Microsoft Challenges Steam

Crunchgear writes that Microsoft is going to battle against Valve’s Steam in digital distribution. They hope to grow a marketplace around things not currently offered by Steam, for example Games for Windows Live branded DLC, which would be made available exclusively by Microsoft.

My personal opinion is that even though Microsoft can pour loads and loads of money into this battle field, it will take them something around 5 years before we’ll see a solution that really works. Microsoft already has pretty good stuff on Xbox Live (not to mention XNA Creator which is also improving), and they have the resources to make this work, but it takes time. Steam wasn’t an overnight success.

The bad news (for Microsoft) is that Valve’s Steam is a solid brand, the place where gamers are used to go to. I predict Microsoft to mess up things first with bad digital rights management (which takes about 1-2 years), then they spend couple of years in heavy marketing and finally after total of about 5 years they have built a decent system… meanwhile Valve has gone steps forward. Tough place for Microsoft.

Perhaps they could simply try buy Valve…

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. No, it doesn’t go both way.
    There will probably be rating systems, people will vote, will post comments about games and etc.
    Bottom line, there will be alot of low quality games in MS, but overall, in MS you will be able to find more quality games than in steam. And there will also be more niche games in MS.

    Anyway, I find that alot of people bash MS blindly and wish for MS to fail in everything they do. But I really think MS is doing the right thing now.
    While steam try to sell a few hit games, and exploit existing market.
    MS is trying to create a new market by exposing indie games to people who would normally never be exposed to indie games.
    And I think MS might be very successful doing this, if they don’t screw up too much.

  2. Well, that goes both ways. If MS gets flooded with low quality products, it dilutes their offerings.

    Say, is there a way to register for an account so I don’t have to login each time I post a comment? I really enjoy reading this blog.

  3. From what I have read, microsoft has a great advantage compared to steam.
    Most indie developers can’t get into steam.
    Steam only accept games that have already showed some degree of success. (From what I have heard).
    On the other hand, microsoft plans to allow almost anyone to put their game for sale on XBOX Live, and microsoft plans to take only 30% cut of the profit. Which is better than what most portals or publishers offer. And I don’t know, but that might include steam.

    So XBOX Live seem to be a really good place for indies, steam is a bit inaccessible in that sense.

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