Microsoft's Phil Spencer: 'We Will Ship Games On Steam Again'

Microsoft's Phil Spencer: 'We Will Ship Games On Steam Again'

If you're a PC gamer, the big news out of E3 this year was Microsoft's decision to (finally) re-embrace PC as a gaming platform. If you buy their games on Xbox One, you'll get them on PC as well (and vice versa). For big games, however, Microsoft's been awfully Microsoft in recent times. Its store or bust.

Speaking with Giant Bomb (via GameSpot), Xbox boss Phil Spencer claimed that Microsoft isn't planning to shut out Steam in their big PC gaming push.

"I look at Steam today, it's on an incredible growth trajectory," he said. "It's a massive force in gaming; a positive force. I think it will be bigger a year from now than it is today. And five years later it will still be bigger again. I look at Valve as an important [independent software vendor] for us on Windows. They are a critical part of gaming's success on Windows. I don't think Valve's hurt by not having our first-party games in their store right now. They're doing incredibly well. We will ship games on Steam again."

He also elaborated on the bit about the state of Steam sans Microsoft's major releases. "I think they're doing fine without Quantum Break in their store," he said.

He's not wrong. At the same time, though, it's hard not to be sceptical of, well, all of this. For one, Spencer was extremely nonspecific in terms of timeframe and which games would come to Steam. Will we get Gears of War 4? The next Halo? Microsoft has sporadically published smaller games like Ori and The Blind Forest and Halo: Spartan Assault on Papa Gabe's Old-Fashioned Video Gaeme Shoppe (And Unregulated Gambling Incubator). They could just keep on doing that, and he wouldn't technically have said anything dishonest here.

Microsoft clearly wants to grow the Windows Store, and while pushing smaller games on Steam doesn't hurt that effort, exclusive bigger games stand to attract users to their neck of the woods. Moreover, we're talking about a company with a history of being suffocatingly proprietary on PC. I want to believe they learned their lesson from fiascos like Games for Windows Live, but I'm not entirely optimistic.

It doesn't help that Microsoft's current cross-platform initiative, the Universal Windows Platform, has been harshly criticised for obtuseness when it comes to installing UWP-developed apps outside of the Windows Store. Microsoft is working to change that, but it wasn't exactly the best foot to put forward at launch.

Sometimes design speaks louder than words, and PC gamers have been burned by Microsoft before. A lot of times! Hope springs eternal, but the spring is surrounded by a desert with lots of vultures who keep trying to sell you Xboxes.


Comments

    these days i tend to not even bother looking at microsoft games because of the business policies

    Can't wait to have to boot up. Origin, steam, desura, gog, uplay and now another everytime I turn the PC on.

    Last edited 18/06/16 3:07 pm

    I just stick with GOG and Steam for the moment. I have used Origin and Desura, and have titles on them, but they will likely be abandoned as some can't run under Linux (my now OS of choice for gaming).

    PS. I use AMD 390x with AMDGPU-PRO drivers, acceptable performance, even got [email protected] in wine working, the joys of knowing how to fiddle and fix/break things!

      In wine? what sorcery did you do to get that working!

    “I look at Steam today, it’s on an incredible growth trajectory,” he said. “It’s a massive force in gaming; a positive force. I think it will be bigger a year from now than it is today

    It's like he thinks that Steam is a scrappy little start-up, and not the default software distribution platform.

    After windows 10's super agressive marketing. I just cant bring myself to trust anything microsoft says. Honestly I feel like their whole gaming push with multiple consoles etc, is not gonna work well (though start working those jaw muscles because if windows 10 is anything to go by then they will jam it down our throats)

      I think that Microsoft have worked out what Facebook has; that being their biggest revenue stream going forward is our data. We are both the product and the market. So you can let others be a middle man, but what they will sell is our data to others who want to sell to us which gives them more data to sell and so on.

    " I don’t think Valve’s hurt by not having our first-party games in their store right now. They’re doing incredibly well. We will ship games on Steam again.”"

    He's missed the point on that one. We don't care whether steam is hurting without your games.

    We are hurting, because we can only get your games on that awful Windows Store platform. Which is why i haven't bought any, and won't.

    Last edited 18/06/16 11:39 pm

    Don’t they announce this every second year or so, and then proceeded to actually deliver nothing (except that one time they gave us Halo 2 on Vista only)

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