Lionhead’s Josh Atkins on PC gaming

RPS published an interview with Lionhead’s Lead Designer Josh Atkins. It’s a very interesting read. He has much to say about PC gaming, ports of games from consoles to PCs, Games For Windows Live (GFWL), and Xbox Live. It’s nice to know that some developers/publishers don’t think the PC is dead as a gaming platform, but we’ll see just how streamlined Fable III is when it hits shelves/GFWL. The most telling thing in here, I think, is the quote from Peter Molyneaux about how the game should be easy enough for “a blind child to be able to win this game with their feet.” We in the PC gaming community have been calling these console games “dumbed-down” for years, and here we have the head of a major studio all but confirming that was intentional.
Add to that the notion that “Battlefield 3” is more than consoles can handle, and then the amazing PC exclusive “The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings,” and I think that PC gaming still has quite a bit of life left. Maybe this extended life-cycle the current generations of consoles are taking will help breathe some life back into PC gaming. What do you think?

The State of Video Games 2011

I don’t normally read PS3 news, as I’m not a PS3 owner, but this little nugget found its way to me via Twitter. I clicked through it because it features an interview with Bethesda Softworks’ Pete Hines, and I was hoping for maybe an accidental TES V: Skyrim nugget. Instead, I’m presented with a great deal of information about how games are developed these days. David Thomas points out that the length of the console cycle has increased, and may be on its way to a 10-year cycle, rather than the old 5-year one.
Compare all this to something I picked up on Fudzilla, and we clearly see two ends to the spectrum: Consoles gunning for “Triple-A” titles, and mobile devices and social networking sites picking up the casual gaming end, both of which seem to be quite profitable. Where’s the middle ground? And where does PC gaming fit into all this? I have no answers, only questions.
People have decried the end of PC gaming for years, and some can’t wait for it to go away (to be fair, this guy wrote this bit before anyone knew what the real impact would be). Yet, there is still a thriving community of dedicated PC gamers out there, waiting for a return to its glory days. Maybe this 10-year cycle will help that along. Maybe a few years from now, developers will tire of building for the same hardware. Those that want to push games into the next generation will have no choice but to develop for PC first–that is the only platform that is growing, technologically, into places we’ve never been before.
Maybe we PC gamers will have our day, yet. Until then, we’ll be here, waiting, upgrading, and hoping.