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Paradox: PC still strong, hardcore market not dying

Paradox: PC still strong, hardcore market not dying

The PC games market has grown healthily and fast, claims Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester.

The PC market is hale, hearty and healthy according to Paradox Interactive's CEO, Fredrik Wester, who rubbished some of the claims made by the media and analysts against the PC platform today.

'In 2001 everyone said that the hardcore games market was dying,' Wester said at the Paradox Interactive Convention in New York. 'That same year though, we launched Europa Universalis - a hardcore grand strategy game and new franchise - and sold 250k.'

Wester said that he'd seen many such ideas spread across the industry in the last decade and that few had turned out to be true.

'In 2003 the rumour was that the PC games market was dying and that retailers didn't have any shelf space for us anymore. Our revenue has gone up more than 1000 per cent since then, however.'

'More recently, in 2006, the industry thought that there were too many publishers and that things were too crowded. That was the year we expanded to five new countries!'

Wester said that Paradox had learned not to pay much attention to such ideas and that the Swedish publisher was now expanding into MMOs and free to play games - despite the fact that many said that genre too was overcrowded.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

20 Comments

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GravitySmacked 21st January 2011, 13:33 Quote
He speaks the truth.
kornedbeefy 21st January 2011, 13:39 Quote
Make a "fun" unique game and it will sell. Minecraft is a perfect example.
leveller 21st January 2011, 13:42 Quote
We've been in another golden-age for PC for some time and until the console manufacturers update, it will stay that way. I'm feeling rather rosey about PC gaming right now.
kylesaisgone 21st January 2011, 13:48 Quote
The console market is far more entrenched and centralized than the PC market is, so of course 'experts' and 'analysts' are going to say PC gaming is dying. That's what they're paid to say. However, anyone on the ground can see that PC gaming is flourishing. Indie games are becoming very mainstream, modding communities are huge (Look at the Source modding community, or the RPG modding community), etc. The only people who think PC gaming is dying, are 15 year old console die-hards, college fratboys, and people who have a financial stake in spreading the propaganda. Anyone who is a true gamer and has a genuine love of video games, realizes the truth is exactly the opposite. Mr. Wester is 100% correct, it's usually safe to ignore the naysayers, and proceed boldly to prove them wrong.
nukeman8 21st January 2011, 14:00 Quote
Console's are always dying, they have an average 6 year life span?
Alot of games made for consoles are focused on graphic quality and skip the whole 'lets try something different' part.

1 of the new FPS games had a platform war to see who could unlock a map first i believe? (bad company 2?) and FPS's are prime console territory, PC gamers won by a huge huge margin even if you combine the xbox 360 n ps3 scores together.

So yes the PC platform is dying a horrible slow agonizing death, if dying involves a lot of growing and making money.
kylesaisgone 21st January 2011, 14:09 Quote
Yea nukeman8, it was a race set by DICE to see who could unlock new content in the BFBC2 expansion, Vietnam. PC Gamers had half as many hours played, less gamers all-around, and doubled the combined scores of console gamers on team actions.
knuck 21st January 2011, 15:51 Quote
PC gaming is not dying but some types of hardcore games are. There are on hardcore FPS games anymore just like there are no hardcore flight simulator (although I may have missed on a new one).

The lack of hardcore FPS games is what made me hate on consoles for several years. It was just a natural reaction for me to hate on what had basically (indirectly) killed what I enjoyed the most in gaming. I have always understood how the market works but I just learned to accept it a little while ago. At least very popular (but definitely not hardcore) shooters like CoD and, to a lesser extent, Borderlands, Fallout, BadCompany2 etc, do bring a lot of gamers to the platform that is the PC. This is a very good thing and I can only hope that, in time, those same players will get better and better and will eventually want games that are more difficult and require more skills. The day that happens, we will be back to the skill level of the UT/Quake days, and then I will be a happy camper.


MMOs and RTS games could keep PC gaming alive by themselves, everything else is just gravy.
Jadon 21st January 2011, 15:58 Quote
I will always love pc gaming, but its not bad to go for hardcore games.. it helps you to enhance your gaming experience, what say?
Skiddywinks 21st January 2011, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nukeman8
Console's are always dying, they have an average 6 year life span?
Alot of games made for consoles are focused on graphic quality and skip the whole 'lets try something different' part.

1 of the new FPS games had a platform war to see who could unlock a map first i believe? (bad company 2?) and FPS's are prime console territory, PC gamers won by a huge huge margin even if you combine the xbox 360 n ps3 scores together.

So yes the PC platform is dying a horrible slow agonizing death, if dying involves a lot of growing and making money.

I thought the same, but the contest was for squad actions (pressing the Q key to issue context sensitive orders or information , I.e. snipers indicating enemy locations, attack here etc) and, I should imagine, anything that involves two people (someone tagging a tank with a tracer and then an engineer rocketing it, or someone playing recon, throwing a motion sensor and having a teammate get a kill out of the info. I don't have Vietnam, so I don't know what the equivalents are, as those actions are from BC2.

I'm not sure if it was either or both of these, but basically all it means is that pc players are better team players, rather than being any evidence, one way or another, of pc gaming dying.
sausages 21st January 2011, 16:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by knuck
PC gaming is not dying but some types of hardcore games are. There are on hardcore FPS games anymore just like there are no hardcore flight simulator (although I may have missed on a new one).

The lack of hardcore FPS games is what made me hate on consoles for several years. It was just a natural reaction for me to hate on what had basically (indirectly) killed what I enjoyed the most in gaming. I have always understood how the market works but I just learned to accept it a little while ago. At least very popular (but definitely not hardcore) shooters like CoD and, to a lesser extent, Borderlands, Fallout, BadCompany2 etc, do bring a lot of gamers to the platform that is the PC. This is a very good thing and I can only hope that, in time, those same players will get better and better and will eventually want games that are more difficult and require more skills. The day that happens, we will be back to the skill level of the UT/Quake days, and then I will be a happy camper.


MMOs and RTS games could keep PC gaming alive by themselves, everything else is just gravy.

I agree. The gaming market as a whole is growing all the time. Consoles are growing bigger and faster, but the PC market is still growing. It makes sense, as the world's population grows, the number of gamers grows too. So although more hardcore games may be stifled, there is the potential for them to come back because little niche hardcore audiences will be bigger niches in the future.

There are already some hardcore games out there which proves this. There is Arma2 which is a good example I think. As for flight sims, there is one very good hardcore flight sim called DCS which is a very realistic gunship simulation but will be adding the A10 tank killer fighter/bomber jet in the next month or so (it's currently in late beta). And there are other games dotted about. Not many, sadly.. but they are clinging on. So it's my guess they will cling on while the market continues to grow, and like you said, as the average PC gamer gets a bit better, they will crave tougher games.

The one spanner in the works is that a lot of gamers, as they get older and reach their peak in a way, they get married and get serious jobs and stop being gamers basically. So games tend to be always aimed at the younger audience. Teens, and early 20's, that's why there are so many games like COD and Need for Speed etc, because they are so well suited to young (males). So we have to wait for gaming to as a whole to grow, and for there to be more older gamers, more hardcore gamers, and more gamers who like different stuff.
shanky887614 21st January 2011, 16:24 Quote
the pc morket will never die becasue there is much more cutomisation on the pc than on any console,
name me a console where people can modify the game to add new content or update the graphics or change the audio

the moding comunities are vast, im in one of the papercraft comunites where we make models from game data, just google pepercraft models and you will come accross many people

ninjatoes

papercraft musueum
and many others
knuck 21st January 2011, 18:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sausages

There are already some hardcore games out there which proves this. There is Arma2 which is a good example I think. As for flight sims, there is one very good hardcore flight sim called DCS which is a very realistic gunship simulation but will be adding the A10 tank killer fighter/bomber jet in the next month or so (it's currently in late beta). And there are other games dotted about. Not many, sadly.. but they are clinging on. So it's my guess they will cling on while the market continues to grow, and like you said, as the average PC gamer gets a bit better, they will crave tougher games.

Oh right I forgot about Arma 2. It is not my cup of tea but it definitely fits in the hardcore category. I had never heard of DCS but I guess it's because it's still in the beta phase.
sausages 22nd January 2011, 00:39 Quote
DCS is an indie game and not very well known. It's made by the people from Eagle Dynamics who made "Lock On Modern Air Combat". It's basically like an updated, more modern version of that. It's pretty amazing because they recreated the chopper (and now plane) 100% accurately. Every button in the cockpit works like it would in real life. There is an accelerated startup option for noobs like me too, and you can play the game more like an action game, but it's mostly played by hardcore flight enthusiast types.

Sad though that these kinds of games are on the down low now. I'm not even that much of a hardcore type player, but I don't like most of the mainstream games either. My fondest gaming memories are of stuff like X3 (Terran Conflict), Age of Wonders and Heroes of Might & Magic, and stuff like that. Not huge budget, but not little cheap indie games either. Not super complex and hardcore, but something that takes time to master and has some good depth.
Star*Dagger 22nd January 2011, 01:04 Quote
PC HARDCORE!!

The hard core is the only corps, it is the elite PvPer who plays games for thousands upon thousands of hours who create the backbone of any gaming community.

Yours in Elite online PC Gaming Plasma,
Star*Dagger
jrs77 22nd January 2011, 01:04 Quote
The problem is, that analysts can't realize and compute things, if they're too diversified.

Maybe the big titles of old are not selling this much anymore as they did before, but there's tons of other smaller games being sold these days in addition. And then there's the whole MMORPG-market that isn't taken into account at all, as most MMOs doesn't sell boxes in stores, but offer their clients for free. Still the MMOs make a lot of money by either subscriptions or cash-shops.
Look at a MMO like EvE Online, that has 300k subscribers @ $15/month subscription... That's $4.5 Million a month allready not taken into account by the analysts when they talk about PC-games.
And then there's all those freeware-games being played everyday, like Farmville etc...

So, if the analysts say that PC-gaming is dying, they talk about single titles not selling as well as before or only about boxsales as this is the only way to compare PC- and console-gaming to each other for them apparently.
Analysts don't analyse anything really, but they look only at the numbers they get from retail-stores, just like the music-industry only looks at singles/albums being sold in stores to make the charts.

The game-developers themselves knows best, what money they get from their games, so aslong as they throw out one game after the other there's nothing dying at all actually.
2bdetermine 22nd January 2011, 01:37 Quote
My last console that I owned was Dreamcast and I'm tired of Consoles of holding back PC with their yesteryear graphics.
Lazarus Dark 22nd January 2011, 01:55 Quote
Do you know what is going to kill PC gaming? Smartphones.
Wait, listen to me. I don't mean GAMING on smartphones. I mean replacing pc's with smartphones. Think about it: I have a Moto Droid. I now do half of my web browsing, youtubing, email, banking, etc on it. But if I had a dock where I could plug it in at home and use a large screen and bluetooth keyboard, it would REPLACE my PC for everything except high end gaming.
This is what's coming: 90% of people don't need a pc, when a current or next-gen Android is going to do everything they want.
And the problem for PC gamers is: When PC component sales fall through the floor, imagine how expensive fast processors, motherboards and especially video cards will be come as economy of scale DECLINES. Only the most well-funded could afford gaming pc's... and then who is going to make games for this tiny market? This is when consoles will finally win.

Note: I love PC gaming, and I'm not fond of consoles due to their closed nature. I'm just a realist.
jrs77 22nd January 2011, 02:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Dark
Do you know what is going to kill PC gaming? Smartphones.
Wait, listen to me. I don't mean GAMING on smartphones. I mean replacing pc's with smartphones. Think about it: I have a Moto Droid. I now do half of my web browsing, youtubing, email, banking, etc on it. But if I had a dock where I could plug it in at home and use a large screen and bluetooth keyboard, it would REPLACE my PC for everything except high end gaming.
This is what's coming: 90% of people don't need a pc, when a current or next-gen Android is going to do everything they want.
And the problem for PC gamers is: When PC component sales fall through the floor, imagine how expensive fast processors, motherboards and especially video cards will be come as economy of scale DECLINES. Only the most well-funded could afford gaming pc's... and then who is going to make games for this tiny market? This is when consoles will finally win.

Note: I love PC gaming, and I'm not fond of consoles due to their closed nature. I'm just a realist.

The next gen of consoles (PS4, Xbox720, etc) will quiet possibly have browsers and apps aswell, and people will happily buy such a one-in-all--thingy to put into their living-room.

Nevertheless, PCs will allways be there in high demand, as PCs are used at offices to do work like office-tasks, image-editing, video-editing, etc.
Phifty Cal 23rd January 2011, 14:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Dark
Do you know what is going to kill PC gaming? Smartphones.
Wait, listen to me. I don't mean GAMING on smartphones. I mean replacing pc's with smartphones. Think about it: I have a Moto Droid. I now do half of my web browsing, youtubing, email, banking, etc on it. But if I had a dock where I could plug it in at home and use a large screen and bluetooth keyboard, it would REPLACE my PC for everything except high end gaming.
This is what's coming: 90% of people don't need a pc, when a current or next-gen Android is going to do everything they want.
And the problem for PC gamers is: When PC component sales fall through the floor, imagine how expensive fast processors, motherboards and especially video cards will be come as economy of scale DECLINES. Only the most well-funded could afford gaming pc's... and then who is going to make games for this tiny market? This is when consoles will finally win.

Note: I love PC gaming, and I'm not fond of consoles due to their closed nature. I'm just a realist.

The Motorola Atrix announced at CES does just that. Plugs into a dock and then switches to a more mouse friendly, PC-like OS complete with Firefox and whatnot :D It'll still take a long time before smartphones have the power of today's high-end PCs though.
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