We're not saying it's a competition. But if it was, PC gamers totally just won. In an interview with GamaSutra, Valve's president/resident game design icon Gabe Newel and project leader Erik Johnson revealed that Portal 2 sold more copies on PC than consoles. How many more? Valve doesn't give specific sales statistics of its electronic storefront, Steam, so we don't know exactly, but that shouldn't stop PC gamers from putting on their party hats.
Valve doesn't think of PCs as its primary platform, it just happened that way. Newel went on to offered a counter-example and explain that even he can't predict how games will sell: “Left 4 Dead did better on the consoles than it did on the PC. So you know we don't try to guess, because we're not sure what value there is to guessing.” While there are differences between a console and PC gaming experiences, they're so complex it would be difficult to estimate sales for individual platforms and it might not be useful either. As Newel said, “We've never had a situation where we said, 'We really, really want to build something that is more popular for the console guys.' Because usually we have a bunch of other higher priority problems we want to solve.”
With Portal 2 safely out the door back in April, Valve's has two upcoming games. DotA 2 probably won't come to consoles at all, but the freshly announced Counter-Strike: GO will simultaneously release on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Both games are expected to start beta testing before the end of the year, and we heard that console players always find more balancing issues than PC players do.
Aug 31, 2011