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Remedy blames “very competitive window” for Wake figures, insists IP has “legs”

Monday, 12th July 2010 13:21 GMT By Johnny Cullen

alanwakelogo

Remedy head of franchise Oskari Hakkinen has told VG247 that Alan Wake faced stiff opposition and “extremely aggressive marketing” from rival games in its May launch month, following last week’s NPD numbers showing low US sales for the thriller.

NPD data showed the game sold only 145,000 units in the US last month, but Hakkinen insisted Remedy was buoyed by overall feedback.

“Overall we have been very pleased with the reception of Alan Wake with both the press and the fans alike,” he said. “People compliment the story first and foremost, but love the characters, the combat and, of course, the setting.

“There is no doubt that Alan Wake hit the shelves during a very competitive launch window, with some games dominating with extremely aggressive marketing.

“However, we’ve always tried to stay unique and do something new and different in videogames.”

Both Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Red Dead Redemption released in May, with respective American sales of 564,000 and 1.51 million.

Have legs, will travel

Despite a tough market, Hakkinen said Wake’s seen “a growing interest” since release, and that the IP does “have legs” to continue.

“This breath of fresh air for gamers seems to now be working to our advantage, as those that have already enjoyed Wake are clearly inspired to talk more about the game and tell their fellow gamers to try it also,” said Hakkinen.

“The word of mouth phenomenon is very apparent with Alan Wake. There has been a growing interest in the title and it certainly seems to ‘have legs’ to sustain.”

Hakkinen’s comments breathe a little more life into Wake’s prospects, following an IGN interview in June that appeared the cast doubt over whether or not Microsoft had decided to move ahead with a sequel.

“We wouldn’t really be able [to create more DLC episodes],” Hakkinen said at the time.

“If we were to confirm a sequel at some point, which we’d like to do relatively soon.”

The developer admitted in the interview that he was unable to “confirm” an Alan Wake sequel.

Shining light on the situation

Hakkinen seemed more optimistic about Wake’s future in general today, though, adding that Remedy is also “really pleased” with the creation and promotion of the Bright Falls webisodes, a six-part live-action series which prequeled the game proper.

“The Bright falls webisodes are a great way to get a taste of the stylization, an introduction to some of the characters and the fiction,” he said.

“Even non-gamers have enjoyed them and I highly recommend those that haven’t spent the 30 minutes watching the six five-minute episodes to dive into them.

“We were really pleased with this marketing approach and it supports the ideology that Alan Wake is not a come-and-go trend title, rather something that grows in interest through experience and interest of the story.”

Alan Wake was announced back at E3 2005 for next-gen systems and PC, before being confirmed for Xbox 360 at E3 2006.

Following reappearances in late 2008 and E3 last year, the game’s release window was confirmed at X10 in San Francisco in February, where it was also announced that Microsoft had canned the game’s PC version.

Breaking news

69 Comments

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  1. _LarZen_

    One of the best games I have played in ages, 2 BIG mistakes were done by Remedy.

    1: Wrong time to launch the game

    2: Making it X360 ekslusive

    With nr 2 beeing the biggest mistake.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. mington

    Did anyone watch all six webisodes? I managed to watch the first two but then i slipped into a coma

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    @2 I watched all of them, it was like watching porn actors act only without the nudity.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Blerk

    The webisodes were…. curious. The full game was okay – really good in places, a bit bland in others.

    I don’t think it lived up to its potential – a chance at a sequel would really give them the opportunity to fix up the things that didn’t really work this time around.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Eon

    Favourite game in a very very long time, I really hope they make a sequel.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. OrphanageExplosion

    The game was just too repetitive. After chapter two you’d unlocked all the weapon-types and the newer weapons were just powered-up versions of the ones you’d already collected.

    And the puzzles were just mind-numbingly ho-hum. God of War III’s were about the same and much better in places (the perspective puzzle for instance).

    #6 4 years ago
  7. mington

    They really needed more enemies to mix it up. They should’ve had darkness infused wolfs….and a bear! Although those flying fridge-freezers were pretty scary.

    On the second chapter you listen to a radio program with a caller telling the DJ that his dog had gone mental and ran off in to the woods….perfect set up for the introduction of a new enemy type, the “crazy rabid darkness dog”. So i spent the next 5 minutes running around the woods in high alert mode waiting for said dog to jump out at me. Low and behold there was no dog.

    would’ve been even better if the dog had jumped out, but it wasn’t evil just scared, then it would follow you for the rest of the chapter, and would bark whenever those evil Kitchen appliances came a lurking

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Blerk

    Not asking for dark (robot) stallions, mington? :-)

    My main complaint was also that it got a bit ‘samey’, especially in the first three chapters where you’re pretty much stuck in a forest environment. But yes, the puzzles were also completely lacking – there was little to do other than shoot the same things in the same way over and again.

    The world was great, and it looked fantastic at times, but sooooo linear. No reason to explore even five yards from either side of the path/road – if you can’t see it from there it’s basically not there. I’d have loved it to be a little more open, a bit more complex in gameplay. Give me a few different routes, some non-story areas to explore that have more than a discarded thermos in them.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Psychotext

    Took me a while to get into it, but I loved the last few episodes.

    Flawed, but definitely worth a look. Shame it’s not doing better really. I’d really like to see a sequel with a few new ideas and some bits tightened up.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Doomsayer

    @mington – Funny that you mentioned the dog. It was the same for me but even here in Germany – no dog. More enemies and this will be my new favorite game.

    Cheers

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Blerk

    Yeah, it certainly picked up towards the end once the pace quickened – that fitted the style of game more. If you’re going to do something more plodding and atmospheric you really need to fill the downtime with more things to do and the earlier stages really suffered from that.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. wiking

    It should have been on PC as well, that would’ve helped. And if Remedy are blaming stiff competition, they should just be thankful it didn’t launch with Starcraft 2.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. mington

    Fucking creepy or what!?

    this is what Alan Wake was missing:
    http://images.whatheck.com/uploaded_images/drunk-man-horse-bank-732675.jpg

    #13 4 years ago
  14. alimokrane

    I personally enjoyed the game very very much. it’s, as of now, Game of the year for me personally. The game simply took too much time to be released. Had it come out two years ago, it would have been an instant HIT. It is a brilliant game nonetheless.

    I think the game has done about half a million copies to date according to VGchartz (take that with a pinch of salt) which is not that bad by any stretch of the imagination.

    They have 3 DLC content episodes which I hope will do well in terms of sales. The first one is free for those who bought the game but the other 2 hopefully will bring in some more money. I personally will be willing to throw money at all episodes if it means giving them a chance to do a sequel. Also, Microsoft would be crazy in my book if they don’t give the franchise another chance. Their 1st party portfolio is Soooo lacking in this genre of 3rd person action adventures. The franchise needs to live on.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. zoopdeloop

    they should have released this game years ago and they shouldn’t have canceled a PC version.
    If Remedy goes for a sequel and follows the same steps it will surely end up baring the same fate as the first one whatever changes they’ll do to “fix” some of 1st’s flaws…unless they turn it into something like Halo or GoW :)

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Dralen

    I enjoyed this game alot. But…it was way too short and there was very little to gain from replaying it again. And sweet Jesus how long do we have to wait for the DLC episodes.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. itsucks

    The game has the same sell about what 80% Heavy rain did, and being a good game to boot instead. Great things to show till the end of the year.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. zoopdeloop

    @17 not even close from 80% of what HR did even in HR’s 7th or 8th week…

    http://www.vgchartz.com/game.php?id=7703

    http://www.vgchartz.com/game.php?id=13817

    #18 4 years ago
  19. NinjaMidget

    @13 that was hilarious, the first thing was a bit creepy though!

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Ge0force

    Sure, and making this game exclusive for an online FPS-focused console has nothing to do with it, right?

    #20 4 years ago
  21. The Hindle

    The thing that got me about Alan Wake is you have this fearsome force that can toss cars like they are nothing yet its afraid of a torch, plus they never explained how those god dam coffe thermos got there, i mean there were bloody loads.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Psychotext

    @TH: Twin Peaks

    What’s the deal with the DLC btw. I put my code in and supposedly I’m supposed to get an email with another code… but I haven’t got one. =/

    #22 4 years ago
  23. LOLshock94

    i reackon its because its a horror game because the only horror game i can think of is RE5 but that isnt really a horror itsnt it

    #23 4 years ago
  24. The Hindle

    Oh i know its inspirations, but what works for a tv show didnt work for AW i found anyway. i hope it gets a sequel but they are best off going multiplatform for no 2.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Blerk

    The DLC’s not out yet, Psycho. You’ll probably get something once it actually turns up – about three weeks to go, iirc.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. macronia

    if they have released it on PC too .. they would have sell many copies .. especially May was empty for us (PC)

    #26 4 years ago
  27. rainer

    It was a decent game but beset by problems clearly
    * Remedy dicked about for far too long on the game, I recall some really early talk of the games town being a sandbox only to be a linear TPS.
    * The whole episodic thing built into game must have been another abandoned idea wanting to push out the game but MS probably said no.
    * The main character and his sidekick were quite unlikeable.
    * Large parts of the game has you running from point A to B with nothing happening even a driving section too.

    A PC version would have done absolute nothing in terms of sales, wishful thinking from fanboys in reality it would have just more people ignoring the game.

    I did enjoy the actual combat sections for what they were, shame the rest of the game wasn’t quite as good.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Phoenixblight

    I feel this is typical Scapegoat from Remedy ,maybe releasing the game at a different would help but the game was rahter blah for the direction they were going. It ended up being a generic TPS by the end of the game. I did enjoy the eye candy but by the 3rd chapter I was just playing to beat it not because I was enjoying the game.

    IT had potential to be great but the story was mediocre at best.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Happy Hardon Harry

    rainer said:
    July 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    A PC version would have done absolute nothing in terms of sales

    Give this guy the fucking Nobel Prize..OK, and you know this how? Genius.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. The Hindle

    So between AW being sent to die and Crackdown 2 obviously being rushed, Microsoft need to sort thier first party out.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Psychotext

    OK, and you know this how?

    Because it has no online functionality… so most of the people who wanted it on the PC would have just pirated it. :P

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Happy Hardon Harry

    Psychotext said:
    July 12, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Because it has no online functionality… so most of the people who wanted it on the PC would have just pirated it.

    Wrong, the title would’ve sold better on digital platforms like Steam, D2D, etc.

    Anyway the 360 didn’t do the game justice, as it was sub-HD, and tore like a bastard due to no V-Sync.

    The game bombed on the 360…Karma’s a bitch isn’t it!

    #32 4 years ago
  33. Psychotext

    Wrong, the title would’ve sold better on digital platforms like Steam, D2D, etc.

    What was the last game that managed that? Half Life 2? Maybe some random shooter?

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Happy Hardon Harry

    Psychotext said:
    July 12, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    What was the last game that managed that? Half Life 2? Maybe some random shooter?.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Psychotext

    I’m genuinely interested. Which recent titles sold better on the PC than on consoles?

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Happy Hardon Harry

    Psychotext said:
    July 12, 2010 at 7:03 pm
    I’m genuinely interested. Which recent titles sold better on the PC than on consoles?

    You do know that NPD, ChartTrack, etc don’t publish digital downloads sales!…so speculation on my half would be just that, speculation.

    But your response: “What was the last game that managed that? Half Life 2? Maybe some random shooter?. is just being stupid or maybe you’re a wee bit “green” as we all know how successful Steam has been…

    In other words, it would’ve done Remedy/MS no harm releasing the game on another platform.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. Psychotext

    …and you can’t tell a joke when you see one. You see that little :P smiley? That means I’m playing about.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Happy Hardon Harry

    Psychotext said:
    July 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm
    …and you can’t tell a joke when you see one. You see that little smiley? That means I’m playing about.

    In other words, you just got owned!

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Psychotext

    No you’re right, clearly owned. I’m a 360 only gamer and I hate the PC. Muppet.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. DeSpiritusBellum

    @36 It’s a well known fact that consoles consistently outsell the PC by a margin of about five to one. You might not be able to see the direct sales figures, but you can just look at the revenues generated by the different platforms.

    Also, making a game work on both a console and a PC tends to involve a compromise when it comes to controls, and that really effects the gameplay. As such, you wouldn’t be a crazy person to make a console game fully devoted to a console interface. It could add up to more sales if you do it right.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. Happy Hardon Harry

    Psychotext said:
    No you’re right, clearly owned. I’m a 360 only gamer and I hate the PC. Muppet.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Psychotext

    I see you edited, probably right to… the original post did make you look a little stupid when you realise that you missed a bunch of titles which didn’t suit your argument.

    #42 4 years ago
  43. The Hindle

    LOL that fanboy anatomy is amazing.

    #43 4 years ago
  44. _LarZen_

    They should have bade the game for PS3 alsow, statistics says the PS3 have alot of gamers in the age of 30 and up.

    For me Alan Wake is a game that probably wil appeal to adults more then the avrage fps junkies that own a X360.

    Good thing they did not bring it to the pc, a dying gaming plattform. They would probably earn less then on the X360 version becaus of all the piracy…

    Kudos to Remedy for making one of the best games of 2010. To bad you made it just for the X360…big mistake.

    #44 4 years ago
  45. Rudderless

    I think the fact that Microsoft published it might have something to do with it not being on PS3.

    Also, I think there’s a note of disappointment when they talk about “aggressive marketing”. A few bizarre webisodes does not a great advertising campaign make. MS could definitely have done more with it.

    #45 4 years ago
  46. Gekidami

    “You do know that NPD, ChartTrack, etc don’t publish digital downloads sales!”

    True, but then i’d assume publishers actually do include those figures when they announce how much a game has sold. A cross check with the published consoles sales is pretty conclusive.

    And as DeSpiritusBellum pointed out, publishers end year results clearly show more profit from console software sales then PC, apart from MMO’s for obvious reasons.

    As for Alan Wake. The 360 was the wrong platform for the game, but honnestly the game isnt all the special either. I guess PC sales would have helped but not by much.

    “So between AW being sent to die and Crackdown 2 obviously being rushed, Microsoft need to sort thier first party out.”

    I dont think MS actually owns the IP for either of them. But yeah, it really is a poor year for 360 exclusives. NN3′s also got a critical beating.

    #46 4 years ago
  47. Happy Hardon Harry

    Gekidami said:
    July 12, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    True, but then i’d assume publishers actually do include those figures when they announce how much a game has sold. A cross check with the published consoles sales is pretty conclusive.

    PC games are mostly Digital Downloads now. The PC gaming sector doesn’t need brick n’ mortar outlets anymore.

    Steam, Direct 2 Drive, Play Green House, Impulse, GOG, Gamersgate, EA Store, Beamdog, plus countless developer stores, don’t publish their sales figures. Unlike NPD, Chart Track, etc.

    No one will ever know the absolute sales figures for Digital Downloads (as the above don’t publish them), so it would be pointless even to try and speculate.

    Unlike PSN & XBL, there is competition in the Digital Downloads market on the PC, with all of the companies mentioned above competing for customers.

    It’s a healthy situation for the PC gaming sector to be in.

    #47 4 years ago
  48. Aimless

    Whilst digital delivery services don’t publish their numbers, the publishers must have an idea of how titles are selling simply due to their cut of the profits. Gekidami’s suggestion that they wouldn’t leave said numbers out of their PR is perfectly reasonable.

    In any case I don’t think releasing on the PC and PS3 would be a panacea for the game’s sales. It would probably have hit a million worldwide, but that’s fairly modest by today’s standards. A bigger marketing push from Microsoft would have been a better solution, and holding the game back until now might have helped it stand out as well.

    #48 4 years ago
  49. macronia

    i think we will see alan wake on PC .. i can sense that :D
    but later

    #49 4 years ago
  50. Gekidami

    Steam, Direct 2 Drive, Play Green House, Impulse, GOG, Gamersgate, Beamdog and the like are just distributors, not publishers. The publishers remain EA, Ubi, Act and others. And whilst the distributors dont publish their sales figures the publishers often tell us how many one of their games has sold across all platforms. Theres no reason they’d leave DD figures out of their PR and out of their profit reports.

    “It’s a healthy situation for the PC gaming sector to be in.”

    Heh, i’d say its ‘healthier’ for the PC fanboys then it is for the PC sector.

    #50 4 years ago
  51. Happy Hardon Harry

    macronia said:
    July 12, 2010 at 8:44 pm
    i think we will see alan wake on PC .. i can sense that
    but later

    It’s inevitable isn’t it. 5+ years of development and only to get back 145K sales in a month is more than disastrous for MS/Remedy.

    #51 4 years ago
  52. Happy Hardon Harry


    Gekidami said:
    The publishers remain EA, Ubi, Act and others. And whilst the distributors dont publish their sales figures the publishers often tell us how many one of their games has sold across all platforms. Theres no reason they’d leave DD figures out of their PR and out of their profit reports.

    But, you’re just pushing generalisations there. How can you say the above if there is no evidence what-so-ever to back up your claims?

    All you’re doing is pissing in the wind!…

    #52 4 years ago
  53. DeSpiritusBellum

    @52 I’m pretty sure you realize you’ve gone off the tracks by now.

    Quite naturally the publishers keep track of who is selling their games, and their numbers quite unequivocally, without any need of enterpretation show that consoles are outselling the PC by about 5 to 1.

    The digital distributors might not release their own internal figures to the public, but the spreadsheets of the businesses providing them with their product are indisputable.

    #53 4 years ago
  54. Happy Hardon Harry

    DeSpiritusBellum said:
    July 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm
    @52 I’m pretty sure you realize you’ve gone off the tracks by now.

    Quite naturally the publishers keep track of who is selling their games, and their numbers quite unequivocally, without any need of enterpretation show that consoles are outselling the PC by about 5 to 1.

    Again you’re just pushing generalisations. Where is your evidence to back up your claims? 5 to 1? Did you just pull that figure out of your ass!

    What you’re saying is nothing more than pure and utter gobshite.

    #54 4 years ago
  55. Gekidami

    @53 Like i said, DD distributors not releasing their figures is healthier for the PC fanboys more then anything else. Unfortunately for them its a flimsy shield to hide behind.

    #55 4 years ago
  56. Happy Hardon Harry

    Gekidami said:
    July 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm
    @53 Like i said, DD distributors not releasing their figures is healthier for the PC fanboys more then anything else. Unfortunalty for them its a flimsy shield to hide behind.

    I’m still waiting for this evidence of yours?! Don’t generalise about a topic if you can’t back it up with solid facts.

    It just makes you look like an incompetent asshole!

    #56 4 years ago
  57. DeSpiritusBellum

    @54 Well, my idea of fun isn’t to sit around looking at earnings reports, but I’ll humor you.

    Here’s Electronic Arts earnings report per Q4 2010:

    http://investor.ea.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=443622

    As you can quite clearly see, the total revenues gained from consoles over the last year is 3,39 billion dollars versus the PC sales of 940 million dollars. That’s a ratio of 4 to 1 in favor of the console market, and that’s not counting the handheld consoles, or indeed the mobile market.

    If you want further documentation you can just check out the earnings reports of other publishers yourself. Like I said, it’s no mystery, everything is quite transparently reported.

    #57 4 years ago
  58. Happy Hardon Harry

    http://www.next-gen.biz/news/steam-unable-to-share-sales-data

    If publishers were doing that bad on the platform then they wouldn’t release their games. Simple as. This isn’t the case though as the competition is healthy on the platform.

    By the way, your document above gives sales for every platform combined. Not specifically PC. Did you even look at it. Try again!

    #58 4 years ago
  59. Gekidami

    “Digital distribution sales figures belong to publishers, according to Valve, allaying hopes for global digital distribution sales charts.”

    Did you even read what was written? Thats just saying why we wont see a DD chart, but actually confirms that publishers have the DD sales figures.

    #59 4 years ago
  60. DeSpiritusBellum

    @58 You might want to look a bit closer. Check out the section clearly labeled “Platform Net Revenues”. You’ll see they account seperately for every single platform.

    And that link says nothing except that digital distributors want to keep quiet about what they’re making, and what the publishers are selling.

    The publishers don’t get to choose whether they want to hide their income or not, they’re required by law as a company to account for everything they earn and lose quite meticulously.

    And you’re right, PC games are still making money, and PC gaming isn’t going to die as long as that’s the case, but consider the fact that most publishers who make 4 billion in revenues only ever see about 900 million of those in raw profits if they’re lucky, and then consider the fact that the PC has the lowest share of that profit anywhere but MMOs, and it’s not hard to see why consoles are getting a lot of attention.

    #60 4 years ago
  61. Happy Hardon Harry

    @59

    Yeah, but they DON’T release them to the public like NPD, Chart Track, hence why nobody knows the specific number of digital download sales on the platform.

    Are you getting this?

    #61 4 years ago
  62. Gekidami

    Either you’re trying to use strawman arguments, or you need to go back and read this from the start. No body ever said that distributors did publish their sales figures. but that the games publishers did in their financial reports and when they announced how much a game had sold across all platforms.

    #62 4 years ago
  63. DeSpiritusBellum

    @61 I don’t think you quite understand. Steam might be able to hide what they’re making for themselves, but they still have to report it to EA, who in turn add those numbers to their revenues in their quarterly earnings reports. Ultimately, a sale on Steam counts as much as a sale in retail. It’s all added to the report.

    Thus you get a subtotal view of what’s being sold on the PC, whether it’s through retail or digital. The numbers simply aren’t attributed to the the various distributors.

    #63 4 years ago
  64. Happy Hardon Harry

    @63

    Jesus, talk about communication breakdown. You aren’t getting this. Period.

    #64 4 years ago
  65. DeSpiritusBellum

    @64 You keep telling yourself that.

    Ultimately all PC sales are tracked by the publishers. You don’t need Steam or anyone else to get a hold of them, just grab a neatly made out earnings report. As a public company, they’re required by law to make those available.

    It’s all there in black and white, unless you want to keep pretending they’re not. Hint hint.

    #65 4 years ago
  66. artanis

    Now, looking closer at that same earnings report you see that PC is 17% of net revenue, compared to 360′s 28%, PS3′s 19% and Wii’s 16%. Releasing the same game on 360 and PC are nearly identical platforms, so theres no way they’ll ever STOP releasing on PC as long as it brings in as much as an individual console and cheaper to port to than PS3 or Wii.

    tl;dr: your a moran, shut up

    #66 4 years ago
  67. DeSpiritusBellum

    @66 That wasn’t the argument at all. PC gaming is going to be supported as long as it makes money, as I said above – Which it does.

    The question was whether the PC market is as attractive to publishers as the console market.

    Having looked around, just to shut this down, the numbers over the last reported fiscal year for four major publishers look like this (PSP/DS/Mobiles excluded):

    Ubisoft (Reporting in percentages):
    Consoles: 62% of revenues
    PC: 11% of revenues

    5,7 times more revenue.

    Activision (MMO income excluded):
    Consoles: 1,45 billion
    PC: 108 million

    13,5 times more revenue

    Take Two:
    Consoles: 1,63 billion
    PC: 120 million

    13,5 times more revenue

    Electronic Arts:
    Consoles: 2,2 billion
    PC: 689 million

    3,2 times more revenue

    #67 4 years ago
  68. freddy_

    @67 Not really fair to put both the 360 & ps3 as consoles and count their revenue against one single system.
    Also not all games are made for pc either, look at Take Two and red dead redemption. It’s not hard to buff the console revenue when you add games that isnt released for pc.

    #68 4 years ago
  69. Gekidami

    ^Its the PC crowd that calls this “Console Vs. PC”. And anyway, considering the PC’s install base it is actually quite fair.

    #69 4 years ago