John Romero: “PC Decimating Consoles”, Free to Play Has Ended 100 AAA Studios
Doom creator also believes the PC’s evolutionary aspects push it above a console’s capabilities.
Whatever you may think about John Romero, there’s no denying the man’s a legend. Having helped found id Software and created some of the most famous franchises in gaming – namely Doom and Wolfenstein – Romero has his fair share of opinions on the current state of the industry. And right now, he believes PCs are beating out consoles thanks to free to play gaming.
Speaking to Games Industry International, Romero stated that, “With PC you have free-to-play and Steam games for five bucks. The PC is decimating console, just through price. Free-to-play has killed a hundred AAA studios. It’s a different form of monetization than Doom or Wolfenstein or Quake where that’s free-to-play [as shareware]. Your 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 was a really fair way to market a game. When we put these games out on shareware, that changed the whole industry. Before shareware there were no CD-ROMs, there were no demos at all. If you wanted to buy Ultima, Secret of Monkey Island, any of those games, you had to look really hard at that box and decide to spend 50 bucks to get it.”
Romero also believes that the ever-evolving nature of the PC platform offers an advantage over consoles like the Xbox One and PS4. “The problem with console is that it takes a long time for a full cycle. With PCs, it’s a continually evolving platform, and one that supports backward compatibility, and you can use a controller if you want; if I want to play a game that’s [made] in DOS from the ’80s I can, it’s not a problem. You can’t do that on a console. Consoles aren’t good at playing everything. With PCs if you want a faster system you can just plug in some new video cards, put faster memory in it, and you’ll always have the best machine that blows away PS4 or Xbox One.”
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