Login with Patreon
Discussion > Video GamesMar 25, 2024 8:00 am CT

What would the world be like without platform competition?

PC gamers everywhere, rejoice — Horizon Forbidden West has been released for PC on both Steam and the Epic Games Store. Like its predecessor, Horizon Zero Dawn, Forbidden West was originally released exclusively for PlayStation. While this is still pretty common for console games, cross-platform releases like Diablo 4 have become more common. But it makes me wonder what a world without platform competition would be like.

It would require what frankly feels like an impossibility — the elimination of commercial competition. Companies do exclusive releases so consumers buy their consoles. So unless capitalism decides to shuffle off, we’re probably continuing with this model.

The video games industry doesn’t just drive console development though. Graphics cards are well known to be the most expensive component in your computer, and the cost definitely increases with the performance. And you need a graphics card if you want to tackle any kind of AAA gaming — CPU-integrated graphics rarely do well in the face of modern title demands.

So already, we’d have impact to multiple industries if we eliminated console-exclusivity. But there would probably also be huge impact to indie releases. Big development companies like Blizzard, Bethesda, and EA can develop on different platforms in parallel because they’re staffed for it. Your small (or even solo) developer releasing a passion project game on Steam? Not so much. Even if you have every software development kit (SDK) handy, you then have to invest in hardware for repeatable testing. The burden is pretty intense — especially with something you may be doing for fun.

I would love to be able to play any game, anywhere and any time, but imagining playing World of Warcraft on my iPhone is a daunting prospect. Do I think I could do it? Yeah. Would I enjoy the Heroic Fyrakk fight on a 6” screen? Not so much (although truthfully, it already frustrates me bunches), unless he gave me the legendary axe — then I’d suck it up.

Now I turn to you — does the idea of platform freedom make you want to leap with joy? Are you absolutely wedded to your Xbox, PlayStation, or PC? What would the world be like without platform competition? Let us know in the comments!

Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: