Killing Floor 2 types Tripwire Interactive were working with a very different Steam back when they launched Red Orchestra in 2006. At best, concurrent player counts were a little over a million across the whole service – and maybe 15 million were signed up to Steam in total.
Today, with help from Dota 2 and Counter-Strike, Steam has 125 million active accounts.
“I think it’s a second golden age for PC gaming right now,” said Tripwire president John Gibson.
Tripwire were the first winners of Make Something Unreal, with the Unreal Tournament mod that became Red Orchestra. But even fresh from their victory, they faced doomsaying from all sides.
“In 2005 when we first started talking to Valve, everyone was beating the drum: PC gaming is dead, PC gaming is dead,” Gibson told PC Gamer.
Now that PC gaming is an undead lich lord with the world in its grasp, however, Gibson reckons new indies have a different problem: visibility.
“I feel a little bad for newer independent developers coming out because it’s not going to be as easy for them to get people’s attention as it was for us,” he said. “It’s still possible to make it, it’s just a little harder to get noticed.
“You’ve got emerging technologies like VR… Maybe it’s going to be the next big thing, maybe it’s not, but it seems really exciting,” Gibson went on. “It might be something that pushes PC gaming even to another level. I think it’s a second golden age for PC gaming right now.”
Do you feel like we’re basking in the yellow glow of a special time for the medium?