Microsoft and pc gaming

11 August, 2007 (14:57) | Business as usual, Game industry

Microsoft used to publish nice PC games like Age of Empires. Over the last years Microsoft failed to publish any big pc game. The strategy to focus on the console gaming, very profitable in theory, has affected the time and effort they put in their development of pc games. PC gaming is EA, Activision, Valve, Epic and Ubisoft.

Publisher trends

Online distribution is the future: it is very useful against piracy, theft and has the ability for version control and roll-out of required updates. Valve signed deals with developers and other publishers for distribution of games on their Steam network.
EA is working hard on improving EA Link, a similar distribution model.

Microsoft is the big name in the industry without these plans. They have the foundation and knowledge to build a system like this, but it’s clear Microsoft does not try to win marketshare in the pc gaming.

Another trend is to build in statistics tracking in new online multiplayer games. EA has the Battlefield series and partnered up with Gamespy/IGN, Activision has Quake Wars and acquired Demonware for the stats processing. Valve will surely try to do the same, right now open source packages do the trick, live HLStatsX.

Microsoft

Microsoft invests heavily in DirectX development and their Games for Windows programme but does not build their own games. As the xbox console uses the same architecture and parts of the Windows OS, there are a lot of future possibilities for Microsoft to boost their hard- and software sales.

Microsoft will enable cross platform gaming on the xbox and PC in future versions, once Vista is mainstream and DirectX 10 is installed on every PC.  But in the meantime, they’ve dropped the ball and will loose big on PC gaming.

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Date: August 12, 2007, 2:03 PM

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