Blizzard Entertainment has developed video games taking in mind and supporting a wide range of low, mid and high-end computer systems. During the Casual Connect video game conference, Gabe Newell (Valve), a former Microsoft employee, commented — in a very serious note — Windows 8 is a catastrophe. Considering this is one of the luminaries in the video gaming industry, that comment doesn’t bode well.
This has become a strong quote throughout the internet in the past days, with a vibe of prophecy. Forget about the Mayan December 2012 Doomsday. Gabe’s words have more weight to contemporary times for video gamers, game developers, and even computer product manufacturers / OEM.
“[Windows 8] is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. We’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. … It will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.” — Gabe Newell
Gabe revealed he will try to get all 2,500 Valve games into Linux as a preventive measure against Windows 8’s closeness, in case things get bad. This is big if it’s true. He hinted OEMs might exit the PC market, which might force them to either buckle, or move toward Linux.
Alright, for some of you Valve can kiss yours, or you don’t care. It doesn’t affect Blizzard. Right? That’s utterly wrong.
For us Blizzard video game players, Gabe’s words sadly have repercussions of unknown scale. Blizzard Entertainment Executive Vice President of Game Design, Rob Pardo, commented via Twitter with a link to the PC Gamers article: [“Gabe Newell’s “Windows 8 is a Catastrophe”]:
“Windows 8 is not awesome for Blizzard either.” — Rob Pardo
Wait, whoa? Now things don’t bode well. Blizzard Entertainment is focusing a lot of manpower currently into the development of the Next-Gen MMO, the launch of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Diablo III.
Rob Pardo didn’t go into specifics, but agreeing with Gabe that Windows 8 is a catastrophe for game developers might mean Blizzard games might have to shift its focus from Windows toward Linux, if Gabe’s vision of Windows 8 turns out to be true.
Just recently, a group of experts joined to create a console game that could allow developers worldwide to move into a open-platform to steer away from the closeness of Nintendo, PlayStation and XBox 360 platforms. That project is currently funded by the public via Kickstarter with over $5 million. It’s named OUYA.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Blizzard, Valve, and other game developers and the OEMs abandoning Windows converging into a conference to develop something awesome for the future of PC video games?
Check out PC Gamer for the Gabe Newell’s comments.