" At current rates, the company will hit roughly 26% adoption by the end of the free one-year upgrade period. That’s a significant install base, but it would be far below the one billion target Microsoft set for itself."
Gamers are, in absolute terms, only a fraction of Windows 10’s install base, but they tend to be a noisy and important fraction. Converting these users into Windows Store buyers has to be a huge goal for Microsoft, since it allows the company to tap purchases that would ordinarily flow to platforms like Steam. This was the fear that drove Gabe Newell to create Steam OS, and it’s still a potential threat to the Valve empire. Today, UWP applications like Gears of War have an exceptionally poor reputation, but Steam itself was widely loathed at launch. Over time, Valve turned its initially despised platform into practically the only digital distribution point for PC titles. Microsoft could theoretically do something similar, but only if it starts offering PC gamers the kinds of choices and options they are used to.
The tight sandboxing model doesn’t just preclude modding, it prevents the kinds of common INI tweaks that PC gamers have used for decades when dealing with slipshod software or poor console ports.
Plenty of players who never mod their games have nevertheless needed to adjust field-of-view (FOV) settings, tweak mouse acceleration, or change image quality settings that aren’t exposed in game menus. Sometimes such changes merely make a game more convenient, other times they’re practically required to make it playable.