Microsoft VP Credits Valve With "Keeping the PC Ecosystem Strong"

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Microsoft VP Credits Valve With "Keeping the PC Ecosystem Strong"

Games for Windows Live logo

Microsoft Game Studios chief Phil Spencer admits that Microsoft dropped the ball on PC gaming, which allowed Valve to pick it up.

How many times has Microsoft pledged to quit dicking around and take PC gaming seriously? Three? Four? Maybe a half-dozen? The truth is that it's hard to say, and it's also true that people stopped taking the claims seriously years ago. After all, the best thing Microsoft has done for PC gaming since launching the Games for Windows Live service is killing Games for Windows Live.

But where Microsoft got it all wrong, Spencer acknowledged that Valve got it right. "They've done a great job of keeping the PC ecosystem strong at a time where I don't mind saying that we could have been more focused on what was going on in PC gaming," he told VentureBeat.

"We were probably too focused purely on console," he added. "With Steam, [Valve has] done an amazing job of building this thing that, in a lot of ways, we should have been building as well at Microsoft."

Spencer said Valve has a lot of work ahead of it as it transitions from a game developer to a "platform company" with SteamOS and Steam Machines, but he believes it can be done. "They're smart. They've been through it. I think they can do it," he said. "But I think it will take time."

If it does work, Spencer may find himself a little less supportive of Valve than he appears right now: A successful push into the living room with Steam Machines would put even more pressure on the console business Microsoft is so heavily invested in. Wouldn't that be something?

Source: VentureBeat

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I don't think steamboxes directly challenge xbones for market share any more than PCs do

it's just that xbones might be looking at the wrong part of the market share in general

Man, talk about refreshing. Keep this guy around, Microsoft. More people need to be able to nut up and admit it when mistakes are made.

Was this a fake article or did a Microsoft exec actually talk publically without saying something stupid or mentioning Titanfall? It must be a harbinger of the end times D:

Droped the ball?

they tried to fucking smash it so that every one had to play on a console, preferably a xbox.

the day windows isn't the only mass market gaming OS, will be a good day

I think Phil Spencer is looking for a new job at Valve :P

Yup, Valve has made huge strides no thanks to you.

... Wait... did somebody at Microsoft actually admits they fucked up?... wow... definitely didn't saw that coming.

Yup, Valve did a stellar job keeping PC gaming alive and strong.

After all, it's not like Microsoft had any intention of doing so.

oliver.begg:
Droped the ball?

they tried to fucking smash it so that every one had to play on a console, preferably a xbox.

Truly. Even Sony has done more to support PC gaming than Microsoft has, with their SOE division producing a lot of MMOs for the PC gaming crowd, even providing PC support day one with their PS4 controller, something Microsoft won't be doing. And that's just pathetic. Sony has no vested interested in supporting the PC. They could've pushed their development to all focus on the Playstation brand these years, and it might have helped them out quite a bit to do so. But they had a market there and they stuck with it.

On the other hand, Microsoft seemed to be actively sabotaging PC gaming, by paying companies not to release their games for Windows in favour of their console. What a twisted situation this has all been, and the PC will only be better off with them keeping away.

Way back in the heady days of 2001, when Halo was going to kill off Counter Strike, Valve approached Microsoft (amongst others) with the idea of producing an all digital game delivery system for PC. Microsoft thought at the time that such a system was at least five years from being practical, even with Microsoft's resources. They were right, in 2006 Steam was beginning to get the big publishers on board and was truly profitable in it's own right.

They were also wrong, very wrong, it's now over a decade later and Microsoft still hasn't managed to build a practical games delivery platform for PC, great job guys!

Turning Valve away was the biggest favour Microsoft has done for anyone, ever. I can only hope that their suddenly being happy about Valve making a console isn't some kind of cosmic balance thing that means Valve is about to be swallowed by an angry Elder God.

After all, the best thing Microsoft has done for PC gaming since launching the Games for Windows Live service is killing Games for Windows Live

Truth so much truth. I guess microsoft has decided that a new rival in the livingroom might not be a good thing, so maybe time to try and mend fences with the folks at valve. But he is right, Steam machines won't be a huge success right away it will take time, hell just look at steam, 10 years ago steam was awful everyone hated it.

It's really too bad that MSFT is such a siloed, schizophrenic company, but it does stupid and counterproductive stuff across all its lines, launching and killing and maiming its own products. But it manages to get a few things right now and then, which I guess by pure dint of spending so much cash they can't help but do.

I love Steam and do all my gaming on there unless I'm unable to, and I hope the Steambox really does bring it to a wider audience. That being said, it's pretty trivial to plug your TV into your PC these days so I guess it's going to come down to how useful the streaming feature is, so that you can have your big gaming rig in another room and your smaller HTPC-sized Steambox tucked under the TV and bringing the game to your big screen.

Wait... does this mean Microsoft Studios are going to make good games for Windows and/or Steam OS now? Are they working on porting their back catalogue? How about porting the Halo series at a cut price as an apology? I'm getting carried away there, aren't I?

I gave up on Microsoft in regards to PC gaming ages ago, and I'd recommend everyone else do the same. That company has done nothing but harm to the PC platform for years now and the day I can stop using windows in favour of another practical OS can't come soon enough.

Pretty clear that just about everyone wishes they were Valve. I thought I'd have origin for simcity but the problems were too severe and I'm still origin-free. And thank goodness G4WL is finally dying. That was such a catastrophe of a system, designed by committee of executives.


Praise be unto Him. (I found http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/ to be too much fun)

The Madman:
I gave up on Microsoft in regards to PC gaming ages ago, and I'd recommend everyone else do the same. That company has done nothing but harm to the PC platform for years now and the day I can stop using windows in favour of another practical OS can't come soon enough.

Aren't we being a bit cynical? It's true that Microsoft hasn't been pushing gaming on Windows quite as much as Xbox, but they still created Windows and has with frequent updates kept DirectX the preferred choice amongst PC developers for almost a decade. Heck they even make PC games now and then. And let's not forget that Valve wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for Microsoft.

TomWiley:

Aren't we being a bit cynical? It's true that Microsoft hasn't been pushing gaming on Windows quite as much as Xbox, but they still created Windows and has with frequent updates kept DirectX the preferred choice amongst PC developers for almost a decade. Heck they even make PC games now and then. And let's not forget that Valve wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for Microsoft.

Once upon a time Microsoft was great and published some of my favourite games on PC. Mechwarrior, Age of Empires, Microsoft Flight, Freelancer, Rise of Nations, and numerous others...

Every single one of those development studios that were with Microsoft have since been closed, regardless of profitability. Every. Single. One. Meanwhile when Microsoft does try to publish something on the PC it's with the added knife of either being OS exclusive (Halo on PC, Shadowrun, Skulls of the Shogun for example) AND saddled with the burden of GFWL, which was crap when they put it out and has remained crap ever since with not a single redeeming feature. Not one. All support for MS PC published titles is defunct, having to go through Xbox Live (I shit you not) and their attempts to consolidate the PC gaming scene would be amusing if it didn't have the potential to be so harmful.

Considering how fragmented I've heard Microsoft is, with individual divisions working almost completely segregated from one another, I'm sure there's some good will to be had. But Microsofts gaming division? Hah! They're deserving of every bit of dismissive derision I can think up for them.

I'm honestly surprised that the software giant responds so friendly and encouragingly to Valve after Gabe publicly giving them the finger everyone time someone gives him a mic.

If I was Microsoft, I'd tell Gabe to fuck off and ask him to return all those millions of Microsoft dollars he used to start Valve with. Then I'd free him from the "restrictive" and "catastrophic" experience of Windows by banning Valve and their Steam software from our platform for good. See how well they'd be doing on Linux without that Windows user base.

Of course, I wouldn't actually do any of this because I freaking love Steam on Windows, but Christ I can't for the life of me understand how anyone at Microsoft could have anything positive to say about Valve or Gabe.

The Madman:

TomWiley:

Aren't we being a bit cynical? It's true that Microsoft hasn't been pushing gaming on Windows quite as much as Xbox, but they still created Windows and has with frequent updates kept DirectX the preferred choice amongst PC developers for almost a decade. Heck they even make PC games now and then. And let's not forget that Valve wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for Microsoft.

Once upon a time Microsoft was great and published some of my favourite games on PC. Mechwarrior, Age of Empires, Microsoft Flight, Freelancer, Rise of Nations, and numerous others...

Every single one of those development studios that were with Microsoft have since been closed, regardless of profitability. Every. Single. One. Meanwhile when Microsoft does try to publish something on the PC it's with the added knife of either being OS exclusive (Halo on PC, Shadowrun, Skulls of the Shogun for example) AND saddled with the burden of GFWL, which was crap when they put it out and has remained crap ever since with not a single redeeming feature. Not one. All support for MS PC published titles is defunct, having to go through Xbox Live (I shit you not) and their attempts to consolidate the PC gaming scene would be amusing if it didn't have the potential to be so harmful.

Considering how fragmented I've heard Microsoft is, with individual divisions working almost completely segregated from one another, I'm sure there's some good will to be had. But Microsofts gaming division? Hah! They're deserving of every bit of dismissive derision I can think up for them.

Still though, why this hostility? How is it your concern that Microsoft isn't doing enough to stimulate their own gaming development on their own platform? It's certainly not harming PC gaming in general, and the fact that Windows has a bigger, more diverse market of amazing PC games than ever before is proof of that. In fact, if anyone is harmed by their recent deprioritizing of Microsoft Studios, it's (you guessed it) Microsoft.

So you're criticizing Microsoft for harming Microsoft?

Not only that, it's not like MS Studios aren't publishing and developing games on PC. I think since 2012, they've published like 80 games on Windows 8 exclusively, and even more multi-platform (not including Xbox), not to mention that they're publishing more and more on Android and iOS. No, they haven't been able to produce any AAA-hits on Windows for a while (unless you count Flight Simulator), but they certainly got a lot going on. Oh and it's really worth mentioning that compared to let's say Sony, MS has a really good track record of making their games available on many platforms, even those competing directly with their own services. When Microsoft buys IP, there's still a good chance said IP is going to show up on PC. With Sony, not so much.

And let's talk about DirectX. It's a great graphical API (lightyears ahead of OpenGL in many aspects) and the DirectX team has actually tripled in size over the years, not been marginalized. They are updating it more aggressively and are definitely working hard to make sure that it remains the preferred GAPI amongst PC developers.

So it's not like their just sitting on their asses while Windows automatically remains the biggest gaming platform. This is a platform they've been putting millions of dollars and even more manhours into stimulating for more than a decade, and it just seems like everyone freaking forgets that whenever gaming on PC is mentioned.

I don't know, everything Microsoft does these days, even when they genuinely attempt to improve their services and listen to feedback, is met with this really poisoners attitude by the entire gaming industry. Yeah they fuck up, but their intentions are genuine and have always seemed genuine to me, and that should always be met with support.

What I see: Microsoft genuinely posts an atta-boy to another company they aren't currently partnered with in the spirit of fair-play and goodwill.

What the rest of the gaming world seems to see: OMG Microsoft is evil, don't listen to them! They're just trying to make up for the Xbone disaster, blah blah blah.

Pessimism and hate seems to be the default of most "gamers" when it comes to dealing with major corporations. Is it so hard to just look at something without delving for subtext or going on a tirade of past "injustices"?
If the world acted like that there'd be a wall around pretty much every country that ever committed some form of atrocity, and international commerce wouldn't exist, nor would any diplomatic relations because they'd degenerate into tirades of historical fuckups that each side may have committed.
Sometimes we have to give things a benefit of the doubt and say "Ok this time they might be genuinely saying something nice". Doesn't mean we have to forget, but it also isn't necessarily license to list every bad thing they've ever done either.
In business, sometimes you gotta be ruthless, sometimes diplomatic, sometimes you make mistakes thinking they're good ideas. In staying in business its all about how you handle the fuck-ups and move forward with the company despite bad press. In life, holding grudges doesn't advance anything.

I'm not hostile towards Microsoft, I just know better than to think they're being sincere anymore. At worst you're getting passive aggressive snarkiness from me, it's not like I actually hate microsoft. No, that would take too much effort, I just don't care about them anymore. As far as the PC platform is concerned they haven't done anything good in years and every single attempt they've made to work with the platform, despite it comically being a platform of their own making, has been at best incompetent and at worst frustrating.

I would hardly call snapping up indie titles as Windows 8 exclusives a good thing after all, especially when the developers themselves suffer as a result of it: LINK And Games For Windows Live was easily the worst third party piece of gaming software out there, even making EA's Origin and Ubisofts U play look competent by comparison.

As quoted in the article I just linked above: "When people call Microsoft 'evil', it's kind of an undeserved compliment. To be evil, you have to have vision, you have to have communication, execution..."

No, I don't hate microsoft. I just don't care about them anymore and get mildly annoyed whenever they mention PC gaming because it could possibly precede another incompetent attempt of theirs to try and cash in on the platform.

The Madman:
I'm not hostile towards Microsoft, I just know better than to think they're being sincere anymore. At worst you're getting passive aggressive snarkiness from me, it's not like I actually hate microsoft. No, that would take too much effort, I just don't care about them anymore. As far as the PC platform is concerned they haven't done anything good in years and every single attempt they've made to work with the platform, despite it comically being a platform of their own making, has been at best incompetent and at worst frustrating.

I would hardly call snapping up indie titles as Windows 8 exclusives a good thing after all, especially when the developers themselves suffer as a result of it: LINK And Games For Windows Live was easily the worst third party piece of gaming software out there, even making EA's Origin and Ubisofts U play look competent by comparison.

As quoted in the article I just linked above: "When people call Microsoft 'evil', it's kind of an undeserved compliment. To be evil, you have to have vision, you have to have communication, execution..."

No, I don't hate microsoft. I just don't care about them anymore and get mildly annoyed whenever they mention PC gaming because it could possibly precede another incompetent attempt of theirs to try and cash in on the platform.

You don't hate Microsoft, but you get annoyed whenever they as much as mention PC gaming and you consider them too incompetent to even be called evil?

You don't care, but you still care enough to extensively describe in this forum how little you care and why?

As for the whole "No credit for Windows 8 games" mentality; supplying Windows 8 with great games is exactly what Microsoft should be doing. They got a great platform for publishing, a great API and a growing number of great Windows 8 slates to play said games.

The only thing Windows 8 needs is a bigger user-base, and it has already started grow as consumers are realizing it's not anywhere near as bad as the collective of tech blogs and sensationalist journalism would have them believe.

I get how hating Microsoft is the "in" thing right now, but if you're really criticizing Microsoft for trying to get developers to publish titles on the latest version of their own Windows platform, you're not only contradicting yourself and this whole "Microsoft doesn't support gaming on windows" argument, you're just criticizing for the sake of criticizing.

And yeah, to me that's a tad hostile. And cynical. Just my two cents.

amaranth_dru:

Pessimism and hate seems to be the default of most "gamers" when it comes to dealing with major corporations. Is it so hard to just look at something without delving for subtext or going on a tirade of past "injustices"?
.

Not only that, these "injustices" are often perceived, or worse; based entirely on what some "anonymous developer" on some anonymous forum might have said.

It seems like gaming sites are very eager to go with juicy stories about Microsoft's incompetence; so eager even that they don't actually bother checking if said stories have any foundation in reality. This whole "xbox one E3 demos are running on high-end PCs" and "Windows 8.1 is gonna have built in commercial" being a few examples of just that.

weirdguy:
I don't think steamboxes directly challenge xbones for market share any more than PCs do

it's just that xbones might be looking at the wrong part of the market share in general

The non-gaming part.

I mostly agree, though. I think there's some margin of people who would rather have a PC, but don't want to build it, and the idea of a consolised PC might lure them away. I just think this margin is small.

Also, I wish Microsoft would take their respect for Valve and channel it into not trying to kill PC gaming.

TomWiley:

And yeah, to me that's a tad hostile. And cynical. Just my two cents.

Oh please, I've been hating on Microsoft since around 2009 when they closed Ensemble Studios, this is hardly a passing pad.

I also like how you keep pointing out the same things as somehow being good when I directly linked to an actual developer who called making a deal for Windows 8 exclusivity 'A deal with the devil', all while refusing to address the bad Microsoft have done such as the multiple closure of studios and that wretched piece of crap that was GFWL.

I'm not being contradictory, it just seems you and I have very different definitions of 'supporting the PC' apparently.

But you are definitely right about one thing, I've put way too much time and effort into this pointless argument over a company I couldn't care less about. Defend them to your hearts content, I'm off.

thiosk:
Pretty clear that just about everyone wishes they were Valve. I thought I'd have origin for simcity but the problems were too severe and I'm still origin-free. And thank goodness G4WL is finally dying. That was such a catastrophe of a system, designed by committee of executives.


Praise be unto Him. (I found http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/ to be too much fun)

Greetings fellow /r/pcmasterrace brother. Praise GabeN and let us hope that all his projects succeed.

Remember last time when Microsoft said they were going to try to support PC gaming? Remember how that ended up with a six months late port to a below average RPG, a resurrected RTS franchise that didn't understand what made the originals so good, and a mediocre flight sim. All of which required the wretched abomination that is Games for Windows Live.

Frankly, I don't give a shit if Microsoft supports PC gaming. In fact, the fact that PC gaming is doing so well without Microsoft's involvement just shows that we don't need them. And considering how whenever Microsoft gets it in their brain that they should throw a bone to the PC gaming crowd, they give us some mediocre games that we don't really want at best, and unleash horrific services that actively held back PC gaming at worst, I don't want them to get involved. PC gaming has been getting better without Microsoft giving a shit about it, and frankly, I'm okay with keeping it that way.

amaranth_dru:

Pessimism and hate seems to be the default of most "gamers" when it comes to dealing with major corporations. Is it so hard to just look at something without delving for subtext or going on a tirade of past "injustices"?

Sometimes, it really is. I mean, I wouldn't call them injustices, but a company that expresses a large amount of apathy or even antipathy towards consumers deservedly ends up with a lot of flak for it. and microsoft's been kind of bitchy about it. Even after the changes to the Xbone, they've been passive-agressively bemoaning the fact that us poor plebes were too dumb to understand their great master plan for TEH FEWCHUR!!!!!!!!!!!

and really, they don't seem to understand customer gripes about Windows 8, either. There's a large amount of shit going down, and maybe it's not complete lunacy that people don't take an isolated comment as a good thing.

I mean, say i insult you daily. I don't really want to, but hypothetically. Then one day, I say "nice shirt." Even without hatred of me as a corporate monster (lol), are you going to assume I'm being legitimately nice?

More to the point, Microsoft has someone saying something nice about a company with a grudge against them. Or at least an owner with a grudge. I don't know about the rest of the company, but Gabe seems one breath away from a temper tantrum. I mean, I can see why people would be skeptical. I may have made a tongue in cheek remark about them (and I will again, and again, and again), but I don't honestly think they're up to something. But I can understand why, after breeding so much anger and mistrust, people might think something was up.

TomWiley:

The only thing Windows 8 needs is a bigger user-base, and it has already started grow as consumers are realizing it's not anywhere near as bad as the collective of tech blogs and sensationalist journalism would have them believe.

Windows 8: not as bad as you've heard.

They should slap that on the box, it's the nicest thing I've heard about it.

The last Microsoft game I bought was Age of Empires 2 HD. Microsoft has a lot to thank Valve for, they've kept the ecosystem alive among the gaming community of PC users.

thiosk:

Praise be unto Him. (I found http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/ to be too much fun)

Oh gods I'd forgotten about that part of reddit.

Thank you for reminding me. Now for some humorous reading...

Hey Phil, how about you commission a studio to port all those xbox and 360 exclusives to pc in1080. Would love to play more gears and Halo

Not sure why, but all I read was

Maybe the valve/steam fans will stop reminding us of GFWL if we point out how much we want to own an equally sucessfull distribution platform... it would also be really great if all this placating would lead to our next distribution platform being successfull

I'm still using win 7, which is a fairly okay OS.. hopefully the steam OS will make Microsoft try harder (fat chance).

TomWiley:

The Madman:
I gave up on Microsoft in regards to PC gaming ages ago, and I'd recommend everyone else do the same. That company has done nothing but harm to the PC platform for years now and the day I can stop using windows in favour of another practical OS can't come soon enough.

Aren't we being a bit cynical? It's true that Microsoft hasn't been pushing gaming on Windows quite as much as Xbox, but they still created Windows and has with frequent updates kept DirectX the preferred choice amongst PC developers for almost a decade. Heck they even make PC games now and then. And let's not forget that Valve wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for Microsoft.

most of the direct x stuff is now being done with the xbox in mind as the primary reason , or as a way to move shit OS's.

and considering several "features" of win 8.1 make gaming on it hard to impossible, cynical outlooks might be the proper one

Britishfan:
Wait... does this mean Microsoft Studios are going to make good games for Windows and/or Steam OS now? Are they working on porting their back catalogue?

Well, MS Studios already have a couple of games out on Steam. And at least one of them is GfWL-free.

Translation:

Valve has shown us what a bunch of tools and twits we are by earning ludicrous amounts of money that we could have been earning but it's not like we had the assets to be exactly like Valve and still support our consoles without even having to worry about going broke. Oh wait, we did and still do. Herp-a-derp

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