Blizzard Exec Backs Valve's Critical Windows 8 Outlook
Blizzard's Rob Pardo agrees with Gabe Newell's comment about Windows 8.
Rob Pardo, the executive vice president of game design at Blizzard's Diablo 3 studio, recently quoted on his personal Twitter account a comment made by Valve Software's co-founder and managing director, Gabe Newell, who said that Windows 8 is "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space." Pardo agrees, adding that the touchy, revamped OS is "not awesome for Blizzard either."
Newell's claims against Windows 8 was reportedly centered on criticisms that Microsoft will want to have more control over various applications and purchases made through the platform. As it stands now, Xbox Live and Windows Store, both of which threaten Steam's stronghold in the PC gaming sector, will be native platforms within Windows 8. However Microsoft hasn't officially disclosed the actual details on its new marketplace scheme.
"There's a strong temptation to close the platform because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors' access to the platform, and they say, 'That's really exciting,'" Newell said.
He also predicted that top-tier OEMs will exit the market thanks to the new OS. "They’ll exit the market. I think margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people," he said. "If that’s true, it’s going to be a good idea to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality. But when you start thinking about a platform, you have to address it. You have to address mobile. You have to look at what’s going to happen post-tablet."
Microsoft will reportedly take a 30-percent royalty cut on every sale made through the Windows Store, following Apple's lead with iTunes. Companies like Blizzard want to sell their own software via their virtual storefronts, whereas companies like Valve have their own distribution platforms to sell games and deliver additional content (patches, DLC). Windows Store seemingly poses as a bigger threat to Steam, but Blizzard Entertainment will likely feel the heat through parent company Activision Blizzard.