Microsoft: Games for Windows a "long-term investment"

Microsoft has described Games for Windows as "a long-term investment" in response to recent reports that Valve Software is hanging a question mark over the Washington, Redmond giant's commitment to PC gaming.

Recent comments from Valve's Doug Lombardi on Games for Windows suggested the Half-Life 2 dev reckons the branding could just be a short-term marketing device to push Vista sales, but Microsoft's director of Games for Windows, Rich Wickham, thinks Lombardi's comments "may be being taken somewhat out of context."

Wickham told CVG: "What I took from what he [Lombardi] said was that, if Microsoft and Games for Windows was only about selling Windows Vista and this was just like a big 'pop' because Vista came out, that that would be a bad thing for PC gaming - I think he's right. I agree with that, I absolutely agree with that."

But "in fact that's not what we're trying to do here," he explained in an interview to be published in full shortly.

Wickham continued, "I think we may have to prove - because we're Microsoft - our intentions over time, and that's exactly what we're going to do with Games for Windows. We're going to continue to invest in retail, we're going to continue to invest in the Games for Windows brand, we're going to continue to make sure that great titles come out on this platform and that you see... We're absolutely going to commit to what we're doing on Live."

He went on to describe Microsoft's Games for Windows as "a long-term investment," adding that the company wouldn't be doing the likes of "spending tens of millions of dollars at retail" and "building a Live service that's going to go forward," in order to "just go through a six-month cycle."

March 16, 2007