Follow-Up: Skulls of The Shogun’s Win 8 Debate

By Alec Meer on June 12th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

Today’s Big Noisy Fight is the matter of appealing zombie-samurai TBS Skulls of the Shogun controversially restricting its PC version to Windows 8. Following the (probably inevitable) unhappiness in comments, Borut Pfiefer of dev 17-BIT Studios followed-up on his reasoning for exclusively tying Skulls’ flag to Microsoft’s latest mast. Specifically, that it’s apparently to do with getting at least some kind of PC version out at the same time as the Xbox version. There’ve been a few conspiracy theories flying around, so let’s see if this changes things any.

“I know the game has taken a while to finish – some of you have been waiting a couple years (since we first showed it) for it to be finished,” he said in regard to disappointed RPS readers who aren’t planning on moving to Windows 8.

“Part of that was us spending the time it takes in this industry to find & negotiate a deal we liked, and met all of our wants and needs – not just our needs running a small indie studio, but as both PC and console gamers.

“It can take almost a year to figure out a good deal to get on both console & PC. And in our case, we managed to get a simultaneous launch on console and at-least-some-flavor-of-Windows, which is largely unheard of for indie games.”

While I too don’t like that the game has essentially been placed out of reach of legions of PC gamers for the time being, it is as I surmised – Microsoft have often seemed to be right old rotters for apparently blocking or delaying PC releases of interesting indie games as a requirement for plum placement on XBLA, so this at least means the game will be available on PC in some form right away. I can only hope a Win 7/Vista/XP-compatible version will be possible further down the line, hopefully on assorted download platforms such as Steam, Gamers Gate and co, and maybe even a Chrome app. That’s for tomorrow, though. For today, the news is Windows 8 only – and I can sympathise, even if, as someone quite happy with Win 7 for the time being, I don’t much like it personally.

Borut also adds that “as we announce more about the game, hopefully our reasoning will become more apparent. We are however confident our Windows 8 sales would outsell a theoretical Game For Windows Live & Win 7 version.”

Given GFWL seems to draw so many negative headlines/comments as to be tantamount to commercial suicide, perhaps he’ll prove right. Who knows – but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on how launch goes.

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139 Comments »

  1. Yachmenev says:

    Yeah…….no, I´ll pass.

    I´m guessing that the Windows 8 version will not be any more pleasant than a regular GfWL title.

    Other indies manages to avoid messes like this, so if they can´t, I´ll just play the ones that do.

    • Teovald says:

      Same thing here. I am not going to buy a piece of software that is tied to a specific version of a specific OS.
      Microsoft likes to buy some edge for its products with this kind of exclusivity deal.
      Microsoft has got the good part of deal here, not the users or the devs which are both pissed on.

      • Skystrider says:

        Same here.

        Windows 8 is like a big, dumb, bloated white elephant that tries to shoehorn its way into the Cinderella shoe that is the PC. Of course it won’t fit! The zoo’s over that way!

        It will probably be great for Microsoft tablets and smartphones, but I can’t for the life of me understand why I would want Windows 8 on my desktop or laptop. I am doing just fine with Windows 7, thank you.

      • Odog4ever says:

        To be clear Microsoft is not the only publisher that pays for exclusivity (Sony, etc) so take a crap on the entire video game industry while your at it. In the end game studios are not non-profits, they need to get paid and get promotion/marketing and publisher deals is how the big boys do it. Not every game/studio can (or should) adopt a business model that avoids publishers completely

        Ultimately this is a good deal for the Shogun devs because they will be a highlighted game when Window 8 drops. Go back in time and think how advantages it was to be in the first wave of iPhone apps. Little to no competition, all eyes were on those apps even though they may have not been very good.

        The same will happen with Shogun because based on history Windows 8 will sell. Even the hated Vista was profitable for MS. So the worst that could happen is that Windows 8 is the new Vista, MS still sells hundreds of millions of licences, and Shogun is exposed to millions of potential customers.

  2. Heliocentric says:

    If win 8 genuinely gets enough exclusives, and win 7 customers get a mega cheap update I might be interested, but I only just got 7, so that shows you how much of a *hurry* I am in to adopt software.

    • Caesar says:

      There’s also the possibility that W8 will be broken like Vista was and that
      people have moved forward before it’s fixed. Integration is also a swearword. As a Steam fanboy I’ll just conclude that if it’s not on it, then I’m not on it.

      • Vexing Vision says:

        Considering that roughly every second version of Windows is perfectly broken, I’ll be waiting for Win 9 to upgrade.

        • Valvarexart says:

          Considering that Windows 8 is to Windows 7 as Windows 7 was to Windows Vista (just an upgrade to the same OS), I don’t really see this being an issue. So far Windows 8 runs exactly like WIndows 7 for me, just better on a few points.

          • Caesar says:

            So there’s no value for your money for upgrading? ;)

          • Kdansky says:

            We’ve probably passed the shit-hill with Win7, and you will be hard-pressed to find good value for your money from now on. Look at OSX, where upgrades are at 20$ by now, because even Apple fans start to get uncomfortable when you try to sell them minor improvements for 200$.

    • Bhazor says:

      I don’t actually have a PC at the moment (my adorable wee Aspire One being my current gaming platform) so yeah I’m on the fence about whether to get 7 or wait for 8 in my next PC.

      But that up there? That’s bullshit.

      Seriously, exclusivity deals? On PC? The hell is that???

      • RobF says:

        Perfectly business as usual is what it is

      • LionsPhil says:

        Given the absolute UI trainwreck the previews have been so far, you probably want to grab 7 while you still can.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        8 on target to turn up around the end of the year, there’s apparently some cheap upgrade for those that purchase a 7 PC some time before that point (not just yet I think).

        I’ll probably be picking up a new PC when 8 comes out, because I want a new one (as opposed to a 2005 one), and if worst comes to the worst I have access to windows 7 install from my work.

        If it’s not too terrible I may stick with 8, and maybe dual boot XP (for those old games that don’t run on vista+).

        • Valvarexart says:

          Isn’t there a compatability thing in the properties of applications where you can choose to run it as if it was being run in an any previous version of Windows?

          • RvLeshrac says:

            That’s not how that works.

          • El_Spartin says:

            We can’t compatibility to a version from the future.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            Unfortunately, functionality using “compatibility mode(s)” varies on a per-program basis.

    • cris178 says:

      I’ve got the Windows 8 Release Preview running right now and it runs as smooth as butter. I think the reason for the delay was because cross platform experiences might have been added. The Xbox app on Windows 8 will truly highlight gaming I think. Both Casual and Hardcore.

    • Teovald says:

      Microsoft knows that it will be hard to make people buy windows8. The fact that the UX is divisive at best is not even the main problem. The problem is that with the Vista fiasco & the fact that Seven was pretty good, this last version has been an absolute best seller and people just don’t need a new version of the OS.
      Seven is already a mature OS that fills most needs.

  3. mpk says:

    I’ve never understood why people complain about GfWL. Ever since I sacrificed my first born in the name of the Dark Lord Billious Hellgates, it’s worked fine.

    • El_Spartin says:

      Sounds like you got played for a fool. All I had to do was recite the ancient articles of servitude backwards phonetically.

      • somini says:

        Juss open a command prompt and introduce this, while gutting a goat above the keyboard using only your mouse.
        TihS SI EviL SwodniW RoF SemaG

  4. djbriandamage says:

    “We are however confident our Windows 8 sales would outsell a theoretical Game For Windows Live & Win 7 version.”

    This is a very bold, thought-provoking statement. Could an operating system’s bundled app store become more popular than Steam? Microsoft’s been trying to woo developers by saying that, considering the market penetration of Windows, this virtual storefront could have more eyeballs on it than any other store in human history.

    Regardless of how well Win8 sells at launch, it’s highly likely that as consumers buy new machines Win8 and Win9 will be installed on most PCs in the next decade. Could Windows’ own store become the new standard in PC game sales?

    • rocketman71 says:

      We’re talking Microsoft here. There is no way in hell they won’t fuck it up.

      The new standard?. Doubt so. The most popular?. Perhaps. Hey, that huge piece of shit that is Internet Explorer was the most popular browser for years, only because it was installed automatically and had an icon in the desktop. A lot of people still think of it as the “internet icon”. And web developers hope that every single fucking member of the Internet Explorer development team go straight to hell, right now if possible.

      • Cross says:

        Hey, you’re making a respectable statement here, don’t send it sideways by swearing like a sailor, compadre.

        • Vorphalack says:

          Hey, hes making a good point here. Stop deflecting attention from that point getting bent out of shape by a few ”naughty” words.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Funny thing is, I bet most of them don’t want that to happen to the current IE team, because right now MS are in panic mode and are fixing up IE at a frankly alarming rate.

        IE9 is actually pretty good, standards-wise. Finally, DOM-standard addEventListener! It’s all the previous versions that can FOAD ASAP so nobody has to support them ever again.

      • StingingVelvet says:

        IE is the internet to most people because they frankly don’t give a crap about the differences in Firefox or Chrome that more tech-savvy people think are so important. The rise of social media and people wanting to be more “with it” has caused higher adoption rates of other browers though, as friends tell friends the cool kids are on Chrome or whatever else.

        Why should I go through the pain of getting my mother to use Firefox though? It makes no difference to her.

      • wcanyon says:

        Chrome is the most popular browser in the world right now — so there is something to be said for having quality and ease of use. FF never really had that combination.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      There’s probably two things I immediately think of…
      1. non-gamers probably have never heard of Steam, but do know what an “app store” is (thanks Apple)
      2. Xbox’s dashboard is so messed up that you’d be hard pressed to realise the thing is designed to play games, and not just feed you adverts and netflix. How “discoverable” it will be, especially a relatively small thing like an indie game, is probably the ultimate question (you can’t search for something if you’ve never heard of it before, and you probably won’t wander across it if it’s pages deep in other equally positioned products).

      • Baines says:

        The Xbox 360 dashboard only seems to get worse with each update. My friends and I sometimes have to search to find basic features if we don’t happen to turn on the machine every few days to continually remind ourselves where everything is.

        It’s also really annoying when you accidentally move over one of the stupid advertisement windows.

        • wcanyon says:

          So a service you pay for (and isn’t cheap) has ads? Screw that. I don’t have an Xbox, but hearing this makes me less likely to get one.

    • MondSemmel says:

      Would they even be allowed to do that, though? With Microsoft’s marketshare still being as big as it is, any attempt at doing anything is potentially subject to various anti-trust laws I have no deeper knowledge about. And if the potential for Microsoft to become “the new standard” in another area is there, shouldn’t that have implications in anti-trust law?

      • RvLeshrac says:

        The EU courts are likely going to fuck them in the ass repeatedly with an *enormous* spiked rod.

        They think they’re going to sneak an integrated Store by the people that required they not even enable access to the IE executable before giving users a randomised choice of other browsers?

        • Torgen says:

          While I enormously respect Bill Gates for donating over 30 BILLION dollars to charity (why does Steve Jobs get all the love?) I’d sign up for pay per view if the event mentioned in the above post were televised. Too bad banking monopolies don’t get the same scrutiny.

          • JellyD says:

            Well Bill Gates won’t be there then. Cause he isn’t running the company anymore. Steve Balmer would be the target and I’ll gladly watch that without any remorse.

    • TormDK says:

      The App store in Windows 8 will have more users one year after release than Steam have had for all the time it’s been active.

      Microsoft has noted that they plan to ship at least 150 million copies of Windows 8 within a year.

      So there’s a very real chance that the Dev in this situation is speaking the truth saleswise.

      • somini says:

        HaHa, some funny numbers there.
        Microsoft has the best pot in the business.

        • TormDK says:

          Whats funny about them?

          Just because YOU may not like what Windows 8 offers doesn’t mean that the average consumer will not. When you consider that Windows 8 RT (The version on ARM – e.g tablets) is also considered a sale for Microsoft then I’m surprised they don’t set expectations higher.

          Remember the Kinect release for Xbox360? – The fastest selling consumer device in history at that time (It may still be, I haven’t bothered checking up on that)

          In fact, we (us members of the PC Master Race) keep forgetting that we are a (vocal) minority in the grander scheme of things.

          Casual gaming is making tons of money. Not from us, because we prefer AAA titles, but there’s plenty of people out there that are not like us and in fact they are the vast majority which means big business.

          • Brun says:

            When you consider that the figure he quoted likely includes OEM installs and tablets, it doesn’t seem so ridiculous. Eight months from release every major computer manufacturer will be selling premade boxes with Windows 8 installed.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        Yeah and you could put the Carcassonne board game on the shelf in your local grocery store, but how many people would buy it?

        I just don’t see that many random middle aged ladies buying this game through the Win8 Market.

        I’d love to see stats that will prove me wrong, but that will likely never happen, either, due to how cagey people are about sales stats these days.

    • riku0116 says:

      I think in that context they mean they would sell more copies on Win8 Store than on Win7 WITH GFWL, and that they have no other options contractually with Microsoft if they are to be allowed to release simultaneously on XBLA.

      This makes sense in my opinion, I would much rather have a Win8 version without GFWL rather than a non-Steamworks Steam version that’s shackled down with it, not to mention the exposure to additional customers that the Win8 Store may bring.

      • DK says:

        The entire login/app store process of Win 8 IS GFWL. There’s no difference besides branding. It’s the exact same piece of crap software without the Logo.

  5. yutt says:

    I played the game and talked to one of the developers at PAX East 2012. It was a great take on the genre and was fun to play. The dev I spoke with seemed genuinely regretful when I asked if there was a planned Steam release and he had to dive into an explanation of the situation. He said they were huge Steam fans and realized it was a place they wanted to be, but it seemed the technical and financial hurdles were quite significant.

    Not saying I am going to upgrade to Windows 8 for the game, but I can definitely empathize with the developers. By all respects it seems to be a great game and it is a shame for both us and the team that a Windows 7 release won’t be possible (at least in the near-term).

  6. Ringwraith says:

    I think the fact the potential market of people with Windows 8 will be significantly smaller than those with older OSs and would be willing to put with Games for Winarrrgh actually makes this a bad decision to make, but it’s not like I’ve got any research to back me up, just an uneducated guess.
    Although the whole coding problem and desire for cross-platform multiplayer are probably the bigger factors I’d guess rather than the size of the potential audience.

  7. HermitUK says:

    Honestly, it sounds like the Win 7 + GFWL wasn’t really an option ever (With the need to rewrite the code), once they’d made that deal with MS.

    The real question is whether they’re confident their Windows 8 + XBox sales would outsell a PC release not shackled by GFWL. Sadly, that’s entirely moot point now, because this is the deal they’ve entered into with Microsoft. I expect this will become the norm for XBLA titles being ported over to Windows; the almost inevitable PC port of Fez will probably follow suit.

    • Ringwraith says:

      However, Fez doesn’t have multiplayer, and more importantly, cross-platform multiplayer, which using the same system like Xbox/Windows Live allows. Therefore they could easily make a PC port without dealing with Microsoft at all, as many games have done, like Bastion or LIMBO (although the latter was a pretty bad port from what I hear).

      • HermitUK says:

        Limbo’s port was better once they added some resolution support.

        Fez doesn’t have multiplayer, true, but it does support leaderboards; if MS is scrambling round for indie games to flesh out its app store for Windows 8 launch, Fez would seem like a safe bet for them. Whether they’d enforce the same GFWL requirement for the release on older versions of Windows, I don’t know.

        Edit: The alternative is that this is an increase of the exclusivity deals they usually have on indie titles; rather than a 6 month XBLA exclusive, perhaps its now a 6 month XBLA and Windows 8/GFWL exclusive. In which case it might be possible for them to release it elsewhere down the line. But in Samurai’s case, if they’re pinning so much on cross platform play, that seems unlikely.

  8. Bhazor says:

    So Microsoft paid them to then?

    • fucrate says:

      Allegations that Microsoft pays off developers to get them to accept shitty deals are so fucking tin-foil insane that I have to wonder what plane of existence you people really live on.

      I do agree that every indie developer should just forget XBLA as it’s pretty much shit compared to Steam financially, but indies will be indies and want to get on XBLA. These “deals” are just the shitty terms MS forces indies to agree to to get on XBLA. I’d be surprised if Shoguns won’t effectively be paying MS for the chance to get on xbox at this point, they’re probably requiring hobbling the PC release AS WELL as forcing something like a 40% cut of sales on both platforms.

      These guys are getting screwed because they’re too stupid to just give up on console all together, they’re not getting “paid off”, and anybody who suggests that is an idiot.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Mostly the problem with Microsoft is that they have a tendency of refusing to let you release your game on the 360 if you brought it out on another platform first. They’re a bit more lenient with bigger publishers and developers on this however, like Final Fantasy XIII for example, although it will still released simultaneously internationally.
        Therefore the best bet to maximise your sales is to release on 360 first, then move onto PC as you (likely) cannot do the reverse.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          My first thought was: “So then why don’t developers boycott the X-box? Let’s see how long it takes Microsoft then to turn about.” But then, developers/publishers are hardly a unified front and they’ll just want the increased income and playerbase. That and even if there’d be a sort agreement between developers/publishers on this it’d most likely be a gentleman’s agreement.. and money talks.

          Thus: Microsoft has them by their cohones.

          • RobF says:

            How many new indie games have you seen announced for the Xbox in the past 12 months or so?

      • InternetBatman says:

        I assumed that they had been paid to choose XBLA over Steam because of all the instances about indie games doing better on Steam. It seems like such an obvious decision.

  9. rocketman71 says:

    “We are however confident our Windows 8 sales would outsell a theoretical Game For Windows Live & Win 7 version.”

    A GFWL version and a Win8 version will have the same sales for me and my friends: ZERO.

    There are excellent APIs out there, 17-BIT, for every language, free, cheap and expensive. Google 5 fucking minutes. And if all of this is because you signed an agreement of exclusivity with Microsoft, then STFU already and stop trying to justify yourselves. There is no fucking reason not to release for W7/XP otherwise.

    “Hey, look, we are releasing for XBLA and 0.1% of the PC market at the same time!. That’s unheard of!.”

    Yeah. Because it is so sublimely stupid.

  10. misterT0AST says:

    I don’t know much about Windows 8, but I don’t like its store one bit.
    The idea behind Windows 8 and its “marketplace” for apps seems to be shackling the internet in a controllable form, so they can keep an eye on everything that gets made for it.
    The internet of the future will be a huge Apple Store, a huge “Android Market” controlled by Microsoft. They obviously want everyone to switch platform.
    I hope to Christ that developers strong enough not to be pushed around will still make a version of their work for older, more open operative systems.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Only metro apps need to be approved by Microsoft. Since most “complex” software is probably going to stick with desktop for the time being, I don’t see it as dramatic for games, which run fullscreen anyway.

      Also, I like the convenience, price policy and security of the apple app store, and if microsoft can do even better, I’m a happy customer.

      • Italianmoose says:

        Ye gads! Please nothing like the “Google Play” store thing. It’s like a ruddy labyrinth… Some real gems in there, but you’re just as likely to come out with the software equivalent of a minotaur.

      • shizamon says:

        Yeah, security that’s what we need. They should also make it where you can’t load unauthorized programs on your own property, that would be great.

    • Valvarexart says:

      I don’t know what you people are making such a fuss about. They aren’t going to stop us from using non-certified applications and they haven’t given any indications that they will. The App Store in Windows 8 is completely optional and it isn’t in the way at all. I have, in fact, not used it at all on my W8 CP installation.

      • shizamon says:

        Keep in mind you have a consumer preview version. And also, anything can be changed with a patch. Sounds far fetched, but look at the PS3, got away with stealing features for sake of “security” which we all know was just Sony’s financial security. Who’s to say that MS won’t pull the same card, it’s definitely in their financial interest to do so. I’ll be going Linux next upgrade.

  11. MichaelPalin says:

    Why don’t we call thing as they are, if you publish in XBLA, you loose your independence. The sooner we recognize it, the sooner we’ll realize that indies have a long way to go to really be indie. At least on consoles, you just cannot be indie right away.

  12. Italianmoose says:

    To be brutally honest, I really don’t think people are going to ‘get’ the fact that ‘core’ gamers really want the *choice* of who follows them around, as it were. This is why we need more people to work on Linux games, I don’t want to be tied to Microsoft any more, and I’m sure a lot of people feel similarly.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely. I think the Unity engine going to Linux could provide a lot of the missing game support, and once that happens I’ll probably only boot into windows for AAA games (which are about 1/4 of the time I spend playing games).

  13. stahlwerk says:

    I’ve been using the win8 DP and RP since release now, and it has really grown on me. While some gestures still are a bit awkward, especially on multi-monitor systems, I’m excited what MS may do with the right HID peripherals. Something like the magic trackpad with swipe-in gesture support (see tim cooks wwdc keynote for an example of its use in OS X Mountain lion) will be a real boon.

    So yeah, bring it on, progress and all that jazz.

    • Valvarexart says:

      Same here. I don’t have any real problems with Windows 8 and I don’t see why people are so unwilling to upgrade. It reminds me a bit about the legions of people whining about the (far superior) timeline on Facebook. People just whine about changes to a UI that they have gotten used to. And in the case of W8 you can disable the metro UI if you really hate it..

      • Meusli says:

        If you trust MS that much, to actually look after your interests in their operating system, then more fool you.

        • Valvarexart says:

          I don’t see what the big difference between W8 and and W7 is, though (except for the plethora of improvements)….

          • d32 says:

            Designing desktop OS to be a tablet-fit is not exactly an improvement.
            See Ubuntu, doing the same thing, going to shit.

  14. Daryl says:

    I wonder if they’ll blame piracy when it sells like poo on the PC.

  15. Meusli says:

    This is just the beginning though, let’s not walk into the monsters mouth ignorant fools. Look at what their Console has become, and advertising box that is becoming less a games console and more a delivery of products device. They would fuck up the openness of the PC to make a fast buck off us and I will not follow them.

    As soon as I decide to go PC only after all the console shenanigans they have pulled they start to strangle the very thing that makes PC’s rock. Openness.

    • Valvarexart says:

      Are you implying that Windows 8 is somehow much less open than previous versions of Windows? Because if you are, I’m not sure where you got that from…

      • Meusli says:

        The history of the company and my being a long time consumer of their products has given me a gut feeling that they are aiming to control all aspects through their market. It was not long ago that they had to introduce a browser choice in their updates to stop them monopolising browsers. Also add to this their exclusive DLC buying for their consoles that serve no purpose than to delay stuff for other gamers on other systems.

        This market thing that they have included into their OS is their challenge to Steam/Origin and it comes pre-installed(like ie was) and closed to anyone that does not bend to MS will.

        • TormDK says:

          Right because Sony does not have paid-for exclusives right?

          Get over yourself please.

          *EDIT* Also, the anti-trust days are far behind. I would be more worried about Google’s upcoming investigation by the EU due to their search monopoly than I would be for what Microsoft has in store for Windows 8 with the App store.

          • Meusli says:

            They do not have a policy that states that if it does not appear on their system first it does not appear at all, plus they help fund indie games as well. Your turn.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            I wouldn’t be so sure that MS is “passed” a good bit of anti-trust. They still have significant dominance with their OS, and are pulling the same sort of “only MS allowed” API/integrated browser-OS tricks that got them in trouble in the first place.

          • malkav11 says:

            I would be, but only because I don’t trust the US government to actively prosecute anti-trust suits anymore.

      • wu wei says:

        Possibly from the recent announcement that Visual Studio Express would only compile Metro apps, which they hastily reversed due to the negativity.

        You have repeatedly stated you see no difference between Windows 7 & 8…are you not seeing any Metro integration whatsoever? It’s a fairly major change that is going to affect all aspects of Windows.

  16. db1331 says:

    Windows 8 is the new couch.

  17. MythArcana says:

    Smells like an imminent Win8 boycott to me. I was unwillingly forced from XP to Win7 and I don’t plan on doing that again for a LONG time; not every new OS MS creates to try to pitch products on our desktops.

    I read all this talk about “deals” and how it best suits them as a company. How about what the consumers want? How about general compatibility? How does any of that figure into the mix? It doesn’t.

    NO THANKS.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Yeah I tend to agree, based on my totally untrained business smurts.

      I mean, getting a good deal on this one game, or building a small but dedicated PC fanbase who will likely support your later games? The choice seems obvious to me. I just can’t believe that Microsoft will take care of them or be good for them in the long term, but that’s based more on my prejudice than any specific observation of the software industry.

  18. Hoaxfish says:

    See, now, this I don’t like… I’ve already used all my anti-Win8 rants in the earlier topic. I don’t want to keep going “no, look at what I just said in this other article!”, it feels silly.

  19. Dinger says:

    I know win 8 is supposed to have a lower memory footprint, be snappier and all that, but it’s still the huge hurdle of common wisdom “an OS upgrade is equivalent to a hardware downgrade”. The thing works, why change it?

    Besides, I have yet to hear a convincing argument for why Win 8 is superior to Win 7 for those of us not working on tablets; but I hear plenty of reasons why I wouldn’t want to run Win 8. It’ll take Microsoft more than signing a few desperate indie devs to make me adopt.

    Sucks to be the desperate indie dev, natch. In short: you’ll be betrayed by rough trade lies.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      There are some improvements in the backroom functionality, and some neat tweaks on the desktop (the task manager has had a nice overhaul), but right now those benefits are such a minor aspect the sum total is certainly not a reason to upgrade from Windows 7. Right now, there’ll be at least some people thinking about “downgrading” to Windows 7 for OEM Win8 PCs.

  20. Hug_dealer says:

    17-bit is obviously doesnt know what PC gamers want. We dont want GFWL, we dont want Windows 8, we dont want steam.

    We want a stand alone product we can buy from your website.

    Quite frankly i think that you(17-bit) are going to have terrible PC sales and then blame it on the so called failing PC market, which isnt failing, we simply dont buy products that are clearly ports and dont care about us as a consumer.

    Your game looks fun and interesting, but i have no plans for windows 8, or xbox. I am a PC gamer, you didnt target me as a consumer. I wish you the best of luck with your game though.

    • Kuraudo says:

      Speak for yourself – a lot of us want steam.

      • Hug_dealer says:

        I’m sure alot of you do. But definately not most.

        I’m pretty sure most of us would prefer the ability to not have any kind of drm on any of our games. STEAM is DRM.

        • ulix says:

          So that’s why The Witcher 2 sold five times as many copies on Steam when compared to the DRM-free, and usually a bit cheaper GOG?

          I see your point.

        • Vinraith says:

          Most people, sadly, will always value convenience over things like control and freedom. You’re giving gamers too much credit, Hug_dealer.

        • CrookedLittleVein says:

          You seem very angry for someone who supposedly deals in hugs.

          Perhaps you need to let off some steam.

  21. InternetBatman says:

    This seems like a very, very bad deal for the team. Maybe they’ll benefit from the increased publicity this will cause, but I thought there was a fairly large body of evidence that indies do as well or better on the PC, and they’re crushing their PC sales. It takes people a lot of time to move from one operating system to the other, so most people won’t be able to buy it new, and there will be newer games by the time they move over. Really just a terrible decision.

    It is a zombie game coming out in 2013 though, so maybe they’re not great at decisions in general, or maybe they need controversy to make it stand out.

  22. Warskull says:

    This didn’t work so great for Shadowrun when it decided to be Vista only. Maybe the Windows 8 option takes zero effort on their part.

    • TormDK says:

      It’s a shame about Shadowrun really. If they re-released it today it would likely become quite popular. The cross-platform experience wasn’t that bad to be honest.

      • Jigoku says:

        Yeah… Shadowrun story all over again. Corporate greed at its finest.
        It hurt Fasa last time, and damaged the Shadowrun brand as a whole. Just for that, they should burn – without kickstarter, we would have lost one of the best ip out there.
        It will hurt this game too, for no good reason except some stupid “suit” decision.
        Sad, because the game looked cool.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      A more recent example being that it didn’t work too well for Team Meat when they released Super Meat Boy on XBLA either.
      They sold substantially more copies and made more money from 2 weeks of it being available on Steam a month after the XBLA launch than they had from XBLA & that was at full price on Steam.

  23. Dawngreeter says:

    I wish the developers success and I hope this works out for them. I truly do. But sacrificing the PC audience so that you can reach the XBox audience is insanity.

    I have no idea what the numbers for indie titles on XBLA are, admittedly, but I feel releasing it as a solitary (non-Humble Bundle) pay-what-you-will deal with zero advertising other than, say, sending the RPS hivemind an email would get them ten times the cash in one tenth of the time. These are, of course, very precise numbers based on my proprietary “I think this so it must be true for everyone” estimation method.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      I couldn’t give you a link, but I’m very confident I’ve seen sales numbers which indicate PC tends to outperform XBLA for indie games by a decent margin. Of course such numbers are always touchy and seldom easy to find/confirm.

      Now, having both would be best, of course. But even a passing familiarity with PC gaming should tell you that consumers do not like GFWL.

      I’m sure these guys have probably bought sales stats and done their research and all…. But yeah, my gut says that for this game, PC will be their strongest market, and bending over backwards to please those consumers would set them up for better long term prospects than doing a half-assed PC release and hoping that the XBLA users decide to open their virtual wallets for your quirky turn based strategy game.

      Honestly though, my 360 has been broken for a year and I don’t care enough to fix it, so I know nothing about the current climate on XBLA.

  24. Jamesworkshop says:

    Is this game really hyped enough that people care

  25. Lucas Says says:

    Look on the bright side: maybe they’ll have a Windows 7 release one day (as they’ve hinted) *without* Games for Windows Live.

    I’d take that. Since I have no other options, I’ll doubly take it.

  26. Mordsung says:

    Considering the fact that Microsoft seems to botch one OS, make a good one, botch one, then make a good one etc, Windows 8 will likely suck, but Windows 9 will probably be great.

  27. Brise Bonbons says:

    Not that I’m privy to any of the behind-the-scenes information, but this just doesn’t seem like a good deal for the developers. I didn’t think XBLA was a very healthy place for indie titles these days to begin with, and very few people I know are rushing out to upgrade to Win8.

    I dunno, had I an indie game that I wanted to release these days, I would just go straight for PC/Mac and tell XBLA and GFWL politely where they can stick it. But I have no such game, so I’m probably just ignorant.

  28. malkav11 says:

    I don’t understand why having a simultaneous PC release is important to them when it’s for a PC OS that most people won’t have and many people actively don’t want. I for one would be more than happy to wait for a Windows 7 version, but at the moment I have no intention of ever installing Windows 8.

  29. Gasmask Hero says:

    The main problem is that these dudes are ‘people who love games’ first. Being businesspersons comes a very distant second for them.

    I mean, Windows Phone? XBLA? No one uses these anymore, not even Microsoft. How is this game supposed to get recognition when it’s being released on such obscure and ill-used platforms? MS may be offering a pot of money for exclusivety but when that audience numbers in the tens the loser is going to be the dev. It sort of makes me sad, but, well, survival of the fittest and all that.

  30. Walter Heisenberg says:

    They’re doing this so they can swear off PC development once it gets cracked and pirated to high hell by Vista/Win7 users.

  31. Lemming says:

    Why do I get the feeling Windows 8 and Linux Steam coming at roughly the same time is no accident?

    • RoAE says:

      No accident. Gabe hates win8, one because its disgusting to any PC fan and two because its will try to cut out Steam by applying a giant Games for Windows button on your screen.

  32. RoAE says:

    Windows 8 is a disaster and its clear Microsoft is only designing it to favor to tablets and phones (because that’s where the money is right now). Simultaneously they are trying to see if they can get people to buy stuff directly from them with Games for Windows and Windows Store being only a click away while your start button is now like 4 clicks away. Ive suffered enough PC game sequels being “dumbed” down for console users, I certainly won’t be suffering a “dumbed” down OS for the sake of someone’s tablet not even my own. Oh and the argument about the speed of Win8 v Win7 is total bullshit, its so slight most of you won’t be able to tell the difference.

  33. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Dev is still sprouting a load of nonesense.

    MS Splosion Man, Toy Soldiers & Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet are ALL using GFWL on Windows 7 (MS Splosion Man is not out yet the other 2 are for almost 2 months on Steam even though MS are the publisher on PC). All 3 of these games are also Windows 8 launch titles as well (Resident Evil5 is also a Windows 8 launch title & some have seen it running at trade shows but Capcom are strictly no comment on what differences RE5 has on Windows 8 vs Windows 7/Vista. Could be cross platform play who knows!!). So they all need to have another version for Windows 8 which I understand is very easy to do especially if you have a GFWL build already.

    So if MS allow/insist 3 of their own published games run on Windows7 using GFWL as well as Windows 8 launch you do not need to read between the lines for long do you………

    Its not like this game would sell that well so not sure what all the fuss about it is anyway!!

    I would however be very concerned with MS setting up a fund to push Windows 8 Xbox LIVE For Windows if you agree to exclusivity for a year will kill some of the PC Indie scene right away as many cannot afford to not accept the money offered (obviously the case here). MS have a long history of cherry picking games to launch their newist OS especially this one as its more of an entertainment OS than anything else its a load of BS that they cannot do it on Windows 7 as well no-one believes that for an instant!!!

    In UK MS are letting PC manufacturers offer the OS for only £14.99 if bought with a new PC/laptop from certain tier1 vendors.

  34. El Acordeonachi says:

    Right now I have no plans to buy Windows 8. None. I figure history is on my side with this one. I had Windows 98, skipped Me, had XP, skipped Vista, and enjoy 7. The one Vista exclusive game didn’t make me want to switch at all, and the knowledge that there will be Windows 8 exclusives makes me want to switch about as much as knowing there are games I can’t play because I don’t own a PS3 or a 360. Which is not at all. Ah well, if you don’t want my money, there will be other games.

  35. Penicillin says:

    What a shame. Hope that Microsoft offered them some sweet cash for that exclusive. They’re going to need it when the PC version is released and promptly forgotten.

  36. magnus says:

    Could somebody please remind me again why I should be buying Windows 8 ?

  37. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    What a shame.

  38. jrodman says:

    I don’t understand this story.

    We all assumed they’d taken a faustian bargain from Microsoft.
    We more-or-less were stating that this wasn’t a good bargain to have taken, and that we didn’t particularly support it.

    He basically responds with

    “We took a faustian bargain from Microsoft. Won’t you please support that?”

    I think players would:

    – rather wait than be exposed to this type of sense of shenanigans
    – rather wait than experince GFWL
    – not be reminded of all the manipulation going on

    Maybe the annoyance has taken the wrong target, but it’s the only target upon which we can apply leverage, so.. there you go.

  39. pmanpman says:

    The only reason I stay with M$ because of gaming, with more and more developers publishing on Mac, anything forcing me to buy an even numbered M$ product (as we all know you need to be odd numbered as an MS OS) may just drive me away to Mac, despite my arguments that it’s overpriced for Mac hardware.

    I’m sitting here with a Win8 beta computer beside me running my ventrilo server and I’ll say right out, I’d never pay money for it (though only reason i’m even running it is because it’s free)

  40. RegisteredUser says:

    Fuck them.
    I won’t leave the finally functional Win7 I have for the crap that is 8.

    People have delayed moving on from XP for 10+ years.
    How is it in any way smart to restrict yourself to Win8 for “simultaneous launch” when you know this background and the loathing of Win8 in the not-pre-installed-OEM-OS-buying PC crowd?

  41. StingingVelvet says:

    Insane decision IMO. The “Xbox store” on Windows 8 will likely be rough and useless, knowing MS, and adoption rates will be slow because Win7 is actually pretty damn good. Who the hell is going to update a good OS in this PC and economic climate? Ridiculous.

    I won’t have 8 until I build another PC, if even then.

  42. hjd_uk says:

    Hmm “We will waive your XBLA fees if you lock it to Win8″ ?

    • Dominic White says:

      That’s always a possibility. For those who haven’t been following things, Tim Schafer recently revealed that XBLA developers get one ‘free’ patch for their game. That is, the developers of the game are allowed to release one hotfix on their own terms.

      Every patch after that costs $40,000 – that’s a shitton of money for a tiny indie studio. And that’s for a small downloadable game. For retail stuff, it’s probably much higher.

  43. Alexandros says:

    Aren’t we overreacting a bit here? I mean, we all know what probably happened. Microsoft forced them to sign an exclusivity deal in order to get the game on XBLA and they would only let them do a W8 on PC for now. In the future that exclusivity deal will expire and the developer will port the game on W7, maybe with steamworks as they say they love Steam.

    I think people should be mad at Microsoft and not the developer.

  44. Malibu Stacey says:

    “We built the game in XNA and C#. GFWL, for technical reasons, did not support C#. So we would have had to port the entire game back to C++. So while Win 8 doesn’t support XNA, it does support C#. There’s an open source version of XNA called MonoGame, and so we ported that to Win 8 in a lot less time that it would have taken to re-write the game in C++.”

    When did writing a C# wrapper for a C++ API become impossible?
    Also when did every PC game have to support GFWL?
    Did I miss a meeting or something?

    How’s this sound 17-bit studios. I’ll personally port your game to Windows XP/Vista/7 for free if you promise to sell it both DRM free & on Steam (as in no GFWL) & disclose all the sales numbers broken down by platform & distribution method.
    My Steam profile should be linked in my username.

  45. Paul says:

    Ah, Microsoft still being the worst bunch of dicks on the planet when it comes to PC gaming.

    Nothing changed, then. Oh well, I guess I will not buy this game then.

  46. TsunamiWombat says:

    Too late my friend. You have angered the hive mind with your deciet.

    A paddling it shall be.

  47. zeekthegeek says:

    Is anyone really that excited about this game? Nothing I’ve seen of it has interested me in the least. Doubly so because it’s tied to an OS I will never own, having tried the consumer preview and been baffled by the bad Metro UI (Mouse just doesn’t work right on those shitty gigantic buttons)

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