Microsoft and Steam haven’t had the best of relationships over the past decade. After the failure of its Games for Windows Live venture, Microsoft pulled it’s games from all other avenues on PC and chose to isolate its games to the Windows Store we know today, where you can purchase such recent releases as Rise of the Tomb RaiderGears of War Ultimate, and Quantum Break.

Logo Steam

But according to recent quotes from Xbox boss Phil Spencer, Microsoft has noticed the success that Steam is building, and the PC market in general (talk about being late to the party on THAT one), and has a renewed interest in bringing its games to the Steam platform.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer

Xbox boss Phil Spencer

“I look at Steam today, it’s on an incredible growth trajectory,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer said. “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 continued, “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. We will ship games on Steam again.”

 

So it sounds as though Microsoft is ready to bring some, if not all, of it’s titles to the Steam platform, though it is unclear whether that would entail some sort of intrusive DRM akin to Games for Windows Live beyond the DRM already present on Steam, or if they will be traditional Steam releases with a single layer of DRM.

Whatever the case, it certainly is encouraging to hear Microsoft has a desire to branch out beyond its traditionally closed systems.

This news comes after an E3 where Microsoft has broadened its horizons more than ever before, bringing its Xbox Live service to multiple platforms, including PC, enabling cross-play with PC, and introducing its Xbox Play Anywhere program with cross-buy of games between Xbox One and PC.

Much of this still has to play out, but what is certain is that Microsoft is open to giving us choices in how we enjoy and interact with its products, and consumer choice is always a good thing both for consumers and the industry.

For more from E3 2016, stick with Gamer Assault Weekly.

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About The Author

Evan W

Evan discovered gaming with Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis and never looked back. He has spent the last 20 years criss-crossing genres and platforms, and is an equal opportunity rager, breaking consoles and PCs alike. If you spent summer days off from middle school playing classic PC shooters instead of developing a tan and social skills, you've got a friend in him. Mom might not understand the pain of being "180NOSCOPEWTFPWNED, SON!", but he does. Oh, he does.