Microsoft Really, Really Is Into PC This Time, Apparently

By Nathan Grayson on February 11th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

RPS’ D.I.C.E. Red Carpet Mean Pants Hard Question Corner returns! Honestly, I’ve been pushing for an interview with Microsoft about PC gaming for ages, but the titanic purveyor of Xs and bones has been less than receptive. Fortunately, the red carpet is nice in that there is, for roughly five minutes, NO ESCAPING. So Microsoft partner creative director Ken Lobb approached, and I lobbed every question about Microsoft’s latest (and five millionth) re-dedication to PC gaming I could think of. His responses were vaguely promising, but I’m obviously still skeptical. Here’s what happened. 

RPS: Your messaging on PC gaming as of late has been mixed. Some of your people have put it on level with mobile and tablet games while others have professed a new commitment to it. You also recently hired Steam’s former director of business development. Where is Microsoft at with PC gaming?

Lobb: So we love PC. It’s obviously a source of huge revenue for Microsoft. The reality is that in years past we were the Xbox division. Although many of us love playing on PC, we can only make so many games. We can only do so much.

Now we’re one [unified] Microsoft. I don’t see this as pressure. I see it as an opportunity. We have more support internally to support PC more. That’s great! My only expectation would be, please let us continue to do that over a five-year period so we can have real impact. That’s how it feels right now. We’re getting very strong support internally. So we’re really going after PC.

RPS: Will launches of games Microsoft has locked down as exclusives be concurrent on both Xbox and PC from now on?

Lobb: It’s my belief that the goal of a development team should be to make the best thing for each particular platform. So I think it makes sense to take Game A, maybe it’s exclusive on one of the platforms, but maybe you do some support games on the side platforms. Like, “Hey, I’ll do a big game here, and then I’ll do a tablet game or a smaller web thing, etc.”

Ubisoft did a great job last year. I played Kenway’s fleet on an iPad and I played Assassin’s Creed IV on an Xbox.

RPS: Yikes. Are you saying you consider PC to be a “side platform,” a la tablet or mobile? Other Microsoft developers have certainly suggested as much.

Lobb: Oh, not at all! What I’m saying is, that could very much potentially go the other way. Maybe there’s a big exclusive on PC and there’s an Xbox Live Arcade game to support it. Or a mobile game. It makes perfect sense to develop that way. Same ship, same parts. Maybe you buy one and get another free.

I think it really comes down to what the developer wants to do. It’s not that we think all games should – in some way or another – be on all platforms. Being in publishing, it’s sort of my role to help developers answer the question [of where they'd like their game to end up]. So a lot of that question is answered by, “OK developer, what do you want to do? We want to be here to help you.”

RPS: Do you have any major PC games or exclusives on the horizon?

Lobb: I can’t make any announcements. But we are very dedicated to that space.

RPS: Are you looking into traditional pay upfront triple-A products, or is Microsoft largely looking into free-to-play and/or browser stuff?

Lobb: Free-to-play, to me, is not a decision to be made as a business model at the end [of development]. It really comes down to what type of game are you building, developer, and how do you want to monetize it? Do you pay upfront, do you want to have DLC, do you want to have a sustainable ongoing experience, do you want to go after free-to-play?

It’s more about the game design than support for a particular monetization style. We don’t believe that to be on PC you must be free-to-play or microtransaction-based.

RPS: In the wake of years and years of disappointment – countless ons, offs, flip-flops, Games For Windows, etc – why should people think that this time is going to be any different?

Lobb: The only way we can build trust in our community is by making great games. The PC community is more vibrant than it’s ever been before. I love it. We build a platform and other people make games on top of it. We do things to help set up the development community, and we also love to make games for you.

RPS: So this is it? You’re committed to PC, even if, say, you face some initial setbacks or things don’t quite go according to plan?

Lobb: Absolutely.

RPS: OK then. We will hold you to that. Thank you for your time.

__________________

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174 Comments »

  1. KDR_11k says:

    Let’s hope this doesn’t mean another GFWL-like thing.

    • Corb says:

      We’ll see. This entire thing read like an interview with a politician. He says many words but hasn’t sufficiently answered any of the questions or provided useful information.

    • XhomeB says:

      I’ll tell you what it means: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. You can easily google similar interviews and statements made by MS over the course of the last 7-8 years. It was all smoke and mirrors. Hardly a surprise.

      I want to be mistaken – because I’d love to play proper Age of Empires 4, new Freelancer, Close Combat, a new IP, or even ports of x360 games like Gears 2-3 (loved the first one, where is a Steamworks release?!), I wouldn’t even say no to Halo 3-ODST-Reach. I just don’t believe MS anymore, they’ve been backstabbing PC gaming (and their PC business) since 2001, and now that Windows is facing serious competition, that attitude is starting to bite them in their “three letters”

      • Warduke says:

        Yah, there’s a lot of vague corporate speak in that interview. Not much substance at all.

      • frightlever says:

        I’d like to play old Freelancer. Put that up on Steam and we can talk.

        Honestly. I’m really hoping SteamOS takes off and I can consign Windows to work. It’s nuts trusting Microsoft with our expensive toys.

        I mean, as I understand it, the DLC etc I have on GFWL for Fable 3 is gone come the summer, right? I’m not even clear if I’ll be able to play the game. While other developers and publishers with far fewer resources have taken steps to allow their games to cut ties with GFWL, Microsoft haven’t done anything. Haven’t even addressed it. Fuck’em.

      • CaidKean says:

        Just for your information, there’s two new Close Combat titles scheduled to come out this year.

        http://www.closecombatseries.net/CCS/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=338

        • XhomeB says:

          GASP! I had no idea, thanks! I honestly need to delve into what Matrix guys are doing, they’re even making a new turn-based Warhammer strategy game.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        MS will keep prioritizing the Xbox in any way possible until it fails.

        The new consoles have a high risk of flopping, in a year or two we’ll be able to start speculating if it’ll be viable and sensible for them to aim for yet another generation in 2020 or what it’ll be.

        There’s is also another problem: this is the first time in the history of high profile consoles that the boundaries are not getting pushed. Each Playstation before this one launched with top notch hardware that rivalled high end computers ( aside from SLI setups ), for example.

        This time around, the hardware is average and it’s just some APU experimentation ( i have nothing against APUs, they’re just not yet a technology for today. ) as AMD offered them this cheap option. The whole internet can disagree with me for all i know, but this is the first time that a PlayStation ( or XBOX ) was designed to be profitable from day one, instead of months or years going at loss.

        • melnificent says:

          In the console space isn’t the PS4 outselling the Xbox One?
          It would explain why this interview read like a guy trying to hedge his bets with PC while simultaneously trying not to upset the Console crowd that give them easy profits.

      • shagawat says:

        Oh how I agree with you SO MUCH on that statement! My hatred for Microsoft is just as strong for my hatred towards EA. They’re all money hungry corporate businesses that care NOTHING about the consumer, but of the dollar in their pocket. Reading this interview made me FURIOUS! Whenever I hear the words “Microsoft” I instantly feel betrayed and used. In my opinion, PC gaming has always been HUGE but it’s fairly an expensive way to game. Considering the fact you must change your graphics card, OS, and stuff like that every so many years. Whereas opposed to PlayStation, Xbox, or hell even Nintendo, you buy the system and you have no required upgrades, just optional upgrades. Such as the WiiU, PlayStation Move, or the Kinect. But PC gamers have always been, in my opinion, the screwed end. Most of the time we have to wait extreme and ridiculous amounts of time, for instance Grand Theft Auto 5! Everyone on PS3/4, Xbox 360/One are playing different games and GTA V is laying on their shelf whereas us PC gamers look at them as if they were aliens for not playing it. We always are the ones who end up getting hurt. Oh yeah, we’ve got MMO’s and such. But really? Xbox is SO over abused and so overrated that its no even funny. Dead Rising 3. Nope, Xbox Exclusive. Just like Gears of War, Red Dead Redemption and all the other Xbox Classics. We’re stuck with very little selection compared to Xbox and such. I would be ashamed to own an Xbox 360 and I would be a fool to brag about how “Awesome” Xbox is. And PC gamers ALWAYS get screwed in the end. So F**K you Microsoft, and every other company like them. I support Individual developers now. Very few known gaming developers I support these days.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      Hopefully this means that HALO : Nazi Zombies is on the horizon.

      Epic.

    • Strazz says:

      On a more positive note, they have published a number of games on Steam that use Steam for multi-player matchmaking and DRM and no longer require GFWL. (Age of Empires II HD Edition, Age of Empires III, Mark of the Ninja, and Toy Soldiers are the ones I can confirm, that don’t require GFWL)

    • Williz says:

      Well Titanfall is coming out on PC next month at the same time as X1. That’s using steam on PC for matchmaking right?

  2. Emeraude says:

    Microsoft Really, Really Is Into PC This Time, Apparently

    One hopes not. The sooner we get rid of them the better.

    • TheMightyEthan says:

      More support is always good. No one’s going to make you buy their games.

      • Emeraude says:

        Yeah, no. From the company that devised EEE, I’d say th less contact they have with something the better. They’re toxic*. Whether by being evil or incompetent, depending on circumstances.

        *: And not even in the Britney Spears sense.

        • frymaster says:

          EEE:

          “Find something cool and do it”
          “Do it better than others”
          “Use that to outperform the competition”

          I mean it’s hardly a manifesto for evil, is it?

          • Emeraude says:

            When they don’t do anything better but start using their huge market share to fuck existing standards by imposing their own and disrupt competition, ending up fucking the whole sub market ? Yeah, totally. I don’t know about evil, but misguided and a toxic influence, yes.

          • Unclepauly says:

            btw that 3rd E was just a claim of an intel employee that microsoft said that in an interview. No where was exterminate or extinguish in any documentation.

          • Emeraude says:

            @Unclepauly

            Confirmed or not, it does give a more fitting description of the process as seen in action.

          • frightlever says:

            Well… I’ve only really heard about EEE just now. The only acronym I’m aware of that Microsoft used was FUD.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

          • aepervius says:

            “I mean it’s hardly a manifesto for evil, is it?”

            frymaster, it is if you take a standard, the torpedoe it using that method, and then once you gained a bit of weight and the other is dying off, you bloody stop ALL progress. Why do you think that internet explorer version stagnated so much, despite being (intentionally) made a core part of the windows OS ? And that’s one example, tehre are other. EEE is evil.

        • LionsPhil says:

          If you want EEE these days, look to Google. SPDY, for example.

          Microsoft are not the same beast they were in the ’90s. Hate them for their faults now (Windows 8′s UI; GFWL until it really does finally die; flip-flopping on how much they care about games on their huge desktop platform; etc.), not their faults historic.

          • Emeraude says:

            I hate them for both. I have a lot of hate to impart. I have more than enough for Google too.

      • sneetch says:

        No. The lack of games will prevent me buying their games. Every eighteen months or so we see this kind of nonsense from Microsoft. So far they haven’t backed it up with anything. I don’t believe they’ll change that now when they have a new console to shift.

    • Turkey says:

      There’s probably a lot of people who would jump at a new, terrible GFWL thing if Microsoft brought in a handful of AAA PC exclusives. Old-school PC gamers are starved for games that aren’t ports or shoestring indies.

  3. Teovald says:

    That sounds nice. I would not be surprised if by pc he means windows 8 port 6 months later though ..
    I don’t hold my breath for Seven, MacOsX or Linux support coming from a Microsoft Studio.

    • TheMightyEthan says:

      Of course there won’t be MacOS or Linux support. That would be like MS releasing a game on Playstation. :P Win7 is significantly more likely, though I must admit I share your fears that all their games will be 8-exclusive.

      • DrGonzo says:

        Microsoft release their software on MacOS, pretty sure they’ve published their games there too, flight sim and the like. They release their games for iOS too, MS have never really kept their software exclusive to windows. Yes they add features to new versions of windows to sell it. Never been quite sure how that’s not fair, it’s standard practice for every other business in the universe, but hey ho, MS aren’t held to those standards.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Put it this way: if they didn’t make and sell Office for Mac, Mac users would use LibreOffice or iWork or something. Worst case, this gets so widespread that Office stops being the dominant file format for all “work”, and they start losing reasons for people to have Office for Windows.

          They’ve got tradeoffs to make there on which lock-in is most important to them, and it’s not always Windows. (The most daring example of this is Office 365—cloud demands no specific client platform.)

          • Slazer says:

            Well, actually they are releasing all their Office packages for Mac, at least since 2007. Usually with 6-12 months delay, but that sound reasonable

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Releasing a game on anything but Windows would require Microsoft to support OpenGL. That ain’t happening.

  4. Anthile says:

    Halo 3 confirmed.

  5. Calculon says:

    I haven’t seen any tears yet in these interviews. I demand tears.

  6. Seafort says:

    Here we go again. Microsoft saying they are committed to PC gaming and they do nothing…cya all in 6 months when they say the same thing again…

  7. tormos says:

    this guy at least makes mouth noises like he gets it. We’ll see how that ends up…

  8. Mungrul says:

    Wait, is this the same Ken Lobb that lent his name to the shit machine pistol, the Klobb, in Goldeneye?
    Edit: Huh, apparently so!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_lobb

  9. Dominic White says:

    They’re really all for supporting PC gaming, huh?

    So, they’re dropping the Windows 8 requirements from their upcoming cross-platform titles, right?

    No?

    I’ll pass, then. Project Spark looks lovely, but not lovely enough to ‘upgrade’ to W8, which I’ve experienced plenty of thanks to it being the bundled OS on my girlfriends laptop.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’m the opposite, I like WIndows 8. However, I got into the Project Spark beta and it seems like a cynical ‘free to play’ game aimed at squeezing as much money from children as possible (with a really cool engine though!).

      • jalf says:

        It is hardly a matter of “liking” or disliking Windows 8. But if Microsoft is into PC games, then that means PC games as a whole, and not the fraction of the market who’s running Win8. The majority is still running Windows 7 (and many even running XP), and as long as they artificially (and unlike every other publisher) limit their games to Win8 only, then they are not serious about PC games.

        • iainl says:

          No way is MS going to let you use XP on their new stuff when they’re already having a hard enough time trying to get people off that fundamentally broken mess so they can stop releasing security fixes for it every couple of weeks.

  10. Noelemahc says:

    Not believing a word you say, Microsoft, until I see all Halos and Gears of War ported to PC, with Halo 5 having a simultaneous launch on PC and XB1.

    • XhomeB says:

      Funny that we have yet to see a digital release of Gears of War 1, by the way. Gears PC would enjoy a massive popularity boost if it became Steamworks-enabled, its MP mode was actually great.

  11. Artea says:

    The usual vague double-talk buzzwords and unwillingness to commit initially annoyed me. Then I realized Microsoft makes terrible games, so no loss there.

  12. subedii says:

    I’m just going to go ahead and copy-paste what I said when Phil Spencer said the same thing. AGAIN. Back in November.

    Does he have ANY idea how many times this line has come out from MS over the years since GFWL released?

    Because seriously, I’m certain it’s at least 3-4 times at this stage, each time saying the same freaking thing. “We’ve not been the best in handling the PC platform so far, we truly understand and appreciate that. But this time we’re DEFINITELY going to be making a real commitment going forward from here.”

    And then they never do. I would be willing to give more credence to their statements if they specifically acknowledged HOW they’ve messed up. Not just say “we haven’t been good enough”, but really state, fundamentally, how they’ve messed up, why that was allowed to happen, and what they are specifically going to do to counteract those issues. Not just vaguely worded statements on “doing better”.

    The why and how are aspects that everyone else figured out years ago (and many a diatribe written), but MS never seems to have understood, instead making more and more daft decisions each time Valve or someone else manages to take what should have been an easy pole position from them given the circumstances.

    I actually don’t want MS to be successful. That’s not spite (Believe it or not, I was genuinely hopeful for GFWL when it first released), I just don’t trust that should they gain a position where they can dictate more of the future of the PC Games market, that they won’t simply try and force detrimental practices as they have previously. I mean heck, leave GFWL out of it for a second, they’re still doing that even now, with things like DX11+ being Windows 8 exclusive for no other reason than forcing an upgrade.Why should I expect that they won’t, say, mandate that future XBox One releases require DX11.3 components, thereby forcing the same requirement PC-side? Why should I trust that they won’t do even WORSE things if they ever gain an actual ability to dictate the status quo?

    I guess that’s fundamentally why I sincerely hope that SteamOS is

    a) Successful, and

    b) Open as much as any Linux distro is open

    Time will tell on that one.

    • Emeraude says:

      Well put. Agreed (well in general, some finer points may be challengeable).

    • Bostec says:

      Here Here! Give this man a medal. I really don’t want to use windows anymore. I’m watching the SteamOS very closely and I hope they can pull this Linux thing out of the bag.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Ok, mentioned it above. But why is a business not allowed to develop software with their own time and money then add it as a feature to their new OS? Why should they add it for free for you. Nothing ‘forces’ you to upgrade. I’m just really confused by the sense of entitlement. I don’t expect my games to be updated to a new engine for free, why should my OS do the same? They do support the OS for a rediculously long time, and generally seem quite reasonable.

      • Emeraude says:

        I find a weird disconnect between your post and the one you’re answering, and don’t quite exactly see how they fit together… Is that a tangent borne from the last bit about SteamOS ?

      • subedii says:

        This wasn’t adding features at all. Halo 2 was developed for the Original XBox. This is WAY before DX10. And Halo 2 has been shown to work perfectly fine without it.

        What MS did was release Halo 2 two-and-a-half years late, and made it exclusive to a platform that few had or wanted. And when it failed to sell, guess what? Bang went the rest of the iterations of the series ever getting a chance of seeing a PC release. It’s hard to deny that Halo 2 would have at least, at LEAST had a better shot if MS hadn’t made such a stupid move.

        So let’s presume they DO make that renewed push, and finally bring over Halo 3. So if we see this same thing all over again, with Halo 3 coming SEVEN years late, and exclusive to an OS with <20% of the market share, why the heck should we expect any different response OR behaviour compared to last time?

        I've said it before, but whist MS continually tout their commitment to the PC as a games platform, they genuinely are their own worst enemy in that regard. A more unified approach (not to mention a not so blatantly arrogant approach as to think that the years old title is the killer app that will make the OS) would benefit them greatly in that regard, but it's something they refuse to do. Even Valve understands this better, which is why they always sim-ship where they can, and they’re emphatically a PC Company and earn a vastly greater percentage of profit from PC-side sales.

        That’s the thing. Valve (and frankly, even Origin, GreenManGaming, GOG and others) are doing better than MS as games makers / distributors on their own platform. And it’s not because they’ve been super incredibly good at what they did, it’s because MS has been so vastly incompetent over the past 7 years. And when MS do stuff like this, they actually end up damaging the PC games market more than Sony has managed (Crikey, Sony even allowed Steam onto the PS3, and allowed Cross-platform play between PC and PS3 version of Portal 2. MS had a few cross-platform titles and then basically killed off multiplatform play, something that SHOULD have been GFWL’s killer-app).

        ——————————————-

        I guess the way I would bottom line it is: There’s a fundamental conflict of interest between MS’s PC games and XBox games priorities (and possibly even their OS priorities). A conflict of interest that doesn’t NEED to exist but MS makes it one anyway. And it’s one that’s reared its head time and time again, and it’s always been the PC games market that’s lost out.

        And I don’t see that anything’s changed between then and now.

  13. Hypnotron says:

    They’ve just released a new console. There is no way the PC will be given 1st class titles. They will try to use PC as a gateway to get users to buy an Xbox One.

    MS would rather compete with Valve’s Steambox against their XBone rather than Steambox vs Windows and that is where they’re making a big mistake because Valve is not just creating a console, they’re creating a Linux Desktop environment for the PC that will have tons of development support from the Linux community.

    They are going to follow the Microsoft model with Direct3D. Make it friendly for developers, make it friendly for players, and remove barriers to entry for both sides and it will thrive.

    It’s what the xbox could have been until MS decided they liked the control of being a hardware gatekeeper and the mighty toll they could charge developers for the privileged of releasing on their system.

  14. scorcher24 says:

    If it would say they are into Steam, I would be satisfied. But this just means that it is gonna be Windows 8 exclusive. No thanks.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Microsoft are already into Steam or Age of Empires and Fable being on Steam must be a figment of my imagination.

      Also there is no “Win8″ exclusivity. Windows8 compromises two distinct platforms/apis/SDKs, the standard x86/64 platform and WinRT (not to be confused with Windows8RT). Games designed for WinRT will run on both x86/64 and ARM architecture whereas games designed for x86/64 won’t run on ARM.

      Those Win8 “exclusives” are merely games designed for WinRT so that they can run on ARM as well. Win7 doesn’t support WinRT or ARM so the games aren’t exclusive to Windows8 they just aren’t compatible with Windows 7.

  15. DatonKallandor says:

    Like we haven’t heard this exact thing from the before. How many times now? The last time they had “a commitment to PC” they turned their operating system into a Tablet OS. The time before that they made you go to http://www.xbox.com to get nonexistant support for their “For Windows” trash-heap of a client-nobody-wanted. The time before that they tried to cripple their old OS with directX and game exclusivity shenanigans.

    Please stop taking Microsoft at their word and call them out on their bullshit. Like repeating the Vista practices of buying out devs to make their games nu-Windows exclusive for no reason whatsoever. Something THEYVE ALREADY DONE AGAIN.

  16. Bostec says:

    As usual, he didn’t really say anything. Also I laughed out loud about PC exclusives. Do they even have any studies left for PC games? seeing as they have closed most of their own IPs down (Microsoft Flight, Age of empires)

    • subedii says:

      Hey now, it was big enough that even Halo* was a PC exclusive recently!

      *Errr, spin-off game Halo:Spartan Assault was anyway. For a while. And if you exclude mobile devices and things. Oh, and had moved beyond Windows 7 to Windows 8.

  17. Zephro says:

    Well it’s more honest and engaging with the interviewers points even if it is vaguer on the details, than the EA interview.
    “RPS: So this is it? You’re committed to PC, even if, say, you face some initial setbacks or things don’t quite go according to plan?

    Lobb: Absolutely.

    RPS: OK then. We will hold you to that. Thank you for your time.”

    That’s the important bit I think.

    • Zephro says:

      Also can you flat out Dennis Pennis the next guy?

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I like the “We will hold you to that” bit, because these company people can’t just say something and then do something else, pretending they never made any promises or never had any ambitions to do what they previously said they would. That’s bad manners and I’d have thought their parents raised them better than that.

  18. oceanclub says:

    Hmm; a bio consisting of nothing but console games. Nothing from his Twitter feed indicates he has any interest in PC gaming whatsoever. The best Microsoft can do right now is ensure Windows 9 isn’t a disaster and that the PC desktop/laptop market doesn’t die and let Valve concentrate on the gaming infrastructure side.

    P.

  19. jealouspirate says:

    It’s impressive how vague and non-committal he was able to remain for the entire interview. And there’s no way Xbox One “exclusives” are going to be released simultaneously on the PC.

    • subedii says:

      Which is kind of annoying. I still remember back when Alan Wake was made a 360 exclusive.

      It was something that had a ridiculous number of commentators laying it out as further proof of how the PC-games market was “doomed”, since clearly Remedy had no faith in the platform.

      It only came out much, MUCH later that MS bought exclusivity and refused to allow it to be launched PC-side. It was only when this exclusivity expired that Remedy was able to release a PC version.

      That’s the thing, they talk about their constant support for the platform, but it’s always been MS that have been consistently making moves trying to hamstring the PC games market. They do so more effectively than Sony, and that’s saying something. It’s kind of ridiculous.

      • Jumwa says:

        Sony actually contributes significantly to PC gaming. SOE has put out a lot of very influential PC games over the years.

        Which is really the height of sadness. Sony, which has no stake in the PC’s success, does more for it than Microsoft, which actively sabotages the platform.

        I figure the only reason TItanfall is coming to PC at all is that MS couldn’t afford to buy full exclusivity from EA, so made the compromise for PC because that at least kept it off PS4.

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        Microsoft are just getting in the way of progress at this point.

  20. Mercetron says:

    “The only way we can build trust in our community is by making great games.”

    GTA 4 for example was a great game that I could hardly play because of GFWL. So no, the only way of building trust is not by you making great games, it’s by not coating great games in stupid arbitrary sewage matter. Great games will come, the question for the future is whether the platform they’re run on is good or not. Windows 8 is hardly a good platform for anything as it stands today, so… good luck with that.

    • Stardreamer says:

      Windows 8 is hardly a good platform for anything as it stands today…

      Windows 8 is a better platform than Windows 7 was. And this is from someone who despised Vista so much he stayed with XP.

      • Meusli says:

        Some games do not run on Win 8, so no it isn’t.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          If the yardstick for whether an OS is a good platform for gaming is that some games do not run on it, then no OS is a good platform for gaming.

      • jalf says:

        No, a good platform for PC games as a whole is the one PC gamers run. It wouldn’t matter if Windows 8 ran all your games at twice the framerate and magically fixed bugs and improved the graphics. The majority of PC gamers are still on Windows 7, and thus that is the relevant platform for PC gaming. Of course, games should *also* run on Win8, but restricting them to Win8 only is almost as toxic as infecting them with GFWL. It is is saying “we don’t give a shit about PC gaming, we are just using it to make you buy into our *other* thing”

  21. Tasloi says:

    If they release Killer Instinct on digital download services without requiring Win 8 or some GFWL-style wrapper i’m willing to start believing them.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      Just throwing in my hat on this. I would probably pay £40 to play Killer Instinct on PC. I hope they don’t want to keep it exclusive for too long since it looks pretty fantastic.

  22. pilouuuu says:

    Eff you, Microsoft! We don’t need you anymore. It’s too late. If you had cared to released
    Halo 3 or 4 and you hadn’t tried so hard to make us not get games like Alan Wake and if you hadn’t created that awful, awful thing called Games for Windows Live, then I could believe some of your bullcrap.

  23. JoeGuy says:

    Nathan, do you feel like you were distracted by his staff while he looked through the companies line book?

    He didn’t say anything.

  24. Werthead says:

    Words need to be backed up by deeds. Saying, “We’re going to do some good PC stuff, ” isn’t enough. Saying, “We’re going to do some good PC stuffy, starting with PC ports of HALO 3, 4, REACH and that OTSD thing, and they won’t be W8 exclusives,” would be a good way of putting their money where their mouths are.

    Otherwise, who cares?

    • Baines says:

      Like every other time Microsoft has given the same speech, there probably aren’t any such deeds coming.

      RPS: Concurrent console and PC releases?
      Lobb: Spin-off tie-ins. Ubisoft is our role model.

      RPS: PC will still be a second class citizen?
      Lobb: No! But it is really up to the developers themselves and not us, so maybe yes? Just don’t blame us when it happens, because we tried. We used words and talked to people and showed them a picture of a PC before we handed them money to make an Xbox One exclusive.

      RPS: Any PC game announcements? Anything? Evidence you know that games can be played on PCs?
      Lobb: No comment. We understand it is physically possible to play some form of electronic game on a computer, and understand that some people for some reason perform this act.

  25. cyrenic says:

    “So we’re really going after PC”

    After GFWL I can only read that in ominous tones.

  26. grimdanfango says:

    They won’t be able to resist putting the cart before the horse. They don’t want to make great games, they want to make a profitable game platform that can compete with Steam.

    They might actually stand a chance of doing that too, if they started off by aiming to make great games.

    Even within these seemingly altruistic words, the guy manages to insinuate that Microsoft is singularly responsible for the PC being the modern gaming platform that it is. The only supporting contribution they’ve made in the last decade is to continue DirectX development. The only real reason the PC is still relevant as a mainstream gaming platform is because of Steam.

    They won’t make a meaningful contribution again so long as their intention is simply to muscle in on the market that only Valve had the foresight to build. At this point, it may already be too late to stop the OS that underlies the platform transitioning entirely to SteamOS. Valve are making their play only because they think the timing is right and they can make it stick, and they very well may be right.
    If Microsoft want to ever be in a position to be a big player in the PC games industry again, they’d need to start by contributing, not dominating. That’s the stumbling block though. They have too much vested interest in Windows and DirectX to ever consider sucking it up and following the PC games industry where it goes. They’ll just stand on the bridge of a sinking ship shouting out to everyone to come back!

    …At least if the ship sinks, EA’s PC games division will probably go down with it too.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Microsoft will never, ever be able to compete with Steam because they do not love games and gamers the way Steam does. Microsoft does not respect us, they don’t care about us, and they would prefer if we just shut up and bought their crap console.

      They just have to accept that they missed the boat and move on.

  27. LunyAlex says:

    Microsoft are proud to announce:

    Halo Terraformers

    Play as a cunning engineer creating a colony on an alien planet.
    Farm crops and grow cattle.
    Boost your efficiency with special Spartan Gems. Get 50 of these bad boys for $5.99!

    Coming your way to Mobile and PC.

  28. Darth Gangrel says:

    It would be nice to see some ports of Xbox exclusive games come to PC, even if they’re years late. I’m years late because of my backlog and won’t mind if we get Gears of War 2 and 3 since the first PC port got such great reviews. Wouldn’t mind a few Halo games as well.

  29. povu says:

    The only thing I want from Microsoft for PC gaming are the Xbox One controller drivers for Windows.

  30. Noviere says:

    PC gaming is thriving in spite of Microsoft.

  31. LionsPhil says:

    If only other publishers would get on board with his “games suitable to the platform, exclusive to the platform” boat.

    Just think. We might have fewer FPSes, but at least they wouldn’t be about sluggish, fat space marines that are all designed around how horrible gamepads are as controllers.

  32. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Whenever articles like this come out, I get a feeling in my stomach similar to what you get after eating A LOT of junk food. Sort of tons of pringles and chocolate from a crap cinema. That sort of bloated, distended ache that comes from consuming nothing of value and which in fact is probably going to cause you at least a dose of diarrhoea in the longer term.

    And even though thats pretty much an analogy, I actually mean it. That really is how my stomach is feeling. True Story.

  33. RPSRSVP says:

    Why even bother with an interview, these folks have become too good with vague, corporate speak. You should have just worn a T-shirt that has PC written in bold font on it, put a paper bag over your head and punched him. As he lay on the ground, you should have leaned over him and yelled “you know what that’s for” and walked away.

  34. salejemaster says:

    Piss off Microsoft, nobody likes you nor needs you!

    • Juffo says:

      OH but we do need them since they purchased the Gears of War rights. Gears PC is the best game ever invented due to the fact you can use keyboard and mouse. Black Tusk better make a good job and release it at the same time as the Xbone on the PC.

  35. Wedge says:

    Unified? Microsoft? When half the company is pulling to ditch all their consumer products divisions? Hahahahaha, ok sure guys.

  36. SuicideKing says:

    I have never understood why they’ve been so adamant at abandoning a platform they helped create and rise to dominance. You’d think, with 90% of the world’s 1.2 billion PCs running Windows, M$ would want to tap that market.

    They could really exploit their knowledge of Windows and DirectX to make a super efficient game engine and toolset, and target a large portion of the PC gaming market. I haven’t been able to understand why they haven’t so far…heck, if they even release Halo CE with a modern engine, dedicated server support (or Steamworks) and revamped netcode, they’d sell a lot of copies* of the game.

    *License codes.

  37. Lemming says:

    Hi Microsoft,

    It’s not us..it’s you. Really, you don’t need to convince us you are into PCs. You can just carry on being mobile/Xbox sock-puppets forever – trust us, it’s better this way. That way you don’t have to lie to us, and we don’t have to accidentally buy any of your shit.

    Sincerely,

    PC Gamers.

  38. frightlever says:

    It’s like the definition of insanity got into an abusive relationship with Microsoft and no matter how often the definition of insanity has to tell people they’ve walked into a door, they still think they can change them.

    It’s exactly like that.

  39. PopeRatzo says:

    a smaller web thing, etc.

    That was the tell, right there.

    All that will come of this Microsoft “focus on the PC” will be some F2P web promotional game to go along with it’s XBONE exclusive title.

    At least when the developers of Need for Speed Rivals made “a smaller web thing” it was for a game that was available on multiple platforms, including the PC. Ghost games and Origin showed respect for gamers, so I’ll look for their games in the future (if they haven’t dissolved already as has been hinted in a recent article).

    Microsoft, if you want to do something for the PC, then do something for the PC. Announce the release date and let’s see what you’ve got. Because nobody believes a word you say any more.

  40. nimbulan says:

    If Microsoft really wants people to believe they’re into PC, they’ll port all the Halo games and Destiny to PC. But they won’t.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Why would they port something to PC that they paid a LOT of money to keep away from PC? The reason Halo isn’t a PC series is because Microsoft paid for it. The reason Destiny isn’t on PC, is because Microsoft paid for it. That’s a fact – we’ve got a decade of that despicable practice to prove it.

  41. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    “Mighty Bokz, the Steemes… Have declared independence and have forged an alliance with Leenucks.”

    Either one would have been a paltry threat, but together… Together they had the potential to split the Peacey peninsula. The dreaded Bokz of Ekz, clad in his dark armour, slammed his mailed fist down on the table and swept the reports on to the floor. He strode over the map showing the massive continent of Ekz, and the Peacey peninsula he had long claimed as his own territory, renamed to Ween Doze in honour of the instrument of its subjugation.

    “The Ween Doze lands are mine! I will not stand for a rival in my own domain. For too long have I indulged the whims of the Peacey peasants. Did I not slay for them the G’FWL?”

    “Mighty Bokz, perhaps their gratitude is tempered by the fact that you created the G’FWL and unleashed it upon them in the first place?”

    The Bokz roared in fury and clubbed his minion to death with the terrifying bulbous shape of his feared weapon known only as “the Controller”. The Bokz visibly calmed himself, and waved to bring the next terrified flunky closer.

    “The time has come for the velvet glove. Send forth messengers to woo the peasants. Tell them whatever they want to hear. I care not for the substance of their promises, for they shall never come to pass. I shall be in the Laboratory, preparing the ultimate weapon in this war… The Ween Doze Nyyn.”

    His laughter echoed throughout the halls, the baleful glowing ring that was all that could be seen through his visor glowing bright.

  42. jonahcutter says:

    The best revenge is living well. There’s so many great games out now, or due out, what need is even there for gaming from MS? Whatever their games may have accomplished has been matched and well-surpassed.

    Why even give them PC media space to spin what amounts to PR bs, when they have nothing tangible to show PC gamers?

  43. B0GiE-uk- says:

    I’m hoping that AMD’s Mantle and Steam will give microshit a kick up the ass!

  44. MeestaNob says:

    But what happens to PC gamers in 12 months when this increased internal support has another change of heart?

    No thanks guys.

  45. Iskariot says:

    Nothing says I love you like GfWL….

  46. melnificent says:

    I trust them about as much as I trust this email saying I won the Spanish lottery.

  47. Metalhead9806 says:

    Read between the lines people…

    There is no chance in hell PC will see any of the high profile Xbox One exclusives. You want Halo 5? Gears 4? Forza 5? Dead Rising 3? Quantum Break? Sunset overdrive? Buy a Xbox One.

    Microsoft needs people to buy a Xbox One, releasing that stuff on PC just gives gamers less of an incentive to buy their console.

  48. Big Murray says:

    “Oh, not at all! What I’m saying is, that could very much potentially go the other way. Maybe there’s a big exclusive on PC and there’s an Xbox Live Arcade game to support it. Or a mobile game. It makes perfect sense to develop that way.”

    You know what makes even more sense? Releasing the same game on both platforms.

    • MattM says:

      No see the X-One has a bunch of unique capabilities and any game developed for it can’t possibly be ported to another platform without completely redesigning it.

  49. Tams80 says:

    Re-assemble Ensemble, Digital Anvil and ACES; or release proper versions of Age of Empires, Freelancer and Flight Simulator from different developers and then I would consider that commitment. F2P versions of Age of Empires and Flight Simulator hardly count, as they were mediocre at best.

    • captain nemo says:

      100% agree, but it almost certainly won’t happen. I wish the developers from those legendary studios all the best in working on new platforms.

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