Re: new game: Red Eclipse
Activision, NCSoft, Valve, and EA would like to have words with you on PC based gaming "dying"
the problem is that PC based gaming was turned on it's head. The big publishers didn't realize when their target markets for traditional games shifted gears. Back in 2004 many of the Unreal Tournament Modders had moved to Linux based systems, something Epic recognized. When UT3 rolled around the modding community awaited support from Epic... that never materialized because of Microsoft. UT3 fell flat on it's face.
In the same way, the best selling PC games have typically been those that are cross-platform, such as Humble Indy Bundle and Minecraft.
EA came to terms with the shift in what PC gamers were using by turning to Transgaming for "official" Apple Support and "unofficial" Linux Support. By the same token, some of NCSoft's internal studios turned to Transgaming for "official" Apple support and "unofficial" Linux support.
Valve is coming to terms by porting their own software products to Linux, with versions of Steam, Half Life 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2 up and running on Linux based OS's. Granted those software products have not yet been made available, and Valve is cagey over WHEN they will demo Linux support for Valve and their products, although Valve is likely waiting to have a larger software library on hand.
Now, will developers and publishers turning around and openly supporting Linux do anything to change the state of PC Sales? No.
For starters, the biggest PC sales outlets are digital application stores such as Valve's steam... that are not tracked by NPD or other analyst firms
Then there's the problem that the market publishers and developers were selling into wasn't that large to begin with. The target market for the likes of Half Life, Quake, Unreal Tournament hasn't really changed in the past 10 or 15 years.
That's where consoles come in. Consoles are, for various reasons, seen as something that casual gamers
can get involved with. Halo, for example, will stand as the gold standard of a series that successfully dumbed down the FPS formula to something that was palatable to the mass market.
Then there is the problem of short-tail economics versus long-tail economics. Most game publishers only count on their flagship games to move 80%-90% of all total sales units within the first 3 or 4 months of the game's shelf life. So publishers spend bundles of dollars on promoting games for the launch period, then kill off production. Any further sales are unexpected bonus's. The development of the games are also focused on this short term sales expectation. Developers use the quickest, and sometimes dirtiest, methods to build a game taking shortcuts where-ever possible. The result is a lump of code that is nigh-impossible to port to other platforms, but it won't matter as the code just has to sell on one platform for a short length of time.
Digital Application Stores like Valve Steam throw such publishers for a loop. The publishers genuinely do not understand how 10 year old games, exampling Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, can still drive enough sales to stay in a list of top 10 most sold games on a day to day basis. A software product lasting for that long isn't just unheard of, it's inconcievable.
Digital Application Stores force publishers and developers to reconsider their business practices... something publishers and developers don't want to do. Using Platform Neutral API's, such as OpenGL, OpenCL, and QT to build games would give publishers and developers long-term flexibility for maintaining their product and for porting that product to other platforms as platforms mature, or alternatively, HELP the publishers and developers cause a platform to mature.
So, PC gaming isn't dying. It's changing, yes, but in the process of changing you are going to see several developers and publishers who rely on Microsoft getting badly burnt.