Microsoft is showing how valuable the Windows platform is as it tells developers that it anticipates roughly $100 million of Windows Store gift cards will be available this holidays for use on Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox digital content. The company says that during the holiday season, developers will also generate 2.5 times more revenue than during the rest of the year.
Microsoft says of its conversations with game publishers:
"Now when we talk with the top game publishers the conversation is more along the lines of, 'Hey, let's collaborate to bring a full portfolio of your games to the platform in the same timeframe,'" says Guggenheimer. "And we're going to see a wave of those portfolios this holiday. This multi-title approach allows publishers to more quickly gain expertise in developing on the platform and start generating revenue, while allowing our Store to deliver more popular titles to our customers, sooner."
The company quotes Anatoly Ropotov of Game Insight as saying that games are more popular than any other downloads right now in the Windows Store.
"Windows Store is a pretty open platform that has a lot of space for new developers to come in and find niches and genres others haven't released. The growth of the platform and its velocity show that it's not a quick fad, it's here to stay," says Ropotov, who attributes the company's speedy success to investing in Microsoft's cross-platform tools and monetization resources. "Once we discovered the Stores were coming to Windows, we decided to take some of the in-house C++ games that we had developed on other platforms and add support for Windows Store. We've paved this road and created a showcase product of free-to-play games on Windows and Windows Phone that could work for other developers out there."
And with support for middleware providers like Unity, developers can target multiple platforms to bring in more revenues.
Taking advantage of this, Game Insight's portfolio of more than 35 games uses a variety of middleware, including Unity. On the Windows and Windows Phone platform, the number of Unity-based titles has increased 10 times in the last year.
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