PC gaming's biggest winner and loser of 2012

2012 is ending and for PC gamers it was an eventual year. We saw the release of some terrific games, of course, but there was a lot more to think about in the last 12 months that just some great game launches. Today, we pick the biggest winner and loser in the PC gaming industry of 2012.

Biggest Winner: Kickstarter

Kickstarter began the year as a way for small game developers to maybe find some funding from the general public. It ended the year as a viable way for major game creators to fund their dream projects without having to go to a major publisher. Double Fine started the trend with their still untitled adventure game but they were joined by more developers such as Obsidian, inXile and many more, and some of the projects ended up raising millions of dollars each.

While most of the games funded by Kickstarter backers have yet to be released, the truth is that they would not have been in development at all were it not for the site and that makes Kickstarter a major, and highly unexpected, winner in the PC gaming industry this year.

Biggest Loser: OnLive

OnLive seemed to have everything going for it; a streaming PC game service that let people play high end games even with low end hardware, with the support of many major game publishers. However, 2012 saw OnLive's dreams hit a major roadblock as the company suffered from massive layoffs and word that the service itself only had a few people using it.

While OnLive is still, well, live as of this writing, the service has yet to prove there is a huge audience for streaming PC games like Netflix does with movies and Pandora has for music. It's why we are picking it as our biggest PC gaming loser in 2012.

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it will take years and years to redule latency to similar levels to normal gameplay. try playing a game were instead of reacting to what you see on screen you have to predict what will happen in few milisecons (or seconds) because it will take time before your input gets recognized.

nekrosoft13 said,
it will take years and years to redule latency to similar levels to normal gameplay.

The entirety of the states has to be on FTTH for realtime streaming to become mainstream. It will only take years and years because of the greedy corporations in the states fighting over bandwidth, poles, area coverage, blah blah blah. Parts of the country have 100+Mbit connections while others are STILL ON DIAL-UP, I kid you not (mostly rural areas though, sparse population). The ones that do have fast connections (me) are charged a fortune compared to other countries with similar or greater speeds.

When was Obamas internet plan supposed to come into effect again? 2013? Unless 'high speed' is 5Mbit down and 768Kbit up, then it doesn't look like they'll meet their goal. Sad state this country is in.

Though, even a straight fiber connection from one end of the country to the other isn't enough; the country is too big, there has be to servers in each of the major areas (west, central, east).

Countries that have very fast internet across the whole country are countries that are small, like Korea and Japan. This is also why some games brought over from those territories suffer some network issues; they were developed with a country on very fast internet with very low latency.

OnLive was a good service, definitely ahead of its time, but the downfall was the payment method. It should have been free from the start with free 30 minute gameplay sessions before having to buy the game (or start all over). The games should've been purchasable with prices at least 15% below the retail price of said games. Then there could've been an optional subscription which got you every game ever put on the service (like Gamefly).

But, endless debate. I preferred Gaikai over it since it was purely browser based.

We'll see how Gaikai does in the future. I'm more optimistic about it than I was with OnLive (of which I was a beta tester for).

That's really the thing, if it works and works right, people would use it, if it ****s up even just a few times per hour, forget it.

Edited by John S., Jan 2 2013, 7:22am :

I just don't see the point of using onLive until we have at least until 15Mbps down and 2Mbps up becomes the baseline for homes, businesses, and hotels.

That still wouldn't fix the main problem with OnLive, bandwidth != latency.

You won't really notice a live broadcast that's 5 seconds out or so, but try playing a game with 5 seconds of input lag, etc.

The_Decryptor said,
That still wouldn't fix the main problem with OnLive, bandwidth != latency.

You won't really notice a live broadcast that's 5 seconds out or so, but try playing a game with 5 seconds of input lag, etc.

5 second of input lag? Are you serious? Have you even tried it?

The answer to all those questions is NO.

OnLive was destroyed by its CEO, not by network limitations.

He was an uncompromising egoist that thought he'd be the next Steve Jobs just by being as big a dick.