Blizzard agrees with Valve: Windows 8 is bad for video game makers

blizzard agrees with valve windows 8 is bad for video games

The world’s biggest PC video game makers aren’t very happy about Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8. Speaking with one-time Microsoft Game Studios chief, Ed Fries, at a Casual Connect earlier this week, Valve’s Gabe Newell described Microsoft’s plans as a “catastrophe.”

“Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space,” said Newell, “I think that we’re going to lose some of the top-tier PC [original equipment manufacturers]. They’ll exit the market. I think margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, it’s going to be a good idea to have alternative to hedge against that eventuality.”

Newell says this is why Valve is pushing hard to bring its games, its Source engine, and the Steam digital distribution platform to the Linux operating system.

Is he alone in thinking that Windows 8 will be a disaster for the PC gaming industry? Blizzard’s Rob Pardo doesn’t think so. The StarCraft designer and current vice president of game design at Diablo III studio Blizzard said that he believes Microsoft’s new operating system will also be a thorn in his company’s side.

Pardo Tweeted on Wednesday, “Nice interview with Gabe Newell—‘I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space’—not awesome for Blizzard either.”

The belief in the development community is that Microsoft will make Windows 8 a closed system, an operating system that seeks to more stringently control, much in the way that Apple does with Mac OS X and the iOS platform. This would allow Microsoft to better monitor the quality of applications running on its platform, but it will also wall off the most widely used operating system in the world from myriad developers. PC game makers use Windows because of the openness of the platform and its ubiquity. If Microsoft takes that openness away, what will developers do?

Windows 8 won’t be released until October of this year, so Microsoft still has time to decide exactly how free game and application makers will be to use the system. Valve and Blizzard are, by sales and reputation, the biggest PC game makers in the world and their influence over Microsoft’s platform isn’t insignificant. If Blizzard and others follow Valve to Linux platforms, what will Microsoft do to lure them back? Will PC gaming become increasingly based on streaming and browser-based solutions?

Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Computing

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Computing

Faster new PCIe 5.0 standard leapfrogs the best feature of AMD’s Ryzen 3

PCIe 5.0 will bring even faster data transfers, but it may only be found on HPCs and servers initially. The standard is four times faster than your current PC at transferring data, and new devices could appear later this year.
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Computing

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.
Computing

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Computing

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.
Computing

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?