At the beginning of this week, on Sunday, Jason Jones, the co-founder of Bungie, said this:
“We did a bunch of ambitious things on Halo deliberately to reach out to people. We limited players to two weapons, we gave them recharging health, we automatically saved and restored the game – almost heretical things to first-person shooters at the time. We made the game run without a mouse and keyboard. And now nobody plays shooters the way they used to play them before Halo ’cause nobody wants to.”
And in a single fell swoop, Mr. Jones lost millions of sales, if not hundreds of millions of sales, and he alienated us all.
We, the PC gamers, are now the aliens.
Now, I probably don’t need to explain why Mr. Jones is so wrong to most of my PC gaming comrades, but I’ll make an article anyway to explain to non PC gamers why what he said is so teeth-grindingly wrong.
First, let’s break down what Mr. Jones has said.
We did a bunch of ambitious things on Halo deliberately to reach out to people.
Okay. I can admit that Halo was a pretty groundbreaking game.
We limited players to two weapons, we gave them recharging health, we automatically saved and restored the game – almost heretical things to first-person shooters at the time.
Autosaves? Awesome, and I think everyone can agree with that. Regenerating health, however, is a controversial topic, and is a design choice that works with only some styles of design. Two weapons was also a controversial choice, but I feel like for the most part it was a good thing. I have no problem with what Mr. Jones is saying.
We made the game run without a mouse and keyboard.
Due in no part to Microsoft’s acquisition of Bungie.
And now nobody plays shooters the way they used to play them before Halo ’cause nobody wants to.
Whoa, whoa, hold on. Let me re-read that. Yep, that is in fact what he said. He tried to say that no one plays shooters on the PC anymore, because no one wants to.
It’s 1:08 in the morning as of the time of writing this. There are 2,843,614 people logged into Steam right now. Yesterday’s peak, and pretty much every day’s peak, is a little more than 5,000,000 players. Admittedly, those are all the players logged in, and most probably wont be playing shooters, but still. Even if only 5% were playing shooters at peak hour, that’s 250,000 players. Not any number to sniffle at. And apparently Mr. Jones thinks that qualifies as “nobody”.
Now, I can admit that there are more people that play shooters on consoles than PCs. CoD is much more popular on consoles than it is on the PC (probably because we have better taste than that), and there’s nothing wrong with that. But even so, that doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore a GIANT part of the gamer market. Just because more people live in China than anywhere else doesn’t mean that a company would or should market to just them. It doesn’t make sense. There is no reason why, should porting costs be less than expected revenue by a large margin, you shouldn’t port to PC.
It’s very possible that Mr. Jones and Bungie just don’t want to port to PC, for some mysterious reason. Maybe Microsoft brainwashed them into thinking that PCs should be avoided at all costs. Or maybe they’re just too scared, considering they’ve never worked with PCs before. Mr. Jones or any of Bungie may never speak on this matter, and we will remain in the dark. But I can almost assure you any reason they have is a complete load of s&*t. Bungie and Activision both know that PC sales would far outweigh porting costs, and that’s really the only defining factor this early into development.
Bungie has made a huge mistake by excluding us from the participation in their game. Millions of dollars have been missed out on, at their own expense. We want the game, we really do. Bungie has shown that they make awesome games. The fact that school computer labs across the country still have the original Halo on them should be a testament to how much people view it as both a good game and a milestone in gaming history. We know that Bungie can make a game that rivals Halo, in all it’s shooty glory. And we want that game. But sadly, we can only have it if Bungie gives it to us.
And all they need to do, is give it to us.