Frabjous Day: No More GFWL In 40K Games

By Alec Meer on September 15th, 2010 at 5:29 pm.

Yes yes, oh yes. THQ’s announced that the unlovely Games For Windows Live will be dropped from the next installment of Dawn of War II (that’ll be Retribution, which includes Orks in singleplayer and a mystery new race) and from Space Marine. Which is great news; not purely because GFWL sucks like a sucky thing born on the first of suck ninety-suckity-suck, but also because DOWII requiring both a GFWL login and a Steam login was a right old pain in the wobbly bits.

Retribution and Space Marine alike will be using Steamworks instead, which I think most of us would agree will be an infinitely preferable way of doing multiplayer, chatting and achievements. Sadly the two existing Dawn of War II titles remained saddled with Microsoft’s code-beast, but at least the future’s bright.

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130 Comments »

  1. danarchist says:

    oh thank god! I am so sick of that stupid thing not syncing causing me to not be able to play. Especially in hotel rooms for some reason, which is where I really crave some orc smashing.

  2. Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:

    See, I know none of MY games will ever be saddled with that bullshit.

  3. Bostec says:

    Having to log in all the fucking time and my mouse still doesn’t seem to work when I click on the windows Live buttons, I have to manually seach out the HOME button on my keyboard just to hide the shite. This is great news all round.

    • SquareWheel says:

      Wait, you don’t know where the home button is?

    • Bostec says:

      I have my keyboard always half under my desk, it takes effort to unroll the keyboard plank or whatever the fuck it is, plus the wheels are dodgy on it, anyway Its not the fucking point, ESC would of been better.

      And Wait! Mouse no work? No! Nada! Nien!

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Well, that’s your own damn fault. You have a early 90s style “computer desk”, which in addition has dodgy wheels and can’t be pulled out fully, and is such a crappy setup, that you can’t even find the home key, and you complain about the program?? How about throwing that desk into the trash and getting something from this millennium? ;) Like just a desk. A real desk.
      And why in the world would you prefer *seek out click area* *push mouse to new position* *adjust for overshooting* *get just a little bit more exact to hit those 1.5 pixels that your average button feels like* *press the mouse button*… to *just press the home button and be freakin’ done!*??

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      @Squarewheel: I have a mac keyboard. I don’t -have- a home key.

      Why would I? I’m always at home with my mac! *ahem*

  4. Antsy says:

    Bloody GFWL. If only they could give us Universe at War without that crap jammed up its rear-end too.

  5. SquareWheel says:

    Hoorah!

  6. gryffinp says:

    PRAISES TO THE EMPEROR!

  7. b4dmash says:

    Hmm.. So will this also affect the previous campaingns? I still haven’t finished single player. Will I lose my saves?

  8. Cerebrium says:

    It’s the God-Emperor’s will.

  9. benjamin says:

    The heretics have been purged.

  10. ScubaMonster says:

    So does this mean matchmaking now won’t totally blow?

  11. Bayemon says:

    Awesome news. GFWL sucked donkey balls. Smart move THQ.

  12. Mitchel Tyrell says:

    I actually don’t mind GFWL, I kinda wish borderlands on PC had used in rather than gamespy since I don’t have any friends on that network.
    “GFWL sucks like a sucky thing born on the first of suck ninety-suckity-suck”
    RPS, could you guys elaborate on what your issues with GFWL are?

    • subedii says:

      If you’ll allow me, I feel I can answer that one. Fortunately I don’t need to type this all out, I can copy-paste from bits and pieces I’ve posted elsewhere over time.

      First, I apologise, this is going to be long. But you’re wondering why people dislike GFWL.

      Here are my experiences over the course of a number of GFWL games, mostly with multiplayer Dawn of War 2:

      - First off and most importantly, for a game that’s been GFWL certified, any and all updates have to go through Microsoft for certification before they can be applied to the game. This is a process that in itself takes well over a month, and the developer has to pay for every certification. Frankly, this is utterly utterly HORRENDOUS for online balance.

      What this means for a game like DoW2 is that updates cannot be pushed out incrementally and regularly. Instead what happens is that you wait for months on end whilst game breaking balance issues are in the wild, only to receive massive mega-patches that try to fix everything at once and end up breaking something else.

      You see similar on XBL for that matter. But this has the effect of hampering online play to a ridiculous degree as the game remains unpatched for anywhere up to six months (Gears of War 2 was particularly legendary for just how broken its multiplayer was, and remained, for about a half a year after its release).

      Let me put this in comparison for you. Within one month of being released, Supreme Commander 2 (using Steamworks, and as such they can update freely and whenever they want) had already had more balance updates than Relic were able to push out in about six months.

      Because of GFWL certification, Relic have to focus on extra-large, balance breaking updates so that they don’t extend the delays on patching further and have multiple paid certifications going at once. They aren’t Infinity Ward, Microsoft won’t “bend the rules” for them in order to fast-track updating.

      For singleplayer games this isn’t really an issue. For multiplayer games it effectively destroys balance because developers can’t incrementally and immediately update the titles. It needs to go, or else needs some drastic changes. Imagine for a moment, if Team Fortress 2 had to not only have a month long certification process every time they wanted to roll out even a minor update or patch, and also had to pay for it.

      - There is still no external client. In order to see your friends and what they’re playing, or send them a message, you already need to be in-game to do it. MS released an entire separate client for GFWL marketplace but refuse to do so for the actual community features.

      - For that matter, signing into GFWL automatically kicks you off of your XBL. For all of Microsoft’s talk of merging these two systems into a single cohesive whole that does for the consumer, it doesn’t like you running Netflix on your XBox whilst logging in on the PC.

      - The community system is utterly lacklustre. Communicating with friends can’t happen through some kind of chat system, you have to effectively e-mail each other back and forth.

      - For that matter the mic suppport, for whatever reason, seems to be pretty atrocious. With all my friends that have DoW, we’ve ended up having to use either Steam voice chat or vent. Going through GFWL just resulted in a staticy mess.

      - Related to that, there’s no bindable push-to-talk button. Like everything else, that was ripped straight from XBL without though. PC-side, push-to-talk has been the standard pretty much since VOIP in games even existed. Relic had to patch in their OWN ptt button in DoW2, and that isn’t even bindable. It’s bound to the ~ key. Grief.

      - TrueSkill matchmaking is the biggest thing that GFWL has over Steam right now, and frankly, it does nothing if not scare away all the new players from multiplayer. Because upon signing up with a TS of zero, the system automatically dumps you into games with the highest (usually TS25-35) TS players in order to ascertain your “level”. It does this for somewhere in the region of 50+ games (My own experience was more than that). So a new player has to spend that long just getting the tar beaten out of them in order to get decent matches going. How many do you think would be willing to stick with it for that long? And in a 3v3, having two TS 25′s on your team and one TS 3 is nothing if not a frustrating experience for everyone on the team, new and old players. I was fortunate enough to be able to play with friends so I learned faster and they tended to support me more.

      - Microsoft Points. I hate the entire idea. If I want to buy DLC off of Steam, I don’t need to buy 1000 Newell Points in order to get a 560 point item. I just pay the money, what it’s charging, directly. MS Points is a ridiculous system designed to nickle-and-dime you in the worst way by forcing you to have leftover money on the system that you can’t use because you can only buy in bulk increments.

      Everything else, Steam usually does better. Community system, updates, chat, voice chat, steam groups (no group system at all on GFWL), drop in games, I could go on. I was willing to cut Microsoft some slack at the start, back when Gears was launched on the PC. That was back in 2007. They’ve had a lot of time to reform the system since then, and in Steam an exceptional model to copy. Microsoft have shown no interest in doing so so far, most of their efforts to date have been pretty half-hearted and occasionally misdirected attempts at getting more people to use the system.

    • Bostec says:

      Subedii saids it all in a nutshell, Well done that man.

    • suibhne says:

      Actually, sub missed a few important bits that I’m only too happy to add two:

      - GFWL encrypts savegame files from supported games, so that you’ll never be able to migrate them to a different hard drive, or back them up and then restore them, if you reinstall your OS. Basic Windows file portability is essentially destroyed by MS’s own GFWL, in other words.

      - The process of changing account settings in GFWL can be an unholy mess. When I installed Batman:AA, e.g., it took me at least 20 minutes just to change my old password. I uncovered no less than three separate MS websites which purported to do it, but only one of them actually propagated the pw change to GFWL and that site was actually XBLA-branded.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      I can add one more nice little ‘surprise’. The password you submit for GFWL becomes your default password for all service of Window’s Live, including Hotmail. I missed a couple important emails on my mobile thanks to this little ‘Easter egg’. Would have been nice to be informed that this would happen. But, hell, Microsoft has pretty much defined user-hostile since TI left the micro computer game.

      I’m amazed subedii removed all the swear-words in his post.

    • Zogtee says:

      The fact that there’s still no external client is unbelievable to me. MS talks big about getting back into PC gaming (as they have before), but they do fuck all about it. Like subedii said, Steam does everything better and as a PC gamer, I just don’t need GFWL hanging like an albatross around it’s neck.

    • Caiman says:

      You have to congratulate MS for creating a system that has the same cachet as the word “Starforce”. That’s some impressive work right there. What subedii says sums up why I never bought DoWII and why I always check my new potential PC game purchases to make sure the game I’m about to buy doesn’t require GFWL. It really does kill any purchasing decision. Are you listening publishers? I may be only one man, but I have a legion of clones who think alike!

    • ABC says:

      In fact I have successfully migrated my GFWL offline profiles to other games.
      It’s a nested subdirectory and is number coded oddball stuff, but it works. Didn’t use any tutorial, but I’m certain one exists.
      I changed OS and PC between DOW 2 and the DOW 2 expansion thingie about Chaos or what it was and wanted to use my old crew.

      I dare say it’s actually an advantage to HAVE a local savegame to start with, even if it’s consolified savestate-only shite(would rather have anytime saves). All this cloud stuff I no likey.

  13. rocketman71 says:

    Yay!!!. Death to GFWL!!!

  14. noobnob says:

    Does anyone actually like GFWL?

    Just wondering, as I don’t have any games with that.

  15. bleeters says:

    It’s a start. I won’t be satisfied until all those responsible are marooned on an iceberg, though.

  16. bansama says:

    I’d rather take GFWL any day when the choice is that or Steamworks. The use of Steamworks simply gives publishers far nastier means of shafting some customers. Means that they seem to love employing in Japan.

    With GFWL, even if you were in an unsupported region, all you had to do was tie your game to account setup with a supported region selected. But with Steamworks, if the publishers and/or Valve don’t want you playing, you can’t play.

    This is even worse when the publisher is THQ. Saints Row 2, Dawn of War 2, Metro 2033 – all of these games require Steam and all of them have had their releases in Japan screwed up by Valve. Not content with that, we’re currently be screwed over with Mafia 2. While the rest of the world can enjoy playing it, Valve are taking our money and not releasing the game.

    At least when Valve did that to Red Faction Guerrilla (a GFWL game which Valve delayed the release of for around 3 months) we could simply buy it elsewhere and play it immediately. Can’t do that with most Steamworks game =(

    • Wowza says:

      I’m pretty sure the publisher of the game controls the release date, not Valve.

    • Zogtee says:

      Yeah, Valve/Steam has nothing to do with that.

    • bansama says:

      You’d think that wouldn’t you? But having contacted THQ and the related developers the last few times it happened with THQ published titles, the responses from both THQ and the developers indicated the delays for Japan were being imposed by Valve, not them.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      You’re missing a crucial piece of information: Valve’s motive for any of this.

    • bansama says:

      Motives are completely unimportant as they don’t change the very simple fact that Valve are responsible. Unless you suddenly want to believe that all these developers and THQ are lying.

      Add to that that the only reason we couldn’t buy Square-Enix/Eidos games in Japan was due to a communication breakdown with Valve and it’s obvious that Valve have some issues with this region, whatever their reasons.

    • mondomau says:

      “While the rest of the world can enjoy playing it, Valve are taking our money and not releasing the game.”

      Uh, no.

      They refunded the Pre-order funds when the game was delayed.

      Also, do you have any actual evidence (ie hard proof) that the delay is solely down to valve – other than a vague ‘Oh I contacted THQ and they told me it was Valve what did it’?

    • bansama says:

      They refunded the Pre-order funds when the game was delayed.

      Right, then explain why they are still selling the game when they know it can’t be played despite listing it as both released (in search listings) and as a pre-order with no release date on the product page (talking of Mafia 2 here)? If they don’t have a release date and aren’t just out to line their own pockets with interest, then they would have stopped offering the pre-order until a release date was set.

      In the case of RFG, they only refunded when asked explicitly to do so (as with all other pre-orders).

      Also, do you have any actual evidence (ie hard proof) that the delay is solely down to valve

      If I were the sort of person inclined to publicly post private email correspondence, then I’d have a lot of evidence. As it is, the only publicly available evidence is for SR2: http://community.saintsrow.com/forums/topic/39259 Where as you can see, the release was supposed to be prior to Jan 30. But didn’t happen, due to Valve, until Feb 10th. — Which is probably the shortest of the delays we generally experience.

    • Alegis says:

      “I’d rather take GFWL any day when the choice is that or Steamworks”

      Get out.

    • Lukasz says:

      Hehe. You never change Bansama do you? :)
      Very anti-steam and anti-valve. Had that argument with him few times already.

      you peeps go and visit us at GOG in our very popular anti-steam thread :)

  17. Tei says:

    Greats news!.. GFWL is too intrusive a “shell” drm system, and adds nothing to games that Steam don’t have already withouth the intrusiveness. Also, since use .NET and other windows components, if the computer have a problem, you may end unable to play games. Steam and other “drm shells” are more independent, so if the computer is somewhat broken still work. This is important because not everyone is system admins, but still everyone want his games to work, and not be blocked by a stupid .NET installation error. And no everyone want his savegames encrypted… actually no one want this on a PC, because is stupid.

    • Shagittarius says:

      Any DRM that requires more than a Disc check and a key-code is more intrusive than it should be.

    • danarchist says:

      I am told by the slightly smarter fellows in my IT department (a.k.a. Moss and Roy) I have learned that some sort of security layer involved with my vpn-ish work login prevents .net from working correctly with non company software. e.g. that crap don’ wurk
      Bravo THQ!

  18. wyrmsine says:

    And now I can purchase Space Marine. Thanks for being willing to take my money, THQ!

  19. JonFitt says:

    Burn the Heretic! Kill the Mutant! Purge the Unclean!

    Any idea how this will work with the original game and expansion? Will installing the next expansion remove it from the combined game?

    Relic games have been a bit confusing wrt expansions since they made some expandalones. If I have DoW2 and Dow2:CR do I technically have two installed games or one?
    If the answer is two then the new expansion will probably be a third game without GFWL.

    • Xocrates says:

      My understanding of it is that Retribution will be stand-alone and incompatible with the previous versions. So whether Dow2+CR count as one game or two is a bit irrelevant.

      Some details here:

      http://community.dawnofwar2.com/blog-post/dawn-war-ii-retribution-steamworks

    • subedii says:

      “Owners of Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising will get the chance to try out the full set of Retribution’s Steam features in a multiplayer beta that will take place in the new year. More details on the beta will be announced at a later date.”

      Man that should be mentioned somewhere in the main article. Free multiplayer beta coming our way! Awesome!

  20. Freud says:

    Sweet. I just realized I have forgotten to uninstall GFWL after playing Arkham Asylum. Cleaning it up now.

  21. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    ALL SINNERS FEAR THE JUSTICE OF THE RIGHTEOUS!

    I wish they’d take it off DoW2 and CR. I’d like to try multiplayer on it but I can’t be bothered to create an online account.

  22. jackflash says:

    HOORAY!

  23. Draken says:

    As far as I understand, Retribution’s multiplayer won’t be compatible with DoW 2 Vanilla or Chaos Rising because of that, which is truly a shame.

    However, it’s still nice that they got rid of GFWL. At least now they’re only using one of the two worst DRM systems around (and the least crappy one).

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Dude! I know Steam has it’s detractors, but in NO FUCKING WAY is it comparable to SecuRom. Or ubiDRM.

  24. Navagon says:

    Yay! I wonder if there’s any hope of them patching it out of earlier games? Only DoW1 had the DRM removed eventually.

  25. coldwave says:

    Good, I may reinstall DOW2 now.

  26. Pijama says:

    So, this only applies to Retribution and Space Marine?

    Hell, I just finished Chaos Rising (again) but if GFWL was gone I would be starting a new campaign right away in jubilationz

  27. Squizz says:

    For the Emperor!
    I miss playing the original DoW purely for the characters quotes :(

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000:_Dawn_of_War

  28. thebrassthief says:

    You do know that region restriction is up to the publisher, not Valve, right? As in THQ, Activision, Ubi, etc. The people that actually publish the game. So Valve has nothing to do beside obey the publisher desire of region locking. They had nothing to do with Red Faction Guerrilla either. That’s THQ again.

    • thebrassthief says:

      Ugh. This was a reply meant for bansama.

    • bansama says:

      You do know that region restriction is up to the publisher, not Valve, right? As in THQ,

      Don’t be so quick to believe that. As I said in response to other replies, I contacted both THQ and the related developers each time it happened with their games, and each time the response was that Valve were responsible for the delays. For example, if the release date for Japan (in the case of RFG) was set as December 27th (the day Valve finally unlocked it), that would have been the day that Impulse, GamersGate and Direct2Drive would have released it here. That was not the case. All other distributors released the game on September 18 (or whatever the worldwide “international” release date was).

      And this is just one example of how Valve impose their own restrictions even when such restrictions are not intended by publishers (Japan, especially, has seen far more examples of this than any other region).

    • po says:

      You’re ignoring one simple fact in this. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Japanese authorities were the ones slowing down releases of products from outside the country, as there is still a strong sense of nationalism there that makes some Japanese act obstructively when dealing with foreigners. I’ve not heard of Publishers having any problems releasing games elsewhere, unless they are particularly violent, and likely to be censored.

    • bansama says:

      You’re ignoring one simple fact in this. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Japanese authorities were the ones slowing down releases of products from outside the country.

      If that were the case, the console versions would also suffer these huge delays. They don’t. They always come out long before the PC versions (such as is the case in most of the world) readily sporting Z ratings if they’re mildly violent. In fact the only delays for console games are generally those to do with translating and localizing. These delays don’t effect PC versions as they are primarily sold as English only (sometimes with a Japanese language manual).

  29. Etan says:

    That isn’t Valve’s fault, if they publisher doesn’t let them they can’t release the game. It not like they are involved in the development of the game, especially when there is no Steamworks integration. They release the games when they are allowed to. What makes you think that is is Valve delaying it and not the publisher? What possible reason would Valve have to delay the game?

  30. Brumisator says:

  31. SheffieldSteel says:

    Calloo, callay :-)

  32. Bowlby says:

    No more achievements? :(

    (Yes, I’m one of those people.)

    Seriously though, I’ve heard a lot of complaints about GFWL along the lines of it flat-out breaking a game, which is unacceptable. Microsoft only have themselves to blame for this.

    • subedii says:

      http://community.dawnofwar2.com/blog-post/dawn-war-ii-retribution-steamworks

      “This new back end will allow players to invite friends into matches from their Steam friends lists, and take advantage of the full set of Steam community features including groups, achievements, and Steam overlay chat channels.”

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Retribution has achievements as well, a lot of Steamworks games make use of Steam achievements these days.

      They won’t be adding to your LIVE Gamerscore naturally, but if you’re concerned about that then there’s no hope for you. :P

    • Bowlby says:

      I am a shallow human being, I’m afraid to say. :P

  33. Bloodloss says:

    Shame. I like GFWL. Just needs a few improvements. I like it a lot more than I liked Steam in its earlier stages, that’s for sure.

    • subedii says:

      I feel GFWL has a lot of potential. And you’re right, Steam when it started off, was pretty bad.

      Problem is, Microsoft have had the time to improve it, and, well, haven’t. If there’s one company that should have the resources and the technical capability to be able to compete with Valve for an online community system, it’s Microsoft.

      Their work with XBox Live is wholly different. What Microsoft pulled off with XBL was pretty much nothing short of revolutionising online play for the console market. They took time and they invested in it to make something that really works.

      I can understand why this is the case. Ultimately, investment goes to the system that you can make money off of, and to date, Microsoft simply haven’t figured out a way to really monetise GFWL. Attempting to make it a subscription service on the PC was pretty much a failure, and GFWL Marketplace simply isn’t capable of competing with Steam (at least at the moment) purely on number of titles alone.

      All this however, doesn’t really change the fact that currently Steam is the better system.

      What’s more worrying is the way in which internal politics at Microsoft killed off a project to make cross platform play easier to implement for Live titles. That could have been a huge, huge boon to GFWL, and Microsoft in general. But because the project reflected poorly on the 360 (basically the skill differential was too great for most games where people with mice were competing against people with gamepads), it got canned.

      Microsoft’s approach to GFWL to date can largely be characterised by one word, and that’s “schizophrenic”. They refuse to really invest in it, but at the same time they also refuse to simply abandon the idea altogether. So it exists, as it currently does, in Limbo.

    • Dinger says:

      Yeah, that’s pretty much it. GfWL can’t compete because Microsoft effectively surrendered the PC gaming market the moment they launched the Xbox. So, while being hampered by coding problems on the one hand, on the other, there’s the spectre of the Xbox. On the one hand, there’s institutional pressure to follow “what worked for the Xbox”, while on the other there’s the need “to differentiate our products”. So all the crappy stuff that doesn’t really translate from the xbox gets translated, since it only serves to add value, but the stuff that might actually work well on PCs as well gets left in the xbox-exclusive domain.

      Meanwhile, one of the principles behind “Games for Windows”: overcoming the PC configuration conflict nightmare, goes out the window.

  34. Fumarole says:

    Huzzah!

  35. DrGonzo says:

    Yes yes, oh yay is better I feel.

  36. Tim Ward says:

    May all poorly written and restrictive online gaming clients meet such an end.

  37. John Peat says:

    Given the MS have alledgedly abandoned the core ethic of GFWL (enabling online play between PC and 360 versions of the same game) I imagine GFWL will slowly die a death due to their lack of interest in it.

    Still – my Gamerscore is larger thanks to PC Dirt2, GTA4, Fuel etc. so I’m not really complaining :)

  38. Dee-G says:

    Damn shame, loved the GfWL functionality in Dawn of War and Chaos Rising, made playing with friends much easier and the stats tracking and checking was great. The achivements also have a bit of an extra push to go back and try the game again on Primarch difficulty, then again with a friend.

    Hopefully the new Section 8 will retain Games for Windows Live, seems like less and less titles using it, I understand the hate, but it seems like very few people are willing to see the other side of things :/

    • sexyresults says:

      notsureifserious.jpg

    • Dee-G says:

      Not a troll.
      I should really include that comment as standard with any post trying to say that I, personally, like GfWL. I’m not saying everyone else should, I just personally prefer it over nothing at all. Relic had the right idea combining the best parts of SteamWorks (buy retail, activate on Steam, download wherever) and Live (Matchmaking, Stats, honestly more reliable than Steam at inviting friends to games (unless they’re made by Valve, in which case the matchmaking is better)) and as I said, the achievements that actually add to a visible total, viewable by friends provided a good drive for me to play the single player through multiple times, with said friends, unlike steam achievements, which are completely meaningless.
      Anyway, not a troll, but I don’t doubt I’ll get some vitrol for liking Live anyway.

    • subedii says:

      Not really, you’re free to your opinion, and I agree with some of what you said.

      Though I will say that my experience with inviting friends into games in SupCom 2 (Steamworks game) was still more reliable than in DoW2.

      For that matter, achievements are meaningless with or without that point score. :P

      GFWL potentially has the better matchmaking, but that depends on how Relic patches in skill based matchmaking into Retribution. IIRC Steamworks doesn’t have skill based matchmaking by default. But Gas Powered Games managed to patch it into SupCom 2 about less than 2 months after release, which surprised me no end.

      Both systems have stat tracking.

    • SwiftRanger says:

      SupCom 2 doesn’t have teambased matchmaking yet and apparently that’s due to Steam’s current limitations. I guess that when DoW II Retribution comes online that Valve is willing to invest more into expanding Steamworks for RTS matchmaking. They got The Creative Assembly, Relic and GPG on board the Steamworks train now, that’s massive for them.

    • subedii says:

      I was wondering about that. SupCom’s at its most fun in larger team games as opposed to 1v1. And 3v3 is pretty much the default game mode for DoW2.

  39. noobnob says:

    I’ve been looking around here and there and…it seems that it’s not just Relic, THQ’s studios seem to be dropping GfWL in favor of Steamworks (or perhaps nothing at all), though there are no public statements such as the ones mentioned in here.

    I guess it’s just a matter of time for GfWL to die among 3rd party publishers and become a platform for games from Microsoft’s studios, such as the already announced AoE Online and MS Flight.

    • drewski says:

      I can’t see Microsoft giving up on GfWL completely. More likely the rush of developers abandoning it will lead them to pull their heads out of their nether regions and actually fix it.

      Then again, it’s Microsoft. So probably not.

    • Navagon says:

      @ drewski

      You underestimate Microsoft’s ability to completely abandon something at the drop of a hat.

  40. Danny says:

    Well we at GamersGate aren’t happy with the direction to use Steamworks, as it limits the potential sales channels for the game. Our company policy is to not sell games that uses or requires an account at Steam, which is our biggest competitor, and we don’t want to lock in our customers, nor give them away to Steam. We hope for a better solution than Steamworks soon!

    • subedii says:

      This isn’t a change, Gamersgate wasn’t carrying DoW2 in the first place, as it made use of Steam integration.

      You’re right in that Steam is competition to Gamersgate. The issue is that Steam offers features that Gamersgate doesn’t, which is why developers go for it (or for GFWL for that matter).

      Not to be confrontational, but I’m genuinely curious here. Batman: Arkham Asylum not only requires GFWL for its updates and DLC, it’s a product that is sold directly on the GFWL store, a competing service. You can’t get much more of a parallel case than that, and yet it is also stocked at Gamersgate. So is this not a hard and fast rule, or is it simply because Steam is the biggest competitor?

    • 0mar says:

      Other digitial distribution sites compete with Steam as I would compete with Boeing in designing aircraft from my two person outfit in my garage. Sorry to say, but that’s how it is. Estimates range from 70-95% of the DD market is Steam.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      Direct2Drive came to the conclusion that their customers didn’t actually mind Steam. Considering it already has a pretty large install base, that’s not all that surprising.

      Also, am I the only one that finds the “Steamworks limits sales channels, so we’re not going to sell the game” statement a bit weird? Steamworks is basically ad-supported, that’s why it’s free, making it so people only have the option to buy directly from Valve and give them a cut from the purchase price doesn’t seem to be helping things.

    • Alegis says:

      Maybe you should consider how to make the GG service better than whine about how unfair steamworks is. It limits the sales channel because you choose to limit it yourself. There’s no exclusivity contract for steamworks titles.

      The value of Steamworks to both client and developer are far more significant than just another online storefront. We’re not concerned with your wallet Mr. Gamersgate as much as we’re concerned about what affects the games and game experience.

    • Acosta says:

      You should consider that position, most of your clients have Steam already, Direct2Drive reached to that conclusion time ago.

  41. Bill says:

    Bah. I enjoyed earning microsoft cheevo points with this. Much like I enjoyed getting about 1300 points from Fallout 3 just by typing some stuff in the console.

    None of my buddies bother looking at steam achievements.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      I guess I’ll have to give GfWL props for a better implementation of the ‘pissing-in-a-white-suit’ thing than Steam. I forget some people like their buddies seeing their achievements.

    • drewski says:

      Colossal asshole alert!

      How dare anyone enjoy different things from games to you, eh?

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Colossal making assumptions and jumping to the wrong conclusion alert!

      You may not like the metaphor, which is your decision. GfWL Achievements are like pissing in a white suit because It feels good and it shows. And they do it very well. Nothing wrong with people liking to share in-game achievements. Or having fun. Or liking something I don’t. Or with me liking something someone else doesn’t. I don’t mind being called an asshole, I just prefer for it to be when it is warranted.

  42. Gunsmith says:

    now all we need is for codemasters to wake the fuck up and follow suit.

  43. KillahMate says:

    A sensible decision. If only all publishers were as non-retarded.

  44. ScubaMonster says:

    Hopefully this is going to be a nail in the coffin for GFWL. Every developer just needs to pass on this piece of crapware.

  45. i liek turtals says:

    Thanks to GFW Live I can’t play my legit GTA IV online anymore. It’s telling me that I have exceeded my cdkey usage. When I called MS support in my country (turkey) and told my problem they told me that I should call MS support of UK or US. Since I’m too lazy, I’ll wait to xbox arcade support services to open in TR.

  46. Janny says:

    If this fixes the matchmaking from being complete and utter shit I’m loving the change, but I’m unsure as to how much the multiplayer is effected by GFWL.

    That was my ONLY problem with DoW2. Completely fucked unbalanced matchmaking that always decided to pit me and my rag tag band of randomized newbies against a rank 50 arranged team from Siberia that seemed to only have one way (my way) lag.

    The mess of a multiplayer ruined my experience with that game and my perception of Relic.

    I really really hope Gabeworks makes it all better.

  47. SirKicksalot says:

    I tried to play Dirt 2 today and I was caught in the update loop of death PC Gamer wrote about recently ( http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/09/14/how-games-for-windows-live-ate-half-of-my-lunch-hour/ ). Except that I still can’t play the game after updating it again and again and again. This shit is disgusting. Fuck you Microsoft for stealing my game and fuck you Codemasters for using GFWL.

    • wyrmsine says:

      A similar thing happened with a friend last night: updated GFWL, and it ate a driver necessary to Windows boot sequence. This after buying a shiny new machine to play games on.

  48. theditor says:

    i have mixed feelings about GFWL. The service is a messy piece of dog leavings, but by creating it Microsoft basically postponed the closure of CGW and gave me about 2 years of GFW Radio.

  49. MadTinkerer says:

    “Retribution and Space Marine alike will be using Steamworks instead,”

    YES

    I don’t generally play RTS games with other players anyway, but if it uses Steamworks I might try it.

  50. Neoviper says:

    YAY! This is incredible news, I’ve been unable to play Dow2 online for ever so long now, because I’m in an “unsupported region”. Been playing every other game in my steam list with anybody I feel like, but GFWL decides I don’t live in an important enough area I don’t get to play. This and this alone has decisively added retribution to my purchase list, publishers take notice!