Windows 8 – Off With Their Heads

(Ping! Zine Issue 53) – A tense situation is developing between gaming enthusiasts and Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system. In question are requirement standards and whether the OS’s arbitrary app certification rules will allow compatibility for some top gaming titles. The issue was recently expanded on via a report appearing on TechDirt.com.

So why the worry? “The primary concern is with Microsoft’s insistence on walling off its Metro UI and accompanying Windows Store. When a distribution system is walled off, new restrictions come along that limit the type of content that can be made available. As application and game developers learn more about the restrictions Microsoft plans to implement, their concern is growing,” explained Tech Dirt.

Such an issue could see the OS limited against some of the industry’s most popular titles including Skyrim. A provided example was Microsoft’s insistence that apps be content appropriate for everyone. “Your app must not contain adult content, and metadata must be appropriate for everyone. Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed,” reads Windows 8 app certification requirements.

Gamasutra’s Casey Muratori, meanwhile, recently pointed out that Skyrim and other titles would not meet such a threshold with their mature content. That’s despite the fact that the title was named “Game of the Year” at the 2012 Game Developers Choice Awards.

Windows 8 also recently caught flack from one of the gaming industry’s top players.

Minecraft creator Markus Persson excoriated the metro-styled OS via his Twitter account. “Got an email from microsoft, wanting to help “certify” minecraft for win 8. I told them to stop trying to ruin the pc as an open platform,” commented Persson in late September. The Minecraft maker’s criticism didn’t stop there. ““I’d rather have minecraft not run on win 8 at all than to play along. Maybe we can convince a few people not to switch to win 8 that way..,” he continued in another Tweet.

Microsoft has kept busy upping its game in terms of available applications, an area it still prominently lacks in compared to others including Google and Apple. However, the company is instead finding a backlash among some of the gaming industry’s most hardcore fans, the developers. While it appears that the Windows-developer has yet to respond to such criticism, one thing remains obvious: console devices will continue to be the primary platform for titles including Skyrim.

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