Microsoft: Simultaneous PC, 360 Releases Would 'Shoot Ourselves in the Foot' Due to PC Popularity

Simultaneously releasing a major first-party game on PC and Xbox 360 in Germany would "basically shoot [Microsoft] in the foot" due to the popularity of the PC platform, Microsoft Game Studios European business director Peter Zetterberg has stated.

"If we launched a Halo game on PC and 360 in Germany simultaneously, 80 per cent of sales would be on the PC," he told GamesIndustry.biz. "We basically shoot ourselves in the foot by allowing the German market to choose to play the PC version."

Though Zetterberg seems to indicate that Microsoft is intentionally limiting the PC market to further its console business--echoing an accusation made by World of Warcraft developer Blizzard--the executive claimed that both platforms are "equally important" on a global scale.

However, he noted that "in some territories we need to make the games for the 360 to increase the sales there," justifying that rationale because "the PC has a much wider use, it's so established, it's so dominating."

While some other publishers and developers simultaneously release games on multiple consoles and PC, Microsoft has a long history of publishing PC ports of console games long after their debut.

The original Halo hit Xbox in 2001 but didn't arrive on PC until 2003. Halo 2 debuted on Xbox in 2004, the PC version didn't arrive until 2007. Fable released on Xbox in 2004 and PC a year later

However, one exception arises: last year's simultaneous PC and Xbox 360 release of FASA's multiplayer shooter Shadowrun, after which the internal studio was closed.

Despite the apparent business preference for Xbox 360, Zetterberg noted that he doesn't let that get in the way when he's dealing with game pitches.

"I've had an RTS game pitched to me on the 360," he revealed. "As they pitch, clearly this is not a good idea to do it on the Xbox 360. But their argument was that they could potentially sell more on the console because it's more of a mass market machine than the PC. We suggested that they came back with a PC pitch. "