Hey Microsoft... Let Off Some Steam

Gearbox head of marketing, Steve Gibson, got a little peeved recently at the incompatibility between digital copies of games bought on Steam and Games for Windows, reports CVG.

"If a guy buys a game on Games for Windows," states Gibson, "and a guy buys a game on Steam - they can't play together."

And the issue is compounded by the fact that gamers who pick up a non-digital copy in-store are also excluded - they can't play with either Steam or Games for Windows users.

Gibson made a rallying call, directed at both parties, to bridge the gap, making it easier for PC gamers to play together in a more integrated manner.

"As a developer who just wants gamers to be able to play games together, it's frustrating right now. Things like that are hurting the PC industry for gamers. This is frustrating for everybody right now."

To be perfectly honest, we've never had problems in this department - it's possible that Steve Gibson is referring to issues with shared friends lists between the two servers, but that's to be expected. Has anyone ever experienced any cross compatibility issues? Let us know in the comments below.

Steam vs MS divide is 'hurting PC industry' - Gearbox [CVG]


    I'd be curious if Steve Gibson could give an example of this. Thier own Borderlands certainly has no issue with digital and retails pc gamers playing together.

    Also that picture is epic!

      Yeah I thought something was up there - so I double checked and updated the post a little. It's possible he was referring to friends list not being compatible with each other.

      Yea, I think this guy is confused.

      I think its funny how he targets MS..

      Correct me if im wrong but MS made the first PC and Xbox 360 online compatable PC/360 Game?


        If I recall from an article here on Kotaku, they nixed the idea of cross platform, because the people playing with a controller got absolutely whipped by anybody playing with a kb/mouse combination.

          To be fair, despite its cross-platform capabilities, Shadowrun still fell under the umbrella of the Microsoft LIVE initiative (Games For Windows LIVE and Xbox LIVE).

    Love the Bennet pic, Arnie "let off some steam"

    This... isn't really something I've come across.

    The only half-related thing I can think of that this applies to is TF2 on consoles, but that's not PC. :|

    Can't think of a single example of this.

    In fact, it's almost as if the opposite is true: if your purchase the Steam version of Dead Rising 2, it forces you to sign up for GFWL anyway.

    However, I think almost everyone who has experienced can agree that GFWL was a gigantic failure, and the only way they are going to move forward is to simply give full support of their titles to steam.

    Someone made the point that the dlc can't be bought from a different location to where you bought the game... it doesn't cross pollinate.

    Guys got a point, though I don't think it's as big an issue as he says it is.

    Not going to change till there's a profit in it though.

    My mind subconsciously had Steve Gibson as the guy in the picture.

    'Gibson asked gamers to put pressure on Steam and Microsoft to "play nice!".'

    Maybe instead we should put pressure on Steve Gibson to get the facts right before blathering on about something he obviously doesn't know anything about.

    Sure there's restriction on where you can subsequently buy DLC and friend's list incompatibilities but they are completely different issues, not withstanding I'd liek the DLC issue to go away, but atht's unlikely.

    Doesn't borderlands require a gamespy account to play online..?

    lol good to see Valve blaming Microsoft for their own stupidity... Games for Windows and Xbox use your Windows Live Messenger contact list, Valve is the one who has their own propriety friends system (Microsofts Live Messenger is a formally standardized protoca;), Myself and others have been calling for Valve to use the XMPP messaging protocol for the last few years now (like Facebook and Windows Live 2011 have been compatible with for quite some time now) for their friends system so its compatible with many different messaging clients and systems other than only being compatible with Valve's Steam client, also implementable by others into other systems like the xbox and Games for Windows but Valve dont seem to want to support official standards over their own propriety friends/chat system so maybe Valve should do something about their problem instead of crying wolf and blaming Microsoft.

      Except it's not Valve complaining... it's Gearbox.

    I chalk this up to yet another ridiculous Gearbox spouting off marketing ploy.

    They love stirring the pot. It's one of the main reasons I didn't buy Borderlands for so long - I didn't/don't respect Pitchford. (Unfortunately I caved - but the game is worth it. Morals are cheap!)

    People who choose to use GFWL when there are alternatives do not deserve such kindness. They need to learn the hard way (as if having to use GFWL isn't punishment enough).

    This most likely refers to games using exclusively one system for their multiplayer. Even with this there is no segregation, everyone just uses that system.

    Other than this minor reference, it's completely nonsensical.

    What's with Gearbox becoming the bitchy studio? Every other week they're on Kotaku or similar sites pointing out something wrong.

    I'm still pissed about not getting that final BS2 content pack for PC (although that's more of a 2k problem).

    Anyway, for the example of Borderlands, online play with friends generally uses the Gamespy service (there are other methods of online play), no idea if the GFWL or Steam versions even keep/allow access to friends for that matter. Heck, it'll only make it easier telling which friends are which for the services. I don't recall my steam friends mentioning if there's even a "Join Game" option for Borderlands either, considering the hosting is a Gamespy matter.

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