Valve marketing manager Doug Lombardi has questioned Microsoft's new commitment to PC gaming during a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz. "Right now it seems like [Games for Windows is] part of the marketing push to help Vista," criticized Lombardi, adding, "To really back a platform is a sustained effort over years and years, so we'll see if in two years Microsoft is still spending money to put Games for Windows sections in retail, and having PR people preach that message that the PC isn't dying".
But this isn't a desperate call for loyalty. Lombardi appears confident that the PC gaming industry will continue to flourish with or without Games for Windows. "If you took World of Warcraft, Steam, PopCap and added it to the PC pool, all these huge revenues -- just WoW by itself, right? If you took WoW's 2006 revenues and the 360's revenues and compared them, even then you would say I don't think the PC's really dead."
Lombardi's remarks are a reminder to Microsoft that PC gaming has apparently thrived without a "team" name. While not quite threatening, there's an aggressive overtone in Lombardi's words; a "check yo'self" sorta vibe. Valve's marketing manager is certainly not alone in his skepticism of Microsoft's motives. There's no denying that Games for Windows is being used to promote the launch of Vista -- but will the commitment last beyond the initial push? The answer to that seems obvious: As long as the money is good.