Skip to main content

The week's highs and lows in PC gaming


Cory Banks: WoW subscriptions plummeting

Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, but I'm truly bummed to hear that World of Warcraft's subscriptions are half of what they were in 2010. The news comes from Activision Blizzard's earnings call, where the company stated that the MMO has 6.8 million active subscriptions. For reference, back in 2010, WoW had more than 12 million paying customers.

Why am I sad? After all, 6.8 million is a lot of people. But though I've had some issues with recent game changes, such as the level 90 character boosts , I'll always love WoW. And I'm super excited for Warlords of Draenor and the expanded content it will bring with it. I won't fool myself into thinking that one expansion will bring a resurgence of Warcraft love, but I hate to see a game I have such fond memories sliding away into oblivion.

Samuel Roberts: Steam update

Hear me out—I like that Valve has added more options to customise your Steam library , including the ability to hide games. I know this is a much-requested feature and Valve responding to that with upgraded functionality is only a good thing. What I can't quite grasp is the mentality that means people can't handle seeing the likes of Red Faction: Armageddon or The Amazing Spider-Man on a list of games they own. Every day I look at Armageddon nestled in my enormously unnecessary list of hundreds of purchases, but I can't say it bothers me—apparently the Installed tab wasn't enough to shield people from their shameful past purchases. If the option to hide games is good for you psychologically or you like to curate your Steam Library, it's all good. I am just slightly amused by the idea of someone freaking out because they're forced to look at something slightly lame they hoovered up for almost nothing in a sale.

Andy Kelly: Rally bad

Codemasters tried to get everyone excited by saying that classic off-road racer Colin McRae Rally was being released on PC. But, as it turns out, the game was little more than a high-res port of the mobile game, not the beloved original. The reaction was so strong, in fact, that Codies were offering refunds to jilted fans. I loved the McRae games back in the day and was a tiny bit excited when I first heard the announcement, but now I have a bitter taste in my mouth.

Tom Senior: Pining for Red Dead Redemption

I've been playing Red Dead Redemption recently. For PC gamers, it's Rockstar's lost gem. By accident or design it never quite made the leap to our machines, and probably never will.

That's a shame. Rockstar's open worlds are detailed pop culture collages that reflect deeply understood film and television genres. GTA pulls from Scarface and the Sopranos, and Red Dead pulls from Deadwood, The Shootist. Maybe I just prefer the source material, but Red Dead strikes a more mature tone than Rockstar's big crime blockbusters, especially in the contemplative spaces between the world's tiny townships. I like to ride a horse alone by the river at midnight and enjoy how bravely quiet the game is. If only PC players could enjoy the ambience of one of gaming's best wildernesses.

Wes Fenlon: Bye bye, Twitch archives: Twitch is getting rid of its vast archives of footage and eliminating its "save forever" option on videos . It's a move the company has to make, because it's paying to store petabytes of video that very few people are watching. But the inevitable spin Twitch put on the move rubbed me the wrong way, because it naturally tried to make this sound better for streamers. The company says that now videos will be backed up videos with more redundancy than before. Great! You definitely won't have to worry about your videos being corrupted...for the two months Twitch will store them. This is a strong reminder that any service you use on the Internet can (and eventually will) delete your content. If you want to make sure it's safe forever, you better back it up yourself. Now I've got some old Giant Bomb livestreams to catch up on.

Tyler Wilde: You've been chosen, but who cares?

BioWare seems to be teasing a network TV drama about teens with superpowers. That's probably not what “You've Been Chosen” is, because BioWare doesn't make teen dramas for network TV, but the live action teaser videos have done nothing to convince me I should be excited about next week's announcement . I'm not mad at BioWare for trying whatever it's trying—the game, which I assume is a game, might be interesting—but my eyes roll at any expensive marketing with that 'please go viral' vibe. And aping the style of TV teasers makes no sense: the premise of any game's story is the least interesting thing about it. I don't care if your game is about a magic space walrus—none of it matters if I can't do anything interesting with that magic space walrus. Someone at EA/BioWare has the wrong priorities.