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Chris Taylor follows Bleszinski's lead

450R

Senior member
Feb 22, 2005
319
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IGN Article

Some excerpts...

When you look at the sales of really hardcore games like Crysis and you think, "Wow, those games should have sold a lot more," you realize that's probably due in large part to piracy. And you realize that a game like Crysis would have done its true numbers if it had launched on console first.
The economics are ugly right now on the PC. You're not going to see these gigantic, epic investments of dollars on the PC when it just doesn't work.
First-person shooters are obviously doing extraordinarily well on the console and they're not doing very well on the PC. I'm offering now a parallel to that for RTS games.
The more I read from Chris Taylor, the more I think the PC scene is better off without him. I remember his guest spot article in PC Gamer where he said games are too difficult and don't reward the player enough ... ironic because I see the exact opposite: modern games lack the depth and longevity of their predecessors.

At least Bleszinski was honest. Taylor is just using excuses.

 

MmmSkyscraper

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2004
9,475
0
76
Crysis didn't sell well because they told everyone it wouldn't work on their machines, along with the shoddy beta and the demo confirming that. Then there's the fact that it was published by EA, with piracy bringing up the rear. I'm sure COD4 is doing gangbusters on the PC sales-wise so he is talking bollocks.

You're right about modern games lacking depth and longevity save for a few examples like Oblivion. They fall back on multiplayer and the single-player is almost like a chore they're trying to get out of.

The only thing he's right about is not wanting to invest millions for one platform alone. Multi-platform is where the money lives, viz Rage and Unreal 3.
 

skace

Lifer
Jan 23, 2001
14,488
7
81
Let me put it this way..... knowing what I know... I would never NOT blame piracy (or warez, more accurately).
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
21,884
974
126
Crysis didn't sell well? Last time I checked 1 million copies is classed as "well", especially since it's a PC exclusive with steep system requirements.
 

coloumb

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,096
0
81
Make a good game..and it'll sell well. That's all.

Piracy really isn't as rampant as they want to believe. It's just easier to develop for a console than a PC.

Piracy does exist on all consoles - it's not as easy as the PC, but anyone with a few $$$ and google search can easily obtain the necessary hardware to mod their console to play downloadable [pirated] versions of the game.
 

Bateluer

Lifer
Jun 23, 2001
27,730
7
0
Somehow, I don't see SupCom selling too well on the console because, among other things, the clunky control scheme. While I enjoy SupCom on the PC, its definitely a system hog and that is something that holds players back. Taking advantage of the PC's more powerful hardware does not mean you can be lazy with your programming and fill it with bloated code that looks pretty but runs slowly.
 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
21,939
6
81
Originally posted by: coloumb
Make a good game..and it'll sell well. That's all.

Piracy really isn't as rampant as they want to believe. It's just easier to develop for a console than a PC.

Piracy does exist on all consoles - it's not as easy as the PC, but anyone with a few $$$ and google search can easily obtain the necessary hardware to mod their console to play downloadable [pirated] versions of the game.
We have a PS2 in the house, which I don't use (can't really stand consoles), but my housemates play regularly, but only pirated games.
I generally stick to the PC, and most of what I play I bought legally.
It's probably harder with newer consoles like the 360/PS3 (especially given the whole Bluray thing), but piracy on consoles is hardly unheard of.
 

legoman666

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2003
3,629
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Originally posted by: MmmSkyscraper
Crysis didn't sell well because they told everyone it wouldn't work on their machines, along with the shoddy beta and the demo confirming that. Then there's the fact that it was published by EA, with piracy bringing up the rear. I'm sure COD4 is doing gangbusters on the PC sales-wise so he is talking bollocks.
yea, and it was a boring rehash of far cry.
 

ja1484

Platinum Member
Dec 31, 2007
2,438
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And as more and more developers are asked this question, you'll see more and more of these types of answers.

It's the financial reality of the situation. I don't think piracy is the cause, but that's neither here nor there.
 

Pugnate

Senior member
Jun 25, 2006
690
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http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/853/853261p2.html

Well one of the key things that is really affecting the economics and the success of gaming in general is piracy on the PC. So one of the reasons we'll see RTSs on the console is because people can't pirate it. That's why we're going to see a lot more of everything on the console. When you look at the sales of really hardcore games like Crysis and you think, "Wow, those games should have sold a lot more," you realize that's probably due in large part to piracy. And you realize that a game like Crysis would have done its true numbers if it had launched on console first.
Crysis was the best shooter since Half-life 2, that probably lost a lot of sales to piracy, but that doesn?t mean it didn?t sell well. In Europe the game is still in the top 3.

But piracy isn?t the only issue with the game. How many people were able to run Crysis at the visuals that were showed off at the preceding E3? I personally feel Crysis?s release date should have been pushed by a year, till the hardware caught up.

IGN: There are a lot of people that want to just plug a keyboard and mouse into their consoles. What side of the fence do you fall in on that idea?

Chris Taylor: Once upon a time, maybe ten years ago, I might have said keyboard and mouse, too. That doesn't even come up in the darkest corners of my mind anymore. I could see a little touch screen like an iPhone on the middle of your joypad, but definitely not a keyboard and mouse. It's all about the beauty of having the traditional console type experience with a slight augmentation of an advanced control. It's gotta be robust. It's gotta be able to be kicked around on the floor. You can't have a tricky, complex gadget in the living room. It's gotta be able to take abuse. It's gotta be cheap, otherwise it won't catch on. We don't want to bring all of the baggage of the PC to the console.
That doesn?t sound like Chris the developer talking, rather Chris the businessman.

Well, yeah, because if there's success on the console, people are going to stop making them on the PC because of my earlier point, what's happened on the PC with piracy The economics are ugly right now on the PC. You're not going to see these gigantic, epic investments of dollars on the PC when it just doesn't work. The economics have to work. You're going to see those investments made on the console side and it's going to become a more console-centric investment. And then you're going to see them ported back over to the PC and that creates a different experience on the PC.
That sounds unfortunate, but is a realistic possibility. In fact it has already happened with many games. Right now, us PC gamers are lucky to even be getting ports.

But I have to say, Taylor wouldn?t be throwing a fit if his game had sold well. Honestly, when was the last time he really made a truly great game? Total Annihilation was his best, but since then he seems like the sort of developer who is better at developing engines than actual games. Take into account games like Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander, which were good, but are relics in terms of narrative.

And the reason I am not surprised is that this guy has been looking at the bottom line for a long while. In a column for PC GAMER, he wrote about wanting to simplify games so that they appeal to the non-gamers. It seemed like he wanted to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I think he is more interested in being part of the next "Wii" than something that appeals to the more demanding gamers.

While SupCom had good RTS mechanics, it wasn?t a complete game by today?s standards. Its storyline, production values, and even unit interaction felt like cheap after thoughts. You can?t just make a 3D engine, polish the game mechanics, and then think the job is done expecting to sell a gazillion copies. Outside of a genre?s niche, buyers expect production values, a well woven storyline, and transition content. SupCom didn?t do that effectively. The days of selling skeletons of gameplay are over, unless you are happy with sales figures that compete with indie titles like Galactic Civilization or Sins of a Solar Empire.

Yes piracy is a problem, but there is a reason why StarCraft II is going to sell 15 million copies while Supreme Commander struggles to sell even a million.

I very much doubt that SupCom would have sold better had it debuted on the 360 first, like Taylor implies. It seems as if Taylor isn?t looking at his game objectively. Company of Heroes has set high standards on what a game needs to do, to compete. Indie titles like Galactic Civ, and Sins of a Solar Empire do see success, but they are happier with a million units sold. If Taylor wants his games to sell like StarCraft, then he?s got to make them complete experiences like StarCraft.

Also, there are reasons aside from piracy why Unreal Tournament III tanked in sales. The singleplayer was an absolute joke! It was basically offline multiplayer missions, with stupid cut scenes in between put together as an afterthought, and it was a totally stupid attempt at applying gameplay logic to the story. They would have been better off putting together a proper campaign ala Gears of War, and boasting the more traditional multiplayer on the side. And while the multiplayer was fun, it still felt like UT2004 in a new coat.

Again, this isn?t the year 2000; rehashes and simplistic attempts do not sell anymore.

You know what I am going to do? I am going to make a flash based game which lasts five minutes, and involves gamers hitting Chris Taylor and Cliffy B with a stick. Then I?ll charge consumers $50 for it, and blame piracy if it doesn?t sell well. Then, I?ll release the same game next year with slightly better animation and a new game mode that allows users to wield two sticks, except I?ll continue to charge $50 and again blame piracy when it doesn?t sell.

Look, piracy is obviously a big issue. But it isn?t the only issue. This is like the Al-Qaeda syndrome, where everything is blamed on the popular target. It isn?t that the popular target isn?t at fault, but it is too automatic a reaction.

Here is one final tidbit, regarding USA RTS sales:

http://www.thesimexchange.com/...ng=command+and+conquer

Not counting online sales, command & Conquer 3 sold 1.17 million on the PC, while the 360 version is expected to cap at 470,00. That says something.
 

Anubis

No Lifer
Aug 31, 2001
78,716
414
126
crysis would have sold better if you didnt have to have a 2000$ computer to play it at a decent graphicial setting
 

Pugnate

Senior member
Jun 25, 2006
690
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0
You can easily run the game on high settings with a $800 system powered by an 8800GT.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
While I do like most of Taylor's game and will say to the end that TA trashed SC, Pugnate is pretty on spot with how I would reply.

The console market is still dominated by a large block of uninformed "mommy mommy I want this one" buyers along with those that don't think it's "cool" to sit at a pc (yet sitting for hours playing the latest madden or dumbed down fps is ok on a console). And there is also the crowd not intellectually up to maintaining their own pc and see the 3000 price given for prebuilt top end systems and just walk away.

The world is filled with an increasing number of uninformed consumers and in that arena it's easy for consoles to claim victory.
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
9,426
16
81
Originally posted by: coloumb
Make a good game..and it'll sell well. That's all.
That's not a refutation.

"Well" is relative, but that doesn't mean pirates don't depress the overall numbers quite a bit.
 

MikeyLSU

Platinum Member
Dec 21, 2005
2,747
0
71
demos mean a lot sometimes. Supreme Commander is a perfect example...I was going to get that game but when I got the demo, I couldn't get over 10 FPS no matter what I did. I play all of the orange box at all high settings...I play Crysis at medium, UT3 at high...but for some reason this Supreme Commander demo wasn't even playable on my system so i didn't buy it.

For that same reason I couldn't recommend any of my friends to buy it either since it seemed like a crapshoot whether or not you could play it.

BTW I have a E4300 and a X1950 pro.
 

Canai

Diamond Member
Oct 4, 2006
8,016
1
0
Originally posted by: s44
Originally posted by: coloumb
Make a good game..and it'll sell well. That's all.
That's not a refutation.

"Well" is relative, but that doesn't mean pirates don't depress the overall numbers quite a bit.
I pirated Crysis a month or so before release. I bought a copy a couple weeks after. Pirating is not a major factor in the equation.
 

chizow

Diamond Member
Jun 26, 2001
9,537
2
0
Just another disenchanted game designer that churns out an underperforming turd and then wants to throw in the towel on PC gaming. I thought SC sucked (FA was much better but still meh) compared to its direct RTS competition (CoH and WiC) so I'm not sure what he's surprised about. But I can see where he's coming from and I don't think its good that the industry is seeing another game designer down on PC gaming.

I'm not sure what the problem is causing this exodus of game designers although some of the other points are certainly valid, like piracy. I think a lot of it also has to do with development times and marketing. There's just not as much buzz and readily available info on games in development for the PC compared to consoles. Consoles have their highly anticipated titles that everyone knows about, but for the PC it seems like the market is so segmented and splintered with different interests with projected dates so far into the future no one cares to keep track. Or the titles are teetering on the verge of cancellation so you're not even sure it'll be released. Or maybe PC gamers are just more picky and only buy a few select titles compared to a console gamer who might feel obligated to purchase lots of titles for their console.

Hopefully the Gamers Alliance will help promote PC gaming buzz and maybe even something like Windows Live can give PC gaming a more perpetual and user-friendly experience. I still feel XBox Live is one of the main factors contributing to the Xbox's success and part of the reason FPS on consoles are seeing so much success despite the lack of "essential KB/mouse."

I'm a bit worried overall though as PC Gaming doesn't feel as diverse and fresh as it used to as you can basically throw everything into 4 genres nowadays: FPS, RTS, MMO, RPG. When you have older designers wag the dog and flop with a "spiritual successor" or sequel in one of the above "safe genres", they throw their hands up and say they're giving up on PC gaming. Not a good thing. As a PC Gamer you shouldn't feel obligated to buy a title if its crap (you should pay for it if you play it though) just to support the industry, but at the same time its pretty clear poor sales are forcing these designers to lean toward consoles going forward.
 

EvilComputer92

Golden Member
Aug 25, 2004
1,316
0
0
Originally posted by: 450R
IGN Article

Some excerpts...

When you look at the sales of really hardcore games like Crysis and you think, "Wow, those games should have sold a lot more," you realize that's probably due in large part to piracy. And you realize that a game like Crysis would have done its true numbers if it had launched on console first.
The economics are ugly right now on the PC. You're not going to see these gigantic, epic investments of dollars on the PC when it just doesn't work.
First-person shooters are obviously doing extraordinarily well on the console and they're not doing very well on the PC. I'm offering now a parallel to that for RTS games.
The more I read from Chris Taylor, the more I think the PC scene is better off without him. I remember his guest spot article in PC Gamer where he said games are too difficult and don't reward the player enough ... ironic because I see the exact opposite: modern games lack the depth and longevity of their predecessors.

At least Bleszinski was honest. Taylor is just using excuses.
He's just pissed because Supreme Commander is the shittiest RTS ever made.
It ran like total unoptimized crap. Looked worse than a 2002 3D RTS game. Played like complete junk in every way. What a sorry excuse for a so called sequel to one of the best games ever made. It's hard to think that a developer who designed Total Annihilation could put out such a terrible game.

I like how developers always cry that PC is a dying platform when it's obvious that their games were either total crap or just a plain badly done console port.


Not to mention the fact that playing an RTS on a console with a controller is like solving a rubik's cube with your elbows.

Originally posted by: Pugnate
Not counting online sales, command & Conquer 3 sold 1.17 million on the PC, while the 360 version is expected to cap at 470,00. That says something.
That's because CNC3 was a really good RTS, even though many people are quick to write it off because it was made by EA. Very well polished and it was very fun to play.

 

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
2,326
22
81
I would hate to see Chris leave the PC gaming industry. I have really liked his games. TA was the first 3D RTS and it had a very large unit cap and lots of different units to build. DS was the first action RPR that I know of that didn't have any load screens. And SupCom is unlike any other RTS I have played and has the best zoom control ever. It is just so simple to move around the large maps. Zoom out, move mouse, zoom in. No more clicking and dragging around on a mini map. I didn't know SupCom didn't sale well though. How many copies did it sale? I do think it was a little hard on the hardware though much like Crysis and that maybe the reason it didn't sale well. Although I don't have any problems playing it on my PC and it is not top of the line.
 

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
2,326
22
81
Originally posted by: EvilComputer92

He's just pissed because Supreme Commander is the shittiest RTS ever made.
It ran like total unoptimized crap. Looked worse than a 2002 3D RTS game. Played like complete junk in every way. What a sorry excuse for a so called sequel to one of the best games ever made. It's hard to think that a developer who designed Total Annihilation could put out such a terrible game.
It ran fine for me on my Opteron 144 and and 6800nu and runs even better now on my current PC. I could use some more ram though. I don't have any problems with how it plays and consider it to better than TA. The looks, which I think are fine, and computer hardware requirements are simply because no other RTS has the amount of units and size of maps as SupCom. You cannot have it all.

Originally posted by: Pugnate
Not counting online sales, command & Conquer 3 sold 1.17 million on the PC, while the 360 version is expected to cap at 470,00. That says something.
That's because CNC3 was a really good RTS, even though many people are quick to write it off because it was made by EA. Very well polished and it was very fun to play.
I have never played CNC3, but my brother plays CNC3 and Supcom and doesn't think one is better than the other they are just different types of RTS games. I would have thought CNC3 would have sold more than 1.17 million copies though. That is not good considering it is coming from EA the mega publisher with lots of advertising money and it is CNC so everyone has heard of it. Most people have never heard of or played TA plus Supcom cannot use the name TA.

 

Ultralight

Senior member
Jul 11, 2004
990
1
76
Here is my issue: People like Taylor are given a platform to express their views to a whole slew of people without rebuttle, without challenge, and so the perception grows that PC gaming is going into the tank.

We can sit here on this and other gaming forums and make valid, poingent arguments but where is the voice or voices that challenege the likes of Taylor on the same platform, with equal time and just as large of an audience? perhaps their are options; I just am not aware of any.

Yes, I believe priracy is a legitimate part of the equation. If you made a 1,000,000 copies of anything in hopes to sell and somone rips off say 10% that is 100,000 copies out of your pocket.

But as has been mentioned coding is a big issue. Neverwinter Nights 2 is a blaring example of a game that should never have caused such system issues as it did. Plot and scripting are right there. Perhaps the new gaming alliance can address this issue, but we'll have to wait and see.
 

TehMac

Diamond Member
Aug 18, 2006
9,979
3
71
Originally posted by: 450RAt least Bleszinski was honest. Taylor is just using excuses.
Both are using excuses to develop dumbed down games to a bunch of communists.
 

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