Earlier this month, Microsoft announced an initiative to streamline the certification process of games coming to its Games for Windows platform. In doing so, the company effectively offered an olive branch to small developers and publishers who had previously been unable for a variety of reasons -- be they financial, time or size-related -- to release games on the platform. Perri Munsell, director of Windows consumer product management, told Joystiq today that the relaunch means good things for both the little guys and the big guys.
"Now, through the self-certification process, we really allow any developer -- indie on up, from one, two-man teams all the way up to a major publisher -- everyone receives the same automation tools." It's not just a question of making the certification process easier for everyone though, as Munsell says that before, indie devs couldn't even approach the GFW platform. "It goes beyond 'easier' -- it makes it possible."
When asked about Microsoft's criteria for "showcasing" certain games at its events, Munsell says rather unsurprisingly, it has to do with what the company is promoting and how that ties into its plans. For next month's Windows 7 release, the company will be courting game developers large and small that are working on multi-touch games. "[At our events] we have different developers at different times based on what the core message is. One example is that Windows 7 has multi-touch built into it, and so we're actively looking at developers today -- some of them indie -- that have some great examples of multi-touch capability. And it really shows off the technology. 'Cause multi-touch by itself? There's no magic there. Multi-touch with a great partner application? That's where the magic exists."
And sure, we asked when games would be downloadable and if Microsoft's working on cross-platform play, but got the boilerplate "nothing to tell you today, unfortunately" (though we should note there was an audible pause when we asked when we would be hearing more, before the PR handler chimed in). We were promised we'll be "kept posted" on those items, but for some reason, we're thinking "no" on holding our breath.