‘It was too late in their development cycle.’
While Microsoft is definitely supporting the PC more with its Windows 10 gaming push – games such as Killer Instinct, Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Halo Wars 2, and Fable Legends will all be launching for the PC – major Xbox games, such as the highly anticipated Crackdown 3, Scalebound, and Quantum Break remain elusive for PC players.
And in a recent interview with PC Gamer, Phil Spencer explained why those games would not be coming to PC.
“In the case of things like Scalebound or Crackdown or Quantum Break, you know, just to be completely honest with you, we started those games before we really looked at expanding into Windows in the way that I wanted to bring as part of becoming head of Xbox.
“Going to those teams mid-cycle and saying: ‘Hey, by the way, I want to add a platform,’ didn’t really feel like necessarily the best way to end up with the best result for the game. They had a path that they were on. It’s not to say those games could never come to Windows, but right now we’re on the path to finish the great games that they’ve started, and I want that to be the case. These games are on a path, whereas with, like, Halo Wars 2 I had the opportunity from the beginning, when we’re sitting down with the studio, to say, ‘Here’s the target. Here’s what we wanna go do.’
“Even with Gears, like the Gears 1 remake, we thought about framerate, we thought about multiplayer. The opportunity to bring it to Windows in a refreshed way felt like a great opportunity from the beginning. I’m trying to be more deliberate in the choices that we make.”
Spencer further spoke that there would be games from Microsoft that would be PC only, and those that would be Xbox only- it would depend on the kind of game in question.
“What I’d say is, my goal is to bring—to build—great PC games, and I think there’s some great PC games that can come from the things that we’ve done on console, but that’s not the only place that they would come from. And there might be some games in our console portfolio that don’t work on PC, and vice versa.
“I look at the franchises that we have on console and I think there are some franchises that can work really well on PC. I also think about some of the things in our past, as Microsoft, that we used to have on PC, and say, ‘Boy, wouldn’t it be great if we brought some of these games back purely on PC.’”
“So I’m stating it again, I’m kind of less in the broad sweep of, ‘Everything should be over here and over there,’ because I think in certain instances that might not be the right model, but I definitely want to build out our Windows games portfolio, and we’re making slow progress on that. But slow in a way that I think is good, because we’re being deliberate about the games that we’re deciding and make sure we have a real plan.”
I mean, I guess I can sort of see where he is coming from, but then where exactly are these PC exclusive games? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he or Microsoft have a duty towards PC gaming like so many denizens of PC gaming seem to think that he does, but if that is the case, I wish he and Microsoft would just cut it out with the ‘we love PC gaming’ rhetoric that they spout so much. We have seen them talk the talk, now can they walk the walk?