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Microsoft Promises Improvements After Games For Windows Live's 'Rocky Start'

Microsoft Promises Improvements After Games For Windows Live's 'Rocky Start'

March 8, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

March 8, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC

The executive in charge of marketing Microsoft's Games for Windows Live initiative has promised the service will "continue to get better" after a "rocky start" plagued by a lack of quality software.

Microsoft senior director for PC and mobile gaming Kevin Unangst told CVG he thought the company had the right idea in trying to bring features like Achievements, friends lists and simpler multiplayer matchmaking to PC games. But the service's launch was hampered by a lack of the kind of "fantastic games" needed to push that value, he said.

"A network by itself isn't valuable - there needs to be great games to take advantage," Unangst said.

Microsoft is hard at work turning that situation around, he said, with the help of input from developers including Lionhead and Gas Powered Games. He likened the situation to that of the console-based Xbox Live, which evolved partly thanks to input from developers like Halo-maker Bungie.

"The Age of Empire team [at Gas Powered Games] has got a lot of great input and the same can be said for Lionhead, who said 'we're going to build Fable 3 on the PC' and know what they want out of the service."

Unangst also stressed the important of the new Games for Windows Digital Marketplace, which now also sells titles that don't support Games for Windows Live.

Last September, Relic Entertainment announced it was dropping Games for Windows Live support from its Dawn of War 2: Retribution in favor of exclusive Steam support.

"We've always thought this was cumbersome, and only implemented it because back in Dawn of War II's development, we needed digital distribution and matchmaking features from both platforms," Retribution Producer Jeff Lydell told PC Gamer.

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