Blizzard Executive Vice President Rob Pardo agrees with Gabe Newell’s Windows 8 Concerns.
‘Concerns’ is a bit of a light tone, in his personal twitter, Valve’s co-founder, managing director stated that “Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space”.
Strong words indeed, and Gabe is known for his strong opinions (the Playstation 3 also got similar dislike from Newell before its release). However, Rob Pardo, the executive Vice President of game design at Blizzard’s Diablo 3 studio, agrees. He is quoted as saying that the updated OS is “not awesome for blizzard either.”
Most of these concerns revolve around the reports of the operatings systems developer, Microsoft wanting to have more control over the purchases and applications that are on sale on the platform. Xbox Live and the Windows Store will no doubt be seen by valve as threatening the rather good position they have managed to find in the PC gaming sector with its Steam Platform. It is worthy of note that Microsoft are yet to officially disclose the details on how its own marketplace will function.
“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 made even bolder claims on the top of the OEM market, predicting they will leave with the introduction of Windows 8. “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.”
Just like the Apple store, Microsoft are reported to want to take 30 percent out of each and every sale made on the store (which is a fairly hefty number I’m sure you’ll agree). With very tight control, Windows 8 will certainly impact Blizzard’s various subscription and paid content models, possibly leaving them with the decision of raising their sub prices (which a lot of customers already feel is high with the introduction of games such as Guild Wars 2, with no monthly sub) or swallowing the cost. Therefore they’ll want to keep things how they are, the statusquo if you will.
Time will tell how this unfolds, I myself was concerned over Microsoft’s inclusion of the store into Windows – it sounds good for the customer in theory, but I’ve never really liked the idea of closed markets on PC’s. On a phone it makes sense somewhat, but not on a desktop / laptop. That’s IF the model does operate and close off sales as Valve and Blizzard are worried about.