already is.