Games for Windows Live is Soon Dead; Gamers Bitter-Sweet as Old Games Still Won’t Work

Posted on August 20, 2013 8:45 AM by Rob Williams

Games for Windows Live, one of the worst pieces of software to ever come out of Redmond, is thankfully being retired next summer. Though not officially announced by Microsoft per se, someone spotted a mention of it on the Age of Empires Online support site, reading, “Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014.” 

Microsoft Games for Windows Live

For some reason, the discontinuation message was removed from the support page after word got out about it, so it seems that the “announcement” got out a wee bit too early. Given the recent announcement that its GFWL Marketplace is also shutting down soon, Microsoft’s closing of the rest of the service isn’t much of a surprise – but it sure is a good one.

If I seem a little bitter and you’re not quite sure why, then you obviously haven’t faced the hassle of dealing with Games for Windows Live yourself. No piece of software could better prevent you from playing your game than it, with personal burns involving Grand Theft Auto IV, BioShock 2, and DiRT 2.

That leads me to a potential issue: some games require GFWL to operate, so what happens to them after this closing? It seems like it’ll be up to the publishers / developers of these games to roll out a patch, but that’s rare for aging titles. We’re sure some companies will handle things, but it probably won’t be enough. 

Either way, good riddance, GFWL. *spits*

  • DWisen

    As long as I am able to play DiRT, I don’t really care. Now if we could get rid of Origin…

    • Rob Williams

      GFWL has bugged me more than Origin could ever hope to. I used to benchmark with DiRT 2, and each time I rebuilt the machine, I’d have to deal with the GFWL bullshit. Drove me up the wall. Then my hate for it only increased when I had to deal with it for GTA IV and BioShock as well.

  • zacharyt1122

    I really gotta say that this is not good news for me. I have quite a few GFWL games I have yet to complete, and as anyone knows you’re required to sign in to save your progress. What happens if the devs don’t release a patch? I know there are ways around it but I’ve never really had a “problem” with GFWL. And what about stuff like DLC? I have some DLC for Batman Arkham City. Hopefully there will be a way to preserve all of this.

    • Rob Williams

      Those are exactly the types of questions we hope to learn the answers to soon. If people lose their saves, or become unable to save, that raises some serious problems. I think developers owe it to their loyal customers to issue patches to prevent any issue.

      • Jamie Fletcher

        That’s if the developers are still around to provide such patches. How many studios and publishers have collapsed since GFWL was released?

        Maybe this is a case of MS disabling online multiplayer support and further development of GFWL, but the servers will keep running for authentication and game saves… though I remain highly sceptical.

        I think this will be a very nice wake-up call to developers and publishers (rather than gamers) – as this will show what happens when millions of gamers won’t be able to play their legally bought games, and the repercussions. “Repurchase” will not go down well.

        • zacharyt1122

          I did a little more research and apparently they will still allow you to sign into GFWL, and purchase DLC, but you the platform won’t be supported for new game purchases like in the past. I can’t see Microsoft doing something stupid like cutting off all the old games cold turkey, they would bury themselves for any future gaming platforms on the PC.

          • Rob Williams

            All I hope is that if we do run into a roadblock, users will create cracks that negate the issues. I really don’t like the idea of being totally unable to access my games even ten years down the road just because of some stupid mechanic that was built-in.

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