Despite efforts to improve its failings, the Windows Store continues to struggle in Steam’s shadow when it comes to PC games. But it seems the two storefronts will soon be working closer together, as it’s been revealed Microsoft is planning to release more titles on Valve’s platform.
Speaking on the Giant Bomb livesteam, Xbox head Phil Spencer acknowledged that Steam's dearth of Microsoft games isn’t causing it to lose sales. "I look at Steam today, it's on an incredible growth trajectory. It's a massive force in gaming; a positive force. I think it will be bigger a year from now than it is today. And five years later it will still be bigger again," Spencer said.
"I look at Valve as an important [independent software vendor] for us on Windows. They are a critical part of gaming's success on Windows. I don't think Valve's hurt by not having our first-party games in their store right now. They're doing incredibly well,” he added. Spencer then confirmed that Microsoft “will ship games on Steam again."
Spencer admitted that the Windows Store games have been pretty hit and miss. He named Killer Instinct and Forza Motorsport 6: Apex as examples of titles that were well-received, but said that "Quantum Break wasn't our best PC release" and called Gear of War Ultimate Edition “Okay.”
Spencer didn’t reveal which Microsoft games will arrive on Steam, or when to expect them, but he did say not every single release from the company will appear on both stores. “There’s going to be areas where we cooperate and there’s going to be areas where we compete. The end result is better for gamers,” he explained.
Microsoft’s upcoming Anniversary update for Windows 10 will improve some of the issues found with games built using the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), such as the inability to disable V-sync and problems when using multiple GPUs.
Microsoft will likely be hoping that allowing UWP apps to be sold by third parties will go some way toward disproving Epic Games Boss Tim Sweeney’s claim that the initiative is turning the PC into a walled garden.