I never heard that any of those games that are exclusively sold on the Windows 10 store have ever been cracked. But some games on Steam are cracked days after release, even with the protection of something like Denuvo.

Given that, why should a game developer continue to sell games on Steam instead of just selling on the Windows store exclusively?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I imagine that the lost sales from not selling on Steam (people who would have bought your game but don't because it's not on Steam) is much higher than lost sales from pirates (people who would have bought your game but don't because they got a cracked version instead) \$\endgroup\$
    – Jimmy
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 5:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nothing is uncrackable. If there's money or fame to be made in something, then there are going to be people, who use it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 6:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well you have to write your program in C++ or C# for a start then there are these limitations stackoverflow.com/a/36288769/2187042. And some people are just philosophically opposed to Microsoft grabbing too much power \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 7:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ over 50% of people using steam are still on win7 compared to 35% that are on win10. You don't want to cut out 65% of your market just to avoid piracy. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 11:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ratchetfreak I'd upvote an answer with that insight. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 12:19

2 Answers 2


The current operating system stats on Steam tell us that only 35% of Steam users even use Windows 10.

And of those who do use Windows 10, not everyone regularly use the Windows store to shop for new games. This might be a kind of chicken/egg problem. There aren't many interesting games on the Windows store, so nobody goes there to look for games, so nobody bothers to place any interesting games there. But that's a problem for Microsoft. Players and developers are quite content with doing their business on Steam right now. Most PC gamers nowadays use Steam as their primary source of new games, which makes it the one distribution channel you need to focus on. Any other distribution channels for PC games are secondary concerns.

And when it comes to the Windows store, making your game able to run from there might be a major additional investment. The Windows 10 store security concept puts a lot of restrictions on developers. That means when you want to put your game on the Windows store, you either need to keep those restrictions in mind during development from day 1, or you need to invest a serious amount of developer days into making the necessary changes afterwards. This investment often does not justify the additional customer base you can reach on the Windows store. Packaging a game for Steam, on the other hand, is a lot less work. If your game is run with a .exe, it will run from Steam. Steam features like achievements or workshop integration (Steamworks) are optional.

Regarding copy protection: There is no such thing as an uncrackable software. When a computer can run it then a computer can copy it. Copy protection can make it less convenient, but it can't prevent it. When there is a game which wasn't cracked yet, that's usually because nobody felt like investing the necessary effort. Effort invested by crackers is usually proportional to the interest in the cracked game. And people aren't interested much in Windows Store games, so you don't see many crackers who even bother.

And if you are one of the paranoid development studios who really care about copy protection, then the Windows store isn't for you either. Most 3rd party copy protection software (like the infamous Denuvo) do not work within the security restrictions mentioned in the 3rd paragraph. So the Windows store copy protection is your only line of defense. When anyone finds an universally applicable hole in the Windows Store DRM (and considering that it's a Microsoft product, that's not an unrealistic concern), you are screwed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ But some systems are just hard to crack, like Sony Ps4. And not being able to use Denuvo isn't going to be a problem as well, since many games using it are still cracked even on the day of release. I agree lacking of customer base is a problem for Windows Store. That's why I think Microsoft taking over EA or Steam might actually be a good idea;) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 17:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @yughred The difference between consoles and PCs is that consoles are walled gardens where the manufacturer controls the hardware and can build it to refuse to execute any programs not signed by the manufacturer. Not so with PC hardware, which is designed to execute any program the user wants. Windows 10 also tries to be a walled garden, but the chances to succeed are low, because the PC hardware platform isn't built for that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 18:53

Because crackability is not the main consideration of game developers. Their main considerations are usually related to how many copies they can sell.

I've never used the windows 10 store and until just now i didn't know it had games. Steam is the best place to publish a game for a developer who cares about selling copies.


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