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Games for Windows Live 'will get better', promises MS

Developers starting to come back to service, says MS man

Microsoft's promised its controversial Games for Windows Live service will "continue to get better" as more developers jump on board.

That's according to the senior producer of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, Kevin Unangst, who admitted to CVG this month that a lack of "fantastic games" meant the online service had a "rocky start".

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He said in an interview at Microsoft's spring showcase this month: "The service started with the right intent, which was to bring Achievements, friends, multiplayer gaming and matchmaking in a really great way to PC.

"I think because it was designed originally as a partner to the console service more than the PC service, we had a rocky start.

"We also didn't back it up with the most important thing, which is doing fantastic games to take advantage of the service. A network by itself isn't valuable - there needs to be great games to take advantage."

According to Unangst, the GFW Live service will evolve by taking on board the input of developers, such as Fable III's Lionhead and Age of Empires Online's Gas Powered Games.

"I look at it as like what Halo did for Xbox Live," he explained, "where you had Bungie and Microsoft going back and saying 'to make a great multiplayer game here's some things I need in the service, here's my audience'.

"The Age of Empire team has got a lot of great input and the same can be said for Lionhead, who said 'we're going to build Fable 3 on the PC' and know what they want out of the service.

"I think the underpinnings are great, I think it's going to continue to get better. We launched a new Marketplace which was great, we're selling Live and non-Live enabled games.

"We're also seeing developers get back to development. Epic did a great job of promoting Live with Bulletstorm. They're pleased with the platform and the service is going to continue to get better over time."

In the same interview, the senior producer claimed 2011 will be "incredible" for hardcore gamers on Xbox 360.

Look for the full thing shortly.

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