Microsoft's Open Letter To PC Gamers, Full Of Good News



When I start an open letter to the world, I begin with "Dear So-and-so."

When Microsoft vp John Schappert began his open letter to PC gamers today, he started with "Growth and Opportunities in PC Gaming."

Weird start. Nevertheless, Schappert has issued what is basically a Microsoft-penned report on the state of PC gaming. Pretty rosy. No mention of World of Warcraft or Steam or The Sims.

But some good stuff nonetheless, like:

Other popular titles such as "Crysis" and "Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures" have sold and shipped more than 1 million copies, respectively. "Hellgate: London" now has more than 1 million active subscribers.

And

Today I'm excited to report that Microsoft and a growing community of the gaming industry's leading publishers, hardware manufacturers and retailers have made the Windows-based PC the largest gaming platform in the world.

Read the full letter after the jump.

Growth and Opportunities in PC Gaming



These are exciting times for the PC gaming industry. Over the past couple of years, Microsoft Corp. has increased its focus on investment in Windows gaming because we see the incredible growth and opportunities it represents not just for us, but for the industry at large.

Today I'm excited to report that Microsoft and a growing community of the gaming industry's leading publishers, hardware manufacturers and retailers have made the Windows-based PC the largest gaming platform in the world. Every major region will see PC gaming continue to grow in audience, game revenue and hardware purchases for the foreseeable future. While the challenges we face as an industry are many, PC gaming has never been stronger, and we're confident this trend will continue in the years to come.

The past year has seen exponential growth in online activity and sales, continued platform and hardware innovation, and continued success with the Games for Windows branding initiative, which adds prominence, a quality and technical bar, and a consistent look and feel to the retail PC gaming experience.

In the last year, we have helped launch a wide range of stellar PC game titles exclusive to Windows including "World in Conflict," "Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar" and "Sins of a Solar Empire." Other popular titles such as "Crysis" and "Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures" have sold and shipped more than 1 million copies, respectively. "Hellgate: London" now has more than 1 million active subscribers.

We are also dedicated to supporting the next generation of PC game developers with XNA Game Studio, a set of free, easy-to-use development tools for Windows-based PCs, Xbox 360 and Zune. Our goal is to assist a growing community of more than 1 million students, hobbyists and independent game developers realize their potential and enhance the Windows gaming ecosystem through their ingenuity.

Later today in San Francisco, Microsoft will be joined by our partners and select press at our Big Picture showcase event, where attendees will experience the PC gaming renaissance firsthand. Top game publisher Activision will premiere upcoming title "Call of Duty: World at War." Attendees will also be among the first to experience AMD's new Radeon HD 4800 Series DirectX 10 graphics card, NVIDIA's new GeForce 9M notebook GPU and other stellar hardware from Dell Inc., HP, Gateway Inc. and Acer Inc.

Also today, 16 titles join the Games for Windows portfolio, including "Call of Duty: World at War" (Activision), "Ghostbusters: The Videogame" (Sierra Entertainment), "Crysis: Warhead," (EA Partners), and "Zoo Tycoon 2: Ultimate Collection" (Microsoft Game Studios).

The Windows-based PC is the most connected gaming platform on the planet. Microsoft's continued investments will enable game publishers to take advantage of that connectivity while delivering to consumers the kinds of gaming experiences they will love.

These are exciting times. We're proud of how far we've come and excited for what the future holds.

Here's to Windows gaming,

John Schappert

Corporate Vice President

LIVE, Software and Services

Microsoft