1000th Story: Microsoft goes against Valve's Steam
12/18/2009 by: Theo Valich
Even though we can consider Games for Windows Live to be a user-unfriendly annoyance, Microsoft stepped up and launched a competing service to Steam. In accordance to internal shift in strategy, Microsoft decided to evolve GfW - LIVE platform into a fully fledged digital distribution service, serving as the digital entertainment part of their "Microsoft as a service" vision. Games for Windows - LIVE is currently being brought up to become a revenue-generating tool for the company.
If you visit the site today, you can see that Games for Windows - LIVE is undergoing a transformation into a fully fledged digital distribution model. There are several non-impressive titles for download, but Colin McRae's DiRT 2 is the first AAA title to be launched on Games for Windows - LIVE Marketplace and not on Valve's Steam, even though some titles are present on both platforms [Fallout 3 is available as a digital download].
When we look at this market, Valve's Steam is the undisputed leader with more than 20 million users and featuring a massive title library of well over 1000 games. According to unverified figures, Steam has approximately 70% market share, while the remaining 30% is spread around more than a dozen players.
With Microsoft moving Games for Windows - LIVE into a digital distribution role, first with casual games [a'la Xbox Live Arcade], and limited selection of AAA titles, a new battle is brewing for 2010. Microsoft did show interest to eat up its neighbor from the neighboring city of Bellevue, WA [Microsoft HQ and Valve HQ are 9.5 km/ 5.9 mile drive away] but at the end of the day, the corporate giant decided to go all alone in this battle and use every connection they have to thrive forward.
In fact, the launch of Games for Windows - LIVE service actually impacted our site's accessibility over the last two weeks, because we were on a same link as what we assumed to be Steam.
It will be interesting to see what level of integration between Windows 8 and Games for Windows - LIVE. Microsoft knows it has to be careful with bundling of software, but expect next-generation of Windows to offer a completely different way to acquire content - that being video games, music, movies. That's what you can expect under a Christmas tree in 2012 - by that time, Games for Windows - LIVE will be a fully fledged digital distribution service.
Steam, Valve, Valve Corporation, Games For Windows, Games For Windows Live, e-store, e-tail, digital distribution, Windows 7, Windows 8,
© 2009 - 2011 Bright Side Of News*, All rights reserved.