Microsoft Says It’s Not Shutting Down Games for Windows Live

Reports of GFWL’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Many developers have been ditching Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live service in favor of Valve’s Steamworks since last year, when Microsoft confirmed it will retire its PC Marketplace. DiRT 3, Batman: Arkham Origins, and even Ms. ‘Splosion Man developer Twisted Pixel, a Microsoft owned studio, are all using Steamworks now to manage achievements, multiplayer and other features.

But contrary to rumors, Microsoft insists that it is not shutting down Games For Windows Live on July 1, 2014.

“We are continuing to support the Games for Windows Live service,” Microsoft said in a statement to Game Informer. “As previously announced, as part of the retirement of Microsoft Points the Xbox.com PC marketplace was closed. Although customers are unable to purchase new games from the marketplace or receive title updates, they can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows Live client as usual. We remain committed to investing in PC gaming in the years ahead, and look forward to sharing more in the future.”

Xbox boss Phil Spencer said earlier this month that he thinks Microsoft needs to “up” its gaming presence on Windows, but stressed that Microsoft doesn't plan to compete directly with Steam. Microsoft also didn’t mention Windows and PC gaming during its E3 2014 press conference. “It's a retail show, it's a console show, so it didn't really feel like the right place for us to talk about Windows,” Spencer explained. “But Windows and gaming on Windows is critical to Microsoft's success."

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

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emanuelmaiberg

Emanuel Maiberg

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.
231 comments
BlackWolfX2g
BlackWolfX2g

If someone have problem with Games for Windows Live in Windows 8 or 10 (and that game wasn´t transfer under Steam), here is what do you need

1.Unninstal all old version of GWL from Windows (both parts of program), if you have installed GWL together with game from Steam as usually it installed old version

2.Find new version GWL on internet (download it direct from Microsoft page)

3.Install it and let download it all what it need (around 30mb)

4.Run game with GWL

5.Sign it with your Live account

6.It should begin download your profile, but after that you should get some notification about update

7.Download update

8.After download update, turn off your game with GWL

9.Update should be installed after you turn off the game

10.Run again game, sign into your GWL/Xbox account (profile) and after that wait to download your profile

11.Your game should work, together with saves and achievements, profit

johndarkwater67
johndarkwater67

But why do we need DRM?


Wouldn't it be easier to have a one off sign in when you install a game tied to the hardware you install it on and then each time you reinstall that on the same machine you do the check in and that's that? No clunky interface or program, just a one off process?

jacobdcooper
jacobdcooper

I hate this crap, Make up your minds, people. I literally have to PIRATE games i BOUGHT, because thanks to this being gone, I can't even get on the games. Thanks GFWL, For continuously ruining our experiences with gaming, please just shut down.

Necrotron
Necrotron

Well, I sure can't connect to the Games for Windows Live client by any means to download any of my previous purchases, so I'd say that seems pretty shut down to me.


It looks like they've kept the in-game DRM check going, but they might have shut down the download and client services.

Jamex1987
Jamex1987

If only Steam didn't always disconnect. 

PacoTaco
PacoTaco

DRM and market datamining masquerading as social features.

death4us2
death4us2

Lets just go slap the person or persons at Microsoft who decided to keep GFWL and then tell Microsoft you already are pushing a bad OS on us don't push your bad game client on us. :p

porcupine-fur
porcupine-fur

I personally am not for the monopoly of steam, we need more game clients to choose from. I am getting sick of this origin, uplay and gfwl crap, make something worth while. 

Hobbes444
Hobbes444

I thought they'd already shut it down. I can't play Microsoft Flight anymore ( i had it downloaded through Steam) and every time I go to launch the Games for Windows Marketplace client (yes i have updated it blah blah blah) it says it cannot connect. Hm.

deth420
deth420

shove off!


Oh, and were not turning our backs on microsoft, were just waiting for someone else to make an os that games are played on...then we will turn our backs on microsoft.

Maverick6585
Maverick6585

"We're not turning our back on PC gamers, but f*¢k you, PC gamers"


-M$oft

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

It's time to shut it down when developers know that no one has ever had a good experience with GFWL. I will personally avoid buying any game that has it anymore. It's a dealbreaker.

EliOli
EliOli

Never had anything but problems with GFWL.  Can't stand it.

seanwil545
seanwil545

The DRM space is already too cluttered.

Between Steam, Origin, Uplay and GFWL...one or two of these need to go away.

archav3n
archav3n

"It's more fun on Xbox One",Microsoft says

Meanwhile on PC... GFWL will not be shutted down.


gg PC gamers?

death4us2
death4us2

Microsoft should've made this announcement months ago but as usual they wait til the last second to screw everyone over on it.  Anyone with half a brain can tell you its crappy and has made PC gaming hell for lots of people. Last this is all a vain attempt to try to show PC gamers that Microsoft cares about PC gaming. Microsoft if you wanna show you care about PC gaming drop GFWL and start making PC games that is simple enough.

viewjet
viewjet

So I guess my Steam GFWL games like Resident Evil 5 are safe for the time being-- the saves, trophies and online friends . I still wish Capcom would have switched the service over to Steam's direct service.  But now it looks like they won't care about the future because Capcom is going out of business.  Man, this sucks...

brouhahaduty
brouhahaduty

Wow stop whining steam fanboys. GFWL works really well, had no issues with it. You all lack the knowledge of using it!

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

It was a nice idea and completely miserable execution.  Let it go Microsoft.

naz99
naz99

It says a lot when Games For Windows Live not shutting down is actually classed as bad news :P

balders74
balders74

Well no one should use the windows live platform going forward and hopefully all games will get this crap removed so I can play them without any worries.  I don't think any one will trust what MS does going forward as they properly f**ked the live experience up.  This could have been great X-box players against PC players etc (and allowed mouse and keyboards on consoles and sorted).  But no it was a big pile of crap, hence why this crap makes me mad and I sold my 360 and x-box one as I will no longer trust MS.  I have some games I can no longer play on steam thanks to this live crap.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

I recently noticed that I lost my Dirt 3 saves on Steam, even in offline profiles, and can not save until Codemasters removes GFWL, which they have committed to doing, but not within a given time-frame.  A dev just posted a message on a Steam forum to that effect.

aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

Of course you need to up your presence. When you're on the bottom floor, you can't go anywhere BUT up. What are you going to do, now, pull an EA and talk some big game like you're going to do something about it?

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

Destroy the GFWL code. DESTROY IT. Kill IT. 


The biggest problem i have with GFWL is the saving issues, your saves being attached to GFWL was the DUMBEST idea on the planet. It didnt stop piracy, it didnt do anything but piss me off and make me seriously hesitate buying a game on STEAM if it was attached to GFWL after my experiences with it.


How many times did your saves dissappear? I constantly had issues with DIRT 3 and Batman Arkham Asylum saves with GFWL.They would dissappear or just simply not save properly.

Niner0
Niner0

This still exists?

mordeaniis
mordeaniis

@PacoTaco Which is exactly what Steam is, it's just more useful and enjoyable to interact with as a consumer.

mordeaniis
mordeaniis

@death4us2 What? They turn it of and people bitch. They don't, and people still bitch. They are supporting EXISTING titles, not bringing it to new games. That means games that previously were expected to break will in fact remain functional, at least for the foreseeable future, and that's a good thing.
GFWL is useless, but it's rarely something that gets in the way other than first start up of a game after downloading it.

MoreThot
MoreThot

@porcupine-fur what exactly do you expect from another digital vendor? different games? better sales? So far no digital store specifically for games is better than steam lol. Maybe you just need to take a break from the computer and experience life? 

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@porcupine-fur Wait--you can't have it both ways. You just said you aren't for the Steam monopoly and need more game clients to choose from, and then said you are sick of Origin, UPlay, and GFWL--which are other game clients. Confused as to what your point of view is. 

archav3n
archav3n

@seanwil545 Uplay and GFWL needs to die honestly. Origin on the other hand, it's monopolizing their games. They are not releasing their games on Steam. What a shame.

Kisalon
Kisalon

@archav3n why gg PC gamers? we dont like GFWL they can keep it... Its worthless piece of crap

LLOYD1985
LLOYD1985

@brouhahaduty  Couldn't have said it better myself. I'm so sick of these Steam fanboys trying to ruin everything that's better than Steam just because they like kissing Gaben's backside.

ColdstoneX3
ColdstoneX3

@brouhahaduty its wonderful that you managed to find a way to live with GFWL, but its still a pretty bad piece of software, i applaud MS for keeping it on support for those people who wish to play their games, but ill be honest when i say im glad nothing will be released with GFWL in mind.

death4us2
death4us2

@mordeaniis By supporting EXISTING titles you mean not being able to log into GFLWL and not be able to save or get game updates or anything a game client is used for and that is a good thing? Shutting it down and having a game patch for games to work without it would be a whole lot better.  A little food for thought I hope I helped you understand things a bit better now. :p

mordeaniis
mordeaniis

@Kevin-V @porcupine-fur  He wants competition, not things that exist in some weird sort of mushy state next to Steam without really competing. Origin is the only thing even trying to compete and it's doing it in a pretty annoying way: locking EA games behind it's Orange walls.
Pocupine-fur clearly means he wants GOOD competition in the space. No one wants competition for competition's sake in the industry, they want it because of A) the flair it adds to the industry and far more so because of B) the benefits that the consumers reap as a result. Competition means more features to set them apart and that means platforms that do cooler things (look at everything Steam has done lately to expand it's feature set to ensure it stays well above and beyond the current competition.)


Come on Kev, you of all people should understand context and be able to get at what the guy means.


As for good competition for Steam, lets see if GoG's Galaxy ends up really competing by launching with major titles. If it continues to just be the "retro games a tiny sliver of random contemporary games" that will be fine but it isn't really a true competitor for Steam. It may encourage Steam to work on a better old school catalog though, who knows.

Tahir_Ahmad
Tahir_Ahmad

@Kevin-V @porcupine-fur 

He meant that he's not a Steam fan or say don't want them to dominate but he don't like Origin, UPlay and GFWL as competitors and probably want a better, more worthy competitor to Steam.

While it's a very difficult task to stand up and compete with Steam now since they almost took over PC DD space, I agree with op that UPlay, Origin and GFWL are not very customer friendly platforms, so far I faced more problems with them than convenience. The only DD services that is good beside Steam is GoG IMO.

razor_rj
razor_rj

@ColdstoneX3 @brouhahaduty hey i had 3 or 4 games with gfwl, never had a problem with it either....but i never liked it, it was a half assed attempo to xboxcize the pc.....but then they just shrugged their shoulders and say, well fuck, what gives

Niner0
Niner0

@brouhahaduty @Niner0 Because I find it amusing that a game service as bad as GFWL has survived this long. I also assumed that it had gone down the drain when all of the games I played dropped it in favor of steam (which actually was unfortunate for me in the case of Arkham City, in which I lost my save games...).

porcupine-fur
porcupine-fur

@mordeaniis @Kevin-V @porcupine-fur This is precisely what I meant, thank you. Apart from Steam, other game clients are not very user friendly, and while Origin is trying it's best, it fails miserably because it forces itself down people's throat making you HAVE to use it in order to play certain titles. That is not what gamers want - we want choice, and for the choice to matter it has to give us real options. Uplay, GFWL and Origin evidently do not understand that. Their lack of ambition or desire is making the Steam monopoly I am talking about. I like Steam, don't get me wrong, it is basically the only one I can use with little problems. Do not lock us from the games we bought, do not force us to use something we don't like/feel comfortable with and it's all good, for me at least. GoG needs major titles, and I fully support it for it understands what people want and wants to deliver. And for the record, I'm a girl. :)

iamahamsandwich
iamahamsandwich

@cheeckybit @iamahamsandwich lol again you're obviously average, typical, and ignorant. Running it is not an issue for me, it's just unpleasant with lots of bugs not to mention network issues. 


You're just ignorant without knowledge of anything better outside your little world plebian. 

death4us2
death4us2

@brouhahaduty @cheeckybit First of all calling someone steam fanboys tells me you are a Microsoft fanboy enough said about you. Because you played some ported games and a few others games while millions of other people had troubles with their games shows that simple software can't run most of Microsoft's games right. Last the average consumer has no technical skills so they can't use GFWL there in lies the problem.