Following one of the hottest years in video game history, Microsoft Corp. yesterday announced at the 2008 International CES the addition of new titles to the Games for Windows portfolio and strong first-year results for the Games for Windows initiative. Games for Windows drove the PC gaming category in 2007 with some of the most popular Windows-based games available, and will continue the momentum for Windows-based gaming in 2008.
“Games for Windows truly thrived in 2007. We went from two titles in 2006 to a continually growing portfolio of over 60 titles here at CES 2008,” said Kevin Unangst, senior global director of Games for Windows in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “We delivered on our promise one year ago to reinvigorate the PC gaming space and bring the best portfolio of games to Windows. And this is just the beginning. With our partners, we will continue to drive the resurgence of Windows-based gaming.”
CES attendees will get to experience some of the great games of 2008, with six upcoming Games for Windows titles on the show floor: “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Funcom, Eidos Interactive), “Conflict: Denied Ops” (Eidos Interactive), “Frontlines: Fuel of War” (THQ), “Space Siege” (SEGA), “Turning Point: Fall of Liberty” (Codemasters) and “Jigsaw Too Photo Edition” (Carbonated Games), a game for Windows Live Messenger.
Delivering Great Games
Microsoft announced the addition of nine new Games for Windows-branded titles joining the portfolio from renowned publishers Atari Inc., Capcom, Eidos Interactive, LucasArts, Microsoft Game Studios, SEGA and Stardock., bringing the growing Games for Windows portfolio to more than 60 titles. “Alone in the Dark” (Atari) and “Sins of a Solar Empire” (Stardock) join other branded games from top publishers around the world committed to delivering quality-tested Games for Windows titles, including 2K Games, Activision Inc., EA Partners, Midway Home Entertainment Inc. and Ubisoft. New Games for Windows-branded titles announced at CES include the following:
· “Alone in the Dark” (Atari)
· “Bionic Commando” (Capcom)
· “Conflict: Denied Ops” (Eidos Interactive)
· “Empire: Total War” (SEGA)
· “LEGO Indiana Jones” (LucasArts)
· “Microsoft Train Simulator 2” (Microsoft Game Studios)
· “Sins of a Solar Empire” (Stardock)
· “Space Siege” (SEGA)
· “Tomb Raider: Underworld” (Eidos Interactive)
Other highly anticipated Games for Windows-branded titles expected to release in 2008 include “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Funcom, Eidos Interactive), “Borderlands” (2K Games), “The Club” (SEGA), “Fallout 3” (Bethesda Softworks) and “Frontlines: Fuel of War” (THQ).
Driving the PC Gaming Industry Forward
In a year when gaming was one of the most popular choices of entertainment, the Games for Windows initiative drove the PC gaming category forward. Games for Windows has brought Windows-based gaming to the forefront of retail stores, raising consumer awareness of Games for Windows titles and positioning the category for successful sales. In November 2007 alone, the Games for Windows portfolio accounted for 20 percent of all PC game sales at retail stores in the United States, according to the NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service.
“Games for Windows-branded titles were among the most popular Windows-based games purchased as gifts this holiday,” said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising for GameStop Corp. “Microsoft’s efforts to revive Windows-based gaming have helped grow the category.”
Casual Games on Windows: Windows Live Messenger Games and MSN Games
According to the Casual Games Association, the casual games industry generated $2.25 billion in revenue in 2007 worldwide, with a projected increase of 20 percent in 2008. Microsoft is a leader in the casual games space through gaming platforms including MSN Games and Windows Live Messenger Games. Today, MSN Games is enjoyed by 14 million people each month and offers them more than 600 games to play including “The Office,” “Luxor 3” and “Diner Dash: Hometown Hero.” Windows Live Messenger Games reaches 16 million people per month around the world and has 26 games to choose from, including the new exclusive title “Jigsaw Too Photo Edition.” “Jigsaw Too Photo Edition” is available now and lets players personalise the game by inserting their own photos. Players can also cooperate with each other via Windows Live Messenger to solve their personalised jigsaw puzzles.