No 7 Samurai: Skulls of The Shogun Goes Win 8-Only

Having seen/played it back on PC at the Eurogamer Expo two years ago, I had become fearful that undead samurai-starring turn-based strategy game Skulls of the Shogun‘s increasing assocation with Xbox meant it might never find its way onto IBM Compatibles. At E3, it wound up back on the promotional circuit, confirming a release on XBLA, Windows Phone and… Windows 8. Wait. What? Windows 8 only? I waggled my eyebrows in confusion at the Advance Warsy game’s designer and programmer Borut Pfeifer of 17-Bit Studios to try and find out why Windows 7 et al wasn’t joining the party.

“We are launching on Windows 8, Windows Phone and XBLA around the Windows 8 release,” confirmed Borut. “So no, that won’t include a Windows 7 version.” But… why?

“Working with MS, we were all really excited about the cross-platform nature of the game (it’s a great fit for mouse, touch, and gamepad, which is rare). We had a choice to support either Windows 8 or GFWL on Windows 7.”

Which doesn’t sound like a very nice choice to me, but reading highly speculatively between the lines my wild guess is that this might just have been what was required to have any PC version launch at the same time as the XBLA version. Many big indie games have been delayed on PC in the past in order for MS to take its Xbox exclusivity pound of flesh.

Anyway, Borut cites three major reasons why they went Win 8 rather than Win 7 + the singular horror of Games For Windows Live.

“As PC gamers we’re aware of the issues GFWL has had. Windows 8 & Xbox Live on Windows 8 are a great step forward. Some of that is just improvements in Windows 8 itself – you can associate your PC login with your windows live/xbox account, and then logging into Xbox Live games is seamless, just like on an Xbox. If you don’t want to sign in, it’s much easier to handle (so you don’t explicitly have to create a local user account – although you do have to sign in to buy stuff as far as I know).”

Apparently Windows 8’s store stuff also means “there’s no such thing as installers anymore. Apps & games just install. No longer will every single PC game I play demand that I reinstall stuff I already have installed.”

The second reason does, for me, convey just how Frankenstinian Microsoft is about its support for PC gaming today – and I’m not sure it’s a positive. “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++.”

The third reason for choosing Win 8 apparently has to remain a secret for now, but we’ll hear more about around Pax Prime.

Borut reveals that “We have gotten some flack for our platform decisions” and says “we’d just like to ask for a little empathy – we are a tiny company and don’t have infinite money or time. What we do have is a ton of experience making and playing games, so we hope players will give us the benefit of the doubt where possible (or at least perhaps folks can kindly delay the angry/depressing forum posts until we’re out of crunching for ship.”

The immediate question/concern for me is that, regardless of what benefits Win 8 might bring to the PC gaming table, being shackled exclusively to it means the vast majority of current PC gamers won’t be able to play or even buy the game. Unless I’m totally underestimating how many of you lot are planning to rush out and buy a copy of Windows 8 come launch week, anyway. From my experiences with the current (freely available) Windows 8 consumer beta, I think it’s confused mess of an OS that’s trying to brute-force touchscreen interface mentality onto non-touchscreen devices and I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone currently running Win 7 would want to upgrade to it. For the first time in my 33 years I have zero desire to stick the latest version of Windows onto my PC. But that’s just me. Obviously, there’ll be a decent market in terms of people buying new PCs/laptops pre-loaded with Win 8, but I suspect you lot are by and large more likely to stick new components into your existing systems rather than buy box-fresh new PCs.

Anyway. Say Borut, “obviously non-Win 8 PC gamers are still very important to us (especially since at least half the team will probably continue to fall in that category), but beyond that I can’t really go into contractual details as to why that part makes business sense for us. Pretty sure I can’t even fuzzily portend what might become apparent at a later date.” I think we can all read between the lines there, eh? And yeah, if that means what it sounds like it means, I guess you can’t blame a small, independent dev for going for it.

He does feel that “Windows 8 represents a big opportunity, both for people upgrading desktops and buying new tablets. Most of the concerns we’ve seen in the preview releases for the desktop have been addressed (although time will tell if just visual distinctions represent too much change for people in adopting Win 8). Microsoft does seem excited about having a game like ours on all those types of devices at once, so we are definitely hoping that will result in more promotion.”

Additionally, “As gamers, we’re definitely happy to see where they’ve taken Xbox Live on Windows 8, compared to GFWL. Only time will tell at this point if our strategy pans out, and if other people agree with us about gaming on Win 8, but it is nice to soon realize our hopes of getting the game out on all 4 types of devices (console, phone, desktop, tablet) at launch.”

So there we go. As I’m not about to spend £80 on a new version of Windows just so I can play one game, I suppose I may well never play Skulls of the Shogun. This makes me all :( as it looks rather lovely. Here, I’ll show you:

Aw/ I’ll be curious to hear what the mysterious third reason for going Win 8-only is. Perhaps there really will be a cast-iron reason for PC gamers to upgrade. But then similar stuff was said for Halo 2 and Vista, and look at how that panned out.

On the other hand, part of the Windows 8 thinking is having an app store, as is the case on iOS, Android and even OSX, so I suppose there’s every chance that does become a big deal in PC gaming land. I wonder what the chaps at Steam are making of that?

Plenty more info on Skulls of the Shogun may be found here.


  1. Choca says:

    I say this with absolutely no animosity but fuck’em then.

    • djbriandamage says:

      You might want to invest in a big box of condoms then because these Metro UI apps will become much more common. This is just a glorified cellphone game which is appropriate for the Metro platform. The benefits are that it will run on PC, tablet, and phone. In a vacuum it may not be particularly impressive on any single platform but it will be a privilege to use the exact same software in the exact same way regardless of what device you’re using.

      This multiplatform concept will either pick up steam slowly and we’ll love it, or it will fall flat and we’ll forget it. I honestly believe the former will happen, but only if Microsoft can sell its tablets and phones. If not they are in for some very dark times.

      Remember Shadowrun with its DX10\Vista requirement? It got bad press and the product tanked. Now the only people who don’t use DX10 are dinosaurs who swear by a 13-year-old operating system. 17-Bit Studios is putting themselves in a bit of a similar picture by being an early adopter, but someone’s got to do it and I’m fairly confident they will be seen as pioneers who helped forge a path that will one day be very popular.

      • D3xter says:

        Good luck to them then, personally I’m skipping Windows 8, hoping they come back to their senses with the next one.

        I could also go Linux, most of what is keeping me on a Windows-based machine are games and at this point every single Indie Bundle and KickStarter seems to want to support Linux and Steam will support it soon etc.
        What I certainly don’t want is a Mobile Phone OS with “Xbox Live” pre-installed on my PC, fuck that.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I’m very much of this mind. If Unity is going to Linux, which seems likely, a ton of my favorite games will be on linux.

          I tried Ubuntu four years ago and wasn’t terribly happy with it, but I tried Mint three weeks ago and it works very well. Combine this with the absolutely atrocious and unnecessary ribbon in MS Office and they’re practically pushing me away.

          The weird thing is how rarely I use any of MS’s basic programs anymore. I browse the internet, play around with images, listen to music and watch video, write papers, make spreadsheets, and play games. I use Chrome for the Internet, for images, VLC for media, Word half the time and google docs the other half, LibreOffice for the spreadsheets, and Steam for the games.

          I consider these pretty basic functions, and I didn’t stop using the MS programs out of a fuck MS sentiment, the others are just free and better to use. The only reason I’m still on windows is because I need my resume to keep its formatting, and I like my PC games.

          At least they did add the snipping tool.

      • Brun says:

        I think Windows 8 will do much better as a mobile operating system than as a desktop OS. In all likelihood, W8 will tank on desktops. However, the tablet market is ripe for a battle for second place, as most Android tablets are pretty lackluster and don’t have huge numbers of adopters (like Android phones do). As for phones, I think Microsoft was one or two years too late to that party. Apple did themselves (and Microsoft) a disservice by maintaining iPhone exclusivity with AT&T for as long as they did, since it meant that Android accumulated a very large number of phone users who picked it up simply because it was their only real alternative to an iPhone on non-AT&T networks for so long.

        • djbriandamage says:

          But that’s just it – if Win8 does well on any platform then it will likely do well on every platform. I use Win7 and Android and there’s a huge disparity in usability and functionality when I try to do the same task (like attach a file to an email) between my desktop and mobile OS. If I could use the exact same program on both platforms and use the same series of commands to perform that task it would be so much more intuitive and natural.

          There’s a reason Mac has both OSX and iOS – it’s very hard to make a cross-platform OS intended for different input mechanisms. There’s still room for improvement but Microsoft has done a very good job of this so far, at least according to my own experience with Win8 on a desktop PC (I haven’t tried it on a tablet yet).

          • Brun says:

            Ah, but I’m not trying to do the same tasks on my phone as I am on my desktop. Therefore I don’t WANT the interfaces, tools, commands, etc. to be the same. I’d rather the experiences be highly divergent, but each one to be tailored and optimized for their respective platforms. Optimize > Compromise.

          • djbriandamage says:

            I do many of the same tasks on my smartphone and desktop. I read news, check maps, surf the web, send emails, and play games. Maybe I’m in the minority?

            Besides, can’t optimize and compromise be complementary goals?

          • Brun says:

            No, optimize and compromise are contradictory goals. In a setup like Windows 8 where you’re trying to create a one-size-fits-all OS, you’re going to have to make compromises on all sides. Metro and the mobile OS will have to make compromises to the Desktop and vice versa. That’s just bad design to begin with (since it means you’ll end up with a mediocre, middle-of-the-road experience on both sides). But it also means that eventually there will be design conflicts between Desktop and Metro that can’t be resolved, and then we go from compromising to sacrificing. That begs the question: when you can no longer compromise, and must sacrifice one or the other to resolve a conflict, which one wins – Desktop or Metro? Microsoft has made it pretty clear which one will win 99% of the time, and that’s why Desktop users are so hostile to the OS.

          • Dahoon says:

            Sure you can do the same stuff on both devices in the same ways. But then a mouse and a keyboard doesn’t make any sense and a touch-screen would be a better option for your PC. It’s not so much about what you do on the phone vs. the desktop, but with what you do it. A touch interface OS with a mouse and a keyboard makes as much sense as a desktop interface OS on a touch-screen phone.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Vista still died in infamy, mostly everyone skipped to DirectX11, and Shadowrun was put out of its misery (even on Xbox).

      • Zelius says:

        The difference being that Windows 7 isn’t even 3 years old. Besides, Windows 8 doesn’t seem to provide any benefits to the average PC user, over 7. I, for one, want a PC UI, not a glorified tablet/mobile interface.

        I’m calling it right here: Windows 8 will likely be the Vista of this OS generation.

        • djbriandamage says:

          You can try the Win8 Release Preview for free right now if you want to put your claims to the test. There are big benefits for desktop users that I’ve seen.

          File transfers alone are vastly improved based on user requests. The copy dialog shows a graph of speed over time, if you expand the copy dialogue to show more information it will remember that preference for future copy commends, copy error prompts are suppressed until all other files are copied, if you start a second copy command you can run it concurrently or queue it to start when the first copy concludes, and at long last you can pause and resume a file transfer if you want to do some other disk-intensive task right away.

          It’s a really good OS, but so was Vista. A good OS may or may not sell well and I suspect you’re correct that this one might flop because people are afraid of the important changes it proposes. There’s no need to sit around wondering when you can try the whole thing right now, though. I’ll be upgrading the day it comes out, absolutely no question. My experiences with the betas have been overwhelmingly positive and I now HATE the ridiculous notion of a tiny Start menu that must be scrolled and scrolled just to see all your apps.

          • Brun says:

            I suspect you’re correct that this one might flop because people are afraid of the important changes it proposes.

            The important changes are the ones you listed in the above paragraph. People are afraid of (or just don’t want) an OS that’s just Microsoft’s declaration to the world that it wants to be Apple.

            I imagine that Windows 8 would be quite popular if Metro weren’t forced on Desktop users. If I could use Windows 8 on my gaming PC without ever SEEING Metro I would likely upgrade.

          • Oozo says:

            While I have never tried Windows 8 myself and thus can’t argue with your reasoning, I feel somewhat uneasy by your idea that all the things in the start menu are “Apps”. Lest I checked, they were called “programs”, and the difference is worth stressing, I think.

          • byteCrunch says:


            Instead you want a UI that has to be scrolled with massive icons?

            To suggest that the UI change is somehow unimportant due to the underlying changes is absurd, the UI is what you have to use all the time especially in a Windows environment.

            I have used Windows 8 on a desktop it is absolutely horrendous, it doesn’t benefit desktop use at all, it is possibly the most impractical UI I have ever used, and I have used Gnome 3. Yes the changes are nice, but they do not out-way how awful Windows 8 is to use.

            Windows 8 isn’t about some game changing shift, it is about Microsoft and it’s iPad envy, as it grasps furiously at Apple, like it did with the Windows 7 phone, the difference being Apple have the sense to separate the desktop/laptop and tablet environment, whilst Microsoft does not.

          • Brun says:


            Apple has slowly been bringing OS X and iOS closer and closer together. I have no doubt that merging them is their ultimate goal. Give them a few more years and all of their devices will be running the same OS.

          • byteCrunch says:

            I am not convinced that is the case, I think Apple have identified the needs of the two separate platforms, whilst they may continue to incorporate features OSX is still completely different, the features taken from the iOS world are more about convenience features then merging the two.

          • djbriandamage says:

            The very weird thing about Windows 8 is its dichotomy between Metro apps and Windows applications (note my use of both words).

            I installed Steam on Win8 and played at least two dozen games, all of which worked 100% flawlessly just as they do on Win7. Ditto for my favourite utilities, my DJ and recording software, and web browsers. Ordinary Windows applications are alive and well in Windows 8, but Microsoft isn’t giving that much press for some reason which is causing a lot of FUD out there.

            In addition to seemingly full Win7 compatibility there is the Metro app environment. Metro apps are predominantly fullscreen, although you can park them to the side of the screen beside another app or even beside the traditional Windows desktop. Metro apps are cross-platform, so although you might not want a dedicated fullscreen app if you’re just going to be using a desktop PC, if you have a Windows phone andor tablet it will be a real treat to use the exact same application with all your data prepopulated on every one of your devices.

            People who only use the desktop OS will use Win8 just like Win7, but I guarantee they will vastly prefer the fullscreen Start menu. So to them it will be Win7 with a nicer Start menu and several timesaving UI tweaks. That’s not so scary, right? It’s probably not worthwhile to buy a boxed copy of Win8 if that’s all you’d use it for, but if you have the same OS with the same applications on multiple devices you will enjoy consistency, improved productivity, and convenience.

            Bah, I’m really sorry for my long posts but I was as skeptical of Win8 as anyone and my continued astonishment with the betas has turned me into a bit of an evangelist correcting people’s innocent misunderstandings.

          • djbriandamage says:

            YES! The Start menu makes perfect sense and I don’t know why they didn’t do it years sooner. Regardless of the size of the icons (you can toggle between small and large) you can see way more of them at a time than on the tiny little cascading folders in the corner of your screen since Win95. Not only are they icons on the Win8 Start screen, they’re interactive mini-widgets which give you a smidge of info, like latest headlines or temperature or whether you have tweets waiting, which saves you from executing a program only to be disappointed.

            I removed 90% of the icons from my Start screen so that only my preferred apps remained. Then I dragged them into columns which I labelled Games, Apps, etc., so that it’s not just a wall of icons but a concise series of groups. After 2 months of use I had only about 30 icons on that screen, and my lesser-used programs could be effortlessly invoked with search – I just whack the start key and start typing, just like I do now in Win7.

            You are 100% correct about the influence of iPad, though. But it’s not just envy, it’s an admission of defeat. Microsoft needs a better solution than the iOSOSX team, and their answer is to reduce that dichotomy to a single OS. Microsoft cannot afford to ignore Apple’s enormous threat.

          • byteCrunch says:


            Windows 8 doesn’t provide a “nice start menu” it provides an impractical one. If people prefer the Windows 8 “start menu” why is it’s most criticized feature?

            Possibly because it doesn’t display all your applications in an efficient manner, it consumes your whole screen for no purpose, it requires an extra GUI layer in the form of Metro which sits their eating more resources.

            Your best part is the bit about the same applications. Let me correct your ignorance, most if not all of the Windows 8 tablets at launch will be ARM-based, that means all your current desktop software will not work on them, so it does not provide consistency across platforms in anyway at all, unless your only interested in spending more money to buy Metro equivalents.
            Oh and good news, Windows 8 ARM tablets will only let your run IE, yay, we all love IE don’t we.

            If you want a OS that works well on desktops and touch screen devices, I would like to point you to Ubuntu.

          • djbriandamage says:

            Well then please forgive my ignorance if I’m mistaken, but I was under the impression that Metro apps (the topic of this article) would work on both ARM and IntelAMD CPUs.

            And forgive my willful ignorance of public criticism. I formulate my own opinions based on my experience, and I’ve had a great time with Win8 so far, just as I did with Vista which was panned for… I don’t know why. The bandwagon and I don’t always see eye to eye, but I am admittedly a much bigger nerd than the average Windows user so my needs are different. I’m no Microsoft fanboy – fuck Xbox, GFWL, and their product activation DRM – but I will never be ashamed to declare my love for solutions that work for me, no matter how unpopular.

            As big a nerd as I am, I could never get into Linux. I’ve tried a dozen distros from Slackware to SUSE, I’ve compiled my own kernels, I’ve borked bootloaders, and I’ve checked out repositories like LILO and apt-get, but I’m just not feeling it. It’s a perfectly solid platform but whenever I have to inevitably fall back on the commandline I get awfully confused, and I used to be a whiz at batch files and multiconfig autoexec.bat files back in the DOS days. I shudder to think of writing 200-character commandline switches full of special characters on a tablet keyboard.

          • byteCrunch says:

            I said Metro applications will work, all your current desktop software will not though, so all the applications you currently use within the regular Aero environment have no synchronicity with an ARM based Windows 8 device.

            Ubuntu 12.04 is rather lovely on an Android tablet, it just works, on the way is Ubuntu for Android, you hook it up to a dock and screen and you get a full Ubuntu desktop, that has access to all your information on the phone, as well as being able to run all your Android apps within the desktop with no abstracted GUI layers like Metro, also it lets you run all your standard desktop applications.

          • Dahoon says:

            @djbriandamage, no matter how many good arguments you come up with, winning anyone over is kinda hard when you also talk good about Vista. Even Microsoft themselves know Vista is the new Windows Me. It was a clusterfuck with some nifty features thrown in, just like Windows 8. The copy function in Windows has sucked balls since… always. Fixing a few decade old faults and creating new bigger ones wont help though.

            I for one am grateful for Microsoft’s apparent fuckup. Let them ruin their own stuff if they want, it will just make for a more even OS market which is better for all of us. Even if 8 was really great, I wouldn’t buy it, as it is Microsoft’s way to try and turn the PC into a console. I already got a Playstation and I don’t need another one with a Xbox UI.

          • djbriandamage says:

            I loved Vista versus XP because of its 3D-accelerated UI which took considerable load off the CPU, the Win+tab window cascading (I still use this occasionally in Win7 and am sorry it’s gone away in Win8), its well-supported 64-bit build for which vendors made reliable drivers, and most of all for the search bar on the Start menu and in Explorer. All of these were game changers for me and replaced third-party utilities I used in XP (like my beloved KeyLaunch). I’ll defend Vista to the death.

            I’ll defend Win8 too. It’s a good OS no matter how bad people want it to fail.

          • InternetBatman says:

            I just use the search menu instead of the start bar all together. Why do you need to look at all you applications outside the file-manager now anyways?

      • mmalove says:

        I’m pretty sure people’s attitudes regarding the Shadowrun DX10 requirement were precisely “fuck em, then”, and it didn’t exactly turn out well for the franchise.

        I have to agree, when the OS is not even out yet, I’m just not all that excited for a game that will run exclusively on it. I tend to upgrade OS when I buy a new system, not because an iphone quality game released.

      • Stromko says:

        Those dinosaurs still have a point. I switched to Windows 7 (from XP) about five months ago when my old PC died, prompting me to buy a cheap premade machine since they offered financing (would’ve loved to build my own but didn’t have the cash). I’ve yet to really identify any gotta-have-it features that this switch provided. Skyrim and all my other games still look the same in DX11 mode and seem to perform about the same. I can finally play Renegade Ops and Just Cause 2, the latter of which was either severely over-hyped or just didn’t age well.

        It’s nice it can use more RAM, though I’ve only went from 4 gigs to 8 so the gain is largely consumed by OS overhead. I’m experiencing more crashes and issues with a number of games, even after telling it to run them as administrator. Things mostly work fine, and updated driver support is appreciated, though I fear support will dry up as Microsoft turns all their attentions to Windows 8 and tablets and all those hipster toys.

        • djbriandamage says:

          Do you use any other 13-year-old software? If not, why not? Software engineering moves quickly and there are very tangible benefits of Vista, Win7, and Win8 over XP. I’ve typed my fingers off above so I won’t repeat myself here.

          • Vorphalack says:

            From a gamers perspective, there really aren’t that many benefits. Like the guy above, I only moved on from XP when I really needed the extra RAM. What concerns me most about a PC is the hardware, with the OS being a necessary evil to get to the software. As long as the OS is stable and supports the hardware I want, I have absolutely no reason to upgrade. Even if Windows 8 wasn’t doing the whole Metro thing, I still wouldn’t buy it because I just don’t need it.

          • Baines says:

            My graphics viewer of choice has 1999 on its About screen. I’ve looked over the years and haven’t found anything that I like better than it. Others seems to miss features that I either want or find essential (such as proper viewing of multiple files inside an archive). I don’t even like later versions of the same program, because they introduced unnecessary bloat and changed the interface for the worse. The only reason I keep looking for a new alternative is that the 1999 version doesn’t support Unicode file names.

            I still use JWPce at times, and its About screen lists its final version as 2002.

            My hex editor of choice has 2004 on its About screen.

            Mobipocket Reader has 2007, but there likely won’t be an update of it.

            I’ve got a few little utilities scattered around that date back to the early half of the previous decade. Like the graphics viewer, the main fault they tend to have is an inability to deal with Unicode file names. You can find plenty of little programs that did something useful, but were never updated beyond a certain point in history, and the source was not made public for others to do the work for them.

            And that doesn’t even touch on games.

          • jrodman says:

            I’ve been using Vim as my primary text editor since 1993 or so.

        • Ateius says:

          I kept using Windows XP right up to … 2010 or 2011, I can’t recall specifically. I finally upgraded to Windows 7 because XP’s inability to recognize all my RAM was starting to impact my gaming. I skipped Vista because it came pre-installed on my laptop and I loathed it.

          Other than the ‘quick boot’ feature the OS seems unchanged in functionality from XP to my untrained eye and if it weren’t for the RAM issue (and I guess also DX 10/11 are important) I’d still be using XP. I see no reason for me to upgrade to Windows 8.

        • Zeewolf says:

          I switched to 7 a good while ago, but the awesome thing about being a “dinosaur” is that I never had to install Vista on my computer. So not only could I keep using an OS that I was happy with, I saved some money and I managed to avoid Vista alltogether. Not bad, eh?

          (it’s not true that I managed to avoid it alltogether, as I had to use other machines with Vista, but those experiences just made me even more happy that I didn’t have that crap on my personal machine)

          I don’t think I’ll ever own a computer with Windows 8.

          It’s sad that I’ll have to skip this game, and there will no doubt be many more like it. For over a decade Microsoft has proven to be the biggest enemy of gaming on the PC, and obviously they’re going to keep at it until they’ve killed traditional PC gaming or things start to go so wrong business wise that they have to rethink their strategy completely. Which I don’t think they’re capable of.

      • Maniacal says:

        ” This is just a glorified cellphone game”

        Which in turn are usually glorified flash games. I wouldn’t buy this game even if it was on Windows 7 as it looks decidedly meh.

    • Ialda says:

      Pretty much this.

      And fuck this multiplatform concept. I’m not interested in playing Civ or Doom on my oven while sitting in the refrigerator.

      With the PC market being back to a healthier state of affairs (or so it seems), I really begin to fear seeing MS attempting to take over a big part of said PC gaming market with Win8.

      • Lemming says:

        This article angered up the blood, but your comment cheered me up lol

      • djbriandamage says:

        I think you’re just not using your imagination, then. What if you could start a 12-hour game of Defcon on your PC first thing in the morning, orchestrate your armies on your smartphone while at work, and launch your nukes from your tablet from your easy chair when you get home? Just as each platform inspires games to suit it, multiplatform games will usher in new eras of creativity and accessibility as well.

        • Brun says:

          Unfortunately the complexity and depth of such a game will be limited by the least powerful or robust device on which it has to run. The multiplatform paradigm adds just as many constraints as it does features, if not more.

          • djbriandamage says:

            You’re absolutely correct, but that concept is nothing new. That’s what Java, Flash, Air, and other multiplatform environments are for. Flash is an extremely limiting language but that didn’t stop Realm of the Mad God and Binding of Isaac from achieving greatness on PCs which are capable of infinitely more complex tasks.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”What if you could start a 12-hour game of Defcon on your PC first thing in the morning, orchestrate your armies on your smartphone while at work, and launch your nukes from your tablet from your easy chair when you get home?”

            I’d probably start to hate gaming because it would cease to be a hobby and more of a way of life. Also, gaming at work has a habit of getting you fired.

            I’d compare that always connected model to how I felt about Facebook when it started getting big. At first it was a novelty, then a talking point, then a complete ball ache because when you met your friends in the flesh you had nothing new to say to each other. Then the adverts started coming…….If gaming is planning on going down that route I don’t want to be a part of it.

        • Nick says:

          so what if you could?

          • djbriandamage says:

            So that would be fun and convenient!

            It’s similar to the cable versus PVR argument. You can organize your day to make sure you’re home in time for your 8:30PM show, or you can leverage technology to consume that same content on your own terms.

          • Nick says:

            you know, you use a heck of a lot of buzzwords for a “normal” person.

        • Zeewolf says:

          I thought most people agreed that Neptune’s Pride was a cool concept, but too stressful in the long run?

    • rocketman71 says:

      Fuck them indeed, and fuck Microsoft and their store too.

  2. elfbarf says:

    …and they just lost 95% of their PC sales.

    • c-Row says:

      You are quite the optimist.

      • elfbarf says:

        They’re choosing to make their game exclusive to a platform that doesn’t even exist yet, it’ll be at least a year until Windows 8 starts to become widespread. Even then, most people I’ve talked to see no reason to upgrade, W8 seems to be a victim of the Windows cycle.

        • Berzee says:

          I think he was saying that -95% is an optimistic estimate.

          • HoosTrax says:

            Sometimes the crowd/majority *is* in fact right, but you’ll always have those people who like to go against the grain to feel smarter — thus the 5%.

        • frightlever says:

          Pretty sure he meant it’ll be more like losing 99% of their PC sales.

          Windows 8 is an attempt to get a slice of the walled garden moolah that Apple has been effectively milking for years now. They want everything to go through their store by default.

          Crap like this will do more for Linux than anything Ubuntu or Red Hat managed. I wonder if the reception W8 has been getting is one of the reasons Steam are making a push on Linux.

          • djbriandamage says:

            Well, Metro is that walled garden whereas Win8 is as much a Windows OS as any of ’em. It can be argued that this walled garden will be welcomed, though. I run a PC repair consultancy and my customers’ PCs are terminally riddled with toolbars, trial software, popups, and other crapware that’s bundled with freeware apps that you get from websites. The controlled Metro app store will be more WYSIWYG and less of a minefield.

          • Zeewolf says:

            There’s a popular Benjamin Franklin-quote that seems appropriate here.

        • mortenfriis says:

          What – XBLA and Windows Phone doesn’t exist? And here I thought the Xbox360 had the largest home console install base (at least in NA+EU). Silly me.

          … or maybe you have no idea what the word exclusive means?

          • Joof says:

            The poster is clearly talking about the exclusivity to Windows 8 that the entire article was about, and was talking about losing PC sales. And the Wii has a larger install base in both America and Europe by millions of consoles.

          • ulix says:

            Xbox 360 is only in the lead in North America. In Europe (and obviously Japan) the PS3 has sold more unites (according to Wikipedia).

          • Brun says:

            The Wii has the biggest install base. The Xbox 360 sells the most games though (more than the Wii does, despite its larger footprint). Most Wii users bought their Wii for Wii Sports and for watching Netflix – they don’t buy many games.

          • ulix says:

            Not true Brun.

            link to

            Apparently the WIi only has a marginally lower Attachment Rate than the other consoles.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Given Zeboyd’s experience, Microsoft would have to give a very hefty sum for such an exclusive contract to be worthwhile.

          • Author X says:

            InternetBatman, Zeboyd was on the XBLIG – the indie games section which has almost no barrier of entry, and the resulting flood of awful games burying the gems – not the XBLA, which has much higher average quality and is promoted by Microsoft.

            For that matter, if they were offered a hefty sum for their game, and that sum was the difference between running out of money and being able to the finish the game, I could hardly blame them for taking it.

            Then again, I was already planning to get it on XBLA since hearing about it, so I’m not anywhere near as upset about this as the PC games on this PC gaming site are.

    • Maktaka says:

      Now, now, I’m sure they’ll get all the success Halo 2’s PC version received.

    • djbriandamage says:

      You mean they just added 5% PC sales to their Xbox and smartphone game.

      • Leptok says:

        You are one of 3 things:

        1) You work for MS

        2) You are being paid by MS

        3) You are a fucking crazy person.

  3. pakoito says:


    • pakoito 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++.”


      If you have ever worked with Microsoft dev stuff you will get the joke. Yeah, their VS debugger is the best but I am still far from convinced of using any of their stuff.

    • Timothy 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++.”

      This sentence reaffirmed my commitment to never learn any Microsoft-specific programming language. The fact that XNA makes you beholden to Microsoft’s every irrational whim far outweighs any potential savings in devolpment time.

      Honestly, with Windows 8 Microsoft just seem to be trying to prove how out of touch with the development community they are; first the whole Metro-only visual studio debacle and now this…

      • Brun says:

        The development community isn’t paying gobs of money to Apple. Windows 8 is not designed to please the dev community.

        • Timothy says:

          Windows 8 is not designed to please the dev community.
          And this seems to be a huge mistake.
          An operating system is nothing without applications. Admittedly, Windows 8 should be able to coast for a bit just on the basis of being able to run Windows 7 applications, but that’s hardly a compelling reason for users to upgrade.

          The development community isn’t paying gobs of money to Apple.
          Actually, I’m pretty sure they are. Apple takes 30% of revenue from sales through the app store. That’s a pretty juicy amount of money, and Microsoft seem hell bent on building their own walled garden in response.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        The sad part of this is that all the problems are caused by horrid management bullshit. The *actual* products are, often quite surprisingly, good.

        I’ve worked with a lot of environments, languages and dev kits and Microsoft’s stuff is really pretty darn good. Visual Studio compares favorably to Eclipse, NetBeans or others (Code::Blocks, XCode, whatever). C# is honestly a dream to work with compared to the mess that we call Java (and is so much more approachable than C++). XNA hides a lot of the crap you need to deal with when working with DirectX, yet even barebone DX is still a lot nicer than OGL in my honest opinion (and yes I’ve used both).

        The problem is that once they get a nice platform, they seem to be unable to keep it nice. VS Express 11’s Metro restriction was batshit insane. W8 ARM’s IE-only restriction is such an Apple copycat move I’m baffled. XNA’s last few updates have been almost exclusively focused on bloody WP7. DX hasn’t really seen a lot of movement since DX10, which was arguably a large structural change but didn’t introduce anything new to the end user compared to how much DX9 brought to the table.

        Sometimes I wish Microsoft Research were calling the shots.

        • byteCrunch says:

          The Metro limitation for VS Express is just absurd, the programming industry is already suffering from a dearth of interest, raising the requirements for students and hobbyist developers to having to make Metro applications straight off the bat just makes it worse.

          The limitation also stretches to a point where your going to end with people who only know how to make a Metro application and have no knowledge of desktop development for Windows, we are already seeing people who only know Java for example.

          It is a shame, C# is a really nice language at the moment (it will get as bloated as Java soon enough) but limiting newcomers to programming to developing Windows 8 only applications is just stupid.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I’m not nearly as technical, but I felt the same way. XNA was a beautiful idea that came out years and years before Unity, and had a lot of good games made with it. But the lack of support and curators was just terrible. Now it just kind of sits there, another failed half effort.

  4. c-Row says:

    The question is – is this game good enough to warrant an upgrade to Windows 8, anyway?

  5. Antsy says:

    I’d hazard a guess at the third reason being that Win 7 just isn’t enough stick to make people upgrade so they need more carrots.

    That made sense in my head.

    • Mashiki says:

      They tried that with Windows7/Vista with the two versions of DirectX. Didn’t work out too well, the real problem of course is that developers aren’t using the new programing API’s, very few have used DX10, almost none are using DX11. And that’s because most games these days are developed for consoles first and they’re still stuck on 10 year old technology.

    • furiannn says:

      Im still struggling with it…

    • Roshin says:

      It sure sounds like MS are using GFWL as a deterrent to keep devs away from W7 and push them in the direction of W8. Which is a disturbingly appropriate use of GFWL, when you think about it.

      To me, W7 was (and is) the best thing to happen to Windows in ages and I have no desire to leave it. Wouldn’t it be great if MS set aside a tiny fraction of the time and resources that are going into W8 and used it to fix GFWL?

      As for the game, I wouldn’t play it, if you threw it at me, after reading this.

  6. Dominic White says:

    It’s a multiplayer-centric game launching as a retail title (dangerous in of itself) on an OS that a grand total of zero people I know has any interest in. Yeah, this one is doomed. I wonder how much money MS offered the developers to make it their first big W8 exclusive? And whether it’ll be enough to keep them afloat?

    • Lewie Procter says:

      I suspect they weren’t paid a penny, rather it was a condition of them getting on XBLA.

      • Dominic White says:

        Shoulda gone to Sony, then. They’re not only more open to indie developers, but Valve and CCP seem pretty happy with how they do cross-platform stuff. And it doesn’t require using any awful proprietary Sony software on the PC, either.

      • Torgen says:

        Oh, that would *suck*, if was MS purely coercing them like that. I’d like to think that they got at least a tiny money hat out of the deal, for giving up an entire market.

        On a related note, anything that drives a nail in GFWL’s coffin is a good thing, isn’t it?

        • fiddlesticks says:

          Maybe Microsoft just sent over their best Mafia impersonators to persuade them.

          “That’s a nice game you got there, 17-Bit Studios. It’d be a shame if someone were to ban it from XBLA.”

    • djbriandamage says:

      You REALLY think this is a “big Win8 exclusive”? It’s a low budget XBLA\smartphone game made by a small indie team. Win8 adds a platform which gives them an even larger audience.

      Unless you know something I don’t. Did Steven Segal do ninjaflips on Microsoft’s E3 stage to this game’s themesong or something? Maybe I missed that.

      • RobF says:

        It’s pretty big, yeah and definitely not a low budget smartphone game. Dunno where you get that from.

        But! Anyway, I don’t think it’s fair to say “should have gone with Sony” or owt like that. The game was announced in 2010 and things change fast in ways no-one could account for. Whether that’s for better or for worse, we’ll see but I wouldn’t hold owt against Haunted Temple for this.

  7. HoosTrax says:

    “we’d just like to ask for a little empathy – we are a tiny company and don’t have infinite money or time.”

    I’d like some empathy as well. I don’t have excessive amounts of money to waste on an OS that offers me no reason to upgrade from Windows 7, nor do I have time to waste on reconfiguring a new OS environment to suit my needs.

    Lamest excuses ever. Plenty of indie ports from XBLA and XBLIG that do not have GFWL that work perfectly fine with Windows 7.

  8. db1331 says:

    Well to be fair, as much as Windows 8 sucks, it probably is still better than using GFWL. Then again, sticking your junk in a hornet nest is better than using GFWL.

    • pakoito says:

      >Well to be fair, as much as Windows 8 sucks, it probably is still better than using GFWL.

      Wrong. As a developer there is a huge mistake in jumping to W8. They disdained 25 years of computer applications in favour of shitty flashy webapps.

    • Nic Clapper says:

      GFWL can only makes games worse….win8 can make everything worse, including games. So I disagree :)

    • Culby says:

      I still remember booting Bulletstorm for the first time. “No GFWL login? Click hear to create one! Wait, you need a patch before you can create one, Log In to download the patch!”

      • db1331 says:

        GTA IV did it for me. Not only did I have to make a GFWL account, I also had to sign up for the Rockstar Social Club before I was even allowed to create a save. What a fuckfest.

        • Brun says:

          Was that patched out or something? I bought it a couple of years later off of Steam and I never had to sign up for the Social Club.

      • Gilead says:

        I didn’t even get that when I tried to play Dawn of War 2 for the first time. I got a message saying GFWL was out of date and needed a patch, and when I clicked ‘OK’, expecting it to autodownload or direct me to a website, I was just kicked back to the desktop with no further messages.

        Eventually I found the patch I needed by Googling and navigating through a fairly byzantine Xbox-focused Microsoft website that didn’t mention anything about GFWL except for a tiny box in the lower-left corner that had a link to what it said was the latest patch.

        And then, after I installed that and started the game, it told me I needed *another* patch, which it then started to laboriously download.

        By the time I got all that over with, the time I’d allowed myself to play the game itself had been seriously eaten into. :/

  9. ZIGS says:

    Wait until Microsoft starts securing more desirable, big-budget games as Windows 8 exclusives

    • pakoito says:

      Luckily most RPS is past the Triple A hype console gamers have. If I don’t have to play a game because of this reason I just will not.

    • Brun says:

      The big budget exclusives will go to their consoles first, not Windows.

  10. Wedge says:

    I don’t get it. XNA already runs on PC, you don’t have to port anything to do that? Unless they mean it will only run on XBLA for multiplayer, in which case, nobody cares anyways. Also why has it taken them 6 years to make this game? I saw it fully playable 5 years ago…

    • Kaira- says:

      XNA runs on PC, true. But no on Windows 8. Why? Because MS in their infinite wisdom decided that would be a good idea for god knows what reason. A little bit like when they decided that VS 11 Express (the free version of Visual Studio IDE and compilers) would NOT compile anything but Metro apps. Later they reversed their stance on that, which is pretty much the only good thing MS has done in ages.

      All this should work as a warning sign of allowing yourself to be locked in a proprietary system over which you have no control of.

      • PodX140 says:

        Wait, are you serious? No XNA on win8? Are they complete blithering idiots?

        • Belua says:

          I didn’t know this either. What the hell is going on at Microsoft? XNA was such a great idea, and it really is easy to learn while still capable of impressive things (Magicka was made in XNA for example, wasn’t it?). IMHO, it’s the learning to intermediate indie developer’s dream. I, and a lot of people I know, use(d) it as their entry into gamedev. And now they’re basically discontinuing it?

          And apart from developing: What about the bigger, existing XNA games like the aforementioned Magicka or Terraria? I don’t know of any others, but I guess there are some more. Will there really be no way to play them on Win8?

          After a bit of research, it seems that XNA just isn’t supported for App Store/Marketplace/Whatever they call it games. In the desktop area, XNA will work just like before along with all other stuff. At least that’s what I gathered from skimming the App Hub forums.

  11. Caesar says:

    Someone enlight me: how is it possible for it to work on Windows 8 but not on 7?
    No backwards compatibility?

    • HoosTrax says:

      Because they’re going to go and implement some weird-ass “XBox Live for Windows” features into the game?

    • Lemming says:

      Because, as you probably already suspect, they are deliberately bricking it to ensure exclusivity.

  12. phelix says:

    I am very very afraid of the future that Windows 8 will bring.

    • oceanview says:

      And it can’t fail. Because they will simply discontinue producing official w7 licenses and then ALL the retailers will “recommend” windows 8.

  13. GallonOfAlan 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#. ”


    • pakoito says:

      “We have to work with microsoft languages, OS and libraries. C++ is not Microsoft-centered so they wouldn’t allow us, and decided to make us stay with all their library mumbo-jumbo”

    • MaXimillion says:

      The game uses the C# programming language and the XNA framework. GFWL (Windows 7 and before) is incompatible with C#, and Windows 8 is incompatible with XNA. Changing the language from C# to C++ would have been far more work than switching the framework from XNA to MonoGame.

      • pakoito says:

        There is still no excuse not to do Monogame + C# + netlibrary on Windows 7, like everyone else.

        • jrodman says:

          Indeed. He’s dancing around the unstated contractual issues.

      • Zephro says:

        Basically MS is a creaking monolith of incompatible systems it seems.

  14. oceanclub says:

    *facepalm* Even a huge title like Halo 2 flopped when it came out as Windows Vista.


    • c-Row says:

      To be fair, it was a lacklustre port to begin with, so trying to push Vista sales with it was pretty much doomed from the beginning.

      • oceanclub says:

        Sure, but it was Halo, one of the most hyped series of all time. On the other hand, I’ve never heard of these guys.


  15. Culby says:

    Mysterious Third Reason: “Microsoft said so.”

  16. Zephro says:

    Oh for heaven’s sake. All this goes to show is the level of disregard MS have for PC Gamers. Not making their various junk acronyms properly compatible with one another…. just holy hell.

    Also even if Xbox live on Windows 8 is better than GFWL it shows a level of disregard to make those of us who have been playing games on MS OS’ for 20 years+ to tmake us use the sodding Xbox branding.

  17. Vexing Vision says:

    I really want to play the game since I saw the first trailer.

    – I am not going to upgrade to Windows 8 for quite some time.

    – My Xbox is not connected to the Internet and never will be.

    – I would rather buy an iPhone than a Windows Mobile device.

    I still really want to play Skulls of the Shogun, but alas, my options are limited to not playing it. So be it.

  18. Kdansky says:

    Need to upgrade from 7 to anything? Practically zero if you don’t need Touch, because Win7 is one of the best OSs the world has seen yet.

    Win 8 feature list? Actually pretty long and quite awesome, from booting up in a few seconds, through easier installation of all those things that normal users need, up to much more sophisticated integration of pretty much everything, especially remote drives, backups, multiple screens and much more. Really, read the Win8 dev blog, it’s very interesting.

    I don’t get why people hate on Win8 so much, it really looks more good than bad. it is an incremental upgrade over 7 in the right direction.

    No start menu? That’s actually good! Who would think that putting 99% of all functionality into the same SINGLE button is a good idea? Replacing that with a new style of desktop/start menu hybrid makes perfect sense!

    • pakoito says:

      Changing most of the behind-the-scenes from applications to webapps, everyone is smelling incompatibilities galore with Metro. They are also moving to the appstore model, which in time will create a “closed” installation system, such as the one in MacOs. Details are not clear yet but applications may need to be signed or approved by microsoft, and that kind of stuff.

    • Brun says:

      it is an incremental upgrade over 7 in the right direction.

      One step forward, two steps back.

    • somini says:

      I just want the new non-Metro stuff, even if I need to pay a symbolic amount. It has some great features added, but I will never have a touch device, I just want the regular Windows. No Metro stuff.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      “I don’t get why people hate on Win8 so much, it really looks more good than bad. it is an incremental upgrade over 7 in the right direction.”

      Are you joking or trolling? W7 is really an incremental upgrade to Vista, but it isn’t a clear cut “right direction” upgrade, because with every next Windows version Microsoft gives something (more or less useful) and takes something (rather more useful, but less flashy) away. The same is with W8. Upgrade from XP to Vista was burdened with taking away even more useful things. Where’s support for unsigned drivers (in x64, the other versions have it), where’s support for non-HDCP equipment (one such piece in the chain is enough to lower quality to worse than possible in XP), where’s IP over IEEE 1394 (I was using it for debugging with another machine, and for some games; direct cable connection is also disabled, by the way), where’s indication of USB connection (LED on usb-sticks), where’s support for winhelp (many programs still use it), where’s support for COM-connected UPSs (yeah, I still have such one, and see no reason to upgrade when never models are crappier) and many, many more? Most disturbing is lack of support of many different standards, competitive to Microsoft’s own. Functionalities are removed or limited, to yank more money from users (they need new hardware or software, and very specific one at this) or to limit they freedom. I think only hopeless MS fanboys can justify that.

      • Kdansky says:

        I’m a full-time developer working on Windows exclusively, and believe I am not completely ignorant.

        I have never knowingly used a single feature that you list as removed, and I don’t even know what half of what you say means.

        And to users that are less proficient, like my mom? That’s just cruft they cut!

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’d agree that some of the desktop tweaks are nice, even the basic visual tweaks.

      Metro UI, as just a new start menu (just for opening your programs)… okayish.
      Hot corners, especially on a larger screen need much more arm “movement” to do things with a mouse, shutdown is layers deeper and in a different corner of the screen. Win7’s cluster of functionality along the taskbar/start button make it generally easier to move around in a single corner of your screen.

      Then there’s the basic attack on the platform’s openness.
      1. Metro apps must all be loaded through the app store (security reasons apparently).
      1b. side-loading apps is limited to the more expensive version.
      2. MS takes a cut of all items sold through the app store, and a listing fee.
      2b. I’m guessing that MS will take the XBox approach and demand money for patches and have a long delaying patch-cert process.
      3. Up until recently, the free version of Visual Studio couldn’t make Desktop apps. They have since said they’ll release a Desktop-specific free version (i.e. you need 2 different version installed to develop for metro and desktop). The expensive version has it all in one obviously.
      4. Internet Explorer 10 as the only browser on Metro, due to “other companies don’t understand power management/security”. Google’s Chrome is getting a release for the Win8 Beta, but will be removed for the final release.
      4b. IE10 on Metro (which is effectively a different program from IE10 on the desktop), will allow “whitelisted” Flash sites that use Flash in a specific limited way (e.g. Youtube uses it for web-streamed video), but the plugin will crap out on other sites that are not whitelisted but use Flash. (IE10 on Desktop’s Flash plugin is fully functional)… remember that Flash is one of the biggest security flaws when it comes to being hacked.
      5. “secure bootloader”… Win8 needs a “signed” boot to start, the way they’ve gone about it may make getting Linux running on the same machine harder (if people don’t just break this “security”). It’s a bit like putting a duplicate backdoor key in a safe place, while leaving your main door key on the lawn.

      There’s probably other stuff.

      • Brun says:

        I don’t get the power management argument so many mobile companies make. I’m smart enough not to blame them for poor battery life when I download a poorly optimized application – I blame the application itself. But noooo – my poor, simple mind must be protected!

      • Aklyon says:

        IE10 only on Metro? And metro is supposedly a “desktop OS”? I smell anti-monopoly lawsuit on the horizon. MS already got smacked down once in europe for browser shenanigans and had to give people their chioce of browser on install, and no matter what defence they want to pull, it ain’t gonig to be any different this time. Desktops have no power problems and as far as I know IE is one of the least secure browsers, only beating Safari. Also, If you can run Chrome in the beta, theres no reason why you can’t later, it proves by itself that the “desktop OS” can run perfectly fine with it.

        Also, fuck UEFI. BIOSes work perfectly fine, so bog off Microsoft, you don’t need to mess up something more important than your OS, which is already messed up since you apparently don’t understand the difference between ‘desktop’ and ‘tablet/phone’.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          Frankly, it gets confusing with “desktop” -desktop, “metro”, “windows on ARM”, but yea, Firefox and Chrome are calling foul, and the european lawyers may be stirring: link to

  19. MeestaNob says:

    Hell of a way to ensure absolutely no one plays your game. Add in GFWL and you’ll have alienated everyone. Oh, it’s part of the OS now?


  20. Inigo says:


  21. RyuRanX says:

    If Halo 2 couldn’t get away with an OS exclusivity, then why would they expect an indie game to succeed?

    I was very interested in this turn-based strategy game, but not anymore.

  22. Flukie says:

    I’m fine with this, Windows 8 seems like a decent platform to go for. Its essentially like developing for a iOS or Android device now. I’m excited because its a mix of the two.

    • somini says:

      The walled garden from iOS and the general brokeneness of Android.

    • trjp says:

      The sheer lack of understanding which went into that statement is impossible for me to fully calculate.

      Let’s just say that copying Android or iOS is NOT the route Windows needs to go down and that the development experience which never be remotely similar and leave it at that.

    • ulix says:

      If exactly zero people had an iOS or Android device, this would be true. And if, let’s say 6 months after release, 95% of your target-market still had a “device” (OS) that could theoretically run your game, but you just don’t give it to those, but only to the 5% who already baught the New iPhone 4S.

      (While I know that there are games exclusive to the iPhone 4S, namely Rockstar stuff like GTA3 and Max Payne, this has actual hardware reasons. An earlier iPhone would not be able to run it properly. Windows 7 on the other hand could without a doubt run this game without any problems).

  23. DickSocrates says:

    GFWL doesn’t work, no one likes it and one of the last reasons people still own WIndows machines is for gaming. What does MS do? Try to make gaming seem even less appealing. I hate Apple, but I hate idiocy even more and MS are full of total ******* idiots.

    And making your game Win 8 only is an amazingly stupid move. I hope you enjoy the money they gave you. Don’t be surprised when your game isn’t promoted like MS claimed they would. You think any big games are going to be Win 8 exclusive? Money over principles and good will, not to mention money over sales. Brilliant.

  24. trjp says:

    Well done – he’s launching on the 3 deadest platforms out there – perhaps he’d like to include a Dreamcast Special Edition too???

    Windows Phone – a joke which will be dead in 12 months
    XBLA – a once decent but now dying on it’s arse thanks to total lack of understanding/a stack of shovelware crap
    W8 – W7 with limitations – touch interface when 99.9% of devices don’t have or need one – a great idea NOT

    Don’t worry – when he makes nowt he’ll make versions for the platforms which matter…

    • HoosTrax says:

      Wow, I missed the part where the only mobile platform they’ll be releasing on is Windows Phone. Wonder how much moneyhatting went on with Microsoft, and how it will pan out for them in the end (not well would be my guess).

  25. sneetch says:

    “Working with MS, we were all really excited about the cross-platform nature of the game (it’s a great fit for mouse, touch, and gamepad, which is rare). We had a choice to support either Windows 8 or GFWL on Windows 7.”

    So Microsoft told you there were only two options and you should pick one and you actually believed them? How much are Microsoft paying I wonder?

    “we’d just like to ask for a little empathy – we are a tiny company and don’t have infinite money or time.”

    Empathy? Sure, I have loads. What I don’t have (and won’t have) is a reason to buy a new operating system and as it wont work on my current one because of your decisions there’s no reason I’d buy this.

    You’re destined to be one of the “Shadowruns” for Windows 8.

  26. Gasmask Hero says:

    No Android or iOS at launch then? Of course not.

    What uses Windows Phone these days anyway? I’m sure this game is marvellous, but by the time I get into the upgrade cycle for Win8 (if I ever do) then it will be old news. But then the kickback from Microsoft must compensate for any lost sales, I suppose.

    What this does signal is another attempted landgrab from Microsoft. Guess they didn’t learn enough from GFWL.

    Windows phone??

  27. Delixe says:

    I’m sure when this game is a total flop the devs will blame piracy.

  28. Lemming says:

    The shamelessness of making software that won’t work on Windows 7 and/or Vista to push people onto Windows 8 has left me a little gobsmacked. Seriously I’m sitting here in utter disbelief that MS have become that brazen. They aren’t even trying to hide it any more are they?

    “we’d just like to ask for a little empathy – we are a tiny company and don’t have infinite money or time.”

    You aren’t asking for empathy. Empathy is free. You’re asking us to buy an OS we don’t want to then buy your game. Is your game worth £90+? I doubt it.

    • Lewie Procter says:

      They did the exact same thing at the launch of Vista with Halo 2, Gears of War and Shadowrun (and possibly a few others).

      They were even hacked to run on XP pretty much immediately. It wasn’t like they required DX10, they just had bits of code to prevent them running on pre-Vista OSs.

  29. armaankhan says:

    If I were a betting man, I’d say that the third secret is that the game will be free for people who upgrade to Windows 8 and have an Xbox Live account (so existing Live users and new signups through XBL for Windows). That’s the only thing that would make this decision make sense to me.

    • neonordnance says:

      It’s also never going to happen, because it would require MS to give something away for free.

  30. neonordnance says:

    Backlash! Backlash!

    Look devs! Look how the community is backlashing!

    Yeah, i’m not going to buy your game. Fuck you Microsoft, for messing with my perfectly good Windows. Is anyone else as completely astonished as I am at how out-of-touch MS have gotten? They are seriously going to destroy themselves unless they change their strategy. Google is going to blow them out of the water.

    • Baresark says:

      They are completely out of touch. It’s mind blowing. But the in thing now is to tell people how they want an item or how bad they want it. Meaning that some jackass gets to make what he wants then gets to tell us how much we want it, even if we don’t.

      That said, there are going to be other exclusives coming out that are software dependent, like newer versions of DX will require W8. I’m not afraid of change, I just resist change to things that are worse than the current setup.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I hope you’re not implying Google’s Desktop OS are any challenge to Windows Desktop…

      Android on Tablets, I’d completely agree for the most part. Which is funny, because even on Chrome OS, Google have basically admitted that people want a windows (small ‘w’) UI. Counter to MS’s “Metro on desktop” idiocy.

      • neonordnance says:

        I absoloutely am. Not now, maybe, but in a couple of years? Sure. Unless MS stops screwing its customers and starts innovating (when freaking SONY is more innovative, you know you have a problem!), google is going to have a serious opening for a new OS. Sure, it might be really similar to Windows, but Windows freely steals features from Mac. Microsoft’s OS monopoly is not unbreakable, especially if MS continues its downward spiral.

        In PC peripherals, PC games, non-Office software, and a dozen other areas, MS used to be unassailable. Now they make shoddy things and have a smaller market share and a poor reputation. The Xbox, windows and MS Office are propping up their entire business, and judging from E3, there’s nothing to make me think the next Xbox is going to be innovative at all.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          As much as I like Google search, and that Android is not Apple, I think in order for Google to succeed (rather than other flavours of Linux, or Mac) they need to be more “businesslike”.

          Stuff like Google Wave show they are very much about what “they think we need” sometimes.

          The real Windows dominance comes from Business desktops, and MS may actually be the ones screwing themselves with Win8 in that regards (right now, nobody is going to draft a legal document in Metro), but Google is not making any real attempt to address that sector either.

          Google Chrome is a pain to manage since its install directory isn’t even in the “proper place”, or really working with account management like Active Directory. Google Apps (or whatever it’s called) got offline functionality removed, and has yet to really be restored in any way. Chrome OS’s reliance on “cloud computing” leaves it as vulnerable as Diablo 3 to both user-end and server failure. Hell, I’ve suggested stuff on the forums for Chrome that I was simply told “wasn’t popular” even though their own UI actually uses it (menu separators in the bookmark).

          If anything, I’d say they have an attitude problem, that they simply want to remain “too cool for suits” (e.g. all those offices with scooters, or pool tables).

          Basically, I agree that someone can step up and fill the same spot(s), especially with more widespread adoption of “standards” (e.g. html5), inter-operability between phone, tablet, cloud, desktop, etc. But I’m not convinced that Google is capable of taking them on with an OS (they maybe rank around Ubuntu).

          • InternetBatman says:

            To be fair, they do have Google docs. I’m not an IT guy, but I’m sure it’s not great to manage. However, it’s free and it makes sharing super easy, which is amazing for a small business without an IT guy. Combine that with googleDrive, which works somewhat decently, and you have a really nice way for laypeople to share files and collaborate. I’ve seen a ton of places in my city that don’t use word internally anymore, and a few that don’t have it at all.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Google are going to implode long before MS bite the dust. I’ll bet hard cash on it.

  31. jalf says:

    I like the logic here… Releasing on a platform that doesn’t actually exist at the moment is preferable to releasing on a platform crippled with GfWL.

    Well, I’m inclined to agree with that assessment.

  32. Harlander says:

    Aw hell! I haven’t even upgraded to 7 yet

    • wcanyon says:

      Dude, it’s so worth it. XP and Vista are terrible and outdated.

    • neonordnance says:

      You should get on that. It’s much more stable and user-friendly than Vista. Windows 7 is a very solid iteration.

      • Harlander says:

        Sure, I will. OS upgrades are clocked to major hardware upgrades – I’ve got one scheduled for “some time 2012”

  33. Baresark says:

    Eventually it may be viable to upgrade to. We’ll have to wait for some third party apps that allow us to make the interface as we want it and now what they seem to tell us we want. The assessment that the interface works for both touch and mouse interface is just wrong.

    “Look, we spread half a screens worth of icon over 8 pages, isn’t that NEAT!!!”

    No, it’s not neat, it’s also not efficient. And it’s certainly not what I want.

    Think about this… all of those tiles that just open up, they are running programs, using up memory and taking system resources. You can do that with Windows 7.

    And I have no interest in supporting any developer that has no interest in catering to me at all.

  34. HermitUK says:

    I really feel for the devs, because it sounds like this was forced on them by MS. Tis a shame, as I’d been anticipating this one. But I have no intention of upgrading to a primarily mobile/touch OS for my desktop; more than happy with Windows 7. Hopefully it’ll find a market on the Xbox, as I hate to see interesting games fail.

    • Baresark says:

      This wasn’t forced on them. They could have released a game XBox Live and waited like most small developers do. And they didn’t have to use GFWL, they could have used Steam or self released. Or they could have not sold themselves to MS in order to get onto XBox Live. As I recall, MS has lied to developers in the past about what their special contracts will actually deliver. I can’t respect an indie studio that isn’t smart enough to think about things.

  35. kafiend says:

    If these people just came out and said Microsoft gave us fucktons of cash to go w8 then I’d at least have some respect for honesty.

  36. TsunamiWombat says:

    This is


    I don’t have a 360 anymore, no smartphone- and I’m running Vista. Guess i’m never playing dis.

  37. byteCrunch says:

    I guess Microsoft is having such a hard time convincing people to develop Metro apps they are now forcing them.

    Waiting for some inane comment from Rii that tablets are going to replace everything! (He is probably typing it right now.)

  38. wcanyon says:

    So my choices are upgrade to Win8 to play this OR Win7 + GFWL? Pass with a capital P.

    Sad though, I thought this game looked awesome.

    Another point: there’s plenty of games that look as good as this one that are playable inside Chrome — things like AirMech (iirc). Wish they had gone that direction with this one.

  39. Tony M says:

    I waited 2 years for this game, I can wait another 6 months for the exclusivity deal to expire and they’re allowed to port it to earlier versions of windows (speculation based on aforementioned vague portends).

  40. ThePeon26 says:

    Well just making it for win 8 is kinda stupid but if don´t wanna sell the game they don´t. Im not saying im not gonna get windows 8 but I want it to be out a year at least so I can see how does and so it gets time to get a few patch fixes. Windows 8 is not out yet and you never know Win 8 can end up sucking as much as Vista does and I don´t want a broken operating system. But still making it Win 8 only why not go all the way and say Mac only.

  41. Walsh says:

    I switched to Win8 for my work PC. At first, I was apprehensive over the metro stuff in the Start Menu but I find it’s a lot faster to navigate (especially with a mouse wheel) than the extremely old, goofy expanding folder version, wherein you have to be extremely precise with your mouse input.

    I also use desktop mode 90% of the time. I occasionally launch a Metro app if I want to focus on a single task. It’s extremely fast to switch between the new Start Menu and the Desktop using the hot spots or the Windows key. Pressing the Windows key a second time after using it to enter the Start Menu will return you to the desktop, so there’s that.

  42. rocketman71 says:


    “obviously non-Win 8 PC gamers are still very important to us”

    Yeah, we see how important we are to you. Damn you Microsoft for still sodomizing us. Fuck you 17-bit for letting yourself be bought by those douchebags.

    I didn’t see Microsoft doing this for Windows 7. However, I DID see this with Vista (Alan Wake when it was going to be Vista only, Halo 2 which really could have been released with DX9, etc). You know why?. Because Vista was a fucking piece of shit.

    This?. This makes W8 look like shit. Ok, it looked like shit already, but even more so now.

    And shame on 17-bit, even when announcing for W8 they’re admitting what a colossal mistake they’re making.

    I hope (and expect) W8 to fail and go down the toilet just like WindowsMe did. The idiots at Microsoft are only capable of doing a decent OS once every decade.

  43. Joof says:

    How the hell does GFWL not support C#? I just can’t comprehend why they would make XNA support C# and push C# so much, and not have their own game system support it.

    • pakoito says:

      It’s always like that with Microsoft Libraries. There is no internal communication between teams so this stuff happens more often than not. Also, forget about documentation/downloads for older versions.

  44. sneetch says:

    “The third reason for choosing Win 8 apparently has to remain a secret for now, but we’ll hear more about around Pax Prime.”

    I’m willing to bet that it will coincide with the latest announcement from Microsoft that they’re dedicated to making PC gaming great! It’s been about two years or so since the last time they made that particular promise, isn’t it? Around when they last failed to make something of GFWL. In order to “prove” how “serious” they are this time they’ll probably announce that some previously Xbox-exclusive game will now be coming out on PC too. Not Halo 4 of course. One of the lesser exclusives, I don’t know, something on Kinect. Oh wait, that’s it. This is coming out for Kinect on PC. That’s it! And of course as we all know you can’t get Kinect to run on Windows 7 because… the code is… allergic to Kinect or… something.

  45. rustybroomhandle says:

    I’m among the Linux tinfoil hatters that also believe Microsoft’s enforcing of UEFI Secureboot is nought but an attempt to prevent people from installing alternative operating systems. Furthermore, they are also limiting what developer toolchains you are allowed to use to develop for Win8, leading to developer lock-in. I don’t believe I am wrong in thinking Win8 is just one big Microsoft lock-in scheme.

    I have Windows 7 on my other partition, I boot in there every so often to play games from my sizeable collection. I’ll stick with Win7 for that, same as I stuck with WinXP for however long I did, but I refuse to upgrade to Win8. When the Win8 exclusives start being the norm, my Windows game collection will cease to grow and I am ok with that.

    Linux may have its problems, but at least there’s some attempt at maintaining ideals about user freedom. I’m quite happy with my growing collection of Linux games. So, um, yay.

    • Aklyon says:

      Linux does have problems, but its certainly easier to fix than Windows in someways. Unity on Ubuntu? Hate it? Install GNOME/KDE/other alternate. Don’t like this version? Pick another Distro. Lacking in games? Boot XP or Win7 (or Vista, if you still have it).

  46. Ultra-Humanite says:

    Well at least I don’t have to worry about making a decision because there is no possible reality in which I will buy Windows 8.

  47. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Developer is sprouting BS or not being told the truth by MS.

    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 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 if MS allow/insist 3 of their 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………

  48. Nick says:

    “No longer will every single PC game I play demand that I reinstall stuff I already have installed”


    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Some sort of half-assed jab at Steam?

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        I can only assume.

        • pakoito says:

          But steam reinstalls microsoft stuff, because the way they handle their libraeries requieres the precise exact install version of them the dev used. How many times have you installed that .NET redistributable?

          • Kaira- says:

            In some hopeful corner of my mind I wish it means that MS has finally implemented a proper package manager.

            But probably they haven’t.

    • Shortwave says:

      I didn’t see you quote the exact same thing right above me..

  49. Shortwave says:

    “No longer will every single PC game I play demand that I reinstall stuff I already have installed.”
    Great, a solution to a problem I never knew existed, always what I wanted! ..

    Anyways, as you said it..
    They are cutting out a huge chunk of the market by launching with an OS that most gamers are not even going to have at the time, if they ever plan on having it that is! I for one am not going to waste the money on 8 even if there is exclusives for it.. And really, the exclusive better be damn while better than this game, not that it doesn’t look fun and all but I mean, if someone was going to break the “8 only” ice you think it’d be some epic huge title.. *Shrugs*

    Count me out.

  50. Nallen says:

    “…We had a choice to support either Windows 8 or GFWL on Windows 7.”

    “We had a choice to shoot our children or our parents.”