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Epic: PC gaming not in trouble, "just different"

Asked whether PC gaming might be entering a renaissance, Epic's European head Mike Gamble said it's a "fallacy" to suggest that it hasn't already.

"There's a massively thriving community of hardcore gamers on the PC still," Gamble told CVG.

"The way they get their games is different where it's nearly all online delivery, so you've got the likes of Paradox, who do a variety of niche content but it's all massively hardcore and serves that audience. You've got the World of Tanks guys who have something like a million concurrent users or something stupid like that.

"That is not a platform that is in trouble. It's just different, it's changed."

Asked whether Epic would consider PC exclusives in the future, Gamble commented that publishers are keen on consoles at the moment because of the size of the player base - but he thinks a change is possible.

"It happens every so often, we've been having the same talks since Windows 95. It goes up and down, the consoles are here and the PC is in the trough, then the PCs are here and consoles are down there," he noted.

"That's how the performance works, just the fact that delivery has changed on PC, that it's not trackable as it once was, it's not the retail, it doesn't mean it's gone."

Comparing Steam to cable TV, Gamble said players turn to the PC for niche genres, commenting that "whatever you're into you can find a game for".

This discussion of the PC's capabilities built around Epic's amazing Samaritan demo, which it has said was presented as a challenge to console hardware makers, as a target for next generation performance. But that future may be closer than you'd think.

"The real point to take away is that it wasn't built using a special toolset, it was built with what is now in the marketplace. The only thing about it was the hardware it ran on was a very expensive PC," gamble explained.

"But even so you could go out today, buy all of those components, build that PC and have that capability. You'll have no content to run on it but you have the capability. So there's no trickery, it's not like we created some hyper-tool or whatever you want to call it. It's what we can do."

Epic's latest game is the Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 3.

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