Microsoft Game Studios business development manager for Europe, Peter Zetterberg, made a couple of interesting remarks during an interview with GamesIndustry regarding simultaneous releases of PC and Xbox 360 games:
Q: Which format is your priority in Europe? You have these big Xbox 360 titles such as Mass Effect, but they don't see release on the PC until six months after the console release. Why don't you go for a simulataneous treatment on these titles?
Peter Zetterberg: On a global scale the Windows Vista business is as important as our Xbox 360 business. But in Germany for example, we want more gamers to buy our Xbox 360. If we launch a game that is on 360 and PC simultaneously, we basically shoot ourselves in the foot by allowing the German market to choose to play the PC version – because they are more likely to buy that than spend their money on the Xbox 360. On a global scale the PC is very relevant to us. And I would say that 90 per cent of the games that are pitched to us are on console. We're strongly perceived as a console publisher because we're the first-party publisher even though the Windows operating system is equally important to us. If we launched a Halo game on PC and 360 in Germany simultaneously, 80 per cent of sales would be on the PC. So we need to pick and choose our formats.
Q: So you're admitting that the Xbox 360 is the priority, because you don't want to lose console sales.
Peter Zetterberg: No, they're equally important. The PC has a much wider use, it's so established, it's so dominating already so in some territories we need to make the games for the 360 to increase the sales there.