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

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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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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