Microsoft has denied it's shifting focus away from PC gaming, despite the closure of internal studios Aces and Ensemble and the firing of Games for Windows-Live boss Chris Early this month.

"Moving ahead, Microsoft will continue to invest in Windows as a first–class gaming platform through great Windows out of box experiences, our online gaming services including Games for Windows, MSN Games, and Messenger games, and through new games for Windows developed by Microsoft Games Studios," the company said in a statement to Edge.

Reasonable concern

The concern from hardcore elements of the PC gaming community that Microsoft is shifting its focus to console over PC game development is fuelled by a number of recent studio closures such as FASA Interactive (Mechwarrior, Shadowrun), Ensemble (Age of Empires) and Aces (Flight Simulator).

Following Chris Early's departure this month, Windows gaming "will be led by General Manager Ron Pessner, who is joining Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business…[and] Dave Luehmann, a long time Microsoft games veteran and General Manager within Microsoft Games Studios, who will now be overseeing internal development and publishing for all Windows-based games."

Pessner's responsibilities will include Games for Windows-Live, as well as certain other areas within IEB.

TechRadar has contacted Microsoft with an interview request to find out more about what Pessner and Luehmann have in store for PC gaming in 2009 and beyond.