Microsoft "Very Committed" to Xbox PC Gaming After GFWL Issues
"I just want to stand up and say we're very, very committed as a company to ensure that gaming on Windows 10 is a great experience."
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PC gamers may remark that Microsoft's Games for Windows Live service was not the company's best showing. It was widely criticized and Microsoft is still answering for it. Now, Xbox executive Phil Spencer tells GameSpot that he understands the issues people had with GFWL and why gamers would in turn be skeptical about PC gaming on Windows 10. But he's making it his mission to turn things around.
"I understand GFWL is part of the history of Microsoft and gaming for PC gamers" he said, reminding us that he was not Head of Xbox during the GFWL days. "We absolutely have a responsibility to answer the gamers' concerns of the people who bet on us [with GFWL] and the outcome--it's front and center.
"I understand the skepticism that people have, but I just want to stand up and say we're very, very committed as a company to ensure that gaming on Windows 10 is a great experience."
One way in which Microsoft is looking to bolster its credibility in the PC gaming space is adding new features like Steam Controller support on Windows 10. He also said he's heard that people would like to be able to see the games they bought on Windows in their Steam library. These two things are items that Microsoft is "absolutely" love to introduce and discussions with Valve are ongoing.
Also on the subject of Steam, Spencer praised the job Valve has done with the industry-leading platform. It is indeed a juggernaut, with more than 100 million users and thousands upon thousands of games in its library. We asked Spencer why Microsoft why it doesn't release all of its games on Steam, since that would presumably give them more visibility.
He said this isn't always possible when Microsoft is planning specific promotions, including an upcoming one for Quantum Break. When you preorder the Xbox One edition, you get the Windows 10 version free. This promotion is "only possible when we're on both sides of the transaction," Spencer said.
Even though Microsoft may not sell all of its games on Steam (Quantum Break and Fable Legends will be exclusive to Windows 10), Spencer stressed that Steam remains hugely integral to Windows' success in the area of gaming.
"Valve has earned your business and commitment to them," he said. "There will be areas where we have some competition with Valve, there will be a ton of areas when we have a very complementary goals. I 100 percent view Valve's success on Windows as critical to Windows' success in gaming."
"So us having our own gaming store and the features around that, it's really about the features we want to bring to that ecosystem. It's not to preclude anybody else from having success there as well. And frankly, at the end, having multiple stores is usually good for the consumer."
It's possible Microsoft will discuss its new PC gaming plans next month at the Game Developers Conference. Microsoft will host a session titled "The Future of Xbox Game Development for Windows," during which new information may be divulged. Another session, "Game Developer Success & Opportunities with Gaming on Windows," will be hosted by ID@Xbox director Chris Charla.
GameSpot will report back with new information as it becomes available.
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