Ubisoft Isn't the Only Culprit
This isn't a Ubisoft hate piece; they aren't the only one hindering PC gaming. What this piece is about is bringing your attention to the fact that PC games have been getting gimped, and it has been happening for quite some time.
Recent examples would be Skyrim, which when modded looks absolutely mind blowing. Why wouldn't Bethesda want to properly unleash Skyrim to PC gamers? Because it would look five times better than the consoles, which is where the money is.
Grand Theft Auto IV was a mess on PC, and pretty much still is, but when modded, it again looks absolutely incredible. There's some hesitance about GTA V on PC, but most--including myself--are hoping that Rockstar Games has learned its lessens from GTA IV on PC. Max Payne 3 was beautiful on the PC, so there's no reason GTA V should be anything less than completely unrestrained on PC. Rockstar has promised that GTA V on PC will be something special, so let's hope it's not just marketing talk.
These 'modders' are just people on the Internet, fans of the game, who have the skills to make these games look better. The problem is in why the developers wouldn't want to make their games look this good in the first place. Why not hire these developers to work on their next-gen games? Oh wait...it would make consoles look bad again, wouldn't it?
Most games released this year, even the big ones like Titanfall, felt like ports to PC. Games not designed on PC, but designed on under-powered, controller-based consoles and then ported over to the far superior hardware and controls found on a PC. Even Titanfall at 4K isn't that impressive, when it really should be.
EA faced massive backlash over the last twelve months over SimCity 4 and Battlefield 4--Battlefield 4 only just now feels like version 1.0, versus the feeling it was released far too early and in beta form. SimCity 4, on the other hand...well, for those of you that know, that was a huge mess for EA.
Even a once PC-exclusive company like Blizzard had serious issues with the release of Diablo III, which was launched with so many issues that it saw two countries take legal action against Blizzard over the game.
It feels like developers are either not caring about the PC install base or, behind the scenes, the companies who own or distribute their games are forcing them to build on console and, for what it seems, barely test it on PC. If they test it on PC, how are these games even released with show stopping issues?
The Mainstream Definition of Gaming is Skewed
Whenever someone who isn't as technically minded as most thinks about "gamers," they imagine this kid sitting on their couch, controller in hand, abusing some person on the other side of a headset.
Games have been returned to retailers by parents because their kids were complaining that the game itself was so hard they couldn't play it. This has--not fully, but it has contributed--to games being made more simple. This isn't the problem of a "mainstream gamer" but rather because games are developed on consoles.
The big firms, which have so many studios under them now, see consoles as gamers, and PC users as this entire other beast. PC users are using their desktop or notebook computers to use Facebook and watch videos on YouTube, right?
Wrong! The PC gaming market is absolutely gigantic and pretty much overshadows the entire console market. We have gaming peripheral makers like Tt eSports, Razer, and more; we have companies making overclocking and enthusiast specific parts like ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE, and many more.
Years ago, there was a reason to have all of this increasingly fast hardware, but when a game like Watch Dogs launches, and those three GeForce GTX Titan Black Edition GPUs aren't providing 60 FPS at 1920x1080 or 2560x1440, what's the use? This is the problem, folks. Whether you agree with my point of view or not, this is an undisputed fact.
You can have the best PC that can be built, and drop $10,000 big ones on a custom-built, perfect PC, but it's only as good as what games you're playing. Watch Dogs and games like Battlefield 4 are the games people would be playing, but 3 or 4 GPUs don't scale that well in today's games, even at 4K. There are so many issues attributed to this, and while I'm not saying it is squarely consoles' fault, they are definitely attributing to this mess.
League of Legends, WoW, World of Tanks, and others are now pulling in tens of millions of gamers, more than nearly the whole install base of previous generation consoles, and more than the 12 or so million next-gen console owners. This is a gigantic market, and the right companies are taking advantage of this.
Casual gaming is another big market, and Facebook games that people are obsessed with like Candy Crush, Farmville, etc. are again, big business, so there's no lack of PC gamers. It's just they don't get the games developed on their systems properly.
There are, however, some companies that do build their AAA titles for PC better than others, but they are only a few of these, and it feels like the flood of console ports overwhelms any other developer's attempts at pushing out a quality PC title.
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