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On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment

MCV has the latest mea culpa from Microsoft Games Studio on their failure to live up to past promises to support the PC as a gaming platform. "There’s been a fair bit of criticism aimed at Microsoft that we were spending a lot of our focus on console, and we need to be putting resources behind PC as well," MGS GM Dave Luehmann tells them. "Other companies should look to Microsoft for leadership, but I’m not sure they do. It is our job to lead the way on PC. And in some ways we are doing that and in other ways we are not. So we need to step up." He repeats their recent announcements of PC initiatives, and promises further progress going forward: "We are putting some real investment and big IPs behind the Windows platform. We’ve spoken of the first three, Fable III, Age of Empires Online and Microsoft Flight. However we are not going to stop there."

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71. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 11:31 Verno
 
ASeven wrote on Sep 25, 2010, 10:58:
How ironic wouldn't it be if the consoles would spell the doom for MS? I've always said the biggest mistake MS ever made was dumping on PC gaming, the vast majority of profits comes from Windows and Office sales for MS, by shitting on PC gaming MS is now losing in both fronts, console and PCs. As you've said it, Windows is not the powerhouse it once was and I have to wonder if some people at MS are kicking themselves on the head for having ignored and still ignoring PC gaming and PCs in general.

Consoles are just one piece of the puzzle. On the surface Microsoft has been successful in the console world, they've monetized the shit out of things people used to get for free and turned one major competitor into the third place runner but the problem is when you look below the surface. Despite having a huge installed base of over 40 million consoles, they still are not profitable. Any given quarter could swing one way or another. The RROD debacle was incredibly costly, that's almost like throwing away 3 billion in profit and it's not like the support costs are going away any time soon. It will take another 2-3 years to fully remove those old consoles from the market entirely. To attract customers they had to make significant costly investments into exclusive contracts and IP that they don't even own and won't necessarily see ongoing benefit from. Despite all of that, the PS3 is still catching up.

The trouble with Microsoft is that it has an aging employee base who is largely out of touch with the newer generation and that the Microsoft culture is very much like a cult. I don't know if you've ever been to Redmond but if you don't drink the Koolaid there then you won't be staying long. It's fine to have your own corporate culture and identity but they do not seem to understand what's going on outside of their little bubble. A glance at any of their initiatives in the past five years will reveal this, so many failed projects that it boggles the mind. Their mobile efforts alone are on what....reboot number four or five? Now Microsoft has always been an iterative company but consumers aren't always so forgiving, particularly in markets where a consumer device can cost $500 like smartphones.

Anyways tl;dr - they're in deeper shit than people realize, things change in a hurry. Just look at Blockbuster which was a profitable powerhouse just five years ago.
 
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