Newell: PCs ‘Center of Innovation’ because of MMOs, Social Gaming
Half-Life creator and Valve Software founder says when it comes to innovation in the gaming industry, the epicenter is still the PC market.
We see [the PC] as the centre of innovation of everything that’s going on, whether it’s microtransactions, MMOs, free-to-play, or something like CityVille which – after its first month – has 84 million people playing. To us, this is just an indication of why open platforms are where innovations are going to occur.
Kind of nice to know that Newell and Valve are still serious about the PC, especially since we’ve seen the company moving toward consoles a little more lately, as evidenced by the new boxes it just put out for Portal 2. He has a point, though. The biggest communities in gaming are casual games made by companies like Zynga — FarmVille, Mafia Wars and the like — and MMOs like World of Warcraft. Millions of players are turning out for these games, and they’re all doing so on PC.
The PC market could stand to see some new innovations in technology and not just how game companies collect players’ money, however, which is why things like gesture controllers on the PC (even if they’re not being used for gaming) and more services like Steam and Apple’s new Mac App Store are so refreshing. Newell might be right about PC innovation, but it’d be flashier and garner more attention if developers were showing off new ways to play their games, instead of just new ways to pay for them.