Microsoft Speaks on Improving Games for Windows Platform, PC Gaming Alliance

By Aaron Linde, Mar 07, 2008 2:41pm PST There is still room for improvement in the marketing and management of the Games for Windows platform, Microsoft Games for Windows director Kevin Unangst has said.

Unangst addressed complaints that Games for Windows Live doesn't offer enough incentive for those who pay for the service, noting that many gamers were confused that Games for Windows Live-branded titles required paid subscriptions for online play.

"Going out of the gate, we weren't as clear as we should have been that Games for Windows Live on the PC is free," Unangst told Eurogamer. "If you want to play cross-platform games, that's when you need a Gold subscription. Our challenge is to be clear on the message we're not charging for Games for Windows Live.

"People assumed we were trying to bring the Xbox model over to the PC, which we were not," Unangst added.

When asked for comment on the PC Gaming Alliance—a consortium of PC gaming developers in which Microsoft is a key figure—Unangst reaffirmed the company's support of the initiative as a means of addressing issues like piracy.

"We'll have a unified voice worldwide," he said. "We've just got to get the facts straight. I think it's easy for someone to make that judgment without knowing all those facts. That's our job to fix."

The developer noted that the company's upcoming challenge is clarifying the aim of the Games for Windows platform and adding more features for subscribers, paid or otherwise. "You can be confident we want to enable things like digital distribution, the ability to do downloadable content for games—that's a direction we're definitely headed in," Unangst noted.

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