Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Sad State of PC Gaming

I an a PC gamer. I used to buy all of the new, trendy games. Well, not all of them--there are waay too many--but I would usually buy the popular ones along with some of the lesser-known titled that fit my favorite genre.

I rarely do this anymore, however. I don't think I've purchased more than two or three titles a year, if that. And there is a clear reason: Nobody makes decent games anymore.

Obviously, that's not 100% true. But nearly all of the new releases that come out fall under about three categories: MMORPGs like World of Warcraft; "casual" games (think Angry Birds and hidden-picture games); and First Person Shooters (pretty much everything else).

Now, there are good games in all of these categories, but you can only do so many variations before it gets old. And, sure, a new game might come along and revolutionize the entire genre, but those are becoming far and few between. Regardless of whether a new MMORPG is absolutely fantastic, unless you are in college no one has any time for it anymore.

Now, these things go in cycles--it wasn't five years ago that Real Time Strategy games were the thing, and it was Adventure Games a decade before that. However, it seems like the next phase of game genres is takign an awful long time to come around.

Part of this makes sense: all of the money is in console gaming, not PCs. New gamers who aren't interested in long, involved games have made casual games significantly more lucrative. Social media games are bringing in an entire host of new gamers, but it also pulls resources away from--shall we say--more traditional gamers.

There is always a silver lining, of course. A new independent movement in PC gaming has emerged. I've purchased some of them in the past, and while it's certainly hit-or-miss of varying quality, there's still a lot of really, really good games out there that you're not going to find in GameStop of Walmart. In fact, you really can't buy a physical product anymore--you don't really have to.

Sadly, however, the days of the slickly-produced and amazingly entertaining PC game are slowly going away--at least for those of us who don't like the same game getting released every single year. Hopefully the new trend of smaller games will help.

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