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Poor PC Ports: A Continuing Trend in 2023

PC gamers have been facing a disappointing trend in 2023 – poorly optimized ports of highly anticipated games. Titles such as Wo Long Fallen Dynasty, The Last Of Us Part 1, Forspoken, Returnal, Jedi Survivor, Dead Space, and Hogwarts Legacy have all been criticized for their technical issues on PC, including stuttering, low frame rates, and glitchy ray tracing. These problems have left PC gamers frustrated and wondering why the quality of PC ports has taken a nosedive.

One explanation for this trend is the increasing complexity and cost of game development. With the limitations of Moore's Law and the inability to rely solely on technical advancements, developers are finding it harder to achieve the desired performance targets for each platform. Creating visually stunning games with smooth gameplay now requires significantly more effort and resources than it did a decade ago.

Another factor exacerbating the problem is the lack of clear performance targets set at the beginning of a project. Developers often prioritize creating visually appealing games, leading to a content discipline process that neglects performance optimization. This results in games that may run smoothly at 30 frames per second but struggle to reach 60 frames per second without sacrificing content.

Additionally, accurately predicting how a game will perform on various platforms during development is challenging. It is not easy to determine if a game will meet the performance targets set for it until the later stages of development, causing further difficulties in optimization.

Console performance modes, which allow players to choose between higher frame rates or better graphical fidelity, have been a solution for console releases. However, this solution does not translate well to PC gaming, as the PC platform boasts a wide range of hardware configurations and variables that make optimization more complex.

Overall, the poor quality of PC ports in 2023 can be attributed to the challenges faced by developers in meeting performance targets and the complexity of game development. PC gamers continue to hope for better optimization in future releases, as the demand for high fidelity gaming experiences on PC remains strong.