Microsoft planning discontinuation of Games for Windows Live service

On top of shutting down the Marketplace for its Games for Windows platform, it appears Microsoft plans on discontinuing the Live service entirely.

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On top of shutting down the Marketplace for its Games for Windows platform, it appears Microsoft plans on discontinuing the Live service entirely. Although Microsoft promised the "service will continue to operate as usual," a since deleted Xbox support update mentions a specific shutdown date for the service.

The Age of Empires Online support page noted that "Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014." After that date, the server will shut down, rendering the game unplayable.

IGN took a screencap of the notice before Microsoft removed it from its website. While it seems likely this was an early look into Microsoft's plans, the company has been known to reverse course on a number of decisions. For now, it appears GFWL is going the way of the dodo--the only question is when.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 19, 2013 6:00 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Microsoft planning discontinuation of Games for Windows Live service.

    On top of shutting down the Marketplace for its Games for Windows platform, it appears Microsoft plans on discontinuing the Live service entirely.

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      August 19, 2013 6:03 PM

      *cheers wildly*

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      August 19, 2013 6:04 PM

      Fantastic, though I wonder how many existing games will just completely break because of this.

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      August 19, 2013 6:05 PM

      Have any developers given any official word on their plans in reaction to this? Especially for SSFIVAE, Dark Souls, Arkham City, or GTA4?

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        August 19, 2013 6:14 PM

        Ultra Street Fighter IV PC is going to be Steam-only. I don't know what WBIE is going to do for Arkham City or Arkham Asylum. I imagine that 2K is still too stoked about GTA5 to care about GTA4.

        It's a sad position, considering how many GFWL games were released years ago, from developers who can't bother to spend development time to get them off of GFWL (games like Bioshock 2, Bulletstorm, Fallout 3's DLC section, Dead Rising 2). Most of those developers will probably just let the games die off, since they have to worry about getting paid, and therefore focus only on current titles.

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        August 19, 2013 6:20 PM

        Dark Souls is going Steamworks.

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        August 19, 2013 6:40 PM

        Or Bulletstorm

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          August 19, 2013 6:50 PM

          Also a game I'd like to play again some time!

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            August 20, 2013 6:41 AM

            I guess you are just going to have to become a pirate in order to use property you paid for.

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        August 19, 2013 6:51 PM

        support for SSF4 AE will probably drop dead

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          August 19, 2013 6:53 PM

          Ultra better port over my costumes or I am going to be very mad and totally underdressed!

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            August 19, 2013 6:57 PM

            capcom says lol

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              August 19, 2013 7:00 PM

              They better not. I've bought 3 games from them that have GFWL. I haven't even played RE5 yet, now there's the possibility I won't be able to play a game I HAVE A DISC FOR because Microsoft doesn't feel like meeting their obligations.

              Capcom needs to address this asap.

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                August 19, 2013 7:26 PM

                capcom will address it--by saying you can buy RE5 on Steam or PS3 or 360

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      August 19, 2013 6:18 PM

      Hmmm since THQ is now defunct, I wonder how Warhammer Dawn of War I and II will fare.

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      August 19, 2013 6:25 PM

      It's this kind of news/rumors that worries me about online all the time, which let's face it is coming eventually, maybe not with this new gen, but surely with the next one. When you buy a game and can't play it anymore because the severs are no longer operational that's a serious issue with the industry, when are gamers going to stand up and say enough is enough? And why does most of the gaming media think this is a good idea?

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      August 19, 2013 6:34 PM

      Fuck what does this mean for Fallout 3, Dark Souls, Batman:AC, etc?

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        August 19, 2013 6:36 PM

        At the very least, you can't buy the DLC anymore, because the GFWL Marketplace is getting shut down in 3 days.

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        August 20, 2013 4:18 AM

        I know you can at least play and save on Fallout 3 without logging into GFWL. However any saves made under GFWL will be encrypted.

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        August 20, 2013 10:30 AM

        Strongly rumoured that both Batman titles as well as Bioshock 2 are going GFWL-free soon.

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          August 20, 2013 12:17 PM

          I just got an unspecified ~20MB update to Bioshock 2 a few days ago.

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      August 19, 2013 6:38 PM

      Will Microsoft not be stripping GFWL from their own PC releases?

      I don't have many, but will stuff like Iron Brigade & Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet stop working like the Age of Empires online example come that date next year?

      I assume 3rd party publishers like Capcom, Codemasters, 2k / Rockstar, etc will be removing it from their games. At least I hope they do.

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        August 19, 2013 6:47 PM

        Microsoft Studios already took care of this: they don't release PC games anymore. Halo: Spartan Assault is a Windows 8 RT / Windows Phone 8 app.

        As for the games from third-party developers that Microsoft Studios publishes over GFWL, yeah, they have some 'splainin to do. But the answer is most likely going to be "tough shit; we'll let the developers do what they want, on their own dime."

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        August 19, 2013 7:32 PM

        I think they will provide maintenance level support or night-lighting the service so existing games still work. They just won't expand on the service.

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          August 19, 2013 7:52 PM

          Their track record as far as old PC games has been quite good, I think, so I'm hopeful.

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      August 19, 2013 6:52 PM

      God Microsoft is just such a crappy company when it comes to just about anything these days.

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      August 19, 2013 7:02 PM

      haha people were talking about this last week

      http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=30652582#item_30652582

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      August 19, 2013 7:32 PM

      Great, but does this mean GFWL games will now be unplayable? I sure hope it doesn't become the responsibility of the developers to release updates to make the games playable without GFWL, because I'm sure some of them won't bother :(
      Best case scenario, all games will work without any issues but won't have MP support unless the developers decide to switch to steamworks or something.

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        August 19, 2013 8:21 PM

        But I thought most of GFWL was online check DRM, and GFWL's game saves are locked into profiles that are only accessible when online (...which won't be possible after they shut down the GFWL authentication servers).

        This isn't even official yet, but only giving publishers a year before they have to announce whether a bunch of games released from 2007-2011 will even be playable? And for some developers that aren't even around anymore, or haven't worked on the game in years? I imagine we'll hear some (unofficial) pushback.

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          August 19, 2013 10:20 PM

          I'm sure they can simply decrypt the save files and allow them to be used offline once the GFWL service is removed.

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          August 19, 2013 11:14 PM

          You can create local profile so the games should still be playable, I guess.

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            August 20, 2013 12:05 PM

            But you'll lose any progress you had because those profiles can't access the encrypted save games.

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        August 20, 2013 6:44 AM

        Yeah I just reinstalled Red Faction Guerrilla, and it uses GFWL. It'd be a shame if that game was suddenly unplayable.

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      August 19, 2013 8:02 PM

      About freaking time. GFWL has been a horrible mess for years.

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      August 19, 2013 8:21 PM

      it's a good call. GFWL was a sideshow of a service and not the quality people are going to want on their fancy shmancy gaming master race rigs.

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      August 19, 2013 9:06 PM

      Dark Souls, GTA 4 & the Batman games are all I'm really concerned. I own the Red Faction's too but I'm fairly sure they are fucked :(

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      August 19, 2013 9:06 PM

      Somewhere out there, dognose just howled at the moon.

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      August 19, 2013 9:47 PM

      DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD.

      Having to use GFWL with anything was irritating.

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      August 19, 2013 9:55 PM

      lol, and they wanted everyone to be forced into always-online DRM for EVERY game on xbox one.

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      August 19, 2013 10:29 PM

      Maybe Microsoft might be planning to start from scratch and create their own Steam-like client...? Remember recently the Steam director, Jason Holtman, moved to Microsoft to apparently "make Windows a great platform for gaming." (source: http://au.ign.com/articles/2013/08/14/former-steam-boss-jason-holtman-joins-microsoft). They must be planning something...maybe his plan to simply support steam? lol

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        August 19, 2013 10:46 PM

        They already have a replacement. The Windows 8 App Store. Xbox LIVE is already supported on it (gamer tags, achievements, etc)

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          August 19, 2013 11:17 PM

          /\/\/\

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            August 20, 2013 3:57 AM

            No, that's not a replacement. If it's in the Windows 8 App Store, doesn't it need to be runnable on Windows RT, and support touchscreens?

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        August 20, 2013 4:48 AM

        Even if they are, why would I even consider investing any time or money in it when I know they're capable of pulling the plug on it just as easily as GFWL?

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      August 20, 2013 4:35 AM

      Things that might be gone too now:
      - patching GfWL games
      - downloading already bought DLC

      Basically, if you ever need to re-install a GfWL game, it might be difficult to re-acquire the patches and DLC.

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      August 20, 2013 5:23 AM

      IT'S FINALLY OVER!

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      August 20, 2013 6:00 AM

      Our long national nightmare has come to an end! GG Obama!

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        August 20, 2013 6:25 AM

        ^ what a fool

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          August 20, 2013 6:27 AM

          hopefully the govt can turn their attention next on the red monster that is uPlay

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      August 20, 2013 6:39 AM

      First they tried to charge for this shit like XLive (fuck you that shit doesn't fly on PC) then it goes FREE(still, fuck you) and now it's going away finally. I'm just concerned about the GFWL games I currently have and still like to play. So glad this nightmare is coming to an end. Microsoft if so out of touch with PC gaming its really embarrassing considering they make the OS of choice for the platform.

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      August 20, 2013 6:46 AM

      Trust Microsoft to do the right thing (finally) in the most ultra douchey manner possible.

      GFWL has never been anything more than a giant taint ache, and now they're going to fuck people over who still use it to play games they like.

      Fuck Microsoft.

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      August 20, 2013 6:56 AM

      Crying tears of joy right now. Can't believe that piece of shit service stuck around as long as it did. Reiterating what others have said: fuck Microsoft.

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      August 20, 2013 7:11 AM

      Games for Windows Dead

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      August 20, 2013 9:10 AM

      Soooo... what happens with Dark Souls?

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        August 20, 2013 9:26 AM

        You Died

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        August 20, 2013 9:31 AM

        Logan's Run Difficulty mode unlocked: You have until June 2014 to finish it. There is no sanctuary!
        It will be patched out I'm sure.

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          August 20, 2013 10:53 AM

          Yup right after the screen resolution patch for sure

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      August 20, 2013 10:37 AM

      I bought FO3 during the summer sale (I think). Either way I own it but haven't started it yet. Am I safe to start a game or do I need to wait?

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      August 20, 2013 10:40 AM

      what happens when steam shuts down???

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        August 20, 2013 10:46 AM

        End of the world

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        August 20, 2013 10:48 AM

        I'm putting on my The Humungus outfit and heading toward the closest game retail store.

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        August 20, 2013 10:59 AM

        Millions of hats will dissappear in the blink of an eye

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      August 20, 2013 12:08 PM

      Praise baby jesus! I dream of a steam only future.

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      August 22, 2013 1:50 PM

      Ding, dong
      The Witch is dead
      Which old witch?
      The Wicked Witch
      Ding, dong
      The Wicked Witch is dead