Microsoft Corporation has only one strategic goal for application developers – to convince them that using Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is a great idea. A keen analysis of videos showing what transpired during the company’s Build 2016 conference shows that. UWP dominated pretty much the entire presentation the company had prepared for the attendees.
The thinking behind Microsoft’s efforts to lure app developers to UWP is obvious. More apps developed for this platform means more Windows 10 devices will be sold. It also means more users will be included into the company’s ecosystem, leading to demand for its cloud services. This eventually translates to more profits earned.
This plan sounds like a good idea, except for the fact that convincing game developers is an insanely difficult task.
Game developers who are building sophisticated high-demand games such as Tom Clancy’s: The Division and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt maximize the entire performance your computer can provide. This ensures they make the games as compelling as they should be. So any code that hinders them from doing so, like UWP protocols, is viewed as an hindrance.
Most game developers want nothing to do with any interference in any platform or operating system if they can. Games developed under the UWP must adhere to certain rules or restrictions set by Microsoft. This means game developers must stick to them, but it seems most of them don’t want to change.
Microsoft Is Offering Incentives to Attract Developers
In order to reverse this habit among game developers, the company has been dangling carrots to them to convince them to partner with UWP. For example, nearly two weeks ago, Microsoft revealed that UWP is now compatible with G-Sync from Nvidia and AMD’s Freesync.
Computer displays that are equipped with this technology enable games to adjust the frequency rate of showing images. Controlling this frequency rate depending on how the game is displaying improves a user’s experience.
It is noteworthy that such technologies were previously incompatible with UWP. This is because the frequency rate was fixed and hence couldn’t be adjusted when required. This shows how restrictions keep away game developers, and to some extension, hardware manufacturers.
Another aspect that has prevented UWP from gaining traction is customer apathy. Most games created nowadays have inbuilt tools and structures that provide for modification (mods). A user can adjust how a game plays or looks, and also increase its longevity. Unluckily for Microsoft, the ability to mod games built for UWP platform is somewhat limited.
During the Build 2016 conference, Microsoft addressed the issue of modding. It acknowledged that users were reluctant to buy games from Microsoft Store due to modding restrictions in the UWP platform. If Microsoft really wants to beat GOG.com and Steam in their game, it must provide for modding tools in the Windows Store.
Gamers and Game Developers Will Stay Away Until Mods are Available
So, gamers will keep off Microsoft Store as long as no modding framework exists. Similarly, game developers won’t create any products suitable for the UWP unless a sizeable gaming market exists in the Microsoft Store.
Fortunately, the Windows maker is working on developing modding infrastructure on UWP in order to address this woeful trend. The success of Microsoft Store will go a long way towards boosting the company’s bottom line.
Electronic gaming on Xbox and personal consumers is a solid growth area that will draw in customers to Microsoft Store in large numbers. The UWP platform is based on the premise of having one operating system run across multiple devices such as Xbox gaming console, personal computers, smartphones and Microsoft Surface pad.
Microsoft therefore should continue making its platform attractive to gamers and developers. Failure to do so means Microsoft Store will underperform, and become a liability to the company.