Developers and publishers everywhere are beginning to take note. They are taking notice of the fact that we PC gamers cannot be treated as second class citizens anymore. Recently I’ve written an open letter to the big budget developers and publishers calling an end to shoddy PC ports and for performance parity across similar levels of hardware. And I’m sure many PC gamers out there can stand to wait for a couple of months if it means a better experience.
Case in point: Assassins Creed Unity released simultaneously on all platforms on November 11 2014. So how was the performance on the PC version? Im pretty sure I dont need to remind you what an awful mess that was if youre a PC gamer.
So, what does Ubisoft do? They released the next installment of the Assassins Creed series, Syndicate around a month later on November 19, 2015. This currently holds a 85% positive review on Steam suggesting Ubisoft did a good job with the port. Compare that to an abysmal 49% positive reviews for Unity.
EA is also taking notice after released Need For Speed: Rivals locked at a wince inducing 30 FPS (a racing game nonetheless!) on the PC and consoles simultaneously. While the sequel simply dubbed Need For Speed has already been released on consoles at a locked 30 FPS setting, the PC release version has been pushed back to Spring 2016 to feature a host of advancements including an unlocked frame rate. Now Im reserving judgement till I actually get my hands on the game but kudos to EA for taking the initiative. And kudos too for being the first to offer refunds via Origin (pressuring Steam to follow suit).
But why do we PC gamers have to wait so long? Valued at an estimated $21.5 billion dollars, the PC gaming market is double the console market. So, we PC gamers call for a simultaneous development cycle that takes advantage of each platforms inherent strengths. PC gaming is not small enough to be kept at the sidelines any longer.
So, the games industry is heading in the right direction. Instead of offering sub par performance even while using high end hardware (*cough* Batman Arkham Knight *cough*) theyre taking the time to fix it up and offer a better experience. And Im okay with that. But in the future please release in a timely fashion that provides an experience we are expecting and paying for.