PC loyalists now have a reason to love Activision: it may have saved the computer as a gaming platform. Such a statement seems a little ridiculous, especially since Activision has lately been getting nothing but bad press, but allow me to explain exactly how such a thing is possible.
It's no secret that the PC platform has been in decline of late; more and more developers have been migrating towards consoles thanks to several different reasons; more standardized platform capabilities, Xbox Live Arcade/PSN actively sponsoring indie titles, as well as the simple fact that for consumers it is considerably cheaper to buy an Xbox 360, or even a Playstation 3, than it is to buy a tricked out gaming rig. Even PC mainstays like the Civilization series have been foraying into the realm of console gaming. Simply put, the computer is running low on extra lives.
In fact there is only one thing that the computer really has going for it: mods. The modding community has never really migrated to consoles, holding fast to its PC origins. Mods are truly the one last card that PC gaming holds in its hands.
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And Bungie almost killed it.
Halo: Reach's Forge World has been called by many a "love letter" to its fans. It is the ultimate map-making tool. Had more games adopted a system like Forge World, it would end the computer's reign as the king of community-mods. Additionally, the fact that Bungie is now moving to the mod-unfriendly Activision (just look at the Call of Duty series) means it is unlikely that anything like Forge World will be created again.
While it is true that earlier Halo games had Forge modes as well, they did not reach the level of versatility nor the ease of use present in Halo: Reach's Forge World. As it is, thanks to most publishers love of selling map-packs to captive audience for a tidy sum, it is unlikely that other developers will soon imitate Halo's Forge, and the consoles will remain untouched by user-created content for some time longer.
Had Bungie made more games with Forge World type utilties, the PC platform would likely not be able to withstand for much longer as there would be virtually no incentive for developers to make games for it. So PC gamers, next time you start up your computer to play Starcraft or Team Fortress 2, a thank you note to Activision may be in order.
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