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Why Developers/Publishers go for Consoles Rather than PC

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I was just recently asked this question and gave this brief explanation.


As I currently work for a marketing team in the industry, I can give you

an in-depth reason why publishers/developers go for the console route.


However, as I am limited in time, ill give you the short version.


The most obvious reason why developers/publishers go for consoles is

profit. Last year alone, 85-90% of all video game related profits came from

consoles/handheld. While the PC profit (including digital

downloads came around 5-8% with the remaining coming from smart phones.


By just looking at these numbers, any individual can clearly see where the profits is being made.


Second reason why developers/publishers lean toward the consoles is Piracy.


Piracy has become a massive problem for the PC market and is one of

the main reasons it is not doing well anymore. While it is true that

console games can be pirated, the PC is by far the easiest platform to

do this. It is also very difficult to catch people illegally downloading



Third, and this by far is the most important in my field is: INVESTORS.


This is a little complicated to explain with my current time, but

without their money most developers cant make a half a million title.


(just to clarify, this is a brief description of one of the many

reasons why developers/publishers go for the console route rather than




On a Personal Note: No I Do Not Believe PC Gaming Is Dying. I believe PC gaming is getting more specialized in specific genres.


Examples: MMORPG, RTS, WRPG, and etc

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An interesting perspective thank you. I think many of us already understood the market pressures, pretty much the same ones that always plagued the PC games market when it was the foremost platform, and led to game releases that were 'incomplete', buggy, and poorly tested.


It remains a great shame that the platform with the greatest potential for the most impressive games is now constantly cursed with the stunted children of the console genre. But the simple facts are that the accountants rule the world and you can't argue with the bean counting.


From my personal point of view I count myself lucky that the game genres I most enjoy are those gaining most prominence for the PC as you point out, I really don't have the reflexes to shine in an FPS anymore ;) and I could never get the hang of those controllers anyway :P

As has been shown vividly in Skyrim through the modding community the shortcomings of a 'consoled' game can still be overcome by the dedication of the end users. However the industry should beware that there are diminishing returns to inflicting this sort of strategem on paying customers... none of that "half a million" is getting into the pockets of the Mod makers, and we are more than aware of the shortcomings of the 'vanilla' games they are releasing. They may well have duped the console crowd into putting up with high priced 'throw-away' games but this is not the general calibre of the PC game population.


In the MMORPG market I am aware of a huge number of 'mature' gamers who are basically sitting on the side-lines, full of ennui at the laclustre offerings of recent years and the move within the industry to pamper the audience demanding 'immediate gratification'. Many MMOs have been corrupted, and those of real promise left to flounder, and yet still money is being made. How much more could be made by a product of greater scope and integrity is a moot point, but my years in that community suggest to me that the answer is a substantial amount, and I suspect the same is true of the solo RPG as well.


Short sightedness in business reaps its own rewards. Let us hope that we consumers of the PC gaming world are not the ones to suffer the consequences. I guess the warning is - lower your expectations and business will be happy to lower their standards (but never their prices, lol)

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Agreed, BW.


I am just waiting for the effects of the waning petroleum market to force a new world order and crush these global mega-corporations into hundreds of thousands of small businesses.


Big BIG changes coming in the next 20 years. Put on your seat belts, as only our great-great-(great) grandparents will have had any inkling of a life without oil.


Perhaps RL will eventually become more like Skyrim then (or Fallout3!) ... on a more positive note, I imagine THOSE 'games' will have fantastic graphics if you are under 60!

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LOL. I've a nasty suspicion that we're careening in the Fallout 3 direction, and not the bucolic idyll of Skyrim!


With regard to PC gaming, the evidence would suggest that the future's bright, and it's the consoles that ought to be looking over their shoulders. The quoted figures do not tally with my understanding of what's going on in the industry.


EA CEO: Consoles today are 40 percent of the game industry


Forecast for PC Gaming Looks Rosy

PC games market grows to $18 Billion

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It may be that in the future that there will be little differentiation between consoles and pc's. It could be that what we define as a pc will also be radically different than it is today. I would hope so, some new paradigms would be nice. This is a more long term view though and depends on massive changes to IC design, which will probably need to overcome a lot of inertia from established processes and industry knowledge. So who knows what the pc vs. console debate will be in a few decades, maybe we will just have simple interface devices and use some souped up version of OnLive for everything, not just games.


I dont know much about the tech involved, wrong research area, but I hope this argument becomes redundant soon.


@ z92 and MontyMM, why so serious? The future is bright! Well, probably not totally, but I think humanity will muddle through, like we have so far. I dont think it will be Utopia, or as bad as F3. Somewhere in the middle.

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I think you're right, and in the longer term the definition of a PC will be looser. My only criterion is that it is a "Personal Computer", and not "A computer that you ostensibly own, but are permitted to use only under the conditions set by Corporation X"


With regard to the future of the planet(!), I'm not pessimistic about the survival of the species, as such. But the evolution of species, and civilisations, tends to be rather bloody and chaotic. I think those of us that have known life in the post-war developed nations have become accustomed to a very privileged period of stability and plenty, and we may imagine that , by and large, that is how things will continue. Looking the trends of population, energy supply, resources and climate change, I fear there will be some of what economists so innocuously describe as "corrections", and I don't think it's going to be too comfy.

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Agree with Monty on all points. Life is cyclic, and our lives have existed on a peak of monumental proportions that rapidly spiked during the 19-21st centuries in concordance with the harvesting of oil as our fundamental resource. Oil has already seen its peak discovery/production, and the 'human peak' will lag shortly behind it.


It is a simple inevitability, and life will definitely go on and flourish as a result as long as we avoid a nuclear holocaust (i.e., Fallout 3 scenario). Even then, life will eventually flourish again :yes:


As a steward of the Earth, this seems a positive outlook indeed in the long game :D

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