Today, in addition to announcing that Xbox Game Pass is finally coming to PC, Microsoft also revealed that all first-party and second-party Xbox games going forward will release on other PC storefronts at launch, starting with Steam. According to Microsoft, there's plans to add additional storefronts in the future, but for now, it's starting with Steam. This new initiative to support all of PC gaming will begin with Gears 5 and Age of Empires I, II & III: Definitive Editions, which will launch on the Windows Store and Steam at the same time.
"We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we've heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice," wrote Xbox boss Phil Spencer over on the official Xbox website. "We also know that there are other stores on PC, and we are working to enable more choice in which store you can find our Xbox Game Studios titles in the future."
"We want to bring players together to create a shared player community regardless of where they play, so it's our intent that new Xbox Game Studios titles include features such as voice and text chat, LFG, friends lists and cross-play across PC and console. On Windows 10 you'll find this functionality in the Xbox Game Bar, which we'll continue to evolve and expand."
In addition to the above titles, Spencer notes that there's currently plans to bring over 20 games published by Xbox to Steam, which suggests it will be dipping into its backlog from this generation and bringing those titles to Steam.
As you may know, Xbox published games have been releasing on PC at launch for awhile now, but only via the Windows Store, which is disliked by many. Bringing its games to Steam at launch as well should bolster sale numbers, but will also hurt the Windows Store. It will be interesting to see if the positives outweigh the negatives here for Microsoft. For gamers, this just a win all around. More choice is always good.
Anyway, as always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think or hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there.