Microsoft is throwing its weight behind Steam, pledging Gears 5, Age of Empires, and more for PC

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Microsoft unveiled Xbox Game Pass for PC today, revealing that 75+ developers have pledged support for the new subscription service, including PC heavyweights like Sega, Paradox Interactive, Bethesda, and dozens more, curating a list of over 100 games. Alongside Xbox Game Pass for PC, Microsoft announced that Gears 5, Age of Empires Definitive Editions 1, 2, and 3 are also all coming to Steam, pledging further support for an open Windows gaming ecosystem.

With that in mind, our intent is to make our Xbox Game Studios PC games available in multiple stores, including our own Microsoft Store on Windows, at their launch. We believe you should have choice in where you buy your PC games.In March, we announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will come to PC later this year, launching on Steam in addition to the Microsoft Store on Windows. We will continue to add to the more than 20 Xbox Game Studios titles on Steam, starting with Gears 5 and all Age of Empires I, II & III: Definitive Editions. We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we've heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice. We also know that there are other stores on PC, and we are working to enable more choice in which store you can find our Xbox Game Studios titles in the future.We want to bring players together to create a shared player community regardless of where they play, so it's our intent that new Xbox Game Studios titles include features such as voice and text chat, LFG, friends lists and cross-play across PC and console. On Windows 10 you'll find this functionality in the Xbox Game Bar, which we'll continue to evolve and expand.

Additionally, Microsoft has announced that the Windows 10 Microsoft Store will support traditional native Win32 games development and deployment, which represents a massive change of heart for the storefront. Up until now, games had to be bundled and ported to UWP, using tools like Project Centennial which developers have often found cumbersome.

More details should emerge from E3 2019 about how this stuff will work, and we'll be sure to try and get your questions answered too.

Related: Xbox Game Pass for PC list

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Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at 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!