In a recent interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell, the outspoken unofficial head of PC Gaming leveled some pretty damning criticism on Windows 8. Using words such as “catastrophe”, the internet instantly lit up with story’s and comments that for the most part, were largely supportive of his radical stance. It could easily be argued that his comments are largely self-serving since Microsoft is setting itself up in direct competition with Valve’s Steam store, but people will have to decide for themselves. Why bring up old wounds you ask? Valve has a new supporter.
Rob Pardo, Executive Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard took to Twitter to rally behind Newell, adding simply “not awesome for Blizzard either”. “Not Awesome” and “Catastrophe” are most certainly not the same thing, but it does point out a growing ground swell of rebellion by some of PC Gaming’s top developers.
Love or hate the new Windows 8 UI, we have to admit we are slightly confused as to why they feel so threatened. Microsoft has proven time and again with Games for Windows Live they are completely incapable for executing in this space, and a Metro version of Steam and the Blizzard launcher might actually make for an interesting portal. Windows RT for ARM is a much more closed down ecosystem, however developers shouldn’t have much to fear from Windows 8 for traditional desktops. It if will run on Windows 7, chances are it will run on Windows 8.
It is possible Valve and Blizzard are fearing users will flock to Mac OSX en-mass as a result of the changes, though Microsoft will likely respond with a Windows XP style extension for Windows 7 if the wind of change turn into a hurricane, and they need to make a rapid about face.
Is all the hate justified? Let us know in the comments below.