Microsoft announced today that next month's release of Fable III
is now available for pre-order on Valve's Steam digital distribution service as well as Microsoft's own Games for Windows Marketplace.
The expanded digital availability is a turnaround from the PC version's initial announcement last May
, when the downloadable version of the title was planned as a Games For Windows Live exclusive.
Microsoft is reserving a special pre-order bonus for those who pre-purchase through the Games for Windows Marketplace, though -- a free copy of Fable: Lost Chapters
, the expanded version of the franchise's first title. Steam pre-purchasers instead receive a free DLC pack containing four weapons and five character tattoos.
"Choice has always played an important role in the world of Fable
and PC fans will have even more choices than ever, without the consequence," Microsoft said in announcing the expanded digital availability.
Games for Windows Live and its associated Marketplace have struggled to gain a significant foothold in the PC digital delivery space, which is dominated by Steam and its over 30 million registered users.
Microsoft senior director for PC and mobile gaming Kevin Unangst promised last month
to help turn the service around by implementing feedback from a number of developers, including Fable III
Last September, Relic Entertainment announced it would be dropping Games for Windows support
for the follow-up to Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
, in favor of Steamworks.
Like many other digital delivery providers, Microsoft refuses to carry games that run Steamworks on the Games for Windows Marketplace, because such games require installation and use of the Steam digital storefront.