Zeno Clash Dev: PC Gamers "More Open" to Strange Games

Zeno Clash Dev: PC Gamers "More Open" to Strange Games


Bizarre first-person brawler Zeno Clash didn't sell as well on Xbox Live as it did on the PC, and the developer thinks it's because PC gamers have a higher tolerance for weirdness.

Last year's indie fantasy-world brawler Zeno Clash was very strange, but it wasn't half bad. It was an astoundingly original game, and its developer ACE Team hoped to port it to consoles - which it did, with the help of Atlus.

Unfortunately, the game just didn't sell as well on XBLA, ACE Team co-founder Carlos Bordeu told Eurogamer. "I don't know whether it was because most people had already played Zeno Clash on PC, or that the console game launched a year later, but we definitely had much stronger sales on PC than on Xbox 360," he said. "It hasn't sold nearly as well."

Barring the reason mentioned, Bordeu had another theory: The game was so strange that it put would-be buyers off. "Zeno Clash was definitely weirder than most games, and it would be absurd to think that didn't put-off some people," he said. "PC players are maybe more open to trying weird games - games that aren't so mass market."

"But I don't know that I'd put it as harshly as PC gamers are smart and console gamers are stupid," he amended in a possible attempt to foil a potential flame war.

Of course, even within the PC gamer spectrum there were differences - Bordeu pointed out that the game had sold especially well in Russia. I don't think that he's implying that all Russians are weird, but you never know.



While I am an avid PC gamer, I'm not so sure I agree with this. Granted, the PC being one of the oldest gaming platforms, it definitely has the market on variety. But, take Heavy Rain on the PS3, as an example, when was the last time PC's had a sweet adventure game ala Myst? Sure, HR wasn't exactly like Myst, but you catch my drift.

Maybe the majority of PC gamers look mroe indepthly into their purchases than console gamers, rather than simply having a knee-jerk buy/no buy mentality. This may or may not be the case, I don't honestly know, it'd be an interesting topic to explore though.

EDIT: It's also fair to note, that there's a much much wider variety of gamers on PC, than on console. We're talking an install base of 220+ million. That allows for a great deal of diversity amongst the base.

well we are the gaming master race dontcha know.

I think it's somewhat true that consoles are blighted with a higher portion of populist 'realistic shooter ONLY' people than the PC sector.

Although I love me some weird games, and I'm mostly a console player. It's true that most of the really innovative and weird games are seen as digital download only.

I always thought it was because it's cheaper to develop and distribute weirder non mass markety games on PC.

From what I have seen on X Box Live they are making some great weird games on that in fairness.

I had no idea Zeno Clash was even on XBA, but I saw the PC version in loads of shops. That and Steam is a way way larger platform. I'm sure most PC gamers have Steam installed and some actually buy all their games on there. Compare that XBA's limited enough user base in comparison and it sales will always be smaller on XBA.

I dont think thats really an accurate statement..just, more exposure on online platforms with PC might be the thing, not so much weirdness aceptance factors...

Well what with really weird things such as "Baby Maker Extreme" on the 360, I really don't know where to throw my hat in on this one...

Personally I liked Zeno Clashes setting more than it's gameplay.

I don't really agree with that. People are people, and you're going to have completely normal to the completely weird, to the so-normal-they're-totally-weird people in every group of sufficient size.

Making a generalization because your game didn't sell as well as you thought in a certain medium probably isn't the best way to go.

I don't know...

Psychonauts was on PS2, Xbox, and PC...and I didn't hear anything about great sales for any of the platforms.

The master race proves itself again! /end trollface with hitler moustache

Maybe so, maybe no methinks. But whereas a lot of things can be said about the difference between consoles and PCs, I doubt the capacity for wierdness is amongst them.

Considering the entirety of the game's exposure was word of mouth and live is a walled garden granting exposure only to those who pay for it, I'm pretty sure differences in demographic isn't the entire reason zenoclash underperformed on the 360.

That said, I bought zenoclash (on PC) mostly because it seemed to exert great effort to not be a cheap ripoff of popular franchises. Something thats getting exceedingly rare these days. The idea it didn't perform so well on the platforms that all but murdered creativity in gaming isn't exactly shocking... but I'm not cynical enough to believe thats the entire reason.

I dont think thats really an accurate statement..just, more exposure on online platforms with PC might be the thing, not so much weirdness aceptance factors...


I use my playstation to play weird games and pc more for normal games aimed at a bigger audience. Like shooters.everyone knows pc's are for shooters. I don't really know much about the other console gamers but i prefer to play my more unusual games on a (playstation) console.
check: bayonetta (and every other clover/platinumgame), katamari damacy, ico, etc

it's a great game but a very weird one too, considering most console players and mindless zombies that play call of duty mainly can u be surprised they're not exactly gonna go crazy over a eccentric deep game like that

Sometimes the detachment of businessmen really gets me. The article seems to be missing a lot of basic common sense.

To download things from XBL Arcade you need an internet connection. People with Internet connections tend to own computers, and even if they game on the 360 more than the PC most people who are gamers to begin with use their PC to some extent. "Zeno Clash" has been released for a while.

To me it seems unlikely that console gamers are less willing to embrace wierd concepts (heck look at the indie games section), it's far more likely that the audience for this kind of thing already purchused the game for the PC and saw no real reason to purchuse it again for the 360. The number of people who bought the game again due to the expansions, or simply because they preferred to play it on the console (... and honestly I don't think many people held out, because ports tend to go vapourware all the time, and there was no guarantee a game like this would ever be released for multiple platforms) is relatively small.

Thinking that XBL is an entirely seperate market for a game like this makes no logical sense when you look at it, even if the point can be defended for certain other, bigger multi platform titles with simultaneous releases, or that represent a less dubious prospect when it comes to eventual ports.

It's sort of like this, both "Champions Online" and "Age Of Conan" promised console releases when they came out. If somehow these were currently to materialize in a big way, I don't think they would succeed very well not so much because console users are less interested in MMORPGs on the console, but because anyone who was interested in the games who could have played them to begin with (with internet) probably broke down long ago and got the games for the PC and probably aren't all that excited at the prospect of simply playing the same game on another platform, especially if they (like many people) were disappointed, or burned out on the content.

On an unrelated note this is one of the reasons why I am somewhat dubious about the possible release of DC Universe Online on both the PC and PS3 platforms simultaneously. While we have seen Sony do console MMOS before (Everquest experiment), and Final Fantasy Online seems to represent an exception, there are technical issues here that make me wary, and too much of a delay between the release of the differant versions is probably going to murder the market for the version arriving late.

Accessibility is the problem, not the users.

I'd probably be more inclined to play a game called Zeno Clash on my PC. That's entirely because it's just a quick flick through a web page and some reviews to see what it's like.
On consoles however i'd probably just assume it's some boring alien game and save myself digging through a clunky interface.

Hell yes. No flame wars as he basically made an preemptive strike.

Either way, XBLA rarely attract me. They all sound the same bland, dreery looking alien game after the other. Unless Microsoft puts special advertising into it, I won't bother. But it's true, the PC gamers have a more 'open' mind about things.

Zeno Clash sold well...in Russia?

OT: Not really surprised. I'm sure most console gamers wouldn't play Dwarf Fortress even if it was ported to their console of choice.

I actually bought this game after seeing how strange it was, I really liked the setting and all. However, the gameplay bored me to hell, and I haven't played it since.

I'm currently resisting the urge to make a comment about the average console gamer being exclusive to their popular mainstream titles. Ah damn, and there's the comment now. Ah well.

Makes sense average button masher wouldn't get it unless there is some nameless, lifeless, faceless, space marine in it. Also makes sense that Zeno Clash is popular in Russia, with games like Pathologic and The Void, coming from there. Incredible games... Translations a little lacking on Pathologic though. XD

Bought Zeno Clash, played and finished it. Loved it, think I will play it again, going to load it up on Steam right now.


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