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Dear Microsoft: It's time to bring your PC games to Steam

A few months ago I wrote a piece detailing how utterly terrible the Windows 10 Store (now called the Microsoft Store) is for core gamers (or well, almost anyone, really), but what has changed since then? Sadly, not a whole lot.

Microsoft has addressed many of my criticisms, but mainly the superficial ones. There's a new row showcasing PC games specifically near the top of the page. The "top rated" games (i.e. bad casino mobile apps full of fake reviews) are now listed at the bottom of the store. There's a section showcasing games enabled with Xbox Live, and hey, there's even quite a few decent titles in there now, including Middle-earth: Shadow of War (opens in new tab), GWENT: A Witcher Card Game (opens in new tab), and recently, The Long Dark (opens in new tab). But it's not enough.

This fall-winter gaming season has made me realize that, for Microsoft Studios to grow both in terms of credibility and mindshare, they have to give up on Microsoft Store exclusivity. It's probably too late to fix its reputation.

Cuphead becomes a meme, because of Steam

Microsoft seemingly sank a lot of money into Cuphead, the maddeningly difficult and artistically awe-inspiring platformer from Studio MDHR. While not a Microsoft Studios-published title, Cuphead enjoys permanent exclusivity on Xbox One, presumably in exchange for marketing efforts and investment. Cuphead was delayed quite a bit to expand the scope of the game, adding more bosses and platforming levels into the mix over the course of development.

Cuphead on Microsoft Store, 18 user reviews vs. Cuphead on Steam, 14,500 user reviews.

Cuphead sold an incredible 1 million copies in two weeks, which is outstanding for a side-scrolling platformer from a fresh IP. The game's art style, punishingly rewarding gameplay, and overall quality really helped it achieve serious success, as well as word-of-mouth, influencer YouTube and streaming content, and piles and piles of memes.

"Cupsouls," is one such meme, a portmanteau of Dark Souls and Cuphead, in honor of the game's difficulty. Cuphead's "learn-by-dying" gameplay is superficially reminiscent of Dark Souls' hardcore ARPG combat, which rewards players for persistence and patience. Perhaps it's also to mock game journalists who describe any hard game as being "like Dark Souls."

Memes and fandom are organic things, and every time a corporate entity attempts to tap into them, it's almost always a cringefest. Memes are the social media equivalent of word-of-mouth, and the discussion revolving around Cuphead certainly helped it reach a bigger audience. There's no real way to measure this, of course, but I'd be willing to bet money that Cuphead wouldn't have achieved its fandom/memetic status without hitting Steam. It certainly wouldn't have achieved its sales success having been locked to the Microsoft Store on PC.

The same can be said about other quality Xbox console exclusives that hit UWP and Steam, including Ori and the Blind Forest. Killer Instinct might have fared better had it launched on Steam, instead of years after the fact. Imagine how much bigger Halo 5's eSports scene could have been if it was on Steam? Etcetera, etcetera.

Many "core" gamers, the sort likely to share and celebrate the culture of games online are often on PC, and for them, Steam is the de-facto king of PC games distribution. How does Microsoft expect to reach that audience when its store simply sucks, even for the basics?

YouTube gaming "influencers," the major PC discussion forums, subreddits, and beyond, it's always about Steam, and games that arrive via Steam. Save for exceptions like Blizzard's Battle.net, which has earned its place on PC across decades of solid online services and high-quality games.

When it comes to Microsoft-backed titles, giving a game like Cuphead a Microsoft Store restriction on PC wouldn't have just hurt the reach of the game, but it creates that negative association on PC that Microsoft has earned itself through the continuing tragedy that is the Windows 10 app store. Microsoft Store exclusivity hurts PC games, it doesn't help PC games.

It's time to give up on Microsoft Store exclusivity

Microsoft has had years to solve even the most incredibly basic issues with the Windows 10 app store, and yet it continues to pass the buck. Forza Motorsport 7 and Middle-earth: Shadow of War launched a few weeks ago, plagued by download issues owing to the fact the Microsoft Store still struggles with large file sizes. This is basic stuff, and the fact that it wasn't fixed for the launch of these flagship UWP titles speaks to me of complacency or, just plain apathy.

It's the Windows team that handles the Microsoft Store, for some reason, when it should probably be Xbox. The Xbox Store has no such issues handling large file sizes, even when you interrupt downloads mid-way. The same cannot be said for the Microsoft Store on Windows, which in some cases, an interrupted download can lead to having to re-download the entire game again, blowing up data caps. Some of these games are pushing 100 GB due to 4K assets, so to have the download restart at the last minute is just unforgiveable, particularly if you have a particularly bad ISP.

There's still no easy way to access your game library, as we get on Steam. It's still a chore to filter and discover new games, compared to Steam. And still, the Microsoft Store is crammed with shovelware, casino games, and the haunted remains of its dead mobile platform. Dangling like a shrivelled, vestigial limb.

The Microsoft Store actually stopped working for a while as I was writing this.

The Microsoft Store actually stopped working for a while as I was writing this.

The difference between the Xbox version of the Microsoft Store on console and the Microsoft Store for games on PC is almost night and day. Clear and useful categories rather than hidden filters, dedicated (and fast) game library section for installation management, quick access to social features, and so on. On PC, we have an incredibly, woefully, painfully clunky Xbox app, which does have some of these features too, but UWP doesn't seem to be a fast enough vehicle for a program with this sort of complexity. No self respecting PC gamer is going to choose Xbox Clubs over Discord or Steam for keeping in touch with their clan, because even on a quad-core PC the Xbox app is slow as molasses, and that's when it isn't crashing.

I never use Microsoft's gaming ecosystem on PC out of choice, it's always because I'm forced to. I like the usability of UWP containers vs. legacy Win32 implementations for games (when they work), but the apps that power and catalog these experiences are never a pleasant experience to use. It all just continues to feel like an afterthought for Microsoft. Recently, it was updated with fluent design translucency and a new icon, though. Hooray.

End of the road

Even if the most cynical scenario is true, that Microsoft's approach to this stuff is do as little as possible, to make as much money as possible, surely simply putting games like Forza Motorsport 7, Halo Wars 2, and ReCore Definitive Edition on Steam is a surefire way to approach this, rather than fixing their own store. And the thing is, I know this scenario isn't true. I know there are people at Microsoft and Xbox who genuinely want to create a good experience for PC gamers.

Putting titles on Steam will mean Valve gets a cut of the profits, but perhaps Microsoft can begin patching its reputation with the PC gaming audience whose historical mistrust of Microsoft (due to Games for Windows Live) has only been tempered by the debacle that is the Microsoft Store. If you're going to emulate something, like Steam, you'd better hope that your attempts at least approach the same level of quality. Otherwise, being forced to use it is just going to breed resentment.

Cuphead and others might not have achieved the status they did if Redmond had restricted them to the Microsoft Store as part of an exclusivity deal. And sure, it's not just because the Microsoft Store isn't nice to use, it's also because it's exclusive to Windows 10. Many PC gamers opt in to Windows 7, an incredibly old OS, because they don't see the value in upgrading. That's a whole other problem.

Previously there was a legitimate reason to restrict games to UWP and the Windows 10 Store to serve cross-play for games like Killer Instinct, but since Steam has now opened up its systems to Xbox Live cross-play the barriers are gone.

All the Microsoft Store does is punish gamers who want to play Microsoft games.

At the end of the day, it looks as though Microsoft is actively exploring porting its games across to Steam anyway. Halo Wars Definitive Edition already arrived, and I've seen some evidence that Halo Wars 2 could be following it. But what of the mainline Halos, Forzas, and Gears of Wars of the world? Why the inconsistency and arbitrary restrictions? I think it's time to bite the bullet, so to speak.

I want to reiterate that there are people at Microsoft and Xbox who want to fix this, it's just doesn't seem to be a priority higher up the Windows chain. There's also nobody who wants the Microsoft ecosystem to succeed more than me, but it has just become apparent that the drive to succeed in this area isn't there.

The Microsoft Store is "fine" for those who are just using it for Xbox Play Anywhere titles across from their Xbox One, but for dedicated PC-gamers, if it can't offer the usability Steam delivers, or other PC distribution platforms for that matter. All the Microsoft Store does is punish gamers who want to play Microsoft games. That's not helping Microsoft's image as a game publisher, it's not helping those developers and games to make money, and certainly, its not helping gamers.

Jez Corden
Jez Corden

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

87 Comments
  • Or preferably, Steam games to the Microsoft Store. :) I say both ways would be awesome!
  • But to add to your point, Jez, yes....high download sizes and years of trouble with the store are still plaguing the platform. I'm hoping somehow this gets resolved so we can actually work on apps and better games for the platform. Nice work. :)
  • Hope is all we have though. I actually like the MS store for apps (fueled, no doubt, by my Windows Phone love) but I've surprised myself. Upon getting a Mixed Reality headset I find myself not buying Windows Store games that I can get on Steam even though I have no choice. I'm waiting until I can buy them on Steam for my headset. Why? Well, firstly because of the great Steam ecosystem and community, secondly because MS insist on charging more (or having few decent sales), and thirdly because I want to be able to access my games library easily after Windows Store goes the way of GFWL. See, I'm an experienced Microsoft victim at this point. I didn't even expect that I'd do this, but I have. And I'm a huge MS fan/victim. Kinda says it all.
  • I think the most vialble option would be to do what other developers have done and put a "Launcher" for downloading the Windows 10 Games through steam.
    You goto Steam and click the download button and it gets the launcher data and then it automatically downloads through the Microsoft Store but can be launched either way using both Xbox Live data and Steam data giving you the choice between the two, to use as your default "Party Chat" (or discord..) Enable crossplay between Xbox Live servers and Steam servers for these titles exclusively at first allowing the funtion to become relevent enough for later use in all video games. (unless your sony..)
  • If Microsoft used the Windows Store to be competitive on pricing, I would agree. Putting Steam games on the Windows Store would probably just sucker customers into paying higher prices for the headaches just described in this article.
  • Me too and they playanywhere feature is a must...
  • Steam games to the Microsoft Store even better
  • Microsoft could do that through a similar program to GOG Connect, which allowed people to bring their games to GOG; and thus bring more users to GOG. Same could be done for Microsoft, e.g. own Rise of Nations on Steam, well we will give you a copy to your MS account and allow you to build a base of game on MS Store that will hopefully convince you to buy future titles there.
  • The problem is that it requires devs to sign off on giving away another license that they would rather sell. That's why GOG Connect Titles are only available for short periods of time and it's only a few titles each time, the deals need to be individually negotiated.
  • The problem is that it requires devs to sign off on giving away another license that they would rather sell. That's why GOG Connect Titles are only available for short periods of time and it's only a few titles each time, the deals need to be individually negotiated.
  • The problem is that it requires devs to sign off on giving away another license that they would rather sell. That's why GOG Connect Titles are only available for short periods of time and it's only a few titles each time, the deals need to be individually negotiated.
  • True, it takes a lot of work to negotiate individual deals like this, but if Microsoft really wanted to make users use their store they would try something like this; At the very least MS should offer this with their own games, I think that would already bring a lot of people to their store.  
  • How will that be helpful ? Apart from increasing the no of games in ms store ?
    If these are problems in the store ?? I really want ms to be at top in all the fields....
    But...don't get your point
  • Well, except the inferior sales prices and the download issues just mentioned...yeah, let me pay an extra $5-10 and have to fight to get a game installed, that's even better! "Better" would be if Microsoft made the store a functionally competitive platform to Steam, in a way that both made customers want to buy from them (like better sales prices) and got developers to buy into Play Anywhere.
  • All good points. But I think the issue from Microsoft isn't that they would be giving up a cut of the sales of it's own games to steam. I think it's that they need the store so that they can get a cut of ALL software sales. And the first party titles are one of the only draws they have. Charging for operating systems is very old school... what they really want is a piece of software sales like Apple and Google have on their mobile platforms. How they haven't stuck their best people on this from the beginning to at least provide the infrastructure to make this happen is difficult to understand. It feels like Windows Phone... they want to accomplish something, but they don't put anywhere near enough resources into it to make it happen quickly enough for it to have any chance of success. So it dies a very slow and painful death.
  • What MS and Nadella don't seem to understand is that they will never have the same source of revenue as Google or Apple without a competent mobile platform; The nature of PC is completely different and it is an uphill battle to try to convert an open PC Win32 system to a closed UWP system under MS control; it just won't happen and definitely not with the current state of the Store.    
  • This would make sense if the roles were turned but... Microsoft is so much more diverse than either of those companies. Google make 90% of their money on selling personal information and Apple makes somewhere around 95% of their money on their iPhone. Microsoft makes money everywhere. They dont rely on one source and is a lot more stable.
  • Sure, that is true; but it does not change the fact that if MS wants to have a succesfull OS store they need a mobile OS;  
  • Microsoft makes a **** ton of money selling your data too Giddora...don't kid yourself.   If you think otherwise,  time to take off the tinfoil hat.
  • I agree, and didn't contradict what you are saying. Mobile is a HUGE part of the puzzle, and is another major issue with the store being successful. It all goes back to wanting the same apps on mobile and desktop. There are so many huge advantages to using the store for apps... if they had a successful mobile platform it would have been a much easier road. But if you're not going to get a cut of any of the app/game sales, and you have to end up giving away the OS on hardware (which seems like a realistic possibility down the line), why even make an OS? I think that's the pickle they're in... if they want to continue making Windows they need to monetize it. MS doesn't look at the whole company when they are monetizing... they look at each product (mostly, with a few exceptions like Bing and whatnot). If they can't make income off Windows than they need to justify its existence in some way. Otherwise they just go with Azure and truly become an IBM type organization.
  • One issue is that your'e assuming they simply give up a cut of sales, and that's it. Instead, that Cuphead image and caption showcased the reality of it: 18 Windows Store reviews vs. 14,500 on Steam? OK, they give Steam 30% of the income, then get an extra 500-1000 times the buyers? I think increasing sales 10,000% would make up for the cut Valve got, don't you? It's funny they want a bigger chunk of software sales, and you say they avoid Steam becuase of sharing profits, yet they let retailers eat into their profits with the lower margins of physical sales and the inability to compete on pricing with those physical retailers. They somehow want to get more sales and keep money, yet they won't be competitive on price? It's bizarre to me.
  • That again is only looking at the one game. Microsoft I believe is looking at trying to make the Windows Store the place to buy all your games, giving them a cut of games they didn't make. They may be willing to sacrifice sales on Gears if it means getting people to try out the Windows Store. Unfortunately, as the article notes, the experience isn't good enough that people will want to continue buying from it rather than Steam. As for physical competition, I would say they're looking at the long game... which is that physical goes away. Why would they lower digital prices now and create pricing level expectations when that is going to be the platform of the future? Better for them to leave digital prices high. I also think you're looking at it in reverse... it's not that digital has to lower it's price to compete with physical, it's that physical is lowering price to try and compete with the benefits of digital and slow it's takeover.
  • They need to push all the games through the Xbox app. The Xbox app has a nice display of games like the console does so they should push all they games through there and take them out of the store.
  • I agree. The view of the store through the Xbox app is much better. There is even a view to manage the games installed on your PC...
  • Great article, that very well sums up the situation with MS and their stance o PC gaming; been a while since I managed to make it through a whole WC article, but this was a good read; It seems to me the MS Store is getting the same treatment Windows Phone was getting before its shut down, little innovation and change for a very long time, frustrated users, lost potential, etc, etc. just another one of Microsoft's missed opportunities; but now its too late to salvage it without building some serious good will with PC gamers by bringing all of Microsofts exclusive titles over to distributors like GOG and Steam, and hope over time as people enjoy those titles they will give an improved MS Store a try; What would also help to drive people to MS Store is if they implemented a similar program to GOG Connect; I don't have official stats, but from experience and what I heard from others it worked really well for driving people to use GOG and GOG Galaxy.    
  • Yep, same treatment as windows mobile...
  • If they did this though Jez, the whole Xbox play anywhere system would have to be abandoned. I don't disagree with you but personally that's one of my favourite new services/concepts/whatever you want to call it - that Microsoft has come up with in the last few years. I strongly doubt Steam would allow Xbox play anywhere to integrate into their system (would eat into their profits I'm sure) and even if they did, there's a lot of backend systems around purchasing that would likely need to be aligned.
  • You only like Xbox Play Anywhere because you already own an Xbox Console; for core PC gamers that only game on PC, its irrelevant;  
  • Yeah very good point, although I'd be surprised if absolutely no PC games liked the idea of being able to pick up their progress and play on a console. I get that streaming etc gives a similar concept too but it's a great system as it is and it would be a shame to see it lost
  • I agree Play Anywhere is a great concept and adds ton of value to Xbox owners who also have a mid to decent PC, but so far solely for PC gamers its of limited value, as most PC gamers are not keen to start using another PC game store especially not one with a legacy of GFWL failures and one that is light years behind the competiton such as Steam and GOG.  
  • This is pretty much me.  I'm willing to look into more digital purchases only because I like the option of Play Anywhere as I feel it gives value to digital games, which I normally wouldn't consider as a console gamer.  The Xbox games on the store have always struck me as being a perk geared more towards console gamers and a bone thrown towards PC Gamers who have complained for years about wanting access to console exclusives.  It's not that PC Gamers can't download the games they want from the store, it's that they (somewhat understandably) don't want to, which is a dilemma to be sure.
  • Would it have to be? They could simply take it out of the Steam versions. You don't get Play Anywhere if you buy Cuphead or Shadow of War on Steam, yet they exist over there. Why can't Microsoft do the same? Heck, why couldn't they work with Steam on a cross-store license? You buy from the Windows Store, and you get a universal PC-console save system and a Steam key. You buy on Steam and you have the universal saves and get a Windows Store key. Seems doable and beneficial, and you have the keys flowing back and forth to keep Play Anywhere alive (it might hurt cross-play, but Rocket League and a few others seem to manage).
  • Yeah as I said if stream allowed the system of cross purchasing theres no doubt a lot of work but it's possible (anything is possible!) The only other option would be to sell without play anywhere, which I could see confusing consumers
  • SHUT UP! 
  • AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!! We were talking about memes right???   /s
  • "If you're going to emulate something, like Steam, you'd better hope that your attempts at least approach the same level of quality. Otherwise, being forced to use it is just going to breed resentment."   And this is exactly why Microsoft is failing. Even the most basic functions you use every single day in steam isn't there in the Windows store. No library list of titles you own right off the bat. It's crazy to think that they have a store and you can't easily find what you've purchased.
    And for the times when you DO want to purchase something, anything, finding it is a lackluster experience because the store has few to no ways of filtering content to find what you want.
  • What? https://www.windowscentral.com/sites/wpcentral.com/files/styles/larger/p...
  • But the store is so well put together. Steam is... just a web portal.
  • LOL, good one;
  • Steam has a much bigger library. It has a much bigger user base. It has much more competitive pricing and bigger and better sales. As the author stated, Steam doesn't fight the customer when large file sizes are present, but the Microsoft Store does. In what way is the MS Store better, beyond Play Anywhere?
  • Hey I'm not saying it's better or worse, in fact steam is superior in my opinion due to the Steam Sales. I'm saying I like how the Microsoft Store looks and feels better than steam. Using steam makes me feel like I'm back in 2010 so I like using the store whenever possible.
  • Plus Steam takes way too long to start up compared to the Store. I know it technically has messaging features and doesn't just watch for updates, but the Xbox app (thanks to UWP) does this in the background without any need for launching an app and sticking an icon in the tray, or increasing my PC boot time. Neither platform is perfect, but one is clearly more popular and has been around longer. I just thought something like Steam would have a modern user interface by now and be much more optimized
  • Groove Music -> Spotify
    Movies & TV -> Netflix
    Books -> Amazon Kindle
    Xbox -> Steam
    Xbox console -> 'Console' running Steam games. Like a Steam Machine. I don't believe that this will happen by the way. But Azure...
  • Id much prefer Microsoft to use their own store (with improvements that it needs fast) and also as DRM free on GOG. Steam has too much of a monopoly on PC gaming as it is.
  • GOG has been a breadth of fresh air in the Steam Monopoly, and after getting a few games transfered over during GOG Connect events, I find myself using GOG more then Steam for new purchases as you truly own your games and are not tied down with any DRM; sure GOG Galaxy is not yet as refined as Steam but its getting there, and you don't even need to use it you can simply download and install games the old fashion way without any clients. Microsoft on the other hand has brough nothing new that would entice PC gamers to consider MS Store as opposed to Steam or GOG. I just don't get how MS expects to compete without any innovation or at the very least feature parity.    
  • I think you confuse the word monopoly for popular. 
  • A new, disgustingl ugly logo, I might add.
  • "instead of years after the fact. Imagine how much bigger Halo 5's eSports scene could have been if it was on Steam? Etcetera, etcetera." Halo 5 sp\mp is still console exlusive.... 
  • Thats the whole point; if MS brought it over to PC they would be making millions and be in to compete with the best PC esport games.
  • Personally I don't like any of these. I rather game stop be the store front for pc games lol. One store to buy all games. Screw origin, uplay, steam, windows store, and whatever ecosystem crap that has to plague my pc lol. Well can't stop windows store. But the rest blahhhh. 
  • Then why don't you buy from GOG? One store and you don't have to install any client and you can play and install your bought games however you like.  
  • BTW.........win store is the only distribution platform for games which is free from piracy.
    Steam games even with dunevo get cracked easily......but not ms store games.
    So...ms should improve ms store.
  • LOL, are you seriously on with the PC piracy BS again? Just look at the profits The Witcher 3 made for CDPR on PC and they used zero DRM BS that just hurts legit buyers. The way to win PC gamers and stop pirates is to provide a good product and treat your customers the right way; and not treat all your customers as thiefs and pirates like EA and Ubisoft like to do, and once they cripple their own games they complain about pirates, LOL, the stupidity of some game publishers is hilarious.  
  • I know witcher 3 was an awesome & well received game.....n yes it may have lots of profits as well....
    But my point is....that developers miss out a lot of profit only because of piracy.
  • That profit could have been way more then what it actually was.....hope I get my point now.
  • Does someone know if the Steam ARK Version will support Crossplay/PlayAnywhere feature to play with XBOX One/Windows 10? Or is "Instinct" the only title to support the 3 platforms?
    http://www.pcgamer.com/killer-instinct-on-steam-will-support-cross-play-...
  • No. Steam is arguably the worst store there is anywhere on the globe and I wouldn't rent (since you do not own any) games from them ever again.   I wouldn't mind Microsoft and Gog teaming up though. The people behind Gog have people in mind unlike the corporate minds at Steam/Valve.
  • A Microsoft - GOG partnership would be interesting, getting all MS games DRM free on GOG would make me empty my wallet, and the partnership would provide a stronger counter-balance to Steams almoust monopoly of the PC gaming market.  
  • Steam lets you get a refund wihtin 24 hours of play on a game. They put games on much better sales. They don't "rent" to you any more than Microsoft's "free" Games with Gold force you into an XBL sub that you must pay or lose access to those games. You can have an Xbox account banned and lose the ability to play your digital library online just as you can on Steam. Microsoft evne locks you into a specific OS to play its games, where as Steam covers you across about 10-15 years of Windows and OSX anD Linus and their own SteamOS (is that still up and running?). The Microsoft Store, thanks to the inferior sale prices (compared to Sony, Valve, and physical retailers), along with the complaints in this article, comes off as the worst digital storefront of the bunch. Doesn't make those ones the best, but Microsoft is sorely lacking against Steam, no question.
  •   MS said that their focus is enterprise and it is visible on the quality of the apps/platform they release to use, consumers. Microsoft store/xbox app is far VERY from being useful or useable.  Worst interface I have ever used.   They just need to build partnership with steam and relase the games there.  A very reliable platform with a very  friendly interface ... what else do they want?    
  • What I see for now is PC games by MS on one side, available on MS Store (xbox & w10) & steam. And Xbox games on the other side, available on MS Store (xbox & w10) only   On my side I've downloaded 2 big games on the MS Store, and never experienced any issue. The dl is slower to start than on steam, but faster after that. However the store's UI is pretty bad for this use case, and it lacks useful features for gamers.
  • I personally hope ms store stays as is (separate from steam). My personal experience with ms store on win 10 has been perfect. Downloading and playing over a dozen xbox games and yet to have any problems. They just need more games but the play anywhere aspect is awesome love it.
  • Yeah I don't agree Jez. Yes MS store has work to do, but steam is a jumble of worthless titles and nearly fake news games. MS should make all XBOX games available through the store including all backwards compatible titles. Use their IP to promote their store. And for the love of God get steam onto Xbox.
  • Yeah, putting their games on Steam is a huge, myopic mistake.
  • You can't see it? It's a program that is a portal to Steam's website with some extra functionality. It may be the undisputed king of PC game distribution but it is certainly not implemented very well.
  • How about they expand every Xbox game to the Windows store instead of keeping it stuck on that hardware?
  • Not that simple. They can't force developers to partiicpate, especially when talking about older games that would need code rewritten to move it over. Bullying developers is a great way to get developers out of your platform. This is especially so if you try to fight with EA to move off their own PC platform (Origin) to support your own (Microsoft Store). That would be a messy, bloody fight.
  • I don't know what we are all worried about. Nutella is a genius. He will fix this. 🤣
  • Just like he fixed the phone issues!
  • The author sounds like a salty Steam fanboy. Not only that, but one that doesn't use the Windows Store, yet has the audacity to criticize it and tell Microsoft to throw in the towel. Like how he compares the 18 reviews for Cuphead against Steam's 14,000, but doesn't seem to realize that number only shows reviews from the latest update and the number of reviews on the Windows Store is more like 400. Does it come close to Steam numbers? No. But that number is still nothing to scuff at either. That isn't my only issue. Why would the author cherry pick an example where gamers have a choice of where to buy their game? Of course people are more likely to buy their games from Steam since people like to keep their games in one place. Having at least 400 sold copies on the Windows Store when Steam is an option shows how the Windows Store is growing. How about looking at the numbers for Windows Store exclusive games and tell me no one is playing. But my biggest issue is how the author completely ignores the advantages it has over Steam and other stores. Xbox Play Anywhere, Xbox Live, not having to open the store to play a game, but most of all, crossplay. Is the Windows Store perfect? No. It can improve a lot on how you can filter certain types of games and do a better job hiding mobile apps, but it is improving against Steam that has had over a decade of a head start.
  • 400 is laughable too. All your advantages require an XBOX and a Windows gaming PC. I bet that is relatively few people, atleast less than you think. Microsoft doesn't need more gimmicks. They need great products and experiences even with only a single device.
  • Actually is is much cheaper to own an Xbox than a gaming PC, so no reason for Microsoft not to do what it can to get people to own both.  So, this subject points directly to people with both an Xbox and gaming PC, could afford both (because they already have the expensive gaming PC), or they are trying to be gamers on lowend computers, and really, Xbox would serve them much better.
  • Which is why I say, Phil Spencer and co have done amazing turn around with Xbox. The rest of Microsoft should take note when it comes to dealing with consumers. Like it or not, mostly consumers such as PC Gamers are going to be using the windows store and not enterprise users. You hit the nail on the head, Jez - Microsoft under current management (minus the Xbox team - since Phil Spencer just joined the SLT) wants to do as little as possible for the most money possible. Which is why we see them cashing in on ios and android whilst neglecting their own platform. I too am forced to buy games through Steam, if I had a choice it would be via the store. The Microsoft store lacks so many things that PC gamers need. Such as adding custom textures, which may not be much to some... but if you see some of the custom textures for cars in GTA 5 and past games upto 3. It will make your jaws drop.
  • It's the Store. The Store is the main issue. I can write a full essay on how the Store is lacking features (some minor and some major) years behind other platforms. But I won't because I already gave them feedback through the Feedback App. Hopefully, they'll listen.
  • Totally against everything being on Steam, sorry. Monopolies are bad for everyone.
  • Same here. If the game is available anywhere else outside of Steam, I rather get it there 😁
  • In console war, everyone wants exclusive on xbox You want games to be available on steam! What should MS do? Create a parallel universe?  
  • There is no windows 10 exclusive! It's just playanywhere concept and now WinMR for games to exists on Microsoft store;")
  • I can't be the only one on this planet who loves the Microsoft Store... But anyway, they addressed many issues recently, and are working on it hard. And as I already said earlier, how do you expect people to use the MS Store, if there's no reason for them to use it? Exclusivity is a good way of doing this, just look at Sony...
  • The main reason why i love steam is the workshop. On the type of games i play most, the workshop with all the mods and assets is just great.
  • I never had problem running a game downloaded from Microsoft Store. I had problems with about half of the Steam games. Plus Steam is annoying and not really user friendly. I agree MS Store needs competition to improve, but I really like GOG as the alternative.
  • If you can't beat'em, buy'em.
  • A few months of hard work and Microsoft could correct the download and game selection issues with the Microsoft Store. As well as Xbox App issues.
  • no way . if that happens nobody's gonna buy xbox any more
  • All these points are exactly why I’ve been voting woth my wallet since the start. Beyond a couple mobiles games when I was a Windows Phone 8 owner they’ve seen none of my money. Doesn’t matter if I want Halo, doesn’t matter if I wanted Killer Instinct, I bought neither... not until KI was on Steam.   I won’t buy a game from a terrible platform and the inability to do an nth of what Steam does for game libraries has soured me on it. Not to mention the store is in a very strange position now that it lacks a mobile home. I just don’t want to invest in something I’m not sure will stick around or that I myself will stick around for.   hopefully MS solved these issues but it seems so far down the priority list I won’t wait on them. In the meantime literally any other digital store can have my cash
  • I think the most vialble option would be to do what other developers have done and put a "Launcher" for downloading the Windows 10 Games through steam.
    You goto Steam and click the download button and it gets the launcher data and then it automatically downloads through the Microsoft Store but can be launched either way using both Xbox Live data and Steam data giving you the choice between the two, to use as your default "Party Chat" (or discord..) Enable crossplay between Xbox Live servers and Steam servers for these titles exclusively at first allowing the funtion to become relevent enough for later use in all video games. (unless your sony..)
  • I see nothing wrong with MS trying to get more market share regarding game sales...look at Google Store and Apple Store, where millions of dollars of revenue is generated daily hosting game creators titles on their store(servers)...no different than Steam. MS sells a copy of Windows, but after does not make a penny, yet spends a ton maintaining and updating the OS.  Also, did you know that unlike consoles, phones, etc...MS does not make a penny for games sold for Windows unless it's sold in their own stores? So why not want a piece of the pie?  Nevertheless, what does confuse me is that Xbox online stores work very well and when they provide gifting and hopefully wishlists, they will be even better, so why is the Windows Store so flawed?  Let's hope they can fix their problem...