Epic Games VP Blames Intel for PC Game Downturn

Mark Rein, Vice President at Epic Games, who reputation precedes him as being an outspoken, if not controversial figure, has lowered the boom again. His remarks, made at the Develop conference in Brighton, were directed at Intel, for killing the PC games industry because of its promotion of integrated graphics chips in computers that are unable to play advanced generation PC games.

Rein said, "Integrated graphics cannot compete with the console gaming experience. If you’re going to be out there creating these great next-generation games that kick ass and look wonderful, and help to sell these next-gen systems, you’re screwed if your customers have Intel integrated graphics."

He maintained that a great deal of consumers is moving to purchase laptops because of their experience with underpowered desktop computers. "Statistics show that people are moving to laptops in record numbers – laptops, as we know, are generally not upgradeable. What I think is happening is that we’re actually losing PC gamers in record numbers. People are going out and buying new computers at prices they feel should be fairly reasonable, and they’re ending up with computers that make games look horrible." The result of computer systems that have mediocre integrated graphic chips will bring on a crisis in the PC game industry, according to Reins. "I see the potential for a catastrophic failure in the PC gaming market out of this. The functionality of these [integrated] chips is way, way below par, and it skews the development economics. For example, a game like Gears of War – there’s just no way we can make that run [on these computers]. We can dumb it down to run on a lower-end 7-series or 6-series NVIDIA GPU; we can dumb it down to run on an ATI X1300, something of that nature – but it just will not scale down to Intel integrated graphics. It’s just not possible."

He then leveled his sights directly at Intel as the villain by stating, "If Intel exited the gaming market we would all be better off. This is something that really angers me. This affects everybody in this room that makes PC games – everybody has pretty much given Intel a pass on this!"

Dedicated PC gamers have long held the position that “off the shelf” computers are not only generally less powerful in terms of raw computing strength and graphics capacity, but are not cost effective. As a result, they build their own computers. But the common consumer, who is neither tech savvy or educated about this alternative, continues to buy readymade systems. Whether Rein,s contention that integrated graphics chips are the cause of a weak PC game industry remains to be seen, but his point that substandard graphics contribute to a downturn in PC gaming may be very valid indeed.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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