The Games for Windows Live Marketplace died because it didn’t make a big enough impact on players, says Andy Payne, MD of Mastertronic.
The Marketplace closed days after Microsoft hired Jason Holtman, former chief of rival online gaming platform Steam. And it’s been rumoured that the entire Games for Windows Live network, including digital rights management (DRM) and online infrastructure, will shut down in July 2014.
Payne, MD of game publisher Mastertronic and chairman of games industry trade body UKIE, told PCR: “Games for Windows Live closed because no one cares about it. Its closure makes no difference to us and the market."
“Of course, we would be interested if they could return bigger and better. It would be good for content producers and good for consumers.”
The Microsoft Points payment system for PC and Xbox 360 is also being retired, as Microsoft prepares to launch the Xbox One in November.
However, Microsoft said in a statement: “We believe in Windows/PC gaming and have long-term plans to grow our support. We expect there to be transitions as we build out new investments, but we remain committed to bringing first party gaming services and games to Windows for years to come. We will share more details in the future.”
There are plenty of other online gaming download platforms available including publishers’ own services (like EA’s Origin) and the ever-popular Steam.
“Steam doesn’t have a monopoly,” added Payne.
"It’s the most prominent distributor for sure, but I don’t think it has a monopoly at all. Sites like Good Old Games, GamersGate and Green Man Gaming are doing really well.”