Microsoft lost its way “supporting Windows games” says Spencer, promises core first-party PC games

Wednesday, 6th November 2013 17:44 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft Studios VP Phil Spencer has admitted the company “lost our way a bit in supporting Windows games,” promising the company will be “doing more stuff” on Windows.

Speaking with Shacknews during the Xbox One pre-launch showcase, Spencer said the company has more individual projects in the works for Windows “than we’ve had in ten years at Microsoft Studios.”

“Windows is incredibly important,” he said. “The ‘One Microsoft’ mantra that’s come out had us looking at all the devices that Microsoft builds and truly becoming a first-party gaming studio across all devices. You’ll see us doing more stuff on Windows.

“At the launch of Windows 8, we had about 30 games in the Windows Store. A lot of those you’d consider lightweight or casual games… But we’ve covered all of that property now. Now we’re starting to look at bigger and core gamer things. I’m excited by that.

“For us, we’re first-party across all Microsoft devices. We definitely think about ourselves that way in our studios. If you think about a service like Spotify or Netflix, you expect that service to work on any device you have. For some games, it will be similar.

“I just want to have an Xbox Live account and it works on my phone, on my console, and my Windows machine. And then I’ll be able to access my content in a screen-appropriate way.”

Xbox exclusive titles confirmed for PC already include Titanfall and Project Spark.



  1. Pytox

    oh no more gfwl? :p

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Erthazus

    I don’t care MS.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. deadstoned

    That sounds good. On the condition that the games aren’t Windows 8/8.1 exclusive and don’t require some Xbox LIVE crappy Windows service… We’ve only just managed to have Games for Windows LIVE put down at last. And that’s been wrecking peoples games for half a decade now. Problem is I expect Microsoft cannot manage those to prerequisites, so they’ll probably fail to understand the core PC market again.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. loki

    Life teaches us nothing MS. The third generation and same crap. They can’t normaly support 1 game platform. Xbox 0ne carma – 25%

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Eliv

    Titanfall is not first party and Project Spark is w8 exclusive

    #5 1 year ago
  6. POOhead

    @4 i liked you more when you were a xbox fanboy

    #6 1 year ago
  7. DSB

    That’s kind of a big admission by Microsoft standards.

    But it also totally ignores how badly they’ve damage their brand along the way. That’s not gonna make anyone forget the pisstake of GFWL.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Christopher Jack

    Yesterday the crappy GfWL client wouldn’t work for me when I tried redeeming my Fable III GotY DLC -_-

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Panthro

    They always come back…

    Craaaaaawling back….

    ^ Has no relevance, but it’s darn cute.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. pukem0n

    who cares anyways?

    there’s no money to be made in PC gaming, except in MMOs or F2P titles, or browsergames.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. DSB

    @8 Bioshock 2 was unplayable on the PC for years. To make it work you had to apply some insane workaround.

    It only recently became compatible again, when Take Two made the amazing play of spending money to get rid of GFWL.

    Kinda surprised by Warner and Take Two there. THQ were among the first to do it after they damaged their major PC franchises by including it, but better late than never I guess.

    Also on the list of crimes against the PC are games like Toy Soldiers, where Signal Studios tried and failed to properly implement multiplayer in GFWL. It delayed the port several times and in the end they just gave up. It was just too broken.

    I’m pretty sure the same happened to Double Fine when they ported Trenched.

    And Gotham City Impostors… Well.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Super Girevik

    It would be nice if Microsoft could have a system where games purchased for your Xbox 360/One would automatically entitle you to the PC version, if one is available.

    But for now, Steam is my PC platform. Too bad they didn’t get Battlefield 4. Maybe if Origin follows Games for Windows, that will change.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. DSB

    @12 Not gonna happen, sadly. EA lost customers on Origin, but because they no longer had to pay Steam a cut, they managed to keep profits even.

    Today they’re actually making more than when they were on Steam, so it’s unlikely that Origin is gonna fail.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Stephany Nunneley

    @5 No, Titanfall is not a MS game but as mentioned in the article, it IS an Xbox exclusive title that is also coming to PC.

    And Project Spark is no longer exclusive to W8:

    #14 1 year ago
  15. TheWulf

    That’s an odd thing for them to say, especially since they’re killing off GfWL whilst not paying all developers to actually replace it with something better. So a lot of people will be locked out of their saves.

    I mean, really… encrypted saves, Microsoft? Why did you ever think that was a good idea?

    This is why as much as people may dislike Valve, Valve aren’t evil or incompetent. If I want my saves, they’re right there on my hard drive in a way that I can personally back up and restore. I can even login to Steam and ask Steam for a copy of my saves, and it’ll give me them, without any silly encryption.

    So, no, I wouldn’t trust Microsoft as far as I could throw them. That sentiment is likely very common at the moment, and coupled with the looming SteamOS, they seem somewhat shaken.

    This can only be a good thing, they might end up doing the right thing in regards to GfWL.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Panthro


    You couldn’t be more wrong.

    Look at Steam.

    Look at EA’s sales figures last year.

    Made it easier for you ^

    #16 1 year ago
  17. TheWulf


    I don’t know if that’s true.

    Recently EA said that they were turning Origin into more of a Uplay-like system, and that their games would likely return to being sold by other distributors. So it might not be working out for them as well as they think. I know I’ve personally avoided Origin like the plague.

    I guess I just don’t trust publically traded companies — they put profits first, and people last. People are just walking wallets. Microsoft exhibited this with encrypted saves. What ridiculous thing is Origin going to do down the line?

    Whereas I’ve been using Steam for years without issue. Heck, Valve is still even patching Steam to make it more of a platform I want to use. Just watching the patch notes I see that they’re doing things to improve quality of life, they’re spending money on making my life better.

    It’s also worth noting that Valve cooperate so much with indies, which… Origin doesn’t. Origin feels like an XBox when it comes to how it presents itself. They don’t know how to connect with indies. Thus it’s not a very desirable thing for them. I can’t remember the last time I read an indie saying ‘yeah, we really want to get on Origin.’ These days it’s all about the Greenlight.

    So… I dunno. I avoid Origin because it feels like it desperately wants to be a closed system, and I worry what they’ll do to make that happen in the future.

    Edit: I think a lot of this has to do that because Valve seems people as people, they provide them the means to be people. There’s a lot of community surrounding them. They’re not this giant corporate edifice like Origin, they actually provide ways to talk.

    When a project goes up on Greenlight, you can talk to the developers. When an indie game is sold on Steam, the developers get their own forum, and they often enjoy connecting with the people who bought their game.

    Origin is a cold, white place where one goes to exchange money for games, then leaves as quickly as possible. Steam is a place where everyone talks about games.

    That’s exactly what Valve has nurtured.

    Got a technical problem? Go ask on the Steam forums. Want a hint for a game? Go ask on the Steam forums. Want to know how to best improve your game with mods? Well, you know what to do.

    It’s a system that GOG copied really well, and they’ve enjoyed quite a bit of success for it, I feel.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. DSB

    I’d be very surprised if this statement wasn’t directly influenced by the “relaunch” of Windows 8. Or the “launch” of Windows 8.1.

    Microsoft are desperate. They’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink at that update, and I’m pretty sure the logic is that making admissions and promises to PC gamers might help to get them onboard.

    @17 Their earnings reports don’t lie. If they did, someone would have to go to jail.

    I avoid Origin too. I’m shocked that it’s still so ridiculously bad even after all this time, but I’m not “everybody”.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Super Girevik


    If I want some Battlefield 4 and Titanfall PC action, looks like I will be forced to try Origin.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. fearmonkey

    Origin isnt as bad, it’s just not near as nice as steam. I never like having all my eggs in one basket so it’s not a big deal to me some games arent on Steam.

    I LOVE the idea that MS will start paying attention to PC gaming again, but I am needing proof of their words before accepting it as true. GFWL was more of annoyance than a benefit and I hated having to deal with it, glad it’s gone.

    If MS doesnt start placing resources back into Windows, they will lose that market to Valve. Valve has pretty much become to the standard gaming platform for Windows, and with Steambox and it’s own controller, Valve could literally shut MS out as an also ran. I hated Steam when it first came out, but it turned into something amazing. If Valve is able to do the same with Steambox, look out MS.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Panthro

    The day that they release Halo 5 on PC will be a very special day for me.

    Unlikely, but I can still dream.

    I cant get enough of Grifball, so addictive.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Hunam

    Oh, is it that time again?

    Microsoft do this every now and then. Last time was GFWLMP as a new, spanky store with Fable 3 and AoE Online, both of which were poor and Microsoft gave up after 3 months and went back to not giving a shit about the PC.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. freedoms_stain

    I just want away from Microsoft tbh.

    I’m hoping and praying that Steam OS takes off so I can relegate Windows to a tiny partition I rarely (if ever) have to use.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. dexfx69

    The ONLY reason Spencer says “Windows is important” is because they lost so many buyers of Microsoft products due to Win 8, and they’re trying to trick people back into using their OS by using PC gamers to leverage sales.

    Microsoft really, really shows their true colors nowadays, and it’s all about blind greed, with no concept of giving people what they really want. It’s about using people in any way they can to make big bucks. And on top of it, they give us so much PR bullshit to try to cover their tracks, and lots of backtracking too. Gimme a break!

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Vice

    Just give me all Halo’s on PC (including new ones, ofc, even if it will take a year to port) and you’re forgiven.

    #25 1 year ago

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