Microsoft launches new Play brand for Windows 8 games ... or not? [Update]

Back in August, before the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft hyped up the fact that it would publish over 30 games made for the Modern UI in Windows 8. Since then, Microsoft has slowly but surely added more and more Windows 8 and Windows RT-based games to the Windows Store (although we are still waiting for Zombies!!!).

Today, Microsoft announced a new brand name for the Windows 8/RT games it will personally publish on the store. The brand name is simply Play. At the moment, it's not clear what Microsoft has in mind with this new brand name since all the games that are listed as being under the brand have already been released or soon will be.

Microsoft has 15 games that it considers to be under its Play brand. With one exception (Toy Soldiers) all of them can run on both Windows 8 and Windows RT. All of the games are available for download from the Windos Store, with the exception of Skulls of the Shogun, which is due to launch on January 30th.

The full list of Play games is:

  • Toy Soldiers
  • 4 Elements: Special Edition
  • Hydro Thunder Hurricane
  • Rocket Riot 3D
  • Reckless Racing Ultimate
  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  • Microsoft Mahjong
  • Microsoft Minesweeper
  • Taptiles
  • Adera
  • Pinball FX2
  • Wordament
  • Gunstringer: Dead Man Running
  • Ilomilo+
  • Skulls of the Shogun

Update: We have received an email from a Microsoft PR rep which states that Play is in fact a new "program" for Windows 8 games and not a new brand, although it's not terribly clear what the difference is between a "brand" and a "program."

Source: Play

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16 Comments

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What would be nice is if you already own any of these games on the 360 you should already own them on your Windows 8 devices. Kind of like SteamPlay. Buy it once. Play it everywhere.

Oh god. Microsoft, please, come up with something original sometimes. Google Play has been around for some time, doesn't mean its ok to rip it off.

volodoscope said,
Oh god. Microsoft, please, come up with something original sometimes. Google Play has been around for some time, doesn't mean its ok to rip it off.

oh god, you guys are pathetic... if you cannot tell the differenc between an application store and a website that promotes the xbox branded fames on windows than please go back to elementary, or better yet just keep hugging your android mascot

volodoscope said,
Oh god. Microsoft, please, come up with something original sometimes. Google Play has been around for some time, doesn't mean its ok to rip it off.

PlayXBLA as a site started in June 2011 almost a year before Google renamed their "Android Market" to "Play Store"

It's not the new branding, it's just the name of the marketing program to roll out the Xbox games, like when XBLA did Arcade Next. You can read in the description that it's all about Xbox games on Windows 8.

Microsoft sure does like to make its branding as complicated as it can don't they? You would think they would have learned with the GFW/GFWL fiasco. I saw no problem with just having xbox branding.

So what does this mean to the end user? We look for the Play brand now for MS games that feature Xbox Live Integration?

No, that's Xbox integration for games on PC. Some game uses your XBox account to Sync your data online and play multiplayer via Xbox LIVE.