from the Embrace-Extend-Extinguish dept.
Gabe Newell from Valve was quite right to fear about the future when he starting talking up Linux, and now it looks like Microsoft will be trying to push their own store even more.
Microsoft are moving to combine Windows 10 and Xbox One into one platform, and with that the Windows Store will become a bigger thing for them. This is something Gabe Newell of Valve feared, and it looks like it really is starting to become true. While there's nothing wrong with having universal games that work on W10 and XBone, making sure developers have to stick to their store is a problem.
The problem here, is that Microsoft are using their money and their exclusivity deals to keep certain games only on the Windows Store which locks out Steam in the process. There may not be too many doing it yet, but you can be sure over time Microsoft will sign more of these Windows 10 exclusive deals like they have with Quantum Break. Ars [Technica] actually put it quite well in their article here:
Unfortunately for Spencer, not only has the PC as gaming platform seen little improvement from Microsoft--bar DirectX 12--but the company's one-platform-fits-all approach simply isn't going to fly on PC. The PC community has its own rules and expectations. Forcing console-like restrictions on a group that values freedom was never going to end well. And now, with those people backed into a corner with Quantum Break--one of this year's most highly anticipated games--the backlash is only going to get bigger.
On this same theme (different kingpin), El Reg reports:
Microsoft wants to lock everyone into its store via universal Windows apps, says game kingpin
The founder of Epic Games says that Microsoft is trying to lock Windows developers into using its app store for all their products.
"Here, Microsoft is moving against the entire PC industry--including consumers (and gamers in particular), software developers such as Epic Games, publishers like EA and Activision, and distributors like Valve and Good Old Games", Sweeney writes.
[...] While Microsoft says that the aim of the platform is to simplify software development and compatibility, Sweeney charges that UWP, and the unique Windows features it gives access to, will also kill off third-party software stores and developers who want to directly sell their software without paying Microsoft a 30 per cent cut.
"The ultimate danger here is that Microsoft continually improves UWP while neglecting and even degrading win32, over time making it harder for developers and publishers to escape from Microsoft's new UWP commerce monopoly", he said.
"Ultimately, the open win32 Windows experience could be relegated to Enterprise and Developer editions of Windows."
UK government blocks Microsoft's proposed Activision purchase
In its long-awaited final report, the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority said that Microsoft's proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision would "result in a substantial lessening of competition" (SLC) in the supply of cloud-gaming services in the UK. As such, the regulator said that "the only effective remedy to this SLC and its adverse consequences is to prohibit the Merger."
The final report cites Microsoft's "strong position" in the cloud-gaming sector, where the company has an estimated 60 to 70 percent market share that makes it "already much stronger than its rivals." After purchasing Activision, the CMA says Microsoft "would find it commercially beneficial to make Activision's titles exclusive to its own cloud gaming service."
Microsoft has in recent months signed deals with Nvidia and smaller cloud-gaming providers in an attempt to "mak[e] even more clear to regulators that our acquisition of Activision Blizzard will make Call of Duty available on far more devices than before," as Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith said in a statement last month. But the CMA said these kinds of cloud-gaming deals—which Microsoft submitted to the CMA as a proposed remedy for any anticompetitive effects of the merger—were "limited to cloud gaming providers with specific business models" and thus not sufficient to address the regulator's concerns.
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