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Microsoft bringing more PC games to Steam, adding Win32 support to Windows store

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Phil Spencer outlines a new approach to PC gaming

Kait aiming a pistol at the camera in Gears 5 The Coalition/Microsoft

Microsoft says it will bring more of its own Windows PC games to competing digital stores, including Steam, as part of an effort to bolster its PC gaming presence. “We believe you should have choice in where you buy your PC games,” Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, said in an announcement on Thursday.

“In March, we announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will come to PC later this year, launching on Steam in addition to the Microsoft Store on Windows,” Spencer said. “We will continue to add to the more than 20 Xbox Game Studios titles on Steam, starting with Gears 5 and all Age of Empires I, II & III: Definitive Editions. We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we’ve heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice. We also know that there are other stores on PC, and we are working to enable more choice in which store you can find our Xbox Game Studios titles in the future.”

While Microsoft has made efforts in recent years to bring new content, including original PC titles and Windows 10 versions of Xbox One titles, to PC gamers, it has done through primarily through its own Microsoft Store.

The company is also adding support for Win32 applications to Windows’ Microsoft Store.

“We recognize that Win32 is the app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play, so we are excited to share that we will be enabling full support for native Win32 games to the Microsoft Store on Windows,” Spencer said. “This will unlock more options for developers and gamers alike, allowing for the customization and control they’ve come to expect from the open Windows gaming ecosystem.”

Microsoft promises more information at its Xbox E3 2019 briefing on Sunday, June 9.