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Why PC games are getting so huge - do we need to get rid of one-size-fits-all?

Posted on Saturday, February 04 2017 @ 11:55:19 CET by

PC World explores why PC games are getting so massive in terms of install size. The author points out that in 2014, Titanfall was the first game to require 50GB and this captured a lot of headlines and forced the developer to come up with an explanation.

Newer games like Doom and Hitman take up 65GB and Gears of War 4 consumes 73GB. Quite a lot but it still pales compared to the 120GB footprint of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered. Granted, it's a pair but it's definitely the largest ever seen.

The reason for these huge increases in footprint is because PC gamers are demanding everything bigger and better than every before. High-resolution textures for 4K gaming as well as uncompressed audio take up a lot of space.

While solid state disk storage has been getting a lot of cheaper in recent years, the fact remains that a lot of people have a 500GB or smaller SSD. Similarly, a lot of people have broadband Internet with data limits.

This is why PC World proposes that game developers should get rid of the one-size-fits-all model. Gamers with GeForce GTX 1060 graphics cards do not need assets designed for 4K, and if you play in English you have no need for uncompressed audio for a dozen other languages. Therefore, the site suggests game developers should move to a modular install approach, similar to how it's done for a lot of other software:

modular install example
The games industry needs to ease the burden of these gargantuan installations. Let the people who want (and can handle) 80GB downloads continue as normal, but the flexibility of the PC as a platform should mean there’s a way for people who don’t need the whole package to pick and choose, be it by accepting downgraded assets or by installing only one mode at a time, or whatever else developers can think up.
It's a good idea that we support.



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