Microsoft is bullish on the prospects for its own PC gaming endeavors going forward, so much so that creative director Ken Lobb has said, "We are very dedicated to that space." Speaking with RockPaperShotgun, Lobb explained that Microsoft's recent "One Microsoft" reorganization means the company is better prepared to "go after" PC gaming in a meaningful way.
"We love PC. It’s obviously a source of huge revenue for Microsoft. The reality is that in years past we were the Xbox division. Although many of us love playing on PC, we can only make so many games. We can only do so much," Lobb said.
"Now we’re one [unified] Microsoft. I don’t see this as pressure. I see it as an opportunity. We have more support internally to support PC more," he added. "That’s great! My only expectation would be, please let us continue to do that over a five-year period so we can have real impact. That’s how it feels right now. We’re getting very strong support internally. So we’re really going after PC."
Last summer, Microsoft hired former Valve director of business development Jason Holtman, whose position at Microsoft will see him focusing on "making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment." It's unclear what specifically Holtman is working on at Microsoft, and Lobb said he could not make any announcements about any major PC games in development.
However, Lobb did say about PC gaming at Microsoft: "We are very dedicated to that space."
Asked if Microsoft was thinking about traditional big-budget AAA PC games or free-to-play or browser experiences, Lobb said business models depend on the type of game you're making.
"Free-to-play, to me, is not a decision to be made as a business model at the end [of development]," he said. "It really comes down to what type of game are you building, developer, and how do you want to monetize it? Do you pay upfront, do you want to have DLC, do you want to have a sustainable ongoing experience, do you want to go after free-to-play?
"It’s more about the game design than support for a particular monetization style," Lobb added. "We don’t believe that to be on PC you must be free-to-play or microtransaction-based."
Microsoft's PC gaming endeavors thus far have left much to be desired (Games for Windows anyone?), so why will things be different this time around?
"The only way we can build trust in our community is by making great games," Lobb said. "The PC community is more vibrant than it’s ever been before. I love it. We build a platform and other people make games on top of it. We do things to help set up the development community, and we also love to make games for you."