Theoretically the Windows 10 Store should be king of on-line distribution, shouldn't it? Apart from trying to compete with the likes of Steam, Origin, GOG and Uplay. It also has to fight its own Microsoft barriers.

Windows 10 Store games are exclusive to windows 10 because of DirectX 12 and not having a .exe file to run. Instead they run on a windows runtime called UWP, or Universal Windows Platform. This would be great until you run into the tiny detail that Windows 10 only has around 28% share of the market, Windows 7 having the largest market share with around 44%.

So apart from Microsoft handicapping sales of games they publish by restricting them to a very narrow platform. There is still the spectre of Games for Windows Live (GFWL) that lives on in the heads of gamers. Many have taken on the mantra that the Windows 10 Store and UWP is simply GFWL rebranded. This is perhaps an unfair characterisation but anger persists.

xbox play anywhere logo
The future of gaming?

Perhaps the ability to play the same game on your XBox One and PC with Xbox Play Anywhere will be a draw. Only time will tell if such distribution exclusivity will work. Already a game that was slated to be exclusive to the Windows 10 Store - Quantum Break - ended up being released on Steam afterwards. Perhaps to bolster sales.

A further example is State of Decay 2, launching in May. The game will be a Windows 10 Store exclusive title with Xbox Play Anywhere but on the games faq page the question of "what about steam" is addressed as "Stay tuned – we’ll have more to share in the future."

If they once again make a Windows 10 Store title available on Steam or even other platforms for that matter. What reason do people have in sticking with Windows 10 when they can just wait for the game to come to their platform of choice?

The Windows 10 Store could thrive but only if Microsoft publishes games that people want to play more than they object to starting up yet another games service they have to use.