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Microsoft Pledges Games For Windows Focus With New Boss
Microsoft Pledges Games For Windows Focus With New Boss
January 28, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

January 28, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
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    11 comments
More: Console/PC



Microsoft says general manager Ron Pessner is stepping in from the Entertainment and Devices Division to head up its Games For Windows initiatives.

Pessner's new role is announced just following the departure of former GFW boss Chris Early, laid off from the company as part of its recent round of planned cutbacks. Microsoft plans to eliminate 5,000 jobs at the company, and began with 1,400 layoffs yesterday.

Pessner is joined by Microsoft Games Studios' Dave Luehmann, who will now oversee internal development and publishing for Windows-based games.

The company also voiced its commitment to Windows as a gaming platform both on and offline. "Moving ahead, Microsoft will continue to invest in Windows as a first–class gaming platform through great Windows out of box experiences, our online gaming services including Games for Windows – LIVE, MSN Games, and Messenger games, and through new games for Windows developed by Microsoft Games Studios," the company said in a statement.

As the PC equivalent of Xbox Live, Games for Windows Live has had a mixed response from its inception, even as the company dropped subscription fees for multiplayer play in mid-2008.

Though it now requires no fee, PC gamers have still been slow to embrace the closed-system service, preferring the more open-ended online interfaces traditional in PC games. Titles such as Shadowrun, which allow Xbox 360 and PC gamers to compete together in the same game, have also struggled to catch on.

Along with Early's departure, Microsoft cut Flight Simulator developer Aces Studios, but the company stressed today that aside from the appointment of Pessner and Luehmann, "we are not commenting on specific personnel issues at this time."


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Comments


Frank Smith
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How about you stop harassing me with ads and nonsense on your GFWL interface. And no one wants your game portal, online PC gaming has worked great the way it is for years and we don't want to turn it in to a console so you can force every game to channel through you.



I know you'll miss out on all that money and advertising but you should cut your losses now and stick to XBox Live. Because most PC gamers I know don't screw with GFWL, even on Fallout 3 when it was free, or Gears of War.

Kasper Hansen
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GfWL works fine, what they need to add is Push To Talk voice chat as the existing model is aimed at Xbox users who do not have the spare buttons to press.



Us PC gamers do, and we have voice activated voicechat :P



They could also work a bit on the connection system. While I have not personally had any logon issues in the GfWL it is the issue I see raised most often on other boards.

Kasper Hansen
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Ah, should have been : Us PC gamers do, and we hate voice activated voicechat

DaFacts1on1 Jack
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Not sure if this model is going to work for MS in the long run, they should stick with xbox live and ditch PC all together.

Chris Melby
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It's probably more than a coincidence that while MS neglected PC gaming these past few years in favor of their hardcore children's toy, that the adoption rate of their new OS has also faltered.



If the 360 had gone on to become the next PS2, I doubt MS would be making any effort to fix what they broke. The fact that effort is to convert PC gamers into willing sheep like their new found thumb-twiddling groupies is an insult. They can keep their gamepad with its PlaySkool styling and pay-to-play BS. I'm sticking with Valve.

james landi
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As I told Ryan Miller (another laid off MS employee, MS PC games community manager). MS is it's own biggest enemy. How about adding a few more bullet points to GFW. 1) release games at the same time as their console counterpart 2) release games around the world at the same time 3)if you are not going to take PC gaming seriously don't release a game on said platform. How many times do I as a customer have to hear that I'm not the most important customer or "Well you know we make more money on the consoles because of ....(fill in any one of the bullet points above)



As mentioned above in previous posts, if you're willing to put all your eggs in one basket (console gaming) then simply just stop pushing gaming on the windows platform. How much do you wanna bet PC gaming sells a few copies of the OS. What is the point spread on an OS vs Console again?



Just when PC gaming needed a voice within Microsoft, you go and let them go. Would be nice to know who our new PC gaming community manager will be. Well MS I'm waiting....

Frank Lenk
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How about emphasizing what Windows is actually good at, instead of trying to turn it into just another konsole? Help people run independent servers, instead of competing with them. Discourage inadequate console ports. Stamp out games that assume D-pad control. Offer (as you once promised) universal game configuration, that would be standardized and persistent across all GfW titles. (I believe Valve is working on this for Steam - obviously, a service well worth emulating.) Set an example by developing "rich" (god, I'm tired of that word), deep, complex, intelligent games that only Windows can support. (Like Flight Simulator!)



The list goes on and on and on. But, as demonstrated by recent versions of Windows itself, and of Office, Microsoft has long ago ceased to be a company that actually listens to its users. Pushing some arbitrary, profit-centric corporate agenda may fly in the console world... but that's a big reason a lot of us prefer the desktop.

Frank Smith
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I think MS is done with "rich, deep, complex, and intelligent." Now they're all about quick, cheap, generic, and high profit margin.



Whats going to happen, I know its happening to me, is that PC gaming has become so bad last year, DRM, GFWL, online activations, that I don't want to play video games like I used to. But instead of me going "I'll switch to console", I'd rather just not play video games as much. I'll write a book, "The Dev Who Hates Video Games."

Derek Smart
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MS has been quietly abandoning PC gaming for several years now. Only us hardcore PC devs have actually taken any notice of this.



In fact, Edge has an excellent article today on just this very subject.



http://www.edge-online.com/features/is-microsoft-really-committed
-pc



The fact of the matter is that seeing that they make more money on the console side, and having flatly failed at forcing gamers to be early adopters of Vista (that whole DX 10 thing) even while sensible game devs who know that DX9 works just fine for the games we want to make, now they're just pulling the plug and asserting what we already know.



Quick!!! Name the last new PC game that MS released at retail.



MS cannot continue to support PC gaming because, quite frankly, there is no money in it for them. Their attempts at monetizing GFWL was - and still is - an embarrassing disaster. Not to mention that even with all their resources, they still can't roll out a viable digital distribution system (windowsmarketplace.com is rubbish) in order to even compete in that space. They're still playing catch up with the likes of Steam, Direct2Drive, TryMedia, Impulse, Gamers Gate etc



Now that someone with enough common sense has sat down, looked at the numbers, the strategy, the profile and singled out the gaming division, everyone is surprised?



In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that Sony made and swallowed their own death pill in their braindead creation that is the PS3, MS would still be the #3 console. And my guess is if that were the case, they would - right about now - be pulling away from console development as well.



The fact of the matter is that there are some brilliant (e.g. Early) guys at MS and other even more brilliant guys (Ed Fries, Michael Moore et al) guys at MS. They're just bogged down by nonsensical bureacracy and the badly clogged wheel that is Microsoft as a whole.



As a lifelong MS supporter, it just pains me to see just how many missteps they keep making. My guess is, they're only just getting started. Just wait until the dust farce that is XBLA and XNA settles down to really see just how much something that could be so great, could be so royally screwed up. Without even trying.



The WORST thing that could ever happen to PC gaming, was for MS to enter the console gaming business.

Caleb Garner
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i never even realized what GFW meant.. i figured it was some kind of branding/seal of approval BS...



so i thought i'd go before posting this and go make an account and find out about it.. i still don't see much about it thats interesting.. i made an account.. i see no value or conveinence there..



frankly, after giving it the typical once over that the average user would... i am not surprised MS gutted it... i don't see what service it's proivding.. of course i'm also not a vista user either... so maybe this service is yet another "Wow" i'm missing out on...



i agree with Chris M. i'm much more impressed with Steam. informative, central, easy to use and some great values. no confusion as to what platform i'm buying games for..

Derek Smart
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You didn't miss anything Caleb. Its rubbish.


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