Several key developers in the gaming community have made it perfectly clear that they're either not seeing a reason to upgrade to Windows 8 anytime soon, or that they see the new OS as a huge catastrophe waiting to be unleashed. There's also fear that Microsoft is creating a walled garden, that it hopes to push all software exclusively through its Windows Store, shutting out platforms like Steam and Origin.
"If Microsoft decides to lock down Windows 8, it would be very, very bad for indie games and competition in general," said Minecraft creator and founder of Mojang, Markus "Notch" Persson.
Yet despite criticism from developers, Microsoft is pushing Windows 8 as a gaming platform. Just recently it was revealed that the Redmond company plans to offer its built-in games and related achievements under the Xbox Windows label. Xbox Live is already integrated into the OS, and Microsoft has vowed to continue its support for Games For Windows Live. The current and future Xbox will be closely tied with Windows 8 as will Windows Phone 8 set to launch in November.
"With Xbox on Windows 8, we created easy entry points into the types of entertainment that you’ll enjoy, including games," a spokesperson told VentureBeat. "The Games app prominently features your avatar, profile, friends and Gamerscore and allows you to explore your friends’ avatars."
"Windows 8 is able to serve both hardcore and casual gamers, with the power you’ve come to expect from a PC," said Windows 8 project director Christopher Flores during E3 2012 back in June.
One of the things Microsoft has pointed out is that despite the "Metro" interface (yep, we said it), the new OS will offer backwards compatibility for older Windows games. And for those who own the Xbox 360, the OS will even let customers make purchases for their console and queue them up for downloading. Microsoft has even talked about developing multiplayer games that will be playable across all Windows 8-based screens: PC, console, tablet and smartphone.
Still, right now developers are skeptical. "Windows 8 is trying to be all things to all people, and thus failing to be good at anything in particular," said Brad Wardell, the CEO of Stardock. "We hope to release software that will make Windows 8 more usable for desktop users, but I’d prefer if Microsoft had a more coherent strategy in the first place."
The latest backlash against Windows 8 essentially started with Valve's CEO who called the OS a "catastrophe." Blizzard’s Rob Pardo seemingly backed up the assessment, saying the new OS wasn't good for Blizzard either. id Software's John Carmack sees no benefit of upgrading to Windows 8, and Stardock's Wardell used words like "schizophrenic," "obnoxious," and "nightmare" when describing the OS earlier this year.
Could this be why the Android-based OUYA has become so popular? Is the industry looking for something new, something outside the Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo closed-console universe?