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GDC: Brad Wardell On Viability Of PC Games

Stardock’s Brad Wardell, speaking at the GDC, believes that hardcore PC games are still viable in today’s market.To prove his point, he showed attendees figures regarding the money spent and made on Galactic Civilizations 2, and Sins of a Solar Empire.Shacknews reports that GalCiv2 had a $1.2 million USD budget for the game and both of its expansions, and spent $1 million USD on marketing and distribution – and made $10 million USD in revenue.Sins of Solar Empire, on the other hand, had a $1 million USD budget for the game and its expansion, and $1.4 million USD was spent on marketing and distribution, and has made $8 million USD in revenue thus far.Not a bad return by anyone’s count.Wardell commented that digital distribution has eased sales for them, with half of their revenue coming through their Impulse system, despite selling less copies over digital distribution than through stores. He also warned about the dangers of wishing for a single digital distribution platform.”You want these guys competing, because what will happen is if you don’t have alternatives, is that you do not want to have one distributor to lean on you to give them specials, or special pricing just for them. Because then your options as a game developer go down.”Wardell also pointed out that first-person shooters “are not dominating the PC market. You’d think strategy games are a niche. They’re not. Civilization IV would kick the butt of almost every FPS in terms of actual sales.”This point was perhaps proven recently, when Empire: Total War dominated the all-formats charts on its release in the UK, even beating out the recently-released Killzone 2.Wardell’s comments on the viability of the PC platform and the different games we see on it were matched earlier today by a report from the PC Gaming Alliance, which claimed that the PC is the leading platform for games.



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