Contradictory Headlines, Pt 2: Msoft Hires Ex-Steam Boss

By Nathan Grayson on August 16th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

Hmmm. Well, OK then. So remember how Microsoft is closing down its increasingly irrelevant PC games marketplace once and for all? I would hope so. We just posted about it, like, an hour ago. (Apologies to the rather sizable goldfish portion of our audience; that comment was insensitive.) Well, you’d think that plus a very overt focus on Xbox One would imply total abandonment of our hotrod tech hive art house sector of the gaming industry. But in a legitimately shocking twist, you’d be wrong. Microsoft just hired former Steam director of business development Jason Holtman for one reason and one reason only: “to make Windows a great platform for gaming.”

Holtman was with Valve for eight years, during which time many viewed him as one of Steam’s most important driving forces. Speaking with GamesIndustry, he explained the move:

“Yes, I have joined Microsoft where I will be focusing on making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment. I think there is a lot of opportunity for Microsoft to deliver the games and entertainment customers want and to work with developers to make that happen, so I’m excited to be here.”

Which is very good news, assuming that doesn’t just mean improved interfaces for mobile ports. But then, we’ve watched various Windows gaming initiatives get off to infinity-and-a-half false starts – many of which have been mired in loathsome proprietary tech. And of course, let’s not forget that this is the age of free-to-play. I imagine Microsoft’s hungrily eyeing that easily poisoned pie for both Xbox and PC. Here’s hoping it learned some lessons from Age of Empires Online’s various failings – especially during its early, essentially pay-to-win days.

All that said, I don’t imagine we’ll see this hire bear fruit for a while. And even then, we have no idea what form it will take. Holtman helped head up Steam, so another storefront’s not outside the realm of possibility. Maybe GFW Marketplace’s closure was an attempt to clear the air – start fresh with a new brand. Only time will tell. But Holtman was involved with one of the very best, so hopefully that’ll rub off on a product that has, in the past, essentially been the opposite.

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142 Comments »

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  1. Ross Angus says:

    Well, if he just makes a perfect copy of Steam with a big Microsoft logo on it, that’ll be excellent. Steam needs competition.

    • Syra says:

      Except for those of us with steam libraries with 200 games in them and all our friends on steam, as much as the monopoly position is a bummer, I don’t like running multiple types of these programs, splitting my library and my friends list.

      Origin can still bugger right off, even if I have 2 games on it (thanks humble bundle..)

      • LionsPhil says:

        This is unfortunately the problem, and I can’t really see anyone wanting to create some kind of open standard to interoperate to.

        • Premium User Badge

          GiantPotato says:

          Well, Gabe Newell has recently talked about turning Steam into a network API, which essentially is the open standard that you are referring to. And it may also explain why the “director of business development” for Steam might be deciding it’s time for a new home.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            I think Steam are wanting to go Open Source and cut the need for a certain OS long term. The ball is in the air!

          • Premium User Badge

            GiantPotato says:

            Well it seems like Valve is ready to move to Linux if it becomes necessary. I guess we’ll see the shape of what gets built here by MS and find out.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            I bet this lad will be telling them the budget that Steam is putting in to emulate Direct X, I bet it’s FUCKIN’ HUGE, scuse me scandinavian!

      • Tayh says:

        What would we do without independent and free clients such as xfire and raptr to facilitate communication between gamers playing different games with different chat clients?
        Oh yeah, we’d be locked into one client with no possibility to talk to anyone not using steam.
        My point is, it’s your own fault for putting yourself in that position.

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          Yeah, it’s my own fault, but they have basically every game I want to play, often for cheap. what else am I going to do, deliberately spend more for less?

      • Ross Angus says:

        What if all the retailers worked a bit more like humble: you buy the game once, then get keys to unlock it in all your different accounts. A bit like how the banks let their customers use each others ATMs.

        I suppose to stop it acting like several free copies, you’d need to link your accounts together in some way. A bit like using your Facebook login to comment on a different site.

        Dunno. Just picking ideas out the air. I haven’t really thought this through.

      • realitysconcierge says:

        That essentially reminds me of one of the strongest sticking points for sticking with one mobile os or another. Once you have significantly invested in android or ios, your chances of leaving one for the other decreases dramatically.

    • Teovald says:

      My biggest fear for the pc platform is Microsoft making a steam clone and making installing installing apps outside of it needing to delve into the config.
      Steam needs some competition for sure, but I would very much prefer to see something like GOG in that role.

    • SuicideKing says:

      BUT!

      It’ll be Windows 8 only i’m sure. So, no competition for Steam.

    • Don Reba says:

      Competition is not always good for consumers. Same way as we don’t need another Facebook.

      • Contrafibularity says:

        Or a need for Facebook for that matter. Commodifying human interaction between strangers on the internet is one (bad) thing, commodifying interaction between friends is quite another (problematic, bad thing). But hey it’s your life.

        • Don Reba says:

          In my case, Facebook actually changed my life significantly for the better. I would not have met some wonderful people without it. If “commodifying” interaction means making it easier to stay in touch with friends, then I don’t see how it could be a bad thing.

  2. Premium User Badge

    fiendling says:

    Hmmm… still the same tiger

  3. Wedge says:

    Steam boss? But I thought Valve has no bosses? This man is obviously a fraud.

    • Don Reba says:

      In other words, everybody at Valve is his own boss. So, Microsoft is technically correct here. …the best kind of correct.

  4. Deathmaster says:

    Please, no more storefronts. I would much rather see Microsoft work more closely with Steam, and bring back some of the gems like Rise of Nations.

    • XhomeB says:

      You know… I don’t want anyone to strengthen Steam’s position further. If anything, I’d prefer seeing companies like GOG grow instead. I like their attitude a lot more.

      • Lone Gunman says:

        What this guy said.

      • Don Reba says:

        Word.

      • Tuco says:

        I can’t see why I wouldn’t want that, on the other hand.
        Valve proved to be quite reliable, very fair and pro-consumer in their business practices, they are making life a lot easier for a lot of developers, their service is already reasonably good, hugely popular as a “standard” central community hub for PC gamers and, dulcis in fundo, they already talked explicitly about plans of making Steamworks an open API that other storefronts could use, which is going to debunk even the last alarmist concerns about them having a “monopoly” (which was bullshit anyway, especially once you understand how Steamworks actually, well, works.).

        • HadToLogin says:

          Well, I know I would love Steam to get some big/serious competition. Just look at Season Sales two years ago (lots of free DLCs to pick for tickets, or that games-from-coal Winter Sale) and now (cards and badges and worthless coupons that didn’t appear in sale because they don’t stack with sales).
          Valve position as leader comes from people who don’t make research and buy Alan Wake for $4 when one day before it was for $1 in Humble Bundle, not from their current actions towards customers.

  5. JoeX111 says:

    I’m sure glad they want “to make Windows a great platform for gaming,” because it clearly isn’t already.

    • fish99 says:

      It’s kinda is though, I mean the last thing we want is Microsoft getting too involved beyond simply iterating DirectX (even that isn’t strictly necessary with OpenGL around). I’d rather they left everything else up to other people. They tried to put Xbox Live onto PC and look how that went.

      • syllopsium says:

        OpenGL is typically more of an arse to work with than Direct3D, according to a number of people that use OpenGL.

        A new Windows based game marketplace is pretty inevitable. One of the reasons MS overhauled the DirectSound infrastructure in Vista was to ease compatibility with Xbox. The next gen consoles are fairly close to PCs (aside from some funky memory and cache controllers)

  6. analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

    I don’t think they will even bother trying to compete with Steam ‘initially’, it will be a marketplace for X-Box titles/mods. They will cement their place there, before Steam gets a look in, IMO of course.

    Edit: This guy comes with the gameplan for Steam and how it will tackle consoles/

  7. Moraven says:

    Maybe a storefront of storefronts. Like the IE browser thingy. Easy to compare when shopping! Launches all your games regardless of storefront! Unified gaming chat system!

    But I think it will be more, here’s some salt, take a grain, lick it.

    • gi_ty says:

      I need to find more ways to end my statements with the phrase “lick it”

  8. Liudeius says:

    “To make Windows* a great(1) platform for gaming(2).”(3)

    (1) Definition of great subject to change.
    (2) The term “gaming” applies only to: Cow-clickers, hit-scan FPS, and fun-verts advertisments.
    (3) Additional regulations, including but not limited to always online DRM and first born child, may apply.
    *Anal probe may be mandatory before use of new Windews 9: Do the Dew.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Yachmenev says:

    This is terrible news. The less Microsoft has to do with games on computers, the better. I don’t want them to put any effort into this, I want to completely ignore it, and instead let companies who actually cares about PC gaming and can hold their interest for longer then five minutes do it.

    • Premium User Badge

      fiendling says:

      100% this

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        Yeah Direct X sucks…..oh wait!

        • Premium User Badge

          fiendling says:

          DirectX is literally the only reason for my current use of Windows.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Yes to play fuckin games (oh the fuckin; irony, spare me guvnor)

          • Premium User Badge

            fiendling says:

            Yes, of course, that is what DirectX implies.

            I like gaming and having access to the widest possible range of games. Unfortunately that means a Windows OS, that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

            No fucking irony, just an unfortunate necessity.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            WHOOOOOOSH!

          • Premium User Badge

            fiendling says:

            You really are an obnoxious git, aren’t you?

            Just extrapolate from Yachmenev’s OP. It would mean no more updates to DirectX, developers abandoning it and thus making Windows irrelevant as a gaming platform.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Oh god yes I am, read the whole of the comments and you will get my take on the subject. Bye now xxxx

        • SuicideKing says:

          Well, from what i got from a Valve presentation, OpenGL can be more efficient and just as powerful.

    • Lone Gunman says:

      But most pc gamers own a Microsoft OS??

      • Tuco says:

        …And?
        Beside, even that is something that it would be better if corrected over time.

      • Premium User Badge

        Yachmenev says:

        Right now, yes, but OSX is already a perfectly viable option for PC gamers, and Linux is gaining momentum because of what the humble bundles and Steam started. Even Football Manager is going to have a Linux version now, starting with FM2014.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Had up fellah, (posted it on the wrong thread.)

      Unless you play Linux games on Steam or manage to run OpenGl without windows, what in gods name are you talking about, NO!!!, I mean really what are you talking about!!!!

      Direct X is a Microsoft technology.

      Am I defending their business practice, NO!!!, but ha’way man!

      • Premium User Badge

        GiantPotato says:

        MS has been good to PC gaming in the past, but I want their current “devices and services” iteration as far away from this market as possible.

        • RProxyOnly says:

          Excuse me?

          “MS good for pc gaming”.. This must have been inbetween their anti pc game release schedule and trying to lock down gaming on new os’s buy making their most recent updates to their graphics backbone exclusive to new those os’s.. Remember DX10 being Vista exclusive and 11.1 being W8?

          Did ya forget about that?.. that’s NOT what is called “good to pc gaming” in my mind.

          • Premium User Badge

            GiantPotato says:

            The period of time I am referring to was in the mid-to-late ’90s, when MS took away the burden of writing your own sound drivers when you created a game. But yes, everything since around the early 2000s has been 1-ounce carrots and 50-pound sticks.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            You don’t have to have DX 11, how many exclusives until very recently ie. since XP is no longer supported? How many millions of $ did DX 8/9/10/11/12 take to develop, SHIT LOADS.

            Don’t get the core structure of the OS confused with the marketing/sales Dept! We as gamers owe a fuckin’ huge debt to all the coders who got paid to make our games GOOD!!!!

            Edit: The debt being buying Windows

          • RProxyOnly says:

            Not sure entirely what you mean.

            The shit that the marketing dept pull affects windows users (i.e gamers) as much as anything else, and it’s fullly linked to windows releases and it’s very difficult not to put them in the same boat.

            Regardless of how good the os is it’s the crap that gets pulled that decides if it’s going to thrive of die… or just piss people off on the way to obsolescence.

            As for devs.. if they fall into line with the ‘exclusive’ shit, for whatever reason regardless of the deal they are being given, then they deserve a swift kick in the knackers for fucking over the very market they are supposed to be creating for.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Direct X is a robust platform for games development that has until now been sorta ‘open source’, good times!

            How Direct X will come out of the current ‘land grab’ who knows!

          • RProxyOnly says:

            …sorta “open source”….

            We have VASTLY different definitions of the word ‘open’.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Ha’way, mainstream open, PC ship with windows, clever people build PC’s and run Linux.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            No.. open source means having the source available with the ability to change it.

            That was NEVER the case with DX.. I would say you mean ‘more accessable’ rather than ‘open’ as such.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Agreed, the only victims of the coming war will be us gamers though. How many dual boots can a system take?

            If Gabe can knock out a universally adopted API, we are all Fonzies, just can’t see it with me awld cynical yet pragmatic heeed!

            Anyway fuck it, me kitten’s going far too mental outside and I’m off to watch Sunderland play Fulham tomorrow, Ha’way The Lads!, Ha’way Gabe!!(to be fair this is a minor afterthought after football)

            Have a good night RProxyOnly, respect, sadly most only scratch the surface, like me o Edit: Yes it was a fuckin’ nose

            Edit:2; Jozy Altidore, Emanuele Giaccherini, Cabral COME ON YA FUCKERS!!(never seen them play before) and me cats just been sick, GERRIN!!

          • RProxyOnly says:

            Good night, Mr Geordie.

            ..and, yes… Ha’way the lads. ;)

    • TouchMyBox says:

      Bring us to thy holy land, lord gaben.

      Shower us in your steambox and let the rivers of open-source operating systems flow to us plebs.

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        Us plebs have no sway in this matter, it is the developers who will have the say! You know apart from indies they are large shareholder owned multinational corporations(unlike Steam), so logicic in my head tells me that Direct X is here till Steam gets listed :-/

        • RProxyOnly says:

          Exactly.

          Shareheld multinationals don’t play with private companies because they can’t extort them with economic force, and can’t just buy them up if they feel like it.

          It’s always been about control…So yeah, DX is here to stay.. unless… Steam can ‘persude’ devs producing for it to use OGL…. which as far as I know is more function (it creates prettier grafix) and is far less resource intensive.

          The only reason some OGL games run like shit are because of purposefully substandard written GPU drivers from ATI/AMD and Nvidea (see above).

  10. XhomeB says:

    I don’t believe a word Microsoft might utter at this point. As long as the Xbox division exists, they’ll keep throwing obscene amounts of money at it and keep viewing Windows as its competition.

    I’d love to play another Close Combat game, another Freelancer, Midtown Madness, Age of Empires 4… or something entirely new, but created with love and care. Even some ports, like Shadow Complex.
    Except I can’t imagine Microsoft ever giving any such projects a green light. They’re so out of touch with PC gaming (Windows 8 is a proof of this) and so occupied with their war with Sony (it’s a miracle both companies still have money to waste on the new consoles, current generation cost them billions which they’ll never get back) I simply find it impossible for them to become relevant in this space with such an attitude.

  11. Paul says:

    What he should do, is convince MS to:
    1) embrace steam and GOG and bring all their PC catalogue to these platforms
    2) bring classic xbox exclusives over to Steam/GOG, like Halo and other stuff
    3) kill off GFWL entirely and replace it with steamworks in all games plagued with it
    4) bring xbone games to Windows 7/8 PC Steam/GOG at the same time

    If this stuff happened (and I fully realize it never will), I might actually start respecting MS as a company again.

    • XhomeB says:

      GfWL is already dead, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
      Agree about ports. I really liked the first Gears of War, for example – unfortunately, GfWL and the retail-only release pretty much killed it. I’d love to buy GoW2, 3 or Shadow Complex on PC.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s stupid, because Microsoft literally own the platform for PC gaming—a position many would kill for—and they keep frippering it away and trying to actively undermine it with things like “oh, that part of DirectX is dead now, your investment in skills is worthless, but XNA is here!”.

      • realitysconcierge says:

        That fact boggles my mind so hard…

      • Don Reba says:

        “oh, that part of DirectX is dead now, your investment in skills is worthless, but XNA is here!”.

        That happened, but only in the .NET world. And no one seriously uses .NET to make games, only tools. So it had pretty much zero effect on PC gaming.

        In the rest of the world, DX10 and 11 were great improvements and cause for many to write OpenGL off as obsolete.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          I have purchased many games written in C#, so I don’t really agree.

          However it seems like major studios certainly aren’t using it, which is probably the right choice for them.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Pretty much this.

  12. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    The consistent problem with Microsoft–hell, let’s be honest, most companies–is that what they really want is for consumers to go along with whatever is best for the company, and they are entirely willing to use force (via exclusives, drm, whatever) to do so. Unless Microsoft is willing to put customer convenience first, they won’t be able to compete with their entrenched opposition.

    On the PC front, the absolute best way to compete with Steam would be to go the GOG route and offer no DRM whatsoever; Microsoft has the clout to make that more than a niche gimmick, and it would put real pressure on EA, Ubisoft, and their ilk to actually step back from their draconian stances. It might also allow an outlet to make Windows 8 less horrible, as now the weirdly segmented interface could be justified (in part) by making your hundreds of awesome, DRM-free game icons manageable.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find something to drink that might actually make me believe that any of the above could happen.

  13. brulleks says:

    Lies and disseminations. That’s clearly a photo of John Sessions.

  14. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    I hope this somehow enables me one day to play Shadow Complex on my PC. Make it happen M$. There is no better way to make a platform good for games than RELEASIN THEM.

  15. Kodaemon says:

    Two DRM totalitarians make an alliance. How is this supposed to be good news?

    • Tayh says:

      That was my thought, but hey, this is RPS: a place where Origin is despised for being DRM and steam is worshipped for being DRM.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        There’s a huge difference in the levels of anti-consumer crap both companies have been involved in.

        Origin is just a fucking virus… Steam is slightly less malevolent.

        • Kodaemon says:

          Actually, while I dislike both Steam and Origin, Origin was the first to provide things like a functional offline mode (one that you could, you know, actually start offline) and the ability to install games on different drives/partitions. Valve refused to do that for years.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            While it doesn’t make any impact on my opinion of both pieces of software, are you sure Origin was first with offline mode?.. I seem to remember an offline mode (whether it was entirely functional I know not) in Steam, YEARS ago… In fact I personally, don’t remember a steam without it.

          • Kodaemon says:

            Until very recently, Steam had an offline mode that you could only switch to while online.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            I’ll take your word for it Kodaemon.. I really have no positive knowledge on the subject having only Skyrim, a couple of humble bundles and DC Online in my Steam client…. which I don’t really use very often.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Since Steam started I had a batch file that started it in offline mode, not advertised but the ability was there!!

            Edit: It was about three years back I was frustrated at not being able to switch to offline when the internet was down, jumped straight on my phone, typed a .bat oooot and I was a reeet happy gaming chap again in 2 mins, they never hid it, it was from a Steam forum I got the doings!

          • Chufty says:

            Actually this man speaks the truth. Millions of PC gamers around the world spunk out Steam-flavoured confetti in Valve’s direction, yet reel in horror at the suggestion that Origin should dare do exactly the same things only with a slightly more stable client.

            The suggestion that someone who equates Origin to Steam must be a pirate, because Steam’s infuriating bugs, mind-numbingly obtuse design decisions and draconian EULA couldn’t possibly count as negatives, is a textbook example of fanboyism.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            I’m with you fella, I’d much rather trust a multinational(Origin) than an independent(Steam, pioneers in the PC game world retail/game development/platform development). Now we have picked sides let us all hail ORIGIN, huraah!

          • RedWurm says:

            Also, I recently tried to install an expansion for battlefield 3 on origin. I still wake up at night screaming.

          • Wedge says:

            I was using Steam offline back in 2005, back when a bunch of us shared a single steam account in a house to play HL1 mods on a LAN. I’m sure they broke it since, but still.

        • RProxyOnly says:

          @chufty

          Fanboism or not.. I’d still support the company who deals the least shit to it’s customers.

          Anyway.. it’s NOT subjective.

          There are basic fundamental differences to the point of both pieces of software.. Steam is DRM/store and data trawler all rolled into one for the purposes of making gaming ‘better’ or at the very least more accessable.

          Origin/Uplay and the rest are simply rootkits that keep an eye on what you are doing for for the benefit of the companies supplying them who then do whatever the fuck they want to do with your data… and sell games to you that may or may not work with the bloat they provide (steam has a fairly good record of games working with their client, not perfect but what is?)

          So, no… the two clients can’t really be compared oranges to oranges, because they both have different purposes under the hood and are run by people who have vastly different agendas.

      • Pliqu3011 says:

        “[…] RPS: a place where Origin is despised for being DRM and steam is worshipped for being DRM.”

        And yet every single time Steam gets even mentioned in an article a comment exactly like yours pops up.

  16. mattevansc3 says:

    Holtman’s main contribution to Steam was getting publishers and games onto it and then pioneering the “steam sale”.

    In all liklihood we won’t be looking at him spearheading the new GfWL client(thank fuck) but instead getting more publishers selling their wares on the Windows 8 marketplace and creating Metro titles.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Or, maybe he convinces MS to bring their games to Steam?

      Maybe he’s Valve’s undercover envoy to MS?

      Maybe?

      • Kodaemon says:

        He’s there to teach Microsoft Valve’s secrets of mass hypnosis that allow them to use draconian DRM and shitty services and somehow be loved by gamers.

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          Download a game you own and once downloaded on any computer you want online or offline you can play it.

          Do you know what draconian means?

          • Kodaemon says:

            Buy a game (excuse me, a license) and never be able to sell it, be unable to play your game because Valve’s malware has a bad hair day, potentially lose your entire collection because of a single screwup or Valve going under (how I long for that day…), etc.

            Yes, I know what draconian means.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            You’ve had a bad hair day with the Torrents haven’t you No_Steam Reloaded etc! playing havoc with the old registry. If Steam is down you play in offline mode, games are 100% 24/7 available once downloaded.

            When I buy a game now I don’t expect to be able to resell it, I buy the game knowing full well this is the case!

            I’ve had my run ins with Steam support but in retrospect they have taken the brunt for a shit game, Far Cry 2, yes YOU!!!

          • Kodaemon says:

            No, I haven’t, thank you very much.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            I’m pleased to hear that :D

  17. RosenRosen says:

    “So remember how Microsoft is closing down its increasingly irrelevant PC games marketplace once and for all?”

    ‘Relevant’ means applicable.

  18. MrPo0py says:

    I’d guess it might have something along the lines of Kinect for Windows. Possibly Kinect built into some of those Windows 8 tablets Microsoft have been pushing recently. Along with a steam like game store to drop your money into.

    Whatever it is, after my experiences with GFWL, I’m not going to go near it until I’m fully clad in armour and weilding a very long stick with which I can poke it with.

  19. Don Reba says:

    Looking forward to Pt 3.

  20. Jazzyboy says:

    If Microsoft want to beat Steam, all they need to do is be fair and let people buy their games on Xbox and PC simultaneously. (i.e. you’ve bought it on Xbox so now you have it on PC too)

    Should have been done ages ago and it’s all they need to do to at least get a fairly large initial userbase.

  21. StooMonster says:

    Let’s not forget we are in the middle of a transition here: similar to a past paradigm shift from DOS to Windows, we are being moved from Desktop to Metro (now known as Modern UI, Windows 8 Apps, whatever).

    Metro is in effect a new multi-platform OS, of sorts, that currently runs on PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox One, etc.

    But for the PC platform the key difference between Metro and Desktop is not the square interface, and gestures, it is that software is available exclusively from the Microsoft Windows Store.

    If Metro succeeds on PC then all programs — including games — will only be purchased from the Microsoft Windows Store, where Microsoft get their Steam like cut, not from any other store front (like Apple’s App Store on iOS).

    So they don’t have to beat Steam or Origin or GoG, they have to convince developers to write Metro versions of games instead of Desktop ones (i.e. Windows 8 games) because the only place you can buy them is from them and Steam, GoG and Origin are irrelevant.

    Jason Holtman’s job will be to convince developers and publishers to use Metro and thus the Windows 8 Store rather than Steam or Origin or GoG as it is the new long term OS.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Good post. Too much resistance at this point in time. Undoubtedly this is their plan but Steam(OpenGL) and Sony are rather large thorns in the side. Gaming PC’s are on the increase in the front room and it is a market at this point that is too large to ignore IMO.

    • Premium User Badge

      fiendling says:

      A very frightening thought indeed.

      Well, expecting the worst possible outcome for PC gamers from Microsoft is probably the safest bet you can make.

    • fish99 says:

      Microsoft are nearly stupid enough to do that, but… not quite.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      I will do my best to never buy from that store! I’m doing pretty good in not using it!

  22. Premium User Badge

    GiantPotato says:

    I don’t really see the contradiction in these headlines. I think that A) closing the existing Games for Windows store and B) picking up any spare business development directors lying around are both steps in the process of building out a new Games storefront, incorporated into the Windows 8 Marketplace, which unifies distribution of PC and Xbox One games.

  23. Linfosoma says:

    They want to make the PC a great platform for gaming? Ok, then start by releasing your games on both Xbox AND PC, then I will believe it. I want to play Forza, so very much, plus a few other exclusives, but I dont want to purchase a console just for that, release those games on the PC and I’ll be happy.

    • Stochastic says:

      But then there would be no reason to buy an Xbox One.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        There’s a reason to buy Xbox one?

      • The Random One says:

        As someone who was a console gamer most of his life, for a sizeable amount of the population knowing that when you buy a game that has your console’s logo on its cover you’ll be able to put it inside your console’s disc tray and run it is enough reason to buy a console, even if you’re playing an inferior version.

    • fish99 says:

      You ain’t missing much, Forza has gone kinda crap since 2.

  24. Spoon Of Doom says:

    That goldfish comment was a lot more insensitive than the one before. It’s a myth that goldfish only have a memory of a few seconds; a lie people tell themselve so they don’t feel bad for putting a fish in a tiny glass for the rest of its life. On Mythbusters they even managed to train them to complete parcours or something.
    In short: the goldfish community would like you to stop discriminating and making condescending comments like this. Thank you.

  25. Zorn says:

    Does that mean that they will ever allow Double Fine to fix Iron Brigade? We’re still holding out with
    a rag tag band of people, doing an occasional run, helping new people who just find it. And facing
    gfwl together, that’s bonding. Even though after an hour it becomes clear, that are 10 people
    around for who it’s impossible to set up -one- four player game. Wasn’t gfwl one of those
    great plans once?

    • RProxyOnly says:

      I’m REALLY dubious when a dev says that their publisher ‘won’t let them fix” X, it just sounds like tripe to me… and it kind of angers me that a dev, who is supposed to making the best game they can “because they love us/gaming/the genre etc…” then goes as signs a contract that could well mean that after years of toil their game ends up a broken piece of shit and their fans get substandard playing experiences… which at the end of the day is ENTIRELY down to the dev.

      Any dev that would sign a contract like that can kiss my arse… OBSIDIAN!!!!!! (Kotor2, we had a patch but Atari wouldn’t let us release it….. yeah, right, if it was my rep on the line you can bet your arse the patch would have leaked…they owed it to their customers and instead effectively shafted them.)

      • tormos says:

        how dare they abide by their contracts, the breach of which could lead to them being unemployable/sued for everything they own? It’s probably because they hate you.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Did they double down on their commitment to Windows gaming? I’m not sure I can believe them unless they double down.

    • frightlever says:

      What do you risk when you double down from nothing?

      EDIT: I Googled Microsoft and “double down” – damn, that’s a thing. It’s an obscure thing and probably not what you meant, but a thing. Some of the charts are hilarious.

  27. Fry says:

    Microsoft needs an organizational psychiatrist. Evidence of crippling schizophrenia is strong.

    On the other hand, I can’t remember my name. Hey… who put that little plastic diver there??

    Blurp.

    • frightlever says:

      You posted that while I was throwing words together below, and you made a more concise analysis than I did. I might argue they need a surgeon more than a psychiatrist.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        It’s the only valid use of Trepanning I’ve ever come across.

  28. frightlever says:

    New Microsoft hires either assimilate or they crash against the rocks of the entrenched culture. The company is sick, and dying. I suspect most of you have no idea what they’re doing to their enterprise customers. Enterprise, or whatever it was called then, has buoyed Microsoft up from the start. Now the people at Microsoft in charge of the real money-makers are making decisions that make the GFWL farrago look rational.

    THIS guy will change nothing. Ballmer needs to go, and fast. The company structure is a running joke, but even with the entrenched Feudalism that’s evident, cutting off the current King’s head and replacing him with a CEO with vision could turn them around. You’d shit diamonds before you made real money on Microsoft stock over the past ten years.

  29. malkav11 says:

    Here’s all Microsoft need to do to support PC gaming: ensure any Microsoft owned-or-licensed game launches day and date on both PC and console with a proper PC version without shitty DRM or other encumbrances. For bonus points, they could encourage other companies working on Xbox titles to do the same.

    Hell, all they’d really have to do to improve their support of PC gaming would be to STOP FUCKING PAYING PEOPLE NOT TO RELEASE GAMES FOR PC.

    (You know, it suddenly occurred to me that a much more likely scenario for Microsoft hiring a Steam guy than them trying to make PC a worthwhile gaming platform – which happened a long bloody time ago – would be for them to try to replicate Steam’s success on Xbox and help make consoles a worthwhile gaming platform.)

  30. Ziffy says:

    I suppose they want to win back the “hearts and minds” of PC gamers. Well here’s where they can start:

    1. Stop plastering “Xbox” all over everything! My workstation-gaming PC is not your damn kiddie console.

    2. Don’t even think about shoving Windows 8 App Store down our throats. Just put it out of your mind.

    3. Face it, you lost the digital distribution war. You were late to the party, and that’s just tough shit. So embrace Steam and GOG and start publishing some big titles.

    4. Crimson Skies sequel, PC exclusive.

    Then we’ll talk. Oh and bring back the Sidewinder.

  31. TheSplund says:

    Please no!

  32. Zogtee says:

    Ah, it’s that time of year again, when MS announce to the world that this time, THIS TIME, they’re serious about PC gaming.

  33. Screamer says:

    Yay! Competition for that Steam-ing-pile-o-shit we call er… Steam!