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Epic Shifting Focus Back to PC as Primary Platform

By - Source: Eurogamer | B 70 comments

Big-budget, blockbuster console games just don't bring home the bacon anymore. Thus, Epic is returning to its former love, the PC platform.

Tuesday during a presentation at Gamescom in Germany, Epic Games president Mike Capps made a statement that should see PC gamers and hardware manufacturers dancing with glee in the streets: the company is refocusing its attention back to the PC. The news is a bit surprising given that, just a few months ago, it was suggested that the console sector is where the real money resides.

But that industry viewpoint has rapidly changed over the course of the spring and summer quarters, and Capps brings this up during the presentation. "Everyone knows the middle class is disappearing from the console business," he admitted to the audience. "Gears of War I hope will do really well, but a pretty good game doesn't make its money back any more. A game like Homefront sells a couple of million copies and they close the studio, right?"

That's just not enough anymore, he admits, and it's pretty depressing. "You don't want to see what happens to an industry where it's Call of Duty, Halo and Gears and no-one else has enough money to make any games any more," he added. "That's not a fun industry. I can't bet my entire company every time I make a game. That's a really dangerous business."

With the console era seemingly coming to a close, where does that leave Epic? Returning to its PC-based roots. "It's nice to target the PC as a primary platform again," teased Capps, "not just for ports."

This time around, the studio may not be focusing on games with a multi-million dollar budget. There's indication that Epic may be setting its sights on smaller titles that would appear on Steam, the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. He said that developers and publishers need to create smaller-sized games to counter-balance the larger, costlier blockbuster titles. Was that a hint to the size of Epic's current projects?

Right now the Raleigh, N.C.-based studio is working on five, unnamed titles not related to the Gears of War series. "At Epic, we didn't multiply the studio size by five when we started working on these multiple projects," answered Capps when asked if the projects would be just as large as what went into the Gears of War titles. "So you can make some assumptions about the size of those projects."

Perhaps Epic should work on an Unreal Tournament title built for Facebook and Google+. Like many other multiplayer FPS games on the former social network, gamers can frag for free with options to purchase upgrades immediately or slowly collect virtual currency for purchasing needed upgrades.

Actually Epic, just crank out Unreal 3 for us. It's long overdue.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    hotsacoman , August 16, 2011 7:04 PM
    I wonder if the only reason they're making the switch is because the next-gen consoles haven't been released yet.
  • 18 Hide
    Yuka , August 16, 2011 7:07 PM
    "Until the next gen consoles come out". That's the fine print, right?

    Come on, we're not suckers so don't try to make statements like those. If consoles don't die, they'll keep on making games primarily for them. It's just business, but don't try to make sucker-like statements like those: "oh, we love PC so we're back to them".

    Just make quality games no matter the platform and you'll make money. Period.

    Cheers!
  • 17 Hide
    BluntObjection , August 16, 2011 7:13 PM
    Meanwhile Indie game companies are making great games on the college budget of Ramen noodles & Coke(Pepsi if your gay) and making tons of money.
    Why do big game companies think they can scape by with no innovation?
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    hotsacoman , August 16, 2011 7:04 PM
    I wonder if the only reason they're making the switch is because the next-gen consoles haven't been released yet.
  • 15 Hide
    thrasher32 , August 16, 2011 7:06 PM
    *cue death-star music*
  • 18 Hide
    Yuka , August 16, 2011 7:07 PM
    "Until the next gen consoles come out". That's the fine print, right?

    Come on, we're not suckers so don't try to make statements like those. If consoles don't die, they'll keep on making games primarily for them. It's just business, but don't try to make sucker-like statements like those: "oh, we love PC so we're back to them".

    Just make quality games no matter the platform and you'll make money. Period.

    Cheers!
  • -7 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 16, 2011 7:07 PM
    Quote:
    Perhaps Epic should work on an Unreal Tournament title built for Facebook and Google+.


    Like hell they should!
  • 1 Hide
    plasmastorm , August 16, 2011 7:08 PM
    Joy, more of

    Run, duck, shoot from behind a wall, jump over and repeat.........
  • 5 Hide
    krinkles619 , August 16, 2011 7:11 PM
    hotsacomanI wonder if the only reason they're making the switch is because the next-gen consoles haven't been released yet.


    lies. it's just because PC's will always win, because their tech is the latest while consoles are going to be years behind. well that's what i think, at least. plus, everyone has a computer, but not everyone has an xbox or ps3. if you can make small games that everyone can access instead of large games that only a few people can access, then you can drive home the profits
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , August 16, 2011 7:12 PM
    The Rise of the PC... Again.
  • 17 Hide
    BluntObjection , August 16, 2011 7:13 PM
    Meanwhile Indie game companies are making great games on the college budget of Ramen noodles & Coke(Pepsi if your gay) and making tons of money.
    Why do big game companies think they can scape by with no innovation?
  • 8 Hide
    pocketdrummer , August 16, 2011 7:13 PM
    Oh, so the company that laughed at PC gamers for being pissed off at all the ports is now crawling back to the PC platform. How sad.

    Maybe companies are losing money because gamers are getting tired of them trying to rip us off. Micro-transactions are the latest abomination to gaming, and even Valve has taken to it like a crack fiend. $60 for Portal 2 and they want us to pay $1 per animation for co-op! REALLY!?

    As usual, I blame gamers for this. It's the idiots that keep buying into this crap that has destoyed gaming as we knew it. We haven't hit rock bottom yet, but we're getting there. More studios will close, and more gamers will turn to pirating until the industry essentially disintegrates from the inside. I guess the bright side is that we may have a chance to start over when that happens.
  • 2 Hide
    ProDigit10 , August 16, 2011 7:14 PM
    Ofcourse,
    No other console can bring out the fullness of 3D gaming than the PC (and quite often even the PC has trouble keeping up!)
  • 3 Hide
    verbalizer , August 16, 2011 7:19 PM
    Quote:
    *cue death-star music*

  • 3 Hide
    bustapr , August 16, 2011 7:21 PM
    of course, they have to now because they dont want to work on UE3 forever. I bet theyd betray us again when the next stronger consoles appear, and support good with UE4.
  • 2 Hide
    stm1185 , August 16, 2011 7:31 PM
    So how much is google paying them to keep mentioning Google+?
  • 8 Hide
    Anomalyx , August 16, 2011 7:32 PM
    Forgive my potentially erroneous memory, but is this the same company who said that they were going to focus primarily on console games, because they thought the PC was no longer a viable gaming platform?
  • 2 Hide
    rantoc , August 16, 2011 7:33 PM
    Its a good call, the next gen consoles will get closer to todays game rigs and the next xbox will be Dx11 capable and where is that available today, thats right - Win Pc!. I hope the shooter grene gets back to life, CoD and co... /puke
  • 7 Hide
    jackbling , August 16, 2011 7:33 PM
    I feel like gaming companies spend too much time focusing on projections in lieu or real world numbers, and make rash decisions and baseless statements.

    People say consoles far outsell pc titles, but how much money goes into licensing and physical media(as well as other extraneous cost associated with console development).

    It stands to reason that if you develop for pc, cut the drm, sell the game through digital distribution, you can lower cost to the end user and increase profit margin at the same time.

    Another thing to consider is that services such as onlive, in 5 years time could fully replace consoles, as infrastructure improves.

    Most arguments for console gaming are born of ignorance, and could be remedied with little more than a pamphlet.
  • 5 Hide
    Anomalyx , August 16, 2011 7:34 PM
    On an unrelated note, perhaps if the focus was on making decent games instead of trying to measure games by their budget, we'd start to actually see decent games come out of these big publishers.
  • 3 Hide
    Darkerson , August 16, 2011 7:37 PM
    TIL in Toms Hardware comment section that if you drink Pepsi, apparently youre gay.
  • 2 Hide
    bak0n , August 16, 2011 7:38 PM
    I won't buy another ps3 game. I've got 8 pc's and have lan games. Why the hell would I want to game on 1 screen. with 8 friends?
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