In a recent interview with Kotaku, one of the developers of the upcoming Halo: Master Chief Collection was asked about why Microsoft wasn’t bringing the remastered version of the Xbox classic to the PC. Along with such logistic reasons as time and budgetary concerns related to porting, the biggest reason given was that nobody at Microsoft actually knew how to develop video games for that platform.
“We’ve seen that there seems to be a large market for PC games”, said an anonymous source from inside Microsoft. “It’s something we really would like to get involved with because we see how popular services like Steam are. The fact is however, none of us have ever made anything for PC so it kinda freaks us out…you’re not going to quote this are you?”
Another source, one of the chief designers of Games for Windows Live, did go on to point out that even though their current understanding of PC gaming is minimal at best, they are making an effort to improve. “We are all taking some extra classes to figure out how to get console games ported, and we’re also trying to recruit some experts from other internal departments so we’re totally going to figure this out as soon as we can.”
Among other aspects of PC game design, figuring out control schemes for the keyboard-mouse crowd is a constant challenge. Two developers in the work area were overheard quietly arguing about whether having a keyboard means that all the buttons should be used, while another developer was sitting alone in the corner holding his laptop like a 3DS and looking confused.
In the end, it appears that Microsoft still has a long way to go as far as PC game development is concerned, but they are nothing if not committed to excellence. As the source was leaving the interview, he remarked that “We are on the cusp of greatness. Valve, Blizzard, look out. As soon as we figure out which key is used for ‘crouch’, Microsoft is coming for you!”