John Romero, a lead designer of classic games Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, and the main man behind Daikatana, has put his faith behind the PC as the platform of the future.
According to John, the fact that there are so many free-to-play games on the PC, along with the fact that there are so many $5 games at Steam, takes away any fear the PC would have of game consoles. He goes on to claim that “The PC is decimating console, just through price. Free-to-play has killed a hundred AAA studios.” While I’m not entirely sure how true that statement is, there’s no denying that F2P titles have made a major impact on PC gaming. In fact, three of my favorite MMOs have gone the free-to-play route, and seem to be enjoying great success.
John Romero is a smart, smart man
Because not all free-to-play games implement the same sort of mechanics, it’s John’s hope that gamers will do the right thing and support those that do things right. Effectively, treat customers like developers did back in the shareware days. “Our entire first episode was free – give us no money, play the whole thing. If you like it and want to play more, then you finally pay us. To me that felt like the ultimate fair [model]. I’m not nickel-and-diming you. I didn’t cripple the game in any design way.”
That quote comes at an interesting time, as late last week, I posted this to Techgage’s Facebook: “After yesterday’s GOG.com/Linux announcement, a friend and I reminisced about the old days of gaming. You used to be able to go to the store, hand over a buck or two, and walk out with a diskette containing the entire first episode (out of three or four) of a game. That was some great value, and a stark contrast to today, where you can pay full price for a game and not even feel like you got the entire thing, thanks to DLC and in-app purchases. Bah.”
Here’s something rather striking amongst all of John’s comments: He’s not too sure about VR. “VR is going away from the way games are being developed and pushed as they go back into multiplayer and social stuff. VR is kind of a step back, it’s a fad.” That thought process might get a lot of disagreement, but I’ve been curious about the same.
Regardless of all that, it’s just good to see an industry vet still sticking behind the PC as an ultimate gaming platform.