My weekly series that covers the best new Windows 8 apps in a given week over at Betanews has been quite depressing the last two weeks. App growth in the US store dropped below the 1000 per week mark, and while I was still able to find several good new apps that got released the week, I'd pretty much would have preferred it if I had more choice in this regard.
Months ago I mentioned that a vital strategy for Microsoft would be to cooperate with popular app and game makers to get them to release apps and games for Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
While this may cost in the beginning, it will pay off in the end if Microsoft plays its cards right. The company should not make huge 100 million or so Dollar deals with companies like EA, but concentrate on smaller publishers that are known for quality.
Anyway, it seems that Microsoft is moving in that direction, as new press releases confirm that the company has inked deals with Amiga Games Inc and Gameloft to bring games to Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
The press release covering the Amiga Games Inc cooperation is rather vague unfortunately and does not mention a single game. It mentions that the publisher will bring between 50 and 500 classic Amiga games to Windows, and that the first 50 Windows titles are expected to be released by December 2013.
If you are old enough, you may have played on the original Amiga system which introduced some of the best games ever to the gaming world. If you look at Amiga Games Inc's portfolio that it has released for other systems, you find games such as The Chaos Engine, Speedball, Turrican or Super Cars II on that list.
It is not clear if classic games from companies such as Cinemaware (Wings, King of Chicaco, It came from the Desert), Lucasarts (Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Maniac Mansion), Microprose (Pirates, Civilization) or Rainbow Arts (Curse of Ra, R-Type, Katakis) will also be made available.
What is clear though is that this is not an exclusive deal, as Amiga Games Inc announced in July 2013 that it will bring its game portfolio to Android as well.
It appears that the games will be ported as-is to the new system, likely via emulation. The press releases does mention that the games will take advantage of Windows features such as live tiles, sharing, or snap.
That's probably disappointing to fans who had hopes to see HD versions of classic games.
Fifteen Gameloft blockbusters will get released for Windows 8 and Windows Phone over the next twelve months. This includes Dungeon Hunter 4 and Asphalt 8: Airborne.
15 games may not sound like much, but the Windows marketplace is short on blockbuster titles and those 15 games may make a big difference after all.
I'm pretty excited about Amiga games coming to Windows 8. While it depends highly on the games that are ported to the system, and how the games will play on the system, it is likely that this is going to boost the appeal of the system for gamers. Price may determine how successful this will be in the end.
It needs to be noted that there are other ways to get Amiga games to run on Windows 8 (not RT). You can buy Amiga Forever which ships with an emulator and games.