I recently picked up a PC title I've been waiting for for some time. I won't say the name, as I don't feel like picking on them and that's partly because I haven't yet played the game. You see... I have a fairly decent system at home. Nothing epic, but more than capable of running the game in question. I can play just about anything that comes out at high settings still, even though it's probably time I upgraded my video card and installed more than 3GB of RAM. It's not a beast, but it gets the job done.
So why will just this one game not work? Why can't the company's help-desk seem to narrow down any possibilities? What if I was reviewing this game for them? If I was, it would certainly feature quite a bit of initial complaining about the difficulty I had in just getting the game installed and running. And that to me is the worst possible first impression... not even able to get it running despite exceeding the recommended specs.
Think about some of this era's most successful PC games. Aside from excellent gameplay they all have something a little less noticeable in common: they are easy to set up, and easy get running. They don't hang long when loading, they don't require a lot of milling about on forums to track down technical solutions. They simply play, and let you play.
So I'll keep this week's blog short and to the point. If you want your game to be success in a dog-eat-dog PC market? Make sure it works properly on the widest range of systems possible before the ship date.