Gearbox: Steam and Microsoft Should "Play Nice"

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Gearbox: Steam and Microsoft Should "Play Nice"

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Gearbox wants Steam and Microsoft's Games for Windows to support cross-platform play.

Before Steam and similar platfoms, everyone with a PC copy of Quake or Counter-Strike used to be able to play against everyone else. However, the PC market is becoming segmented with games now incorporating programs like Steam and Games for Windows that are incompatible with other types. Gearbox hopes to bridge this gap.

The studio has good reason too, with popular multiplayer title Borderlands available through various retail and digital distribution outlets. At the recent London Games Festival, Gearbox's Steve Gibson said: "[We] want people to be able to play together and right now if a guy buys a game on Games for Windows and a guy buys a game on Steam - they can't play together."

"If another guy bought it in a retail store, he can't play with the first two guys," he added. Gibson is concerned that "silos are being built" within the PC gaming industry itself and hopes that everyone can someday work together. "Everybody's separating out and it's really... as a developer who just wants gamers to be able to play games together, it's frustrating right now," Gibson continued. "Things like that are hurting the PC industry for gamers."

He hopes PC players will encourage Valve and Microsoft to "play nice." On the surface, Gibson's idea makes sense because he's talking about cross-platform play that is really on the same platform. On the other hand, I don't think we would ever see cross-platform play between the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, and the difference between Steam and Games for Windows seems to be about the same. "Playing nice" is something that would make multiplayer game developers like Gearbox happy, but is it really possible?

Source: CVG

Permalink

i have a few games on GFWL and a few on steam...neither of them have anyone playing the multiplayer at all, so i spend all my time hoping to find someone to play with either way! (splinter cell convition i'm looking at you here!) and most of my friends bought the steam copy of borderlands, whereas i'm a tard and bought the retail copy :( i'm stuck playing with hackers on gamespy, and they're running around having fun on steam :( someday my time travel machine will be completed and all this will be fixed though ;)

But that flies in the face of both companies' self serving ethos!

GFWL can play alongside Xbox Live, and Steam has support for MacOS as well as Windows, and might get support for the PS3 next year when Portal 2 comes out. It's not so much that one platform is getting segemented; it's just that the definition of "platform" is shifting from being a hardware thing to being a software thing.

I'm starting to like gearbox. Even though I haven't bought any of their games, I guess I should look into borderlands at some point.

Tom Goldman:
At the recent London Games Festival, Gearbox's Steve Gibson said: "[We] want people to be able to play together and right now if a guy buys a game on Games for Windows and a guy buys a game on Steam - they can't play together."

"If another guy bought it in a retail store, he can't play with the first two guys," he added.

Um... How true is this, exactly?

I would rather Games for Windows just went away & died. Steam ftw.

Yeah, I agree. Its just stupid as hell and publishers need to stop making their own little systems for their games. Its a pain in the ass and helps no one.

Each publisher is trying to control the PC multiplayer environment, and they're failing and making everything worse. But they won't stop, because they're idiots who don't understand the platform.

I'd like to see that possible, so I could play my GFWL version while most other people use Steam.

It won't happen though... neither of them can get over their own egos.

Nimbus:

Tom Goldman:
At the recent London Games Festival, Gearbox's Steve Gibson said: "[We] want people to be able to play together and right now if a guy buys a game on Games for Windows and a guy buys a game on Steam - they can't play together."

"If another guy bought it in a retail store, he can't play with the first two guys," he added.

Um... How true is this, exactly?

Not true at all I think. Unless the game uses Steamworks, and if it does you can only play the game using Steam so...

skitskat:
i have a few games on GFWL and a few on steam...neither of them have anyone playing the multiplayer at all, so i spend all my time hoping to find someone to play with either way! (splinter cell convition i'm looking at you here!) and most of my friends bought the steam copy of borderlands, whereas i'm a tard and bought the retail copy :( i'm stuck playing with hackers on gamespy, and they're running around having fun on steam :( someday my time travel machine will be completed and all this will be fixed though ;)

Just play it via tungle or hamachi, its pretty easy.
Or just tell your friends to use the retail .exe and make a gamespy account.
Lan or gamespy both work^^
Gearbox gave players Lan and no need for a cd key to make it as easy to play with each other as possible. Great guys just realy bad as pc developers. No vsynch page up down instead of the mousewheel for scrolling....

I don't really understand what he's saying about the retail copy not being able to play.
My friends bought Company of Heroes on steam and I bought it retail and I can play with them just fine.

I also didn't know games that used GFLW had separate "versions". I've never seen this in my life. Like, for instance, I've never seen game X that used GFWL which has a steam version which also does not include GFWL.

Just because Steam's version of Borederlands didn't use gamespy is really not the fault of Steam or Gamespy, it's the fault of Gearbox. Steam would have had no issues allowing gamespy to continue to provide the multiplayer for the game.

Wait a second, didn't Gearbox's Borderlands multiplayer require Gamespy and was a complete kick in the penis to set up on the PC? Practise what you preach and all that.

Nimbus:

"If another guy bought it in a retail store, he can't play with the first two guys," he added.

Um... How true is this, exactly?

Well it's certainly not true for all games. I'm pretty damn sure a retail copy of any Valve game can play perfectly well on Steam. It might apply to some games. I couldn't say, but it's certainly not true for all of them.

"[We] want people to be able to play together and right now if a guy buys a game on Games for Windows and a guy buys a game on Steam - they can't play together."

Yeah they can, it's you guys over at Gearbox who couldn't be bothered to build a functional server browser or community tools like a FRIENDS LIST that keep people from playing together. Don't try to blame it on other people.

AC10:
I don't really understand what he's saying about the retail copy not being able to play.
My friends bought borderlands on steam and I bought it retail and I can play with them just fine.

What he said..
..huh?

I played Borderlands just fine with friends using the Retail Copy. Where is the issue here? Further, someone mentioned Splinter Cell: Conviction. That has nothing to do with STEAM or Games for Live.

... this article really confused me. There is no technical hurdle between STEAM and none STEAM game owners in multiplayer, as long as the Developer doesn't muck up their multiplayer bits.

Tom Goldman:
On the other hand, I don't think we would ever see cross-platform play between the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360,

Well, if the Xbox allowed Steam...like the Mac, PC and the PS3 have...

Gearbox knows absolutely nothing about PC gaming anymore. As far as I know, this is patently untrue. I've never heard of a single game where copies purchased from different distributors couldn't play together. There are Steamworks only games that use GFWL for multiplayer even, like Dawn of War 2 and F1 2010.

Anah'ya:
[quote="AC10" post="7.237824.8516240"]I don't really understand what he's saying about the retail copy not being able to play.
My friends bought borderlands on steam and I bought it retail and I can play with them just fine.

that was me going on about splinter cell....but only because i was yet to get around to having no one to play co op with at all :(

*edit* whoops i screwed up quoting you LOL

AC10:
I don't really understand what he's saying about the retail copy not being able to play.
My friends bought Company of Heroes on steam and I bought it retail and I can play with them just fine.

I also didn't know games that used GFLW had separate "versions". I've never seen this in my life. Like, for instance, I've never seen game X that used GFWL which has a steam version which also does not include GFWL.

Just because Steam's version of Borederlands didn't use gamespy is really not the fault of Steam or Gamespy, it's the fault of Gearbox. Steam would have had no issues allowing gamespy to continue to provide the multiplayer for the game.

The Steam Version of Borderlands DOES use gamespy last time I played.

Just stop with the whole Games For Windows stuff. It's so annoying.

Nimbus:

Tom Goldman:
At the recent London Games Festival, Gearbox's Steve Gibson said: "[We] want people to be able to play together and right now if a guy buys a game on Games for Windows and a guy buys a game on Steam - they can't play together."

"If another guy bought it in a retail store, he can't play with the first two guys," he added.

Um... How true is this, exactly?

Second this. My copies of Dirt 2, Arkham Asylum, Fallout 3 and Dawn of War, all have absolutely no trouble running the Steam and GFWL overlays at the same time. They even helpfully appear on opposite sides of the screen, though I shudder to think of the missing processor cycles.

Jacob.pederson:

The Steam Version of Borderlands DOES use gamespy last time I played.

I just double checked, it does.

I like this idea.

But do something like it with the PS3 and 360!

I want to be able to kill my friends on MW2 who all have 360s while I use my PS3!

I want Steam to stop ripping off European customers.

I.E.D.:
I want Steam to stop ripping off European customers.

Valve doesn't set global prices except on their own games. Publishers set their own prices.

A BIG problem is that something like GFWL is out of the control of VALVe in terms of cheaters. Steam servers pride themselves on having a very stringent policy towards cheaters and this could be jepodised in a cross-platform world.

Should I go ahead and assume this means Gearbox won't be fixing their multiplayer interface anytime soon? It would be a waste of resources if you could instead blame your fuck-ups on someone else and get a bunch of thumbs up from the community since you're calling out those greedy and egotistical companies that aren't actually causing the problems you're talking about. It's good business, yeah?

Use Steam and don't use the piece of shit they call GfWL. It's not fucking complicated; most developers seem to be catching on.

Not that what he's saying makes sense anyway - if you buy a game from Steam it doesn't automatically use Steamworks, and if you buy a game in retail that does use Steamworks then you'll play on the same servers as someone who bought it from Steam.

There aren't different servers depending on where you bought the game from; you'd expect someone working in the bloody industry to have a little bit of a clue as to what they're on about.

Tom Goldman:
"Playing nice" is something that would make multiplayer game developers like Gearbox happy, but is it really possible?

Source: CVG

Permalink

Of course it's possible, that's what they do already! He doesn't have a clue xD

Without a neutral third party managing an open source architecture that is accessible by all platforms it will never happen. There is no corporate reason to ever support someone else's business over yours. It will take the likes of Firefox and years of pushing to topple the giants that are Microsoft and Sony. I strongly doubt we'll see the like for a long time now that the economy crapped out.

Edit: I'd just like to add that Apple, though not a game developer (yet) has currently lost the title of most used Smart phone to Google's Android. Android uses an open architecture. This idea does have legs but it needs heavy backing from deep pockets and major long term investing.

Half this article doesn't make sense, I can play with people who bought steam versions of Bad Company 2 with my retail copy just fine. Unless I'm actually missing something.

Cross platform play with PC vs consoles would be a disaster, they recently did that with Modern Warfare 2 as I gather and the console players were very much stomped on. It's that added speed and accuracy with a mouse, I didn't think there was that much of a difference if you were used to it but I guess I was wrong.

Also Gearbox says they want things to be united but you can't update retail borderlands with DLC from steam, so maybe they should work on that before knockin' others.

sunburst313:
Should I go ahead and assume this means Gearbox won't be fixing their multiplayer interface anytime soon? It would be a waste of resources if you could instead blame your fuck-ups on someone else and get a bunch of thumbs up from the community since you're calling out those greedy and egotistical companies that aren't actually causing the problems you're talking about. It's good business, yeah?

Oorah. Still can't play Borderlands co-op with my friends without some massive hassle and multiple attempts.

Is this claim legitimate at all? Why would it matter if you bought retail or Steam, or *shudders* GFWL? Other posters have already claimed being able to disprove this, so... Hmn.

TheDoomPenguin:

I.E.D.:
I want Steam to stop ripping off European customers.

Valve doesn't set global prices except on their own games. Publishers set their own prices.

Valve was charging 20 bucks for L4D2 to Europeans when spiting Microsoft with 6.50$ for entire pack.

Also, you people need to familiarize yourself with the value of Euro.

Or maybe we can just burn GFWL and be done with it.

The games for windows and steam thing will not happen for awhile if at all Valve and Microsoft are having a "relationship problem" if you know what I mean

on a related topic I don't think that retail thing is true as mentioned above where did they get that Information

So aside from the lack of PC to Xbox play (given PC can play with PS3 when portal comes out), everything he just said jst showed how out of touch he was, GFWL people can play with Steam, as there has never and never likely to be any segrigation between the two, case in point Fallout 3, which I have on steam and requires both steam and bastard GFWL to launch, (oh how I hate GFWL), besides, until the xbox allows mouse and keyboard support, there would be no point, we saw what happened with shadowrun.

Furthermore, given how MS appears to hate Valve, it's unlikely they're going to allow PC to Xbox play anytime soon, at least as far as Steam is concerned.

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