For the past several years, most of Microsoft Game Studios' efforts have been focused on the Xbox platform, but the company has once again admitted that it needs to "step up" its PC gaming efforts.
"There’s been a fair bit of criticism aimed at Microsoft that we were spending a lot of our focus on console, and we need to be putting resources behind PC as well," Microsoft Game Studios general manager Dave Luehmann told MCV
It's not the first time that Microsoft has recognized its relative neglect of the PC as a gaming platform. In 2006, former Microsoft gaming figurehead Peter Moore said that the company's lack of support for PC gaming was a "dereliction of duty," and promised that the release of Windows Vista would mark a sort of PC gaming Renaissance.
And following the confirmation of the closure of PC-centric gaming studios Aces (Flight Simulator
), FASA (MechWarrior, Shadowrun
) and Ensemble (Age of Empires, Halo Wars
), Microsoft insisted again in early 2009 that it would continue to invest in PC gaming.
"Other companies should look to Microsoft for leadership, but I’m not sure they do. It is our job to lead the way on PC," Luehmann said. "And in some ways we are doing that and in other ways we are not. So we need to step up."
The general manager noted that Microsoft Game Studios is releasing Fable III, Age of Empires Online
and Microsoft Flight
on PC, with more games to follow.
Even though Microsoft is the owner of the Windows platform, it has struggled as of late to make the same impact in the PC gaming arena as Valve Software's Steam. Microsoft currently hosts an official Games For Windows storefront, where users can buy and download Games for Windows titles.
Microsoft also continues its Games For Windows -- Live program, which involves adapting games to integrate with users' Xbox Live accounts. While some appreciate being able to raise their Gamerscores on two different platforms, others find the system to be a hassle, particularly when it's layered on top of another community platform, Valve's Steamworks.
Recently, Relic Entertainment said that it would be dropping Games For Windows -- Live
support in favor of Steamworks with Dawn of War II: Retribution
. The original Dawn of War II
supported both Games for Windows -- Live and Steamworks.