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Serious Sam developer on Windows 8’s “Walled Garden”: “It is a vicious circle, and carefully designed to be that way.”


“Gabe Newell did not overreact,” says Croteam CTO Alen Ladavac. He’s referring to the Casual Connect talk in which Newell declared Windows 8 a closed ecosystem and a “catastrophe” for PC developers.

“What you don’t see here is that, under the hood, the new tiled UI is a means for Microsoft to lock Windows applications into a walled garden, much like the one on iOS.”

Said Ladavac on Steam’s forums: “There is this ‘small detail’ that Microsoft is not advertising anywhere, but you can find it dug deep in the developer documentation. One cannot release a tiled UI application by any other means, but only through Windows Store.”
That wouldn’t be a problem, he continued, if apps didn’t first have to be certified by Microsoft themselves.

“This means bringing the ‘console experience’ onto your desktop,” said Ladavac. “Each app that you will get through the Windows Store will have to adhere to certain requirements imposed by MS.”

And despite Microsoft’s backtracking over the exclusion of PEGI-18 games, Ladavac remains worried that Serious Sam won’t meet the Windows 8 Store’s requirements.

“There could still be another fly in the ointment. Note that besides the bare rating, they also disproved profanities, drug references, and various other things like that in terms that are separate from the rating requirement. If they don’t remove all of that, a game may satisfy the ratings yet still fail the cert.”

“I would not invest into supporting the tiled UI apps until MS removes the requirement that they have to be shipped through Windows Store on desktop at least – and thereby remove the requirement of certifying them with MS,” he added. “Certification is a broken concept and should be abolished.

“So, it is a vicious circle. And not an accidental one. This one was carefully designed to be that way. I say: no thank you, I’ll skip on that one.”

Cripes. Perhaps it’s even worse than we thought. And perhaps ‘Walled Garden’ is too pleasant an image: positively cozy, rather than prison-like as presumably intended.What do you reckon?

Thanks, VG247.