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Blizzard joins Valve in panning Microsoft's Windows 8

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
An executive at Blizzard, the developer of hit games like "World of Warcraft" and "Diablo III," has joined in to deride Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Rob Pardo, Blizzard's executive vice president of game design, posted a comment on Twitter this week, highlighted by CVG, in which he said Windows 8 is "not awesome" for his company. Pardo's take was offered in agreement with Valve founder Gabe Newell, who made headlines this week when he predicted Windows 8 will be a "catastrophe."

Both Blizzard and Valve are in unique positions in the gaming world, as each developer offers customers the ability to directly purchase their titles over the Internet. Valve's Steam is a a full game store with its own titles and games from other publishers, while Blizzard's Battle.net offers paid downloads of its own titles, including "Diablo III" and monthly subscriptions to the massively multiplayer online game "World of Warcraft."

Microsoft will be making its own major push in the digital storefront space with the launch of Windows 8. The Windows 8 Store will allow developers to sell their applications, which can be priced from $1.49 to $999.99 and will come with free seven-day trial periods.

Both Valve and Blizzard develop games for Apple's OS X platform, as well as Microsoft's Windows. Neither company, however, sells their titles on Apple's Mac App Store.

Diablo III
Blizzard's "Diablo III" launched on Mac earlier this year.


Both developers now release new game titles on the same day for both Mac and PC. Last year Valve debuted "Portal 2" on the Mac and this year Blizzard launched "Diablo III," while Valve will bring "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" to OS X on Aug. 21, and Blizzard announced this week that the new "World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria" expansion will come to the Mac on Sept. 25.

Valve plans to hedge its bets by developing games for Linux as well as Windows and Mac. Newell said this week he thinks some of the top-tier PC makers will exit the market because "margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people."
post #2 of 56
Windows 8:

Not for the horde!!!
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post #3 of 56

Wow, that's quite a prediction. Practically overnight some 40+% of the computer operating system market is going to shift to Linux so they can play Blizzard and Valve games!

 

Good luck with that business plan, Pardo.

post #4 of 56

Eh. Functionally, Windows 8 is fine, and even has some nice new features versus 7. It's also been very stable right from the get go, so no complaints there. Metro is the real issue here, and MS needs to realize that what is probably good for a touch interface is cumbersome shit with a mouse and keyboard. I understand they are going for cross platform parity and functionality, much like Apple with their Mountain Lion and iOS 6, but I have the sneaking suspicion that Service Pack 1 will allow users to ditch Metro in favor of the classic Start Button layout they are familiar and comfortable with.

 

I won't be upgrading this cycle, because 7 is doing great for me right now, and the new functionality of 8 isn't worth even the reduced price to upgrade.

 

All this being said, however, I'd hardly call 8 a potential catastrophe. It might not be a record breaker like 7, but it's far from the complete disaster hat was Me. Apple survived Lion, MS survived Vista, and so it will Windows 8. 

post #5 of 56

Yeah, what isn't clear from either of these statements is exactly what is it about Windows 8 that's such a disaster? I mean maybe Metro sucks, but what's that got to do with gaming..?

 

From what I can see, nothing in particular will change from Blizzard and Valve's points of view...

 

What am I missing here?

post #6 of 56

I agree with you completely. I've always thought, as have most people in the industry, that MS should just ditch Metro all together for Win8. Opposite is true for WinRT. Why the freak can you get to the Win 8 desktop in RT? That's just stupid. They can have similar underpinnings, but they are two different platforms that cannot be shoved down everyone's throat. It's a mess. 

 

BTW - Lion wasn't a mess, quite stable actually and not that much different than ML. I don't hear any body still b!tching about the natural/unnatural scrolling anymore. People just like to b!tch about something. They don't like change. Change is good, as long as it's executed well and for good reason. But MS's efforts is just change for change's sake. 

post #7 of 56

As the article says, it's hardly surprising these companies are not happy with Windows 8, as the application store will drive people to buy products from that instead of direct from Value/Blizzard.  But that will take a long time to change anything.

 

For the Windows world, I'm sure it's far from the end of the world... I've briefly used the CP in a VM and it appears to work as well as Windows 7.  Only annoying thing was the lack of the start button.

 

For touch screen devices, Windows 8 will change the Windows world.  For all other users, I'm sure they'll appreciate the performance enhancements and new features (Time Machine like backup etc.) and learn to live with Metro.

post #8 of 56

Maybe I am the only one, but somehow it's not that much fun to make fun of Microsoft any more.

 

It's like making fun of RIMM or Nokia..... :-/

post #9 of 56

Are these game makers lazy? So they can't sell their products on a Microsoft or Apple store and earn the same amount of profit. As long as they can get their games directly to people via the internet then they have no problem. They just need to advertise more and direct people to their web sites to make the sales. Thousands of other companies are doing that all the time.

 

The quotations that I've read had nothing to do with the functionality of the Windows 8 platform. This is just sensationalism aimed at Microsoft in a sideways attack. Believe me when I say this that I hate Microsoft after Vista. Still if I'm going to read about how Windows 8 is going to be a catastrophe, it really should be about the OS, not some game companies inability to do good marketing and maintain profit levels.
 

post #10 of 56
Being in the IT support business since early 1990s, I still remember how every iteration of Windows sucked so bad before XP. Then Vista happened.

Hopefully, the Windows 8/Metro monster combo's level of suckiness would be minimal.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Maybe I am the only one, but somehow it's not that much fun to make fun of Microsoft any more.

 

It's like making fun of RIMM or Nokia..... :-/

 

From their stock's perspective, they have been a zombie company for more than a decade. They still make a lot of money defending their traditional turf. They will not disappear tomorrow, in other words.

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post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruffy View Post

Yeah, what isn't clear from either of these statements is exactly what is it about Windows 8 that's such a disaster? I mean maybe Metro sucks, but what's that got to do with gaming..?

 

From what I can see, nothing in particular will change from Blizzard and Valve's points of view...

 

What am I missing here?

I'm in the same boat as you. Why is Windows 8 a "catastrophe" and "not awesome" for Valve and Blizzard? There have been multiple software storefronts online for years and people have figured out how to get their games. Metro shouldn't affect the user's access or interface with the games themselves. Is there some sort of driver issue? Major file structure change? Permissions or access change? Programming language change? License to develop cost?

 

What information is not being presented that makes Win8 so terrible? Otherwise, this isn't news, it's just trolls trolling Win8 before it's out.

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post #13 of 56
No one has to make fun of MS. They are what they are with monkeybutt at the helm.

As for RIM and Nokia...picture Heins and Elop hopping around in close embrace, belting their rendition of "We're singing in the rain".

Perhaps Ballmer can then burst in with his Elvis wig and crash the party with oh so inappropriate Jets vs. the Shark song.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Maybe I am the only one, but somehow it's not that much fun to make fun of Microsoft any more.

It's like making fun of RIMM or Nokia..... :-/
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

I'm in the same boat as you. Why is Windows 8 a "catastrophe" and "not awesome" for Valve and Blizzard? There have been multiple software storefronts online for years and people have figured out how to get their games. Metro shouldn't affect the user's access or interface with the games themselves. Is there some sort of driver issue? Major file structure change? Permissions or access change? Programming language change? License to develop cost?

 

What information is not being presented that makes Win8 so terrible? Otherwise, this isn't news, it's just trolls trolling Win8 before it's out.

 

I believe they see it as a disaster from their point of view because of MS's transition to an online app store for software delivery.

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post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post

No one has to make fun of MS. They are what they are with monkeybutt at the helm.
As for RIM and Nokia...picture Heins and Elop hopping around in close embrace, belting their rendition of "We're singing in the rain".
Perhaps Ballmer can then burst in with his Elvis wig and crash the party with oh so inappropriate Jets vs. the Shark song.
i

Aww… You told the ending and ruined it for the rest of us!
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post #16 of 56
Aw c'mon...

with Microsoft, you know there're always sequels!
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Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

i
Aww… You told the ending and ruined it for the rest of us!
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #17 of 56
Naaah. They're just riding the promo wave and being attention wh*res.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I believe they see it as a disaster from their point of view because of MS's transition to an online app store for software delivery.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
Reply
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #18 of 56

Its not like Windows 7 will stop working when 8 comes out. Heck, Blizzard still supports XP and the troubles with Vista didn't hurt either Valve or Blizzard's bottom line.  This is pointless drama though it is good to see the Linux crowd will get more officially supported games.

post #19 of 56
Most game devs tend to look at platforms opportunistically, and express their fondness for or dislike for platform based on its market, hardware available, or cost or barriers to entry. I'm not sure these particular opinions about Windows 8 reflects anything other than personal taste.

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post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

I believe they see it as a disaster from their point of view because of MS's transition to an online app store for software delivery.

 I highly doubt MS would only allow software to be installed on PCs from their online app store. Although it would almost be poetic justice to all the anti-Apple people that call Apple a walled garden.

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post #21 of 56

Is MS forcing them to sell on Windows storefront and take a percentage? Will Window 8 block all other downloads?

post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels 
The quotations that I've read had nothing to do with the functionality of the Windows 8 platform. This is just sensationalism aimed at Microsoft in a sideways attack. Believe me when I say this that I hate Microsoft after Vista. Still if I'm going to read about how Windows 8 is going to be a catastrophe, it really should be about the OS, not some game companies inability to do good marketing and maintain profit levels.

Metro is core to the OS though. As soon as you open Windows 8, you will see a store icon. This will become the first place Windows users go to in order to buy apps.

This is going to force developers to play along or risk losing lots of sales to competitors. They could obviously increase their prices but it's not really going to work too well because everyone is taking percentages.

If a game sells for $50 and the split between developer and publisher is 40:60, they get $20:$30 per sale. After Microsoft takes their cut, it goes to $14:$21. They need to raise the game price to $70 to make the same money and people just aren't going to buy at that price.

Of course the idea is that they get more sales through the store anyway and I don't think it will affect Blizzard as much as Valve but Blizzard has their own digital store too. This is effectively Microsoft's way of killing Steam and Origin and every other store.

Apple is moving down this path too with Mountain Lion having options to only install apps from the App Store and it's clear to see why. Even the Mac App Store has had 100 million downloads with average pricing around $25. This is with a user base of 60 million or so. For Microsoft, the user base will be 200 million or more next year as most new machines will ship with Windows 8.

Add the XBox platform into the mix and Microsoft has the ability to seriously affect all retailers (Amazon, Gamestop, BestBuy...). If they run Windows 8 on the next XBox, they might not even bother with physical distribution:

http://www.techspot.com/news/47737-source-claims-xbox-720-will-ship-without-optical-drive.html

With movies and music, they could become a serious threat to all sellers of digital goods. That's why they will want the Metro UI front and centre - it guides people to Bing, IE and Microsoft's Store.
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

 I highly doubt MS would only allow software to be installed on PCs from their online app store. Although it would almost be poetic justice to all the anti-Apple people that call Apple a walled garden.

 

Since Microsoft and Google have seen Apple's growth and success with their model, it's been obvious to me that they both want to copy Apple or continue to provide middling to non-existant returns in this economy. There are no "big thinkers" at either company that can execute strategically, so... steal from Apple again.

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post #24 of 56

I'm looking to avoid Windows 8 as long as possible.  If I'm issued a tablet with it installed then I'll have no choice.  Otherwise it is Windows 7 for me for a long time to come at work.

post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I'm looking to avoid Windows 8 as long as possible.  If I'm issued a tablet with it installed then I'll have no choice.  Otherwise it is Windows 7 for me for a long time to come at work.

 

You have my deepest sympathies. :D

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post #26 of 56

Game developers have one of the most bizarre track records regarding predictions.

That being said, at least for Valve on a historical standpoint, they've been virtually unphased.

 

Past Microsoft Attempts to kill Steam:

 

Games For Windows/GFWLive: Complete failure. Rarely used, Loathed by the majority.

Windows Games on Demand: Even larger Failure than GFWL. Was closed down and merged into the Xbox site.

 

Maybe Microsoft might get some decent hits with the 8 Marketplace. But If it's hoping for piece of Steams market, given Microsofts existing policies, many developers, especially indies easily Choose Steam over them.
 

post #27 of 56

This is an Apple centric website, people. An Apple centric web site.

 

Who cares about majorcrap?

post #28 of 56

I felt the way you did until I got a LogiTech Touchpad (similar to Apple's Magic Touchpad).  Now it's almost as good as having a touch screen.

 

Keep in mind, both of these companies refuse to participate in Apple's App store, so I suspect the real reason these guys are pissed off is because they realize their business model is going to change...  like it or not.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Eh. Functionally, Windows 8 is fine, and even has some nice new features versus 7. It's also been very stable right from the get go, so no complaints there. Metro is the real issue here, and MS needs to realize that what is probably good for a touch interface is cumbersome shit with a mouse and keyboard. I understand they are going for cross platform parity and functionality, much like Apple with their Mountain Lion and iOS 6, but I have the sneaking suspicion that Service Pack 1 will allow users to ditch Metro in favor of the classic Start Button layout they are familiar and comfortable with.

 

I won't be upgrading this cycle, because 7 is doing great for me right now, and the new functionality of 8 isn't worth even the reduced price to upgrade.

 

All this being said, however, I'd hardly call 8 a potential catastrophe. It might not be a record breaker like 7, but it's far from the complete disaster hat was Me. Apple survived Lion, MS survived Vista, and so it will Windows 8. 

post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Howie View Post

Wow, that's quite a prediction. Practically overnight some 40+% of the computer operating system market is going to shift to Linux so they can play Blizzard and Valve games!

Good luck with that business plan, Pardo.

It may be a case of having no choice. If Win8 is so bad games can't play reliably the they will need alternatives. In the end I wouldn't be surprised to find one or more game company team up to produce a Linux distro just for games.
post #30 of 56
I'm left with the impression that these comments are the result of real technical issues with Win8. If the OS can't even manage to get through Bsllmers dog and pony show that isn't very encouraging.

I know this might be shocking but has anyone at Appleinsider considered interviewing these leaders to see why they are offering up these thoughts? You know in the old days it was called reporting.
post #31 of 56

Hmmmm, now that I think about it.

 

Someone correct me If I'm wrong, but I think This is how it was mentioned: Wasn't the Windows 8 store supposed to be a "locked down" platform for the Metro apps only(security reasons)? To my memory, I recall Desktop Applications being able to be advertised on the store, but it was specified that Only metro apps would be subject to the approval processes and such, whereas the X86 version pretty much remains as it has always been allowing standard independent installs.

 

Again, I may have remembered it wrong, so feel free to correct if so.
 

post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

 

All this being said, however, I'd hardly call 8 a potential catastrophe. It might not be a record breaker like 7, but it's far from the complete disaster hat was Me. Apple survived Lion, MS survived Vista, and so it will Windows 8. 

 

What kind of a bullshit statement is that Cash907? "Apple survived Lion?" Lol, really? When I last checked Lion was a huge success... not hardly comparable to Vista or the soon to be catastrophe that will be Windblows 8.

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Switching From Windows on Nov. 30th 2007
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post #33 of 56

What is the point of this article other then to snark on Microsoft? This is an Apple-centric news site. Leave the subtle commentary to someone else. Almost as bad a Daring Fireball spending all day shitting on Amazon's Q2 earnings and comparing it to Apple as if it is some sort of fair comparison

 

I greatly enjoy Apple products, but the back-patting on some of these sites offering Apple coverage is just getting oppressive and completely off topic as to make them useless. 

post #34 of 56
Two whiners seeing their distribution platforms possibly taking a critical hit, upping the ante by pretending that Linux would be somewhat of a fallback solution: good luck with that.

@ Jexus
You are right, so far it was mentioned as such: locked down metro apps/games and advertisement possible for the popular/premium desktop software. I have no idea why they wouldn't also propose for sale the latter, they will maybe do so for software targeting windows 8 and up with specific guidelines, etc, we will see...
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I'm looking to avoid Windows 8 as long as possible.  If I'm issued a tablet with it installed then I'll have no choice.  Otherwise it is Windows 7 for me for a long time to come at work.

Same here. Corporations do not upgrade OS unless there is a tangible value attached to it. Consumers try to keep up with the Jones, IT departments with limited budgets are not interested in the latest fad, because they cannot afford to be,

post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruffy View Post

Yeah, what isn't clear from either of these statements is exactly what is it about Windows 8 that's such a disaster? I mean maybe Metro sucks, but what's that got to do with gaming..?

 

From what I can see, nothing in particular will change from Blizzard and Valve's points of view...

 

What am I missing here?

 

I think they are afraid that Windows Store will steal their customers. People will start buying programms and games directly from Windows Store.
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

I'm in the same boat as you. Why is Windows 8 a "catastrophe" and "not awesome" for Valve and Blizzard? There have been multiple software storefronts online for years and people have figured out how to get their games. Metro shouldn't affect the user's access or interface with the games themselves. Is there some sort of driver issue? Major file structure change? Permissions or access change? Programming language change? License to develop cost?

 

What information is not being presented that makes Win8 so terrible? Otherwise, this isn't news, it's just trolls trolling Win8 before it's out.

 The "catastrophe" would be the 30% slice that  MS would take from the W8 RT MarketPlace sales.

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

I agree with you completely. I've always thought, as have most people in the industry, that MS should just ditch Metro all together for Win8. Opposite is true for WinRT. Why the freak can you get to the Win 8 desktop in RT? That's just stupid. They can have similar underpinnings, but they are two different platforms that cannot be shoved down everyone's throat. It's a mess. 

 

BTW - Lion wasn't a mess, quite stable actually and not that much different than ML. I don't hear any body still b!tching about the natural/unnatural scrolling anymore. People just like to b!tch about something. They don't like change. Change is good, as long as it's executed well and for good reason. But MS's efforts is just change for change's sake. 

 

Oh Lion was a nightmare for me, but lets not confuse mess with disaster. Lion was a mess in the same way Vista was, in my mind. Vista dropped legacy driver support, Lion dropped legacy app support. You lost quite a bit with both "upgrades," but what did you gain exactly? Natural scrolling and icloud functionality that was rolled out to 10.6  shortly thereafter, thus negating any real reason to upgrade anyway? I ended up ditching Lion because it broke the backup functionality of my NAS box, which I couldn't live without because of the nature of my work, so I rolled back to SL, much like I ditched Vista for XP on my desktop.

 

The best way I can explain it to my friends who aren't deep into software is "Vista/Lion were the promise, 7/ML were the fulfillment."

post #39 of 56

It took Blizzard about 15 years to release Diablo 3: a game which has proven so unpopular and disappointing among the otherwise devoted Blizzard community that hardcore fanboys have already stopped playing the game (just check out the battle.net forums for a glimpse of the carnage). They have now followed this up by announcing a new World of Warcraft expansion about pandas.

 

Frankly, i'm not trusting blizzard's judgment on anything right now. 

post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Parvin View Post

It took Blizzard about 15 years to release Diablo 3: a game which has proven so unpopular and disappointing among the otherwise devoted Blizzard community that hardcore fanboys have already stopped playing the game (just check out the battle.net forums for a glimpse of the carnage). They have now followed this up by announcing a new World of Warcraft expansion about pandas.

 

Frankly, i'm not trusting blizzard's judgment on anything right now. 

AFTER playing it for 500+ hours.  Yeah, real catastrophe. /s  Also you're Nearly a year late to the Pandaren expansion announcement.  The only announcement recently was the street date.  The expansion announcement was 10.21.11 at the last BlizzCon.

 

 

Also, was there some extra tweeting by Pardo not linked up in this article?  B/c I'm not seeing that 40% of people going to Linux that people are throwing around in some comments.  Or was that something Gabe said that Pardo didn't comment on one bit?  

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