A Look at the Games for Windows Initiative

Sean Sands | 1 Oct 2007 21:00
Op-Ed - RSS 2.0

The problem is both Vista and Live's success were closely related to the Games For Windows initiative, and as they struggle to find traction, so too does GFW also flounder. It's too easy to take the cynical conclusion that Games For Windows was more a marketing angle to sell Vista and Live than any concerted effort to rebuild the PC platform, but as Microsoft seems to go dark on the effort in the wake of a disappointing 2007, it's the most logical conclusion. And after the Xbox 360 just received a huge injection of players thanks to Halo 3, no one seems to be asking where the PC version with Live connectivity is.

So what does this mean for PC gamers? There's no knight in shining armor riding over the hill to save the platform from its console aggressors. The advantages and market for developing PC games exist pretty much just like they did prior to Peter Moore's many promises, and there is no shortage of outstanding games being developed for the platform. Games for Windows as a brand will probably stagger along on autopilot, and at least make alt-tabbing work more than half the time. And maybe, if we're very lucky, there are some smart guys in a back room somewhere figuring out how to take advantage of the good ideas Moore proposed and getting meaningful companies on board. After all, when someone finally does get it right, the market will reward him.

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