Microsoft’s Goal is to Sell Full PC Games Digitally
Steam in its current form — a PC game store and Xbox Live-esque community service — does a lot of what Microsoft talked about doing years ago. But like the Live Anywhere concept, Games for Windows Live has largely drifted by the wayside. Yesterday, Microsoft released an update to GFW Live to improve upon the lackluster interface that has, so far, not come to be the unified PC gaming platform Microsoft hoped it to be. According to Shacknews, Microsoft will be releasing another update in the next few weeks that will add support for downloads of demos, videos, and DLC through a true GFW Live Marketplace application.
Microsoft has more in store than just that, though, as we learned in an interview that Shacknews had with GFW Live GM Chris Early. He said:
When we get to the place where we do distribute games digitally, will we have a digital rights management system? Maybe. Or maybe we’ll just continue to support the industry leaders in that. Because it is a hard thing to do. You talk to any of those companies, and that is their whole company, is doing digital rights management.
Asked about that first bit — regarding when Microsoft begins distributing games digitally — Early admitted, “Clearly it’s on our road map.” That initiative will come once they’ve fully rolled out their plans for allowing DLC through the Marketplace.Early believes this was the right order to release things in, claiming “this is something that you can’t do today on a PC, right? You can buy digitally through a bunch of places.” While that’s not entirely true — just look at Bethesda, who has offered DLC for games through its website — a unified place for DLC on PC isn’t a half-bad idea. Whether this means we’ll begin seeing more premium DLC on PC is unclear, but we can hope that the mod community will manage to keep that in check or, at the very least, make sure we don’t see any companies trying to sell us a set of horse armor.