June 11th, 2010
When E3 kicks off next week, every major video game platform will have a big, sensory press conference, telling the world why it should play their hardware in the coming year. Everyone except PC, that is.
What does the PC industry think of this? They're fine with it. "We have discussed holding [an E3 press conference]," says Randy Stude, president of the PC Gaming Alliance, "but the key difference between the PC industry and the console industry suggests this would not be a wise investment."
As Stude and his membership see it, "E3 is a retail buyers show," meaning game publishers hope to entice stocking commitments by wowing retailers during the trade show. This makes sense for consoles, Stude explains, since "99.99 percent of their revenues come from retail brick and mortar stores."
For PCs, however, "retail revenue is only 25% at this point, and all indicators are that this will shrink for the next four years as online continues its dominance in the PC gaming marketplace." So what's the point? "Perhaps a PC gaming focused event would be best," replies Stude.
Stay tuned for my full interview with the alliance chief next week as we talk turkey on the state (and future) of PC gaming.
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