Gears 5 severs ties with UWP for Windows 10 PC release

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has dropped its UWP app platform for Gears 5 for Windows 10.
  • Gears 5 will utilize Win32 via Steam and the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft continues to revitalize its PC gaming efforts, committing to first-party experiences built around the mouse and keyboard, alongside ancillary services led by Xbox Game Pass. The accompanying Microsoft Store has evolved with this transition, welcoming a wave of PC games tapping into the Win32 API, as developers failed to embrace Windows 10's Universal Windows Platform (UWP). And with Gears 5 soon headed to Xbox One and PC, it appears Microsoft is among the latest distancing itself from UWP experiences.

Gears 5 shows potential for a strong PC debut, expanding to Steam alongside a wealth of PC-tailored tuning. The title also surprisingly boasts support for Windows 7, and now appears to be entirely ditching UWP app platform. With functionality regularly falling short amid the platform's infancy, it seems Microsoft is the latest to fall back on the legacy API for its next blockbuster.

Microsoft Store and Steam variants now shift to Win32, as confirmed by Liam Ashley, Senior Community Manager at The Coalition. The move brings the flexibility of such applications, overcoming compatibility hurdles UWP titles faced with underlying changes.

Early plans for Universal Windows Platform were truly modern universal apps that let developers build once, scaling across device types, and phasing out legacy experiences. Microsoft has built out its UWP gaming technologies in time but still falls behind decades of work backing Win32. While UWP seemingly has a future at Microsoft, it looks to have taken a backseat, not only in gaming.

In the meantime, Gears 5 remains available for preorder, ahead of a slated September 10 launch for Xbox and PC.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.