Microsoft now focused on 'core' PC games after Windows 8 launch's casual titles

When Windows 8 launched last year, it was accompanied by several game releases most would classify as casual games. Now Microsoft plans to focus on “core” games, however, according to a company executive.

In an interview with Shacknews, Microsoft Studios Executive Vice President Phil Spencer said first-party games will now concentrate on the core gaming market. Spencer admitted Microsoft “lost our way a bit in supporting Windows games,” but assures the company is now focused on major titles.

“You'll see us doing more stuff on Windows,” he told Shacknews. “We probably have more individual projects on Windows than we've had in 10 years at Microsoft Studios.”

Spencer added that Microsoft “covered” the casual market with Windows 8’s launch, which had about 30 games in the Windows Store, though the company is now “starting to look at bigger and core gamer things.” He didn’t allude to what future announcements may hold, though Microsoft has already confirmed “Titanfall” is exclusive to its Xbox consoles and Windows computers. “Titanfall” isn’t a first-party game, however, as EA is its publisher.

Microsoft may emphasize Xbox Live in its upcoming titles, as Spencer said the service is an advantage for the company, citing achievements and friends features.

What Microsoft’s Xbox Live service will look like as Windows progresses remains a mystery, as the service is integrated in the new Metro environment, though it’s largely absent from the traditional desktop area. Microsoft is in the process of disbanding Games for Windows Live, with the service expected to be canceled within a year.

Microsoft could theoretically require Xbox Live games to run in the Metro environment, though that would limit them to only running in Windows 8 and newer versions of the company’s OS. Microsoft notably required Windows Vista for its “Halo 2” port in 2007, but requiring all its first-party PC games to run on Windows 8 seems unlikely.

Several critically successful games have been released for Windows 8 in the past year, though most are smaller in scale compared to typical console releases. 

Source: Shacknews via Joystiq | Image via EA

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I agree, MS should push their franchises through the Windows Store to make it have more impact. Then the real competition with Steam will start and being on more platforms than Steam, it could hurt them pretty hard.

Thief000 said,
I agree, MS should push their franchises through the Windows Store to make it have more impact. Then the real competition with Steam will start and being on more platforms than Steam, it could hurt them pretty hard.

Unless you can buy the game once and play it on all avalaible platforms it wont hurt Steam much. And if the past is any indication of the future you'll have to buy the game once for every platforms you want to play it on.

LaP said,

Unless you can buy the game once and play it on all avalaible platforms it wont hurt Steam much. And if the past is any indication of the future you'll have to buy the game once for every platforms you want to play it on.

Correct me if I'm wrong here but it's not like Steam is on more than one platform. It's on more than one OS, sure, but it's still the PC (Macs are just PCs). I don't know what the pricing model will be but we've had games that run on different MS platforms that sync and allow you to jump between them, so it's more than possible to do that.

If we're also talking big core AAA titles we're not going to run them on our phone or mini tablets, at least I won't. So being a store game, if they are, seeing how they let you install content on multiple devices with your account already. You could go between your Win8.x PCs and play the game anywhere.

xankazo said,

NO!
We like the convenience of having those games on the store.

There is no "we"... leave me out of it. If it's a PC game it had better be available for Windows 7, which means NOT on the store. If they want to put it on the store in addition, fine. While they're at it, make it available on Steam too, for Windows, Mac, and Linux. That'd maximize title availability that's for sure.

domboy said,

There is no "we"... leave me out of it. If it's a PC game it had better be available for Windows 7, which means NOT on the store. If they want to put it on the store in addition, fine. While they're at it, make it available on Steam too, for Windows, Mac, and Linux. That'd maximize title availability that's for sure.

It doesn't have to be on steam, it could be sold through their website and target Windows 7/8 and Mac. I doubt they'll bother with Linux.

domboy said,

There is no "we"... leave me out of it. If it's a PC game it had better be available for Windows 7, which means NOT on the store. If they want to put it on the store in addition, fine. While they're at it, make it available on Steam too, for Windows, Mac, and Linux. That'd maximize title availability that's for sure.


>2013
>Still not on Windows 8

Step it up.

ROFLCOPTERS said,

>2013
>Still not on Windows 8

Step it up.

Why? I have a Surface RT, so I'm familiar with Modern UI (though I run the jailbreak so I can use its desktop). I see no reason to pay to upgrade my Windows 7 box to 8 as yet. And I recently upgraded my older XP 64bit PC to Ubuntu 13.04 instead.

GP007 said,

It doesn't have to be on steam, it could be sold through their website and target Windows 7/8 and Mac. I doubt they'll bother with Linux.

Agreed that they probably wouldn't do a linux port. But if they changed the focus of using games to push a new platform, and instead distribute to as many OSes and platforms as possible to maximize title distribution, a Linux port no longer seems a big a conflict of interest.

I suggested Steam as it's a common distribution system, and they've even used it before. Sure it could be sold plenty of other ways, digital distribution and boxed format.

Agreed. It's all talk for now. Knowing them, they'll tie it to the Windows Store and use it as a tool for getting people to bump up to Windows 8, as they did with Vista and Halo. Meh.

(for the record, I don't hate Windows 8, but I see no reason to upgrade right now)

dead.cell said,
Agreed. It's all talk for now. Knowing them, they'll tie it to the Windows Store and use it as a tool for getting people to bump up to Windows 8, as they did with Vista and Halo. Meh.

(for the record, I don't hate Windows 8, but I see no reason to upgrade right now)

It depends on what the game is like, if it's a Store game and gives you the ability to also run it on lots of different PCs with your account it's a plus IMO. Seeing as how Windows Store apps/games can be installed on up to 81 different devices. It'll also probably use XBL as well, I see no reason not to. A Windows 7 version would be limited in nature though, which could be fine if you don't care.

I'll believe it when I see it. Hey, Lord Method Man beat me to it. Xbox Live for Windows appears to be dead and hell froze over as I finally installed steam to do Typing of the Dead: Overkill. Oh how I hate steam, but Xbox Live for Windows, for gaming, non-existent and no dev support, no hardcore gamer support. When hardcore gamers prefer the POS known as steam client and service, no matter how good XBL4W is, it's done. They'd have release Killer Instinct for XBLW to even have a chance and finishing last.

They might find a way to make it Window 8 only, but it won't be WinRT/XBLW, I'm willing to bet on that.

MorganX said,
I'll believe it when I see it. Hey, Lord Method Man beat me to it. Xbox Live for Windows appears to be dead and hell froze over as I finally installed steam to do Typing of the Dead: Overkill. Oh how I hate steam, but Xbox Live for Windows, for gaming, non-existent and no dev support, no hardcore gamer support. When hardcore gamers prefer the POS known as steam client and service, no matter how good XBL4W is, it's done. They'd have release Killer Instinct for XBLW to even have a chance and finishing last.

They might find a way to make it Window 8 only, but it won't be WinRT/XBLW, I'm willing to bet on that.

The only way to make it Windows 8 only is to make them Windows Store games, and that means they're going to use XBL.

MorganX said,
Not sure I follow that logic as not all Windows 8 games in the store use XBL.

Those aren't from MS, why would MS make first party games that don't use XBL?

Cuz XBL is dead everywhere but 8, and it's practically dead there for serious gamers. They have preferred Steam. Though I find XBL superior and preferable, they have not.

I can't see MS wasting more than 1 or 2 AAA titles trying to revive it. I would be happy, but I'll believe it when I see it.

MorganX said,
Cuz XBL is dead everywhere but 8, and it's practically dead there for serious gamers. They have preferred Steam. Though I find XBL superior and preferable, they have not.

I can't see MS wasting more than 1 or 2 AAA titles trying to revive it. I would be happy, but I'll believe it when I see it.

I agree that it's not seeing much use in the Windows Store but that doesn't mean they'll ignore it. Gamers prefer steam not so much for the service but for the sales they offer at this point. Anyways, the fact they're talking about this means they plan to push it on Windows more, now that the XB1 work is pretty much done. There's also no reason they can't release it on both and let users decide if they want it through the store or not, it could be on steam or it could just be a digital purchase through their web site for Windows 7 users.

Another problem that needs to get fixed with XBL on Windows and WP is that they have these publisher rules and so on. They've dropped those for XB1 and started up the new indie program that gives devs access to use all of XBL for free. That should trickle down to Windows and WP as well, then there's no reason for more developers who make games not to use the service.

From what I've seen of the publishers rules, etc. that does need to get fixed. But as for MS supporting steam, if that happens, XBFW is dead. I just don't see how anyone would bother with XBFW if MS publishes on Steam.

If MS really wants XBFW to live, all they have to do is release a AAA SBFW title, such as Killer Instinct and allow cross platform play. I think even the steam junkies would get on board. But I'm talking AAA, not Team Crossword or Halo: Spartan.

Releasing all MS Studios XBLA titles for XBFW would go a long way as well, classic XBLA packs for XBFW. I actually think there are issues with coding for WinRT, Marvel's Modern Avengers game is as buggy as all get out. Why? Something is amiss with WinRT right now. Too many issues, developers are pretty good and talented, it has to be something else. Even MS themselves haven't brought any AAA game or even apps really. Though I like the core apps now for the most part. Either there's something wrong in WinRT or its a lot harder than MS led people to believe to develop complex apps.

BTW, I hate Steam, love XBfW only no one is using it.

MorganX said,
From what I've seen of the publishers rules, etc. that does need to get fixed. But as for MS supporting steam, if that happens, XBFW is dead. I just don't see how anyone would bother with XBFW if MS publishes on Steam.

If MS really wants XBFW to live, all they have to do is release a AAA SBFW title, such as Killer Instinct and allow cross platform play. I think even the steam junkies would get on board. But I'm talking AAA, not Team Crossword or Halo: Spartan.

Releasing all MS Studios XBLA titles for XBFW would go a long way as well, classic XBLA packs for XBFW. I actually think there are issues with coding for WinRT, Marvel's Modern Avengers game is as buggy as all get out. Why? Something is amiss with WinRT right now. Too many issues, developers are pretty good and talented, it has to be something else. Even MS themselves haven't brought any AAA game or even apps really. Though I like the core apps now for the most part. Either there's something wrong in WinRT or its a lot harder than MS led people to believe to develop complex apps.

BTW, I hate Steam, love XBfW only no one is using it.

I agree with you, they need to open it up on Windows more and let anyone use it. But at the same time they'll have to release a version for Windows 7 users that might not have XBL integration unless they redo a XBL client for Windows 7 to cover that, which could happen. I also don't think they'll do games on Steam, just think that we could see a AAA title that could be limited, service wise, for Win7 users and have the full XBL support for Win8.x users. And the cross play is a plus as well, I want to see that.

NeoandGeo said,
. Consoles are useless and not needed in 2013.

I assumed you were being sarcastic till I seen your angry internet man response to another user.

Must be one of the silliest things written on this site. I own a decent gaming Pc , Pc gaming is my favourite but I can't wait for the new consoles .

I hope MS uses this opportunity to change it's XBL policy for Windows and WP like it has with the Xbox One. You still need a publisher to use XBL on Win/WP and you have other restrictions like we had on the 360 which was also dropped. Once MS can do the same for the Windows Store (and by extension the WP store which will merge in a few years), XBL will be used by most game developers. At least when the game is on Windows 8.x and it's built in XBL APIs.

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