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Microsoft will release some future PC games on Steam

Microsoft's Xbox leader Phil Spencer says the company plans to keep releasing some of its PC games on Valve's Steam service. It also will continue to expand the number of games on the Windows Store as well.

As part of E3 2016, Microsoft announced Xbox Play Anywhere, which will allow gamers to buy many of Microsoft's first-party titles for the Xbox One and to get the Windows 10 version of that same game for free from the Windows Store, and vice-versa. Many of those games will also support cross-play multiplayer between the two platforms. However, the biggest PC games store continues to be Steam.

In a chat on the Giant Bomb livestream (via GameSpot) Spencer says that Microsoft is not going to abandon Steam in terms of publishing games:

"I look at Steam today, it's on an incredible growth trajectory. It's a massive force in gaming; a positive force. I think it will be bigger a year from now than it is today. And five years later it will still be bigger again," he said. "I look at Valve as an important [independent software vendor] for us on Windows. They are a critical part of gaming's success on Windows. I don't think Valve's hurt by not having our first-party games in their store right now. They're doing incredible well. We will ship games on Steam again."

Spencer did not reveal which future PC games might be coming to Steam. At the same time, Spencer admitted that some of its own PC game launches in the Windows Store have not been received as well as others:

"They all haven't gone swimmingly. Some of them have gone well," he explained. "Forza 6 Apex did well. Quantum Break wasn't our best PC release. Killer Instinct did well on PC. Gears of War Ultimate Edition was OK--we definitely learned there."

Ultimately, Spencer believes having both Steam and Windows Store as places for PC gamers to get the latest titles is a good thing:

"There's going to be areas where we cooperate and there's going to be areas where we compete. The end result is better for gamers."

70 Comments
  • Just making that comment undermines the Windows 10 Store and erodes consumer trust in investing in it. Steam is Xbox's biggest competitor. They need to stop obsequiously fawning over Steam and undergird their own platform.
  • They don't really have a choice though. They need to make their Store experience better, to motivate users to actually want to use it. At the same time, they can't alienate the biggest game distribution patform on PC. It's more complicated than just choosing one platform to ditribute content in.
  • Indeed, the userbase and mindshare of Steam is just way too big and influential to ignore. If you want the favor of the bigger gaming community, you have to at least be open to Steam, despite being quite a competitor for games distribution, it actually benefits the Windows platform and Microsoft at the end. Windows Store is actually an issue here since it wasn't compelling enough for users and gamers to be a go-to store to download games for several reasons. Not to mention that the games that is contained in UWP have limitations and features missing that is staple on traditional PC games used by gamers. So both Windows Store and UWP both have an issue on why its not yet well received. Fortunately there are good progress already on Windows Store and this is also the one that's easier to address. The UWP issue on the other hand only can be addressed with new changes in SDK and the framework which likely needs waiting until next Windows 10 big update.
  • No it doesn't... Just because they publish some of their games on another network than their own doesn't mean anything. It just means they want to exist side by side with steam.
  • Microsoft have not really started well with the Windows store cripling AAA game releases so far and only slowly changing to gamer standards like no fps locks, etc. and after the absolute disaster that was GFWL that many PC gamers still think of whenever Microsoft is mentioned, and the destruction of key Microsoft PC franchises like Age of Empires (with Age of Empire Online shutdown) and Flight Simulator (with Flight shutdown) PC gamers don't really hold Microsoft in high regard. Not to mention the BS with waiting for over a year for Xbox controller windows drivers... etc.. Microsoft needs to try a hell of a lot harder to win PC gamers back from competing platforms like Steam and GOG.
  • Under the new CEO this is expected. Thank him for killing the new ecosystem before it even forms.
  • I think you need to let go of your irrational hate towards Steam.
  • Nothing about competion degrades or erodes consumer trust or confidence.  It may have an impact on future Windows Store sales but likely the free copy of the game you get when you buy a game in the store for the partner device will help build the Windows Store.
  • How's that gaming company you started working out? Quit being an armchair MBA.
  • I downloaded forza from msft store. I don't have any option to backup the 16 gigs of game data to reinstall in another system, or install in the same system incase of an format.
    Steam FTW !
  • please Quantum Break and FORZA nothing more needed :D
  • Actually I would like Killer Instinct too.
    Adding those games to the great valve library would be awesome (and to the almighty steam sale)
     
  • Please Microsoft ,buy steam already!
  • Is it some kind of meme or something? Saw people writing it but I could never realize why anybody would realy want it to happen.
  • Somehow I think it might happen
  • Jimmy, no you can't solve every problem with money.
  • Hell no. We need deiversity, not monopolies.
  • Steam needs to be separate from MS. MS just ruins all of its acquisition, and forget summer sales. MS won't grab the PC gamer market, and the Xbox is part of that problem. I don't know a single PC gamer that would like that, so are even switching to Linux which would be a problem it MS bought Steam. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They havent ruined Minecraft...
  • Yet.
  • You say "forget summer sales" but the seasonal Xbox sales have had better deals than steam for the last few years. 
  • Please no. We don't need Microsoft to have an almost monopoly on PC gaming. Besides, Gabe is filthy rich already and will never sell to Microsoft.
  • At least this gives people a choice - If certain games on Xbox Anywhere also go to Steam you can feel free to buy it but miss out on the Xbox One version I guess. Steam ultimately has way better sales, so if you JUST game on PC and Xbox Anywhere isn't of interest to you then you can hold out for the big sales which just don't happen on Microsoft/Xbox stores. I would love if they retro-actively added some games to Xbox Anywhere.
  • I bought several games, movies, and apps for 10 cents on the Microsoft Store last Christmas.  Big sales do happen there.  Also, the pricing on Steam and the Xbox One store have been almost identical during sales for the last couple of years - sometimes with the game having a slightly lower price on the Xbox One store (and sometimes vice-versa).
  • Maybe some of those are region specific. I don't really buy movies from the MS Store so I wouldn't notice those if they did happen really. I'm in the UK and there are some good deals (like BF4 and BF Hardline right now on Deals with Gold) but when Steam do their big sales there's nothing quite like it.
  • Next one is next week I think
  • The 10 cent thing was region specific, so no go here in EU.
  • They were also rentals, not purchases if I remember correctly. I rented 2 or 3 of the movies and then forgot to watch them. They expired after so long, I bleieve it was around 1 month or so.
  • Yeah the movies were rentals, but the albums and games were purchases.
  • Region specific.
  • PlayStation next. Microsoft as a software company should not limit itself to second rate Xbox.
  • Second rate? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes. PlayStation is double the size of Xbox ecosystem currently and even more come holiday season and PSVR.
  • @vhyr, every day you come here to troll. How can a company making double digit billions (and interesting enough for you to be reading _and_ posting to Windows Central every single day) be second rate. You really are tedious.
  • sadly for Sony Playstation is the only thing keeping their hardware afloat.  Their TV, stereo, everything else blows.  microsoft can keep chugging along until Playstation dies as sony dies a very slow painful death.
  • Isn't component business even more successful than PlayStation?
  • Their most profitable enterprise is their financial services division which offers banking, investment, and insurance services throughout Asia.
  • No, its life insurance and playstation, everything else Sony's is involved in is a disaster zone.
  • Like their mobile division what a shame. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (V10 or 5x)
  • Shame? Do you think apps are the future? Shame on closed mindedness.
  • Gabe would never allow do be acquired by MS. BTW, Quantum Break was a failure in PC. I´ll buy it, but only when it´s available on Steam
     
  • That makes no sense. Why would you buy a game only when it's on steam? You buy a game because you want to play it.
  • Steam is convenient. I would hate to have 200 games on Steam and 1 in the Windows Store, for an example. And gamers are all going to think the same. Steam is for real games - Microsoft can probably compete with Phone games.
  • And until the UWP limitations are gone I don't know why anyone would want the lessor version.
  • So you are limiting yourself because you basically want to have a digital order in library. Purpose of your purchase is to play the game, in the end you dont care if the game shows in steam library or Microsoft store library. I am forced to used Origin because of Battlefield, I am forced to use Uplay because of The Division and I am not crying about "but theyre not at the same place !!" But I understand you I used to be like that too. But trust me, dont be. Doesnt matter at the end of the day.
  • It definitely does matter if it's UWP vs. Win32.
  • It does to a social gamer. Steam's overlay is better than the equivalents on other platforms. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What social gamer is steam only? I havent heard of that before. Everyone I know has steam up all the time but still plays games from uPlay, Battlenet, Origin, etc. If a game is good gamers go where the game is to play it from my experience. Especially when all your friends go to that other platform to play.
  • On another note, chat systems for PC is insane. Skype, Discord, Steam, Curse, Ventrilo, Mumble, Teamspeak... What the heck! Way to many chat platforms :).
  • Ubisoft sells games through steam, thus uplay is just minor inconvenience when booting up game through steam. Origin, however, is whole another story. Sadly, there's no other place to get a bit of EA titles...that is if they worth bying, mind you. As are Ubisoft titles to be frank. :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Why, if you have Windows, you have the store anyway. I also gave GoG, LoL, Origins, BattleNet. I get why people want all their eggs in one basket, but its the new reality there will be multiple places. I've also long sinced stopped using Steam as my main messaging service, there are too many ubuquitous services now like WhatsApp, and Skype and Curse which I use in preference to Steam.
  • Gog is even more cheap
  • Games like Ori & Age of empires will be on Steam. None of their AAA big budget games will ever hit steam
  • Most Steam gamers don't care. MS only has a handful of good games, there are plenty of better games on Steam. MS is just shooting itself in the foot if it doesn't sell on Steam. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Steam's userbase is a rain drop in the ocean. Steam has 120M users. If only 25% of potentially 1B Win 10 users use the Windows store that is 250M users on top of the heavily targeted Xbox console userbase... that would be >2x the userbase of Steam! This is why Gabe & Sweeney have been against either UWP or the intergrated store in Win 8/10... they know what the above could mean to their respective app store businesses. If Xbox only supports UWP going foward then Devs will place those same games in the Windows store as the footprint of the Windows 10 store becomes harder to ignore and most of the work would already be done with UWP targetting the Xbox anyway.
  • How many of those are gamers that care, have hardware to run games and interest in Xbox community; and just regular people using tablets, pc's used for work or browsing etc.? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Except there is no way that 25% of users are going to use the store.
  • Windows Store PC releases are in the growing pains stage. There is nothing wrong with releasing games on Steam and Windows Store. Enabling more revenue streams for developers is always a plus. I understand Microsoft wants to drive more traffic to their store, but embrace Stream at least until the bugs are ironed out. Microsoft could just buy Steam. They seem to be on a shopping spree right now.
  • Ok, now it would be nice if Valve released a Steam Mobile app for Windows 10 too.
  • A mighty meteor would rather fall from the sky than this would happen.
  • This I could get behind. Too bad Gabe will continue to cut off his nose to spite his face.
  • "There's going to be areas where we cooperate" too bad its not steam app. 
  • It does not really makes much sense (so far), but good for us, I guess.
  • Windows store needs work before gaming will take off, all the problems with the QB PC port too ages to be sorted
  • I've used Steam for years, so this is great for me. Steam is my go to place for games, especially during their sales. Posted via my Nexus 7 2013 using the Windows Central App for Android
  • But steam will release future apps on Windows store?
  • Do you really want Valve to release anything anywhere? They won't. They just live from Steam now. And that's the reason also why Half Life 3 won't ever see the light :S :D
  • Well, what I got from that interview is...Optical Media is Dead and the One S will more than likely be the last console that gets realeased with a disc drive. They're already starting the process by giving you 2TB of storage on the Xbox One coming out in August. Hence the reason they're witholding the 500GB version for later. It wouldn't be surprising for Microsoft to release a "Console" yearly. Cause they're not interested in selling you the console per se, they're more interested in you actively spending money at their Digital Store. <---Opinion The question is...are you ok with being a Microsoftie(Most here are for obvious reasons) or are you interested more in the Steam way of doing things. For me, it's becoming a difficult decision. If I decide to go all in on Microsoft's Proposition, I may regret it. I feel like they'll have a bait and switch approach... see Zune Pass, OneDrive, Office Unlimited Data stuff and so forth. You cannot get a refund for a Digital Purchase in Microsoft's ecosystem, but you can through Steam. You pay for online multiplayer, that is not the case in Steam. Discounts, distribution, variety, are better on Steam. And this is coming from someone who stll has only had less than a day's experience with Steam. I don't know what I'll do, but I know that if anything, The Xbox One S(500GB) will be the last Microsoft Console I buy besides my own PC.
  • I think this is a good thing, because of the following point made by Ars Technica:
    Selling games this way could do more than merely open them up to a wider audience; it may also be useful in proving that UWP apps are not inextricably tied to the Windows Store and that they can in fact be sold by third parties. This has been a point of contention after game developer Tim Sweeney said that UWP is a "closed platform-within-a-platform" that "should, must, and will die," even though this isn't actually true. Selling UWPs on Steam would underscore this point and demonstrate that third-party storefronts are perfectly possible.
    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/06/microsoft-will-use-steam-to-sell-w...
  • The biggest point here is that windows store does UWP games and steam does w32 games. Xbox one games that will also be on pc are UWP games, so any game that traditionally been on xbox that is now coming to pc will be on the windows store and not steam. Games that you would expect to be pc games originally, will be on steam and the windows store.