Microsoft is bringing more Xbox Game Studios titles to Steam and other platforms

    
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Microsoft seems to be branching out with its game distribution policies, as it announced this week that it will be working to make more of its Xbox Game Studios titles available on Steam and other distribution platforms while also relaxing restrictions on the Microsoft Store to allow a wider variety of games to allow more developers to bring their own games to the platform. Previously, Xbox Game Studios games have been available only on the official Microsoft Store as Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps — a rather restrictive format that can be run only on Windows 10 — rather than the Win32 executable format more widely used on platforms like Steam.

That’s set to change soon, however, as Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer has announced the studio’s plans to “make [its] Xbox Game Studios PC games available in multiple stores, including [its] own Microsoft Store, at their launch.” On top of that, Microsoft will also begin providing support for Win32-format games on the Microsoft Store, which will let more developers bring their games to the platform without having to spend resources repackaging them as UWP apps.

In today’s announcement, Spencer specifically mentioned that the Age of Empires 1-3 Definitive Editions and Gears of War 5 would be the first Xbox Game Studios titles coming to Steam. There’s no mention of any other prospective titles, such as Sea of Thieves, but Spencer does stress the importance of “[e]nabling gamers to play together, through cross-platform play and cross-network play across Windows 10 PCs and consoles,” suggesting that more of the studio’s games will eventually be following suit.

Source: Microsoft
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Anstalt

Im happy with this!

For a while now I’ve been wanting to try out for Forza racing series, especially the latest Forza Horizons. That game seems to have the right mix of arcade-style driving with enough realism to make the racing quite skilled, perfect for my needs! But, only available on the windows store and always seems to be very expensive so I’ve never bought it.

Once it’s on steam, no doubt the price will come down and then I can play!

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Sykes

I’m excited for the master chief collection and AOE titles, though I’m already playing halo and AOE through UWP (Halo 5 free on PC is Microsoft’s best-kept secret in their store….their free map creator includes pc multiplayer support. No idea why it isn’t advertised). In my pipe dream, they release a definitive version of Kameo. PC needs a AAA 3D action platformer badly, and Rare’s last one was pretty good.

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Arktouros

I support this immensely.

Let people get the games where they want.

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Dean Greenhoe

+1

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Jack Pipsam

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition desperately needs the Steam player numbers. Age of Empires 2: HD (a different version entirely) on Steam still does absolute gang-buster numbers. AoE: DE I reckon has a smaller player base than the original Age of Empires 3 does currently on Steam haha.
AoE: DE is the only Microsoft Store game I have ever had a problem working, my anti-virus hates that game and I can’t ever seem to get it working. Not a problem I normally have with Microsoft Store games.

The first big-big-big release coming to Steam though will be Halo: The MasterChief Collection, being rolled out game by game, that’ll be massive when it drops. Count on it.

I think this is a smart move. Normally in the past, Microsoft either publishes their indies to Steam like Dust or they move across their mid-range titles like Recore & Super Lucky’s Tale to Steam a while after just to get a boost in sales I suppose.
If they will actually commit to getting day and date, that’s insane. I suspect it’ll help ease the pain for some folks that Microsoft now owns PC loved studios like Obsidian and inXile. With the rumour machine saying they’ve also acquired Relic from SEGA (for Age of Empires IV).

But the key thing they need to nail, the thing out of the gate they need to make sure works is LIVE. Games for Windows LIVE never was a problem for me, it worked. But I know it didn’t for many.
What Microsoft needs to make sure is that their Xbox LIVE integration into these games (which we know are coming for crossplay, achievements etc.) needs to be solid as a rock.

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h4

Minecraft would have been nice but obviously not happening.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

As others have said:

Epic: Look at our Fortnite money, giving us all this spending power!
Microsoft:…heh, adorable.

Elementroar
18 hours ago

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Sorenthaz

Tencent money*

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Some people just want to take over the world.

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Castagere Shaikura

The only game I want from them is freelancer. Bring that back and on steam and I would be very happy.

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Schmidt.Capela

I second that. One of the few games I currently support pirating, mainly because it’s just about impossible to get a legal copy anywhere; if it were to be released on Steam or GOG, at a reasonable price, I would immediately purchase a copy.

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Sorenthaz

Good on them. Hopefully Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, and State of Decay 2 can come over to Steam soon enough. Those games could probably use some new folks coming in.