Looking at Microsoft’s recent PC releases, gamers couldn’t be blamed for worrying that the company might have abandoned Steam as a sales avenue for its games. Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case, according to a chat Xbox division head Phil Spencer had on Giant Bomb’s E3 live stream.
“I look at Steam today, it’s on an incredible growth trajectory. It’s a massive force in gaming; a positive force. I think it will be bigger a year from now than it is today. And five years later it will still be bigger again,” Spencer said, adding that he still sees Valve as important to Microsoft’s strategy. “They are a critical part of gaming’s success on Windows. I don’t think Valve’s hurt by not having our first-party games in their store right now. They’re doing incredible well. We will ship games on Steam again.”
Spencer didn’t elaborate on what games could come to Steam in the future, nor did he mean to give any indication that Microsoft wouldn’t continue to move forward with its own Xbox Store on the PC. “I want to build a store; there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
The discussion also touched on Microsoft’s recent PC ports, which haven’t exactly had a great track record as of late. Quantum Break in particular proved to be a disappointment, plagued with crashes and marred by frame rate inconsistencies. Spencer was quick to point out that there have been some relative bright spots as well.
“They all haven’t gone swimmingly. Some of them have gone well,” Spencer said. “Forza 6 Apex did well. Quantum Break wasn’t our best PC release. Killer Instinct did well on PC. Gears of War Ultimate Edition was OK — we definitely learned there.”
Spencer also addressed the concerns some prominent industry figures like Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney have voiced regarding Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform. “There’s still definitely concern that UWP and our store are somehow linked in a way that is nefarious. It’s not,” he said.