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Is Windows 8 really bad for games?


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#1 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4680

Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:05 PM

http://www.develop-online.net/news/41521/Newell-skeptical-of-Windows-8

Do you think Windows 8 being "closed" is really bad for games? Or is just Valve panicking because Windows is in direct competition with them? I think it's the latter, but since I don't develop game professionally or even in an indie capacity, I thought I'd direct this to people in the game (excuse the pun).

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#2 Net Gnome   Members   -  Reputation: 769

Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:34 PM

IMHO, any closed system is bad for consumers. Although, I doubt that it is truly "closed", but just that the tablets will have a more difficult time getting around MS's marketplace.

#3 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17144

Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:57 PM

Not yet in the market (though I'm working towards that).

My opinion is, the more different stores available, the better for both developers, who can avoid bad distributors and force the distributors to upgrade their terms, and consumers - as the distributors compete in prices and sales against each other, and are forced to streamline their interfaces and innovate in areas like cloud saves and faster downloads.

So, in that sense, I'd welcome Microsoft's entry as a digital distributor of PC games... but, oh wait! They already are a digital distributor of PC games, and 40-50 million people choose Steam over (or alongside) Microsoft's "Games for Windows Live". Oh, also, Windows Marketplace. Do you use either? I certainly don't.

I'm glad other people are in the game also. Steam's two main competitors are Impulse (sold to GameStop) and Origin (EA - new to the game). But there are also dozens of small websites that also sell digital downloads. The more competition the better, because it gives developers and consumers a choice, forcing the distributors to improve themselves to stay ahead (and nobody can say Steam isn't innovating at a pretty rapid pace to stay ahead of Origin and Impulse).

Microsoft coming along and putting their own store pre-installed and easily accessible means most consumers, out of laziness or ignorance, will go there to get their goods. Microsoft was not able to do digital distribution well, so they are doing what they did with Internet Explorer, and pre-packaging it. How many non-techy people do you know who don't even know what a "Browser" is? The 'internet' to them is the blue 'e' icon of Internet Explorer. When Internet Explorer took over throw market share dominance, they just let it stagnate at IE6 until finally the competition got so far ahead that it actually proved a threat again - but we had to put up with the stagnation for multiple years before the competition caught up to Microsoft's unfair advantage.

It's good to make a more secure system, and it's good to ensure that consumers get actual non-virus executables. But using that as an excuse to make developers (whether games or otherwise) give you 30% or 20% of the cut without you doing anything?

If I want to play World of Warcraft (which I don't Posted Image), I already gave Microsoft $200 or so for their operating system. Now they want 20% of the game sale, and 20% of each expansion, and 20% of my subscription fees? If Blizzard made a game that's so great they can get away with charging for each expansion and the original game, and $15 a month, they deserve that money, not Microsoft. And if Microsoft does take a cut, would Blizzard raise prices (hurting consumers) or keep their prices the same (hurting themselves) for the "privilege" of working with Microsoft?

Really now, why should Microsoft get 20% of every Minecraft sale? People found Minecraft just fine without Microsoft providing a portal. They argument of "Increased ability for users to find your game" only applies for junk. People don't buy many junky games online because word-of-mouth doesn't spread. People do buy awesome games, because they get attention. Granted, some good (amazing) games get hidden online and don't do well, but equally so, complete trash sells like hotcakes to iPhone users.

What kind of certification process will I need to go through for Microsoft if 80% of all sales happens through them? How personal and helpful will they tailor their services to the individual developer, and how much will they avoid striking huge deals with huge publishers to give those publishers extra attention at the expense of other games launching at the same time?

I'm not against Microsoft selling PC software... they already do that, in multiple ways... it just isn't successful enough because better stores exist. I'm against Microsoft taking control away from those better stores, not by quality of their service, but by abusing their position as the system owner to force lazy or ignorant consumers to visit their stores instead and thus steal the majority of users (since the majority are lazy and ignorant).

Microsoft isn't innovating or slashing prices to compete, they're tying their store to their operating system - we've gotten along fine without it, it's not solving any problem that's exists, it's just centralizing purchases in one place for the benefit of Microsoft's wallet at the excuse of the benefit of the consumer's ease at the expense of the consumer's wallet long-term, at the expense of competitors (digital stores), at the expense of developers, and at the expense of innovation in business and technology.

They might as well tie physical purchases to one store also, and push Amazon.com out of the business. After all, people use their computers to buy physical products, and it's in the consumers interest to buy any physical product from one central location with one account, and why not a centralized service under Microsoft's control? Because the benefits of competition long term outweigh the benefits of ease-of-use for consumers short-term, if that ease-of-use means one company controls it.

[Edit:] tl;dr: It's not the end of the world, or even the end of the world as we currently know it, but if it is successful, my fear is a lack of competition that creates higher costs for consumers, less profit for developers, and stagnation in the area of (mainstream) innovation for four or five years until the underground competitors get so far ahead even the mainstream consumer notices.

Edited by Servant of the Lord, 09 August 2012 - 02:15 PM.

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#4 mhagain   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7436

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:04 PM

I've a hard time believing that Windows 8 is going to be as bad as some make it out to be. The main reason why is the corporate desktop market - this is huge for Microsoft, and they stand a real risk of doing another "Vista" (which failed more miserably in corporate than it did in domestic) if half of what you see written turns out to be true. At the same time, outside of the tablet/touchscreen/mobile world, I'm not seeing any really compelling reason to go beyond 7 for now, and historically the first iteration of a new Windows baseline from MS has always had a tendency to suck somewhat, with the second iteration being the one where things come together right. So I'm predicting that mainstream PC uptake is going to be very low indeed, outside of people getting it with a new machine.

It appears that the gentleman thought C++ was extremely difficult and he was overjoyed that the machine was absorbing it; he understood that good C++ is difficult but the best C++ is well-nigh unintelligible.


#5 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6791

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:16 PM

Do you think Windows 8 being "closed" is really bad for games? Or is just Valve panicking because Windows is in direct competition with them?


Except Windows 8 isn't "closed" - the MS app store is, primarily, the only way to get Metro apps. Outside of them it'll be business as normal.

And based on Apple success the population WANT app stores to buy their stuff at so MS adding one is just giving the majority what they appear to want.

When this news first hit my reaction was 'company who provides software via closed app is scared of another company providing software via closed app' my point being the whole thing is a little less than honest and nothing more than PR stunt ("hey! MS's app store is bad, but our app store is great because we are Valve!") - a position reenforced to me earlier today when I found out that Valve plan to start selling non-game/entertainment apps via Steam soon. ( http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=25377 )

So, yeah, now it all falls into place doesn't it...

#6 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6791

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:21 PM

I've a hard time believing that Windows 8 is going to be as bad as some make it out to be.


I think Windows 8 is going to suffer the Vista Effect as I like to think of it - the OS is going to be fine BUT before the thing was even tried many people were laying into it and continue to do so simply because it isn't what they were use to.

Vista had its issues, mostly with 3rd party drivers (NV I'm looking at you) but it was a massive improvement over XP and was, in my mind, vindicated when Windows 7 came out which at its heart is the same OS just with a better PR job.

I'm almost thinking that MS have decided to adopt a tick-tock approach to Windows releases; do something major in a release and suffer the backlash, then shortly afterwards release a new, tweaked version and watch as everyone goes 'oh, this is better than <last version>' thus generating sales.

OK, that would be crazy BUT given that I suspect MS make most of their OS income from companies and most companies are only just getting up to speed with Win7 and unlikely to goto Win8 regardless putting out a 'test' OS (which will unify their PC, Phone and console space as well as giving them a tablet presense) makes some sense if you take the feedback and roll out a better Win9 which companies are more likely to upgrade to.

Just thinking aloud really...

#7 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3693

Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:23 PM

Can you buy non-Metro apps in the Win8 store? To be honest I've been mostly unable to use the Win8 previews on my Lenovo X60T (because the resistive touch screen is horrible for swipe gestures and the wacom pen drivers don't calibrate properly in Win8), so I haven't really explored the whole OS yet.

However, I was able to install non-Metro apps the same way I can in Windows 7. I don't know what people are freaking out about.

#8 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2140

Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:02 PM

For me, Windows 8 doesn't really offer anything that would prompt me to upgrade. When I went from XP to 7, it was a marked improvement. I'm not sure what going from 7 to 8 offers me.

From my gaming, as long as I can install steam and run my games, I'm happy. I think Newell is being somewhat hyperbolic describing it as a "catastrophe", but from a consumer POV, my gut feel is that the desktop is circling the drain, and I really don't see win8 being a major player in the tablet market.

MS just don't have the "cool" factor in the market place and their marketing screams of the nerdy kid trying to fit in with popular crowd. I know lots of people who are happy to fight to the death over iOS vs Android, but I know no-one who cares that much about the Metro (or Win8 UI or whatever we're supposed to call it) ecosystem.
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#9 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17144

Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:23 PM

Can you buy non-Metro apps in the Win8 store?


Yes. Microsoft Office, for example, will be offered through the Windows Store.

However, I was able to install non-Metro apps the same way I can in Windows 7. I don't know what people are freaking out about.


It's not that it's "entirely closed, no way you'll ever get anything on here! Mwahahaha!", it's that it'll be front and center and any other store people will have to go out of their way to download (like they do currently), so the majority of casual users will by-default give their cash to Microsoft, rewarding Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior, and take money from the companies innovating. This rewards anti-competitive/monopolistic behavior, and punishes innovation.
Intelligent users can still make intelligent choices, but the bulk users will be satisfied with the first thing put before them - Microsoft is using their leverage as the OS provider to ensure the first thing put before the user is Microsoft's own store.

There are a few keys that'll help Steam and Origin and Impulse:
A) They are in good positions to strike up deals with OEMs to provide Steam or another store pre-loaded on the machine. On the other hand, Microsoft is offering OEMs a percentage of Windows Store sales for OEM machines, supposedly. It was in their leaked Windows 8 info from three years ago, anyway.
B) Unlike in the browser wars, purchasing a product may require the installation of a digital store. (Certain games require Steam or require Impulse). This will help to keep Microsoft from completely dominating the market share.
C) Steam already has a huge install base (54 million, according to Wikipedia. 40 million last year confirmed by Valve) and holds each customer's game catalog hostage.

For the record, I like Microsoft - I'm just not in favor of how they sometimes through around their weight. Had it been like this originally (buying software primarily through, or only through, the OS owners stores), I wouldn't complain, but doing it after the fact makes me aware of the freedom we currently have as consumers and as developers, and how much we could potentially be harmed by such a move.

Edited by Servant of the Lord, 09 August 2012 - 03:25 PM.

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#10 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6791

Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:44 PM

For the record, I like Microsoft - I'm just not in favor of how they sometimes through around their weight. Had it been like this originally (buying software primarily through, or only through, the OS owners stores), I wouldn't complain, but doing it after the fact makes me aware of the freedom we currently have as consumers and as developers, and how much we could potentially be harmed by such a move.


The problem is they COULDNT have done it before - just imagine if Win2K or XP had shipped with an 'app store' built in; the DOJ and EU would have been cashing their anti-trust cheques before the case even hit the court room.

Not to mention that the technology to enable such a thing has only recently really come into being on a 'general' scale - internet connection speeds, stability and coverage has improved a large amount in the few years since Win7 was released and its really only in the last couple of years that general people have gotten use to the idea of 'app stores'.

And as much as we might dislike the idea the general public want them and if MS had stayed out of having an app store it really would be their end which puts them in a very hard place as they need the app stores yet people see it as a 'removal of freedom' despite the fact freedom isn't being removed.

#11 mhagain   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7436

Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:52 PM

I'm almost thinking that MS have decided to adopt a tick-tock approach to Windows releases; do something major in a release and suffer the backlash, then shortly afterwards release a new, tweaked version and watch as everyone goes 'oh, this is better than <last version>' thus generating sales.

OK, that would be crazy BUT given that I suspect MS make most of their OS income from companies and most companies are only just getting up to speed with Win7 and unlikely to goto Win8 regardless putting out a 'test' OS (which will unify their PC, Phone and console space as well as giving them a tablet presense) makes some sense if you take the feedback and roll out a better Win9 which companies are more likely to upgrade to.


That's an interesting perspective, and I think you might be close to the truth. A lot of companies are heavily dependent on 3rd party apps which will have only recently gotten Windows 7 certification too, so perhaps MS are well aware of what they're doing, well aware of what the likely outcome in corporate space is going to be, and are reasonably happy to take it on the nose for this release?

It appears that the gentleman thought C++ was extremely difficult and he was overjoyed that the machine was absorbing it; he understood that good C++ is difficult but the best C++ is well-nigh unintelligible.


#12 Shippou   Members   -  Reputation: 1322

Posted 09 August 2012 - 05:43 PM

There is so much "buy me" junk already preloaded onto 7, seeing something else will not make much difference in 8IMHO.
(( The system I am currently using, came preloaded with a "game store". ))
True it's going to force Steam and all the other digital game stores to keep innovating, but competition is a good thing.
... I'm waiting for some one to come out with stable copies of Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2 ...

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#13 Rhetorician   Members   -  Reputation: 119

Posted 09 August 2012 - 06:10 PM

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#14 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3539

Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:13 AM

And based on Apple success the population WANT app stores to buy their stuff at so MS adding one is just giving the majority what they appear to want.

As someone who is neither ignorant, nor lazy, I download and purchase all my tablet software through the official app store (Google Play) for my device. nVidia has an app store. Lenovo has an app store. Amazon has an app store, <Tablet Vendor X has an app store> etc... I don't care. There are nice games, books, and other things exclusive to other app stores. I won't buy them. I even nuked the alternate app stores on tablets I gave away as gifts, because they are a pain in the ass.

The only difference between app store A and B is who gets the 20%. So there is no need to support 50 of them as a user.

The Steam thing is kind of funny. Because Steam itself is a unified vendor in the same vein. It offers the same pros and cons. Users have a nice unified place to purchase all their software. They have one account, one collection, and one place to check for updates and etc... We tablet users want that on our platforms of choice too!

It's nice to turn on the tablet, hit one button, and have all my stuff managed and updated as a collection. It's nice to open my Google Play bookshelf, and see all my books there as one collection, and not a ton spread across different readers (kobo, kindle, etc...). If a book I want is not available on Google Play, then I'll get a different one that is.

Tablets do not replace desktops. They are mostly simple consumption devices. You pick it up, sit on the couch, and read a book, flip through a comic, play a game, listen to a podcast, watch a youtube video, look at your facebook, browse the web, etc... All consumption type activities with minimal input needed.

So there is no "freedom" to be taken away.

It's also nice that having a tablet makes for a nice companion to move the consumption activities off the PC, instead of multitasking all these things on one device. Let the PC focus totally on your creation and computation activities, while the tablet has the news or youtube or whatever other consumption activity off to the side.

Surface doesn't change this. Sure they include a physical keyboard, but so do countless other tablets. You can even buy surface like keyboards for your android or iOS device already. It doesn't change anything. It's about as useful as plugging in a keyboard to an PS3. It helps when entering text, but that's a rare activity. My tablet even has an optional keyboard dock that turns it into a netbook. Not buying it was 100$ well saved ;).

#15 LennyLen   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3343

Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:21 AM

There is so much "buy me" junk already preloaded onto 7, seeing something else will not make much difference in 8IMHO.
(( The system I am currently using, came preloaded with a "game store". ))


So your blaming MS because the supplier you got your computer from preloaded software on it? That 'junk' doesn't come preloaded on Windows 7 (there's no game store on my copy of Win7), it gets installed by systems manufacturers. If you want to avoid it, either build your own system and install the OS, or buy a system that doesn't have an OS installed on it. A third option is to reformat the drive again and then install the OS yourself.

Edited by LennyLen, 10 August 2012 - 07:21 AM.


#16 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:16 AM

I'm curious if MS will offer lower percentages to major software vendors. It seems like people like Adobe or Autodesk might be able to throw their weight around a little bit and get better percentages on their splits, which would make the app store more appealing imo.

I guess that's part of the reason they do a 30% split on the first X amount you sell and 20% after. Maybe for software vendors that sell huge amounts of software they'd consider dropping to 15-10%? No se.

#17 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2961

Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:50 AM

I keep reading Win 8 will be a disaster. I still have not understood why.
I look forward Valve making Linux a viable alternative... Maddog said already he's against Steam and if he happens to be expressing community' intentions then I guess Linux will stay out of the market we care for another 10+ years.

#18 Exodus111   Members   -  Reputation: 148

Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:01 AM

There is no way that Windows 8 will do what some people describe in this thread so lets make a few things clear.
There are two proposed alternatives for how this OS will function.

1. Windows 8 will close ALL software downloads and installs that do not go through the upcoming windows marketplace, meaning ALL GAMES AND ALL SOFTWARE WILL NOW PAY MICROSOFT 20% OF EVERYTHING THEY MAKE.

That is insane... And will simply mean that noone will install windows 8 and just stick to windows 7.

Much more likely is:

2. Windows 8 will feature a windows market where developers can chose to put their software/games, that will be run by and providing profits for Microsoft.
Which is fine. AAA Developers wont care, but it will be a great opportunity for the Indies to get some much needed publicity.

Putting the marketplace in a more visible location in the OS is fair enough its not like users wont be completely used to it a few months in.

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#19 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3539

Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:07 AM

The sky is falling every time a new windows release is up. People still think Windows XP killed OpenGL.

#20 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 11 August 2012 - 09:59 AM

1. Windows 8 will close ALL software downloads and installs that do not go through the upcoming windows marketplace, meaning ALL GAMES AND ALL SOFTWARE WILL NOW PAY MICROSOFT 20% OF EVERYTHING THEY MAKE.

2. Windows 8 will feature a windows market where developers can chose to put their software/games, that will be run by and providing profits for Microsoft.
Which is fine. AAA Developers wont care, but it will be a great opportunity for the Indies to get some much needed publicity.

I agree with you that #2 is more likely, but I don't think #1 would be as large a disaster as you imply. I'd imagine MS would host all the software, so distribution and retail cuts would be taken out of the equation for physical copies, and the split is better on the MS store than other online stores, and it's more visible. I don't think it would really affect the bottom line of any software developers if they forced it. The only bad thing would be the negative press of forcing all software to go through them.

I don't think they'll do that because of the bad press and they'll already have such an advantage there's no reason to prevent people using other things as it would be a small part of the population.

20-30% sounds really bad, but compared to the percentage developers lose today distributing software it's really not that terrible.




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