Originally posted by Mark Wright
One way to answer this question (if anyone can be bothered to help) is to draw up some timelines spanning 1989-1996 side-by-side for maybe 4-5 platforms (I propose Amiga, PC, Consoles (generic), C64 and Atari ST) so we can watch the major developments as they happened. As one platform rises in popularity (units sold, games released etc.) another crumbles (magazines close, no more games released, etc.)
I think it would make for an interesting illustration.
I'm a firm believer that the influx of cutesy platform games on the Amiga in 1994-5 was against market demand and lead to many softies pulling out and jumping over to consoles where cutesy games had their natural home (children). At the same time, I think there was a massive demand (which largely went unfulfilled) for more games like Settlers, Syndicate, Gods, etc. which were always very popular with the Amiga's slightly more mature userbase, and were starting to gain ground on the PC thanks to the advent of 3D and faster processors.
But what could the Amiga stalwarts do when all they had in production was yet more cutesy platform games (that had been popular 1-2 years previous and hitherto showed no signs of abating) for a platform that was forced into hiatus?
There are so many contributing factors that pushed people onto the PC and it wasn't confined to a particular year or period (I had Amiga-owning friends who leaped onto the PC in 1990 with a 286 machine - I remember someone telling me "listen! it can play Soundtracker modules!" and me thinking "well, yeah, so did your A500! Natively. Properly. What's up with you?" and this continued right the way through until 1997 when I was all alone with my Amiga (and copy of Poing 3) while the rest of the world was shooting things in Doom and Quake.
But anyway. This timeline idea - is it a good one? I think it would be quite entertaining to do.
Its an interesting idea, but the c64 was pretty much dead in 1989 when your proposed timeline starts and consoles are a different beast. It sounds like your friend got a PC for things other then gaming (like most people did), and some probably had both a PC and an amiga at the same time.
Just for a reference I went to amiga.mobygames.com and noted how many games they had listed over a few years for the amiga (to get some kind of idea of the platforms popularity from games released)
Year Games Released (all types)
These are probably not complete listing of releases I bet, but it shows that releases probably peaked in 1990 and took a steep dive after 1994. Of course this doesnt have a corelation with quality of games released, or how they fared against the same games released on other platforms.