Monday, May 10, 2010

Anyone else found these delays for PC games a bit... suspicious?

Has anyone else noticed that PC versions of multiplatform games now always seem to have release delays compared to their console versions? We had the delay for Batman Arkham Asylum, which was chocked up to the addition of PhysX effects. That seemed a little bit plausible. Kinda. You could sorta see it as a reason. Fair enough, right? Red Faction Guerrilla also had a substantial delay for the PC version. Street Fighter 4 and Resident Evil 5 obviously had lengthy spans of time between their console and PC releases. Though I suppose in their case, it's more the Japanese developers not giving a hoot about the PC market then actually trying to delay the games in an effort to combat piracy. Two of the biggest hits in recent years, Assassin's Creed and GTA 4 were both released on PC long after their console versions. Borderlands PC is going to be delayed 3 days, ostensibly because they're "optimizing the PC version which takes a few days longer than expected." Which is frankly absurd. Optimizing code takes a bit longer then 3 days, most reasonable people can agree.

Now we've gotten word that COD Modern Warfare 2 is going to have a 2 week delay for the PC version. Mind you, I don't really care, Call of Duty 4 was a pretty big disappointment and I have no plans to get the sequel. I mean... it looks like more linear scripted sequences every ten feet, more infinite respawning enemies, now with unrealistic dual wielding? C'mon, that's a no brainer. But uh, it's just another in a growing trend of delays for PC games compared to consoles. Obviously, I think it's getting pretty clear that this is just the industry as a whole trying to combat piracy and has nothing to do with polishing/optimizing the game, adding weird PhysX effects, yadda yadda yadda. It's just adding a delay to give more incentive to buy the game on consoles. And even if you take out the piracy component, there's just a benefit to selling someone a 60 dollar game as opposed to selling them a 50 dollar game.

I can't help feeling that this grand strategy is going to backfire. These uniform delays are going to just make people bitter and actually convince them that the game companies are turning against them on the PC. One might even say it could serve as an impetus for higher rates of piracy, just to spite them. Seems like an alright idea, if you think about it. They're screwing us by delaying the release on the PC, we'll screw them over by pirating the game. It's a vicious cycle, one might say.

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