Some will tell you that PC gaming is dying. Others will tell you it’s never been stronger. Whomever you listen to, though, one thing is clear: the PC gaming industry is in a state of flux, as its key players search for workable business models to keep up with the times. At the forefront of these initiatives is Microsoft, which has for better or for worse attempted some branding and platform-development schemes that, at least to some industry players, hasn’t done a whole lot other than further stagger the PC gaming market.
Microsoft’s Games for Windows initiative and its Windows Live gaming platform are the company’s two apparent answers to the PC gaming problem. Together, these two plans were put into motion to help build a more structured and highly-visible unified “platform”: a face to PC gaming that was more cohesive, more organized, more centralized for the gaming experience. The idea was to make PC gaming more accessible and to provide a place for gamers to unite, to click—the Xbox Live strategy applied to the fragmented PC market. If it weren’t for all that darn piracy, they say. But really, the heart of the problem is the company’s approach. (link)