While some of the older game titles from Microsoft, such as Age of Empires II HD (a 2013 update of a 1999 game) can be found on Valve’s Steam platform, its latest top titles, such as Forza 6 Apex and Quantum break, are exclusive to the Windows Store. But that will change, with Microsoft planning to release more titles on the popular store.
Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox team at Microsoft, was speaking on Giant Bomb’s E3 stream, Going through GameSpot. When it comes to PC gaming, the Windows Store is very prevalent, with Steam the dominant force. As Spencer noted, “I don’t think Valve is hurt that they don’t have [Microsoft’s] first party games in their store right now. They are doing incredibly well. As a result, Spencer said Microsoft would “be shipping games to Steam again.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s own experience had been more inconsistent. While some games performed well in the Windows Store, with Spencer naming the two Forza 6 Apex and Killer instinct like hit titles he said that “Quantum break was not our best PC version “and that Gears of War Ultimate Edition was just “OK”.
The Windows Store is used to selling games created using the Universal Windows Platform. These have been criticized for some technical restrictions they suffer from, such as the inability to turn off V-sync and limited support for multiple GPUs. Microsoft continues to work to lift these restrictions: Windows 10 Anniversary Update will turn off v sync and improve support for multiple GPUs, as well as the latest versions of the Store app. facilitate the installation of games on different discs. This was particularly inconvenient for large games such as the 50 GB or so of Quantum break– with many gamers preferring a fast SSD system drive combined with a larger spinning disk for their games, using the system drive by default for all installations was an issue.
Spencer did not specify which games would be sold on Steam, or when they would appear. Selling games in this way could do more than just open them up to a wider audience; it can also be useful in proving that UWP apps are not inextricably linked to the Windows Store and can in fact be sold by third parties. This has been a point of contention after game developer Tim Sweeney said UWP is a “closed platform within a platform” that “should, must and will die”, even if not. not really true.
Selling UWPs on Steam would underscore this point and demonstrate that third-party storefronts are perfectly possible.