The Fortitude of Older Games

Last Friday Massively had a post up about the Nielsen ratings for PC video games for January through October of 2008.  The post itself pointed to a Kotaku article that listed out the top ten games for that period with statistical rankings.

They were (sans details):

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Call of Duty 4
  3. Halo: Combat Evolved
  4. The Sims
  5. The Sims 2
  6. RuneScape
  7. Diablo II
  8. Team Fortress 2
  9. Counter-Strike
  10. Counter-Strike Source

The point of the articles seemed to be to remind us that we play a lot of World of Warcraft.  Massively did note that there was a massive title on the list besides WoW, namely RuneScape, but otherwise the list seemed to reinforce what we all suspected.  As one commentor put it:

How every you not need to read this crap to known that World of Warcraft was the most played game of 2008! base on the sale numbers alone!

You tell ’em!

But for me, the amazing/amusing part of the list was Diablo II.

Eight years after release, and seven years after the last expansion,  it makes it to the list.

Yes, Diablo II got a nostalgia boost this year when Blizzard finally got around to announcing Diablo III, but that alone does not account for the popularity of the title.  After all, if you go look at the X-Fire statistics every month, you will see Diablo II listed under “Top 10 Other.”

But then, a good chunk of this list is older games.  The Sims, Counter-Strike, and Halo are all PC titles over five years old.  Even The Sims 2 is four years old, making it as old as… well… World of Warcraft or the current version of RuneScape.

When it comes down to it, only Call of Duty 4 and Team Fortress 2 are really “new” games, and even they are based off older titles.

What does it mean?

Do new games just suck?  Is Nielsen fundamentally flawed?  Is PC gaming not dead, but just not done with the stuff it already has?

7 thoughts on “The Fortitude of Older Games

  1. bluelinebasher

    Didn’t Diablo 2 get a product repackage this past year? As for PC gaming, it takes some serious hardware to get the best performance from the newer titles — check out recommended specs for Farcry 2. If it’s not a mb/cpu hit, it’s a ram hit, or a video card hit — but most likely all 3. I doubt people will be spending the coin on hardware this year when they can buy a console. Also wasn’t November a big release month?


  2. Arnuz

    I still play MOO2 – Masters of Orion 2 – from time to time, online, on a dos emulator…. What? You never heard it? Yaakk don’t bother me youngster! Yiiihihihihi… (spits showing toothless mouth)


  3. woog

    PC gaming is not dead at all but they need to stop releasing titles that are massmarket shit dumbed down for the lowest common denominator of the console market.

    Many genres have fallen into conventions that utterly break them. RTS is a great example– take a look at the poor C&C3 and the absolutely execrable RA3– but do NOT put any money down on the latter title. The former one is OK, I suppose.

    They need to figure out a way to make games graphically passable without requiring such huge budgets that they MUST MAKE huge sales targets. The hardcore gamer market is the core market for PC games, and if game companies abandon that market they’re sunk…

    Spore should be an example to all game companies of what to AVOID AVOID AVOID.


  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @TR – I am not sure how Nielsen measures this, but it was PC games only. For ages there was only Halo on the PC.

    @BLB – There has been a Diablo Warchest out for a while, but it jumped up the sales charts this summer when Diablo III was announced.

    @Arnuz – Heh, I still play Civilization II. It was from the days when shipping on CD meant too much data to worry about piracy.

    I am amazed at how well it runs on my system too.


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