BioWare designer Daniel Erickson says the PC is “made for games” and that despite the never-ending predictions of its imminent demise, it’s the “natural” platform for BioWare’s RPGs.
If you’re a PC gamer then odds are you’ve been told at least twice in the past that your platform of choice isn’t just irrelevant, it’s practically dead. Game developers don’t like the PC, they’ve stopped supporting the PC and within the next, oh, 30 days or so the only thing you’ll have left to play will be MMOGs, Zuma and FarmVille. To borrow a phrase from Kermit the Frog, it’s not easy bein’ PC.
But maybe it’s not quite as bad as all that. Erickson, in fact, who worked on Dragon Age: Origins before joining the Old Republic team in Austin, almost sounds as though he likes it. “Every two or three years we hear the announcement of fantasy being dead, PC gaming being dead and RPGs being dead,” he told CVG. “And yet, all of the biggest games that ever come out – that set the records – are nearly always PC games, and a lot of them are fantasy games.”
“The biggest game in the world is a fantasy, PC, RPG MMO. We all know the drawbacks of PC. We all scream at our boxes and try to make stuff work,” he continued. “But at the same time, the interface is made for games. The mouse/keyboard interface allows so much less restriction [than console].”
World of Warcraft notwithstanding, I’m not so sure about the “biggest games” being mostly PC; I think it’s closer to the mark to say that there are successful PC versions of major multi-platform hits like Mass Effect 2 or Grand Theft Auto IV. Regardless of how you split that hair, however, Erickson said the PC remains a very important part of the BioWare formula.
“There was not a question when we started Old Republic – or any of our games, for that matter – [what the lead format would be],” he said. “There’s a reason the lead SKU for Dragon Age was [PC] as well. When we’re developing an RPG, it’s a natural place to be.”