Blizzard gives thumbs up to Newell's Windows 8 "catastrophe" comment

Blizzard's Rob Pardo doesn't think Microsoft's latest is good for the WoW developer

Valve 'boss' Gabe Newell caused quite a stir this week when he remarked during a talk at Casual Connect in Seattle that Microsoft's Windows 8 is "kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space." Some are saying that Windows 8 is the next "Vista" and that it's not too friendly for consumers or developers. Recently, Rob Pardo, executive vice president of game design at Blizzard, took to Twitter to endorse Newell's comment.

Pardo commented on the "nice" interview that former Xbox executive Ed Fries did with Newell, and he then proceeded to note that Windows 8 is "not awesome for Blizzard either."

The big concern from Newell and others is that Microsoft will make Windows 8 a closed system. It's been suggested that Microsoft will seek more control over various applications and purchases made through Windows 8, but the company has yet to announce full details.

Windows 8 is scheduled to launch on October 26, 2012.

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Latest comments (12)

Malcolm Franks Studying T151 Digital worlds: designing games, creating alternative realities, Open University7 years ago
Wouldn't Microsoft have the same problems with Europe that they do with Internet Explorer, though?
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Simon Jensen Lead Developer, Swiftthought Games7 years ago
Man the gold walled garden approach of iOS has really got to be tempting them. And with Apple pushing their own desktop app store and getting away with it and microsoft's XBLA marketplace already being in place, it it almost seems inevitable that they'll close off app installs on tablets first and then push it towards the desktop.
There's just too much money out there to pass up and they can wrap it in a nice PR layer of "we're making your computer safer for you and your children" without too much fuss.
It won't be in windows 8 but by windows 10 or 11 my bet is that the doors to the os are gonna start getting gatekeepers.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Simon Jensen on 27th July 2012 5:24pm

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Thiago Vignoli Creative Director, Fan Studios7 years ago
Windows 8 is beatiful and closed. Is a different try of microsoft.

I don't use much the windows 8 store yet, but sounds like a really interesting thing.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 7 years ago
@ Barrie

The original interview with Gabe Newell is more... detailed, than the precis in this article.
If people look at what they can accomplish when they can limit competitors’ access to their platform, they say, “Wow, that’s really exciting.” Even some of the people who have open platforms, like Microsoft, get really excited by the idea that Netflix has to pay them rent in order to be on the Internet.
Microsoft would obviously welcome Steam running on Windows 8 all nice and smooth. And they'd welcome it even more if there were some proprietary inner-workings that meant MS could ask Valve for "rent". That's the real issue.

I will agree that it's all heresay and paranoia right now. But even that serves a purpose - it puts MS on the back-foot, and alerts them to the fact that if they try and snake a closed system onto PC, then they'll have issues in the future.


@ Malcom

Yeah, I do think that MS would be in for an EU regulator-sized headache if they did anything too serious. Even embedding a new Games For Windows Live client into Windows would be a step too far for the EU, I think, given that it would be like installing a one-stop-gaming-shop on your computer. The only problem is that the regulators move quite slowly, so unless MS have to pass Win8 through the regulators first, it won't help the consumer or the wider industry any for a year or two.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 27th July 2012 5:49pm

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Sam Maxted Journalist / Community / Support 7 years ago

That's what I thought, too. Any kind of store built into the OS is going to attract the attention of the EU - if they clamped down on a browser, there's no way they're going to do anything else if there's an actual store built in.
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Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 7 years ago
For people who don't know, if you want to put your metro-app (WinRT/HTML5) on someone's PC, you'll have to go through the Windows Store, which also means you'll have to pay.. Regular WinAPI/Silverlight are still installable like any oldfashioned application..

Since it's still possible to actually install mainstream windows applications I guess it's difficult for EU to do something about it, it's purely the WinRT apps, which is just like iOS or future MacOSX (as apple seems to also want to close down MacOSX exactly the same way).
To me, if EU is going after MS, they should also go after Apple for restricting iOS, which ofcourse has also a very large userbase now..
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Paul Shirley Programmers 7 years ago
@Barry Tingle:"So because Microsoft is adding a Marketplace in to Windows 8 these other groups thinks that will generate a closed system?"

What surprisingly few people noticed (and disturbingly few game industry folk) was hidden in plain sight in the Win8 version PR. Specifically the unexpected listing of an 'Enterprise' version - in the feature list "allow Metro app sideloading". There really aren't many ways to interpret that that don't involve Microsoft lock-in to their app store.

MS are borking the desktop experience for a reason...
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game7 years ago
The metro apps are a closed system, the normal desktop programs run exactly the same as Windows 7. Admittedly the desktop needs some work in usability, I hope MS are listening there, but something like Steam won't be overly affected, although other companies may.

Anyone who has at least the moderate amount of PC knowledge required to actually use Steam and be a core gamer will know they need to go to the desktop, and regardless of whether GFWL is there as a metro app, the only way it will move clued up PC gamers is by convincing them its better. Which frankly if they'd managed that in the last 5 years of GFWL, would have led to a bigger market share already.
It will lead to casual or less clued up gamers maybe buying digital games direct, but these are the people who currently have no knowledge of Steam, Origin, GFWL or GoG.

The one place I can see it taking from Steam is that if I want a popcap game, I would prefer the Metro version, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
There is no indication that MS want to lock up the desktop, if they removed a big important functionality, it would drive people (at least the large group that care) to stay with Windows 7.

The type of person who only wants a PC for looking at the web, using Facebook, email, and perhaps stopping to write the odd document now may never leave the metro environment, but those people tend to stick to internet explorer and works anyway, now they may feel safer in trying apps than they ever would in installing software.

Productivity and utility software is a different matter, as this is more desirable to be fully integrated, but that's maybe more catastrophic to WinZip than the games audience.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Goodchild on 28th July 2012 9:07am

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Petter Solberg Freelance Writer & Artist, 7 years ago
Guess open is a relative term in this regard, seeing as how games on so-called open platforms are sometimes unplayable due to DRM solutions (or rather, problems), including single-player experiences that include constant internet connectivity.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Petter Solberg on 28th July 2012 3:17pm

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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development7 years ago
I've had no joy at all trying to place a game on Steam, perfect for PC, that already has 3 million installs on mobile.

Yeah yeah, hard cheese I know. I'm just saying...

There's nothing "open" about Steam.

App Store is open
Google Play is open
Even Blackberry App World is open

Steam is most definitely closed. Far more closed than I'll bet win8's store will ever be.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 28th July 2012 11:34pm

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 7 years ago
@ Paul

And that's where Greenlight comes in. Not saying it isn't closed right now, but when Greenlight goes live (in a month or two, I think) you just need to get the word out about your game, and that shouldn't be too hard (assuming it's any good :) ).
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development7 years ago
lol, that's the sad irony here. We've since exclusively licensed the PC version to a publisher who's taking it to retail worldwide.

Next game we do that makes sense for PC, we'll give that greenlight thing a go. :)
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