Steam, GOG, Origin, Uplay and now the Microsoft Store. Gamers on Windows have a number of distribution platforms to create accounts for in order to enjoy exclusive games. That’s bad news for consumers and a terrible user experience. What makes matters worse is Microsoft’s titles that are exclusive to its own store. The Microsoft Store on Windows 10 isn’t as good as the rest and that’s a problem.
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is the latest game to be released on the Microsoft Store with an exclusive tag. The game itself is brilliant and well worth picking up for long-time fans of the strategic series. Thing is, not everyone who has purchased the game has been able to enjoy the Age of Empires experience, thanks to issues with downloading and launching the game.
Microsoft needs to cease the exclusive launches.
This isn’t the first time the distribution platform has been slammed for bugs, glitches and poor performance either. Issues were also present around the Forza Horizon 3 launch, which was a huge game and required some players to download it more than once. It’s time for Microsoft to either cease running exclusive launches and utilize both Steam and GOG, or give up on releasing games on the store altogether.
The former seems much more likely if such a choice was put forward. If the company continues to offer such a poor performance to gamers on Windows — the same community Microsoft continuously says it’s backing alongside Xbox owners — things are going to get worse and lead more people to pirate. Why put up with a terrible purchasing experience if those who gain a copy illegally enjoy a more pleasant time?
The Microsoft Store needs a lot of work to get it into shape for PC gaming.
The fixes may be easy to roll out but first impressions are everything. I really like Age of Empires: Definitive Edition but the game currently sits at a three-star rating on the Microsoft Store. And it’s not only the problems with the store that make it a pain to use, it’s the layout and how it’s not fit for purpose when it comes to PC gaming. Go and launch the store, head to the gaming section and see how easy it is to browse around. Now compare it to Steam and GOG.
The taller two competitor platforms are far ahead in terms of design and layout, which hinders the purchasing experience further. Microsoft needs to show how serious it is for creating a viable platform for PC gamers. We need to see more deals, a better layout, as well as social features. The company needs to provide reasons as to why we should all use the Microsoft Store and not another distribution service. That, or it should simply throw in the towel.