Eutechnyx Promises Something for PC NASCAR Fans
Eutechnyx blames a "lack of retail space" for the absence of a PC version of the recently announced NASCAR The Game 2011 but promises good news for PC racers in the future.
You may have noticed that yesterday's announcement of a new NASCAR racing game listed versions for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, but made no mention of a release for the PC. The reason is simple: There's not going to be one. The more specific explanation for why that is, however, is a little less clear.
"The lack of retail space for PC currently means it's tough to justify the costs of development for traditional distribution," Eutechnyx's Dave Thompson told VG247. "Nevertheless, we have something up our sleeves that should satisfy the legions of dedicated PC racers - watch this space."
It makes sense at first blush. Game retailers are focused on consoles these days and anyone who's poked his head into a GameStop or EB recently can tell you that PC titles just don't get the shelf space they used to. But the concern with "traditional distribution" is a bit confusing because digital distribution is well-established as a viable method of getting games out to the public. Thompson, in fact, actually confirmed that digital will figure prominently in the future of the franchise.
"DLC is certainly a key part of what we have planned for the NASCAR franchise, due to the fact that the series constantly evolves during each season and we want to keep the fans totally up to date with the real sport," he said. "Be prepared to see some pretty deep integration on this front over the coming years."
I'm not sure how much water the "tight shelf space" explanation holds when, if I can say this without engendering too many stereotypes, a game like NASCAR 2011 will probably be a lot more popular in the enormous aisles of Wal-Mart than in the cramped confines of a specialty retailer. Maybe Eutechnyx had a digital PC release planned from the start and nothing was said about it because it falls outside the distribution agreement the company has with Activision? Whatever the case, PCs have traditionally been the platform of choice for hardcore sim fans and if Eutechnyx wants to reach that audience, it'd be wise to ensure that whatever it has up its sleeve comes with a mouse and keyboard attached.
i was going to make some snarky comment about gamestop and digital distribution. But the article pretty much spells out many frustrations of being a PC gamer.
I was going to say how the developers are completely ignoring the fact that PC retail is in very good shape in Europe, but then I realised this is NASCAR, the sport practically nobody in Europe cares about. In that light, this bit of news does make sense.
Still, it's kind of sad how a vicious cycle has formed with PC retail in the US. On one hand, stores such as GameStop are unwilling to dedicate much, if any, space to PC games, beacuse they are not as popular and numerous as the console titles. On the other, however, developers are unwilling to develop more PC versions of games precisely beacuse retailers dedicate very little shelf space to them.
Also, while digital distribution is nice and has it's uses, it is not the "be-all and end-all" method of distribution. It definitely has it's downsides. Plus, racers are an old-school niché audience and those generally tend to prefer traditional methods of distribution.
Overall, I feel sorry for PC gamers in the US. It seems like they have less of a choice available with each passing day.
I was going to say "Promises something for US PC Nascar fans", but Phoenix beat me to it.
Nobody gives a rat's ass about NASCAR. It's all about F1 here.
"PCs have traditionally been the platform of choice for hardcore sim fans and if Eutechnyx wants to reach that audience, it'd be wise to ensure that whatever it has up its sleeve comes with a mouse and keyboard attached."
And a steering wheel.