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Total Annihilation creator backs the PC

Steam creates "intensity that had been lost".

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Image credit: Eurogamer

The creator of PC hits Total Annihilation, Supreme Commander and Dungeon Siege has hit out at those who say PC gaming is dying and pointed to Valve's digital download service Steam as evidence of its booming popularity.

Gas Powered Games CEO Chris Taylor reckons the phenomenal success of Steam means the PC version of upcoming multiplatform action role-playing game Dungeon Siege III will "compete" against the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions when it comes to sales.

"You've got almost every major player in the world buying a PC gaming company, whether it's Google investing in Zynga, Disney buying Playdom, EA buying Playfish, GameStop, the console videogame store, buying Kongregate, the free-to-play PC gaming company, Bobby Kotick announcing that 70 per cent of Activision Blizzard's revenue comes from the PC – 70 per cent!," Taylor told Eurogamer.

"When the next Star Wars launch is from BioWare, John Riccitiello [EA CEO] is probably going to have similar stories to tell. It won't be as big, but he's trying to do that. In other words, he's buying PC businesses and he's trying to do things in the PC space because the PC is where all the opportunity is.

"It's apparently exciting enough for all those major players to all want to get into the business. I'm not saying consoles are shrinking. It's all growing. Everything is growing.

"It's amazing. It's like we love the drama of it."

The outspoken Taylor echoed recent comments from InstantAction CEO Louis Castle, who predicted that in only a "few years" high quality console games will be playable through web browsers.

"It's a matter of time before you're playing a game of the quality of a triple-A game that we know and love, like a Supreme Commander 2 or a StarCraft II, in a browser experience," Taylor said. "There's no reason that won't happen within five to eight years.

"That's one of the reasons PC gaming breaks out in that space. No installation. No grief. No reading the box and wondering if you have a 7000 or 8000 series video card and DirectX what? It just plays. It works.

"Wait till that happens full on."

Dungeon Siege III, developed by Fallout: New Vegas creator Obsidian Entertainment, is due out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 next year.

The Steam effect means the PC version of the game will sell as well as the console versions, Taylor reckons.

"Two, three years ago I would say the 360, PS3 version, because PC was in disarray," he said.

"Now with Steam – a year-and-a-half ago they announced 25 million paying customers as opposed to people who just created accounts. There will probably be 40 million the next time they provide an announcement – or 50 million.

"That creates an incredible intensity in the PC business that had been lost. So I would say put down even money that we'll see the PC version competing against the console version when it comes out next year."

"There's so much change going on. If you make an observation about all that change, most of it's happening on the PC. Probably 60 per cent of it's happening on the PC."

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