Gearbox: Steam and Microsoft are ‘Hurting’ PC Gaming

Duke Nukem Forever

Steam. Everybody loves it. What better way to get your games online for your PC than with Valve’s awesome distribution method? Naturally, if a competitor is doing something excellently, Microsoft is going to try and capitalize with its own service: enter Games for Windows.

At the London Games Festival, Gearbox recently called for Valve and Microsoft to fix the incompatibility issues that plague users who purchase their games via the rival distributors. According to Gearbox’s marketing honcho Steve Gibson, the two are “building silos”, which will inevitably “hurt the PC industry.”

With their big release of Duke Nukem Forever in 2011 sure to be a sales grabber, it’s no wonder that Gearbox is concerned about this kind of issue. Honestly, I’m wondering why anybody would purchase a game via Games for Windows when an option like Steam even exists.

Check out the rest of his quote after the jump!

[We] want people to be able to play together and right now if a guy buys a game on Games for Windows and a guy buys a game on Steam – they can’t play together… Our big concern right now is that these silos are being built. Everybody’s separating out and it’s really… as a developer who just wants gamers to be able to play games together, it’s frustrating right now. Things like that are hurting the PC industry for gamers. This is frustrating for everybody right now.

As I’m not that huge into PC gaming as much these days, I wouldn’t know if this was an actual issue or not. Feel free to enlighten me, any of you who’ve had experience in these matters. What do you guys think of this, and is Gearbox right?

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7 thoughts on “Gearbox: Steam and Microsoft are ‘Hurting’ PC Gaming”

  1. Steam has done nothing but wonders for the PC market in my not so humble opinion. However, Games for Windows is terrible and needs to die. it is a buggy mess that adds nothing to the games that use it. Bioshock 2 didn’t work for about a month after I bought it, even though I got it through steam, because GFWL was not working properly so it would crash every hour and I could not save my game.

    I don’t think that it is as big a deal as gearbox is making it out to be. I have never thought “Man I really wish I could play with people on GFWL!” because I don’t know anyone that given the choice bought a game through GFWL instead of steam and its not like there are a lack of players on steam. Also if gearbox wants all of the gamers who buy their game to be able to play together than just pick a distribution platform and only use it! you don’t have to release a game on both steam and GFWL, and if you do, set up some kind of server that allows players on one to play with players on the other.

    To me this is like saying that the 360 and the PS3 are bad for console gaming because people on the PS3 cannot play with people on the 360.

  2. You can buy games on steam that don’t use steam servers for MP, example GTA IV. Buy and Launch via steam, play MP via GFWL.

    I can not think of any examples where there are two separate online services for the same game that would fit his example of “one person buying on steam and one on GFWL not being able to play together”.

    It would be impossible to get every game using the same service anyway because PC gaming isn’t overlorded by one company.

  3. eh steam is a much better platform for pc gaming but they really have a habit of allocating all their work into small things for short periods of time… usually things that will make them money like l4d2, the new steam ui, and lots of deals. They tend to avoid putting too much though into issues like those with GOW because a very small amount of players use it, and it wouldn’t make them money to make it cross compatible.
    Also gaben stole my hustler’s hallmark to buy lard … 🙁

  4. If I were Gearbox, I’d be more concerned about the amount of money they’ll be losing to piracy than about whether or not all gamers for both services will be able to play one another.

  5. I don’t really get the point. Games that use STEAM servers exclusively (CS, TF2, VALVE games) are only purchasable through STEAM anyways, for obvious reasons lol. Games like BFBC2, I launch through steam but they still use EA servers. I don’t understand what he means by not being able to play with other users…

    Get rid of fucking GFWL, it doesn’t prevent me from pirating a game, but a great deal on STEAM will. They’re far more successful at winning my money and keeping the machine moving. Frankly, I didn’t even know you could purchase games digitally through GFWL. I just thought it was some shitty way to keep “gamerscores” etc, which as far as I know, PC users don’t really care about.

  6. Um, Steam is what’s keeping PC Gaming alive. And yeah, it’s doing an amazing job. I’m really sure what this guy’s point is talking about anyway.

  7. This wasn’t the first time Gearbox have had a go at Steam I don’t think, bad blood perhaps?

    For me Steam has kept me a PC gamer, I can still play with my buddies that buy the disc no problem so I don’t understand why Gearbox has come on the attack.

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