Gabe Newell: Windows 8 is a Catastrophe — Blizzard Entertainment Games Heading to Linux?

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

Speculation

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.

XBox Live integrated with Windows 8

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medievaldragon

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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  • While I agree with Misters Newell and Pardo, I don’t think a shift to Linux is happening anytime soon – and probably not at all. What I think will happen is what happened with Vista/Seven: Windows 9 will come out sooner than a new generation of software usually does and correct many of the mistakes of its predecessor.

    The thing is that the mainstream market (and by that I mean individuals who aren’t tech-savvy like us, as well as companies) don’t shift to a new system very fast; many of them still use XP or Vista.

    I just hope these comments by trend setters make Microsoft realize what a mistake they’re about to make with Windows 8 and start working on the next one quickly.

    • Medievaldragon

      Imagine NVIDIA, Intel, AMD, Blizzard, Valve, and other PC game developers joining to create an API from scratch and a Gaming OS or distro which allows game developers to thrive freely in an open-platform.

      • That would indeed be great for game development, but it doesn’t seem very practical from a business standpoint.

  • Neinball

    I think Gabe Newell is prone to a bit to much hyperbole to take anything he says with any level of seriousness. I mean this is the same guy that ranted for years that the PS3 was the worse piece of garbage to ever be created and that Sony should just shelve their entire gaming division because the Xbox was a million times better. Valve would only create games for the XBox and someone else would have to port their games to the PS3.

    Fast forward a few years and then Microsoft said no to implementing Steam on XBL and then Mr. Newell claimed that the PS3 was the leader for the future in gaming and the XBox was a horribly designed piece of garbage and now Valve is a PS3 exclusive company. The man doesn’t speak with wisdom, he speaks with self interest and is the worst type of hypocrite.

    And as Mikeztrap put it, I too highly doubt there will be any mass exodus in the PC gaming market.

    • Eldorian

      Could it be the reason why he went with PS3 over Xbox recently is because of Windows 8?

      • Neinball

        This happened back in 2010 around when Windows 8 was first officially announced. If anything his lack of support for Windows 8 is due to his falling out over the XBL issue.

  • Am I the only person who facepalmed over the OUYA bit? I hope not. That came off as a fucking joke. What experts? Do you mean a woman who wrote about digital distribution at IGN or the guy who designed the case? Wow. All credibility exploded on impact.

    • Medievaldragon

      Boxer8 is more than just Julie Uhrman (founder) or Yves Béhar (designer). It’s a company with experts and professionals.

      I don’t think many know if Julie has a college degree or master degree in something relevant outside her run as IGN writer. An example: Maticus (Worldofwar.net) — who I worked with — was a writer just as Julie Uhrman was at IGN.

      Maticus (Belinda) is now been working at Blizzard Entertainment (Paris) two years. Is she, or is she less an expert/professional than she was when she was a gaming news writer? Does she have a college degree or master in something relevant? I think it’s harsh to judge someone without knowing all the angles.

      If OUYA wasn’t built by experts:

      • would Mojang be interested in bringing Minecraft to OUYA?
      • would Robert Bowling (Infinity Ward) be interested in bringing Robotoki’s Human Element to the OUYA?
      • Would Bruce Grove be interested to bring OnLive to the OUYA?
      • Would Ed Fries be interested in becoming OUYA advisor?

  • Neinball

    I’ve been looking around for info on what exactly the issue with Windows 8 is and all I can find is that it will have Windows LIVE built-in. Was there something specifically at issue besides that? So is Mr. Newell just afraid of a little competition?

    • Medievaldragon

      There’s likely the worry about a Steam competition with the built-in Windows 8 Store portal and the integrated XBox Live within Windows 8.

      However, with Blizzard Entertainment’s Rob Pardo confirming via Twitter “Windows 8 is not awesome for Blizzard either” — you have to wonder exactly what in Windows 8 is causing Blizzard to be uncomfy about developing game support and development for it.

      Rob just didn’t specify, and that’s the focus of this article. I can care squat for what Newell said, but if Rob Pardo agrees — that hits close home. My duty is to let fans know, and to be alert myself if Rob makes any clear up and delves into what he meant.

      I was considering to upgrade to Windows 8. With Rob’s comment, I’m leaning to changing my mind and sticking with Windows Vista-64 for a while. I was going to upgrade to Windows 7 several months ago until I heard Windows 8 was in development. Didn’t want to spend money twice. Now I’m like … limbo. I wouldn’t want to screw up all my Blizzard games installation and realize out of the blue I can’t play any of them.

      Don’t know where the Windows Vista DVD is right now to back pedal if Windows 8 messes up.

    • Eldorian

      The thing that everyone is missing with Newell’s remark is that the industry is afraid that Windows 8 will use it’s app store as the only source for programs on the operating system. Essentially following Apple’s footsteps with what they do with iOS.