Hey-Ho, The Witch Isn’t Dead: GFWL Not Going Anywhere

By Nathan Grayson on April 18th, 2012 at 8:43 am.

As if the recent Dark Souls news wasn’t enough, we’ve now got another sobering report putting a nail in the coffin of GFWL’s coffin. See, there was – if only briefly – a thin ray of hope. Well, sort of. Windows 8 is bringing full Xbox Live functionality along for the ride, so you’d think Microsoft might at least retire its creaky PC gaming backend and put its full efforts behind a hopefully (and that’s a long shot) less tiresome interface. No such luck, however. GFWL, says Microsoft, will live on until long after our pitiful species is dethroned by apes, aliens, zombies, and Mayan ghosts – all at once.

So the software monolith said in response to a query from NeoGamr, ostensibly the web’s biggest fan of gams.

“Answer is no, Microsoft continues to support the Games for Windows platform, but we are making new investments in Metro style games. For the core PC gamer we launched Age of Empires Online last year and Microsoft Flight on February 29.”

Windows 8′s take on XBL, on the other hand, will focus more on lighter Metro-based fare like Hydro Thunder Hurricane and Pinball FX2. Meanwhile, Games for Windows – which doesn’t even have its own separate website anymore – will apparently keep doing its own thing against all odds.

And honestly, I’d be happy about that continued separation if Microsoft would actually fashion GFWL into something that doesn’t feel like a cursed relic retrieved from an ancient 2003 burial ground. At this point, though, the lazily mumbled lip service (as opposed to, you know, real service) feels like a bigger slap in the face than full-on XBL integration. If you’re gonna differentiate between platforms (as you should), at least pretend like you actually care.

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159 Comments »

  1. NegativeZero says:

    For the core PC gamer we launched Age of Empires Online [...] and Microsoft Flight

    It’s like they’re in another universe.

    • Echo Black says:

      Nobody can again reach the level of detachment from reality the Alan Wake PR guy managed, though. Look up the RPS Q&A sessions with him, every single answer is baffling.

    • apocraphyn says:

      Core PC gamers like Farmville, Train Simulator and those other PC exclusive games, right?…right?”

    • f1x says:

      He said Core, not Hardcore,

      I suppose in his parallel universe “the largest core of users” are playing Farmville and Age of Empires ultra cheesy-cartoon-version-pay100$to train more soldiers,
      while the people playing games like lets say, for example Shogun 2(to name a PC exclusive), its a marginal minory of computer freaks and castdowns, and of course they are pirating everything

    • Prime says:

      That’s their core, not ours. The way they see us is as the fringe lunatics in that scenario; the ones playing Xbox-style games on a platform built for Home/Business productivity.

      • f1x says:

        of course, I was being a bit sarcastic

        softcore like Zeewolf said, its like that in Microsoft’s minds, they really believe their target client is the Farmville player
        either that or they have a conspiration to destroy pc gaming

      • Brun says:

        Prime is correct. To most of the industry (at least at the platform/publisher level) “core” has meant “casual” ever since the introduction of the Wii. It’s not a term specific to the PC either, I’ve seen it applied to console audiences as well.

    • rocketman71 says:

      No, they just think we are retarded.

      Thus, GFWL. And AoE:Farmville. And the rest.

      • Resonance says:

        AoE : Online is pretty good game if you bought the DLC pack that was on sale. The comparisons to Farmville don’t extend beyond graphics style.

    • neolith says:

      It is baffling how much they are off from what I would want from such a service.

    • Roshin says:

      They’re serious about gaming this time! Again.

    • Gvaz says:

      Oh my god, if by core you mean casual gamer, and by “casual” gamer you mean not a gamer at all who plays mahjong and solitare

  2. DevilSShadoW says:

    I would pay real world money to be able to have a face to face conversation with whoever is in charge of GFWL. I am really intrigued as to what is going on in this person’s head.

    • max pain says:

      It’s not one persons mission to make gfwl such a pain for the user that it is. People at the top are saying ‘We need our own platform for games on windows’ and people implementing it are just following tasks.

      It’s how MS rolls, it doesn’t matter if the service sucks for the end user, they are going to push it no matter what because they want to lock this market to be dependent on their service. Imagine if they could disable Stream on Windows 8 (before you say I’m talking gibberish remember their FUD about dropping OpenGL support for Vista?), and every developer would switch to gfwl with fear of being cut out, like many did with OpenGL when Vista was releasing.

      • f1x says:

        That combined with the fact that they probably want to keep it alive with a minimun budget unless it starts to generate more money (thats how corporations usually behave)

        too bad it won’t generate the money they want because it needs a total revamp + a miraculous PR campaign to change people opinions about the service

        • jrodman says:

          That’s not how Microsoft rolls.

          The gameplan has been established for decades.

          Step 1 – enter new market with fledgling product
          Step 2 – trumpet victory to the heavens
          Step 3 – make second version that’s moderately less shitty based on the enormous tidal wave of complaints
          Step 4 – make third version that’s just barely tolerable by repeating more of the same
          Step 5 – rake in the money as the world gives up and lets them win.

          Given this windows 8 news, I’d say we’re entering step 3.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I really believe Microsoft’s problem is that they know which way all of the markets they’re interested in are going but they take so many freaking half steps. This is speculation but I really think this is what happened.

      They saw that indie games were going to be big. They released XNA to support that, which should have been a brilliant move. Then they made the shops to buy those games terrible. Now people are releasing their XNA programmed games on Steam and programming their new games in unity.

      They saw Steam growing and gaining market share. They released GFWL as a competitor service that would link your x-box and pc through a live account. The link never happened. GFWL was never maintained or updated. Steam and steamworks improves so regularly that it’s turned DRM into a service.

      They knew the media center was going to be a big thing. They constantly update X-box UI in an attemp to make it more user-friendly but they launch with an HD-DVD drive, giving Sony defacto ownership over all physical media and they gate Netflix behind a paid service, turning the wii into a netflix box.

      Then there’s windows phone.

      • f1x says:

        But thats exactly because of how big as a corporation is,
        I work with Inditex (as a supplier for design) and is exactly the same thing

        you get good ideas at the base of the piramid but then those ideas are ruined becuase of budget limitations (budget is usually in the most succesful branch or product, for Microsoft: XBOX or Windows OS)
        or because some smartass on the higher steps of the piramid has a breaktaking new view on your idea which will make it much more comercial (which of course means he will fuck your idea and make it useless : ala windows phone)

  3. Xari says:

    I’m genuinely convinced at this point that Microsoft intentionally bullies the PC community so people would submit to their xbox360 platform.

    • Nameless1 says:

      They probably WANT pc gaming to be dead, It’s in their interest.

      • Grargh says:

        Gaming is the one relevant factor for me to run Windows on my PC. If not for the bigger games, I would probably take the jump into the linux world.

        • adammtlx says:

          True enough. I never, ever thought I’d say this but after using a new iMac at work for a year, I’ve found I love it, and if it weren’t for games, I’d probably buy an iMac for home and be done with Microsoft for good.

          (barring a future need for Visual Studio, in which case I’d just dual boot or use VirtualBox or something).

    • Urthman says:

      They get a cut of all Xbox games sold, don’t they? So every sale of a multi-platform PC game (at least to every Xbox owner, as well as whatever percentage of PC gamers would buy and Xbox if PC gaming were dead) is literally money out of their pocket.

      • Khemm says:

        If they weren’t dumb, they could make Xbox LIVE/GFWL for PC very profitable, but for some reason they don’t want to or don’t know how to do this.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Might be interesting to add that all “apps” sold through the windows 8 app store also give a 30% cut to Microsoft, in the same way as Apple.

        It is also the only way to normally install apps to their Metro-like UI (i.e. normal Windows 7 stuff etc can install the same as they do now, but only to the desktop version of things… which ARM version don’t have).

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think that they’ve moved beyond that, and their new strategy is / will be to integrate windows and all of that into a cloud Live account. That way it doesn’t matter what hardware is actually being used, they still get a cut of everything.

  4. Kollega says:

    Considering that “gams” is a 20′s slang word for (most often woman’s) legs, it’s no surprise that someone on the Internet is a fan of gams.

  5. AmateurScience says:

    Worth pointing out that even if they were going to phase it out/eject it into space/cast it into the ocean they wouldn’t *tell* us that until they felt the time was right. Controlling the PR cycle and all that.

    I imagine it’s like in football when the board says that the manager has their full support and then sack him the week after…

    …or at least I bloody hope it is.

    Also: are they talking about Games for Windows: the not-actually-a-bad-idea thing that basically just means the game has some PC-centric usability features. Or Games for Windows Live: the Devil incarnate matchmaking achievement doofer?

  6. lordcooper says:

    Down with this sort of thing!

  7. Memphis-Ahn says:

    Pinball FX2 is frigin awesome by the way. I’m so glad pinball is back in Windows 8.

    • Zeewolf says:

      Would suck big time if they didn’t make it available for Windows 7 users though. But then again, it’s Microsoft. Even if you expect the worst they’ll find a way to disappoint.

    • apocraphyn says:

      Holy shit. That’s reason enough to upgrade alone.

    • ffs_jay says:

      Seconded. Definitely among the best Pinball games I’ve played. I love it, and I barely even like pinball as a thing that much.

  8. Jimmy Z says:

    I bet they’ve had a quite a few meetings where they’ve tried to figure out how they could start charging the PC folks for GFWL the same say as with XBL. In fact I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they introduced some sort of a monthly fee to the blasted thing in the near future (like they originally planned).

    Oh well, here’s hoping no good multiplayer games become plagued with the thing.

    • f1x says:

      That would be actually the final death of it, cause I doubt any PC publisher would sign with GFWL knowing that they will charge users to use multiplayer, there are plenty of options for distribution in PC

      actually I cannot understand how XBL has survived so long charging the users to use the multiplayer content of the games, couple years ago I bought an XBOX360 and I didnt know about that, (yes total ignorance lack of research from my side) if I had known…,
      guess the problem relies in a big amount of users that keep tolerating it and paying…

    • ffs_jay says:

      Didn’t that actually happen at some point? I seem to remember them charging for it 360-style and it being such an absolute disaster that they had to step back and make it free almost immediately. This would’ve been around the time Shadowrun came out, which was one of the first games to really try to fly the flag for GFWL as a platform.

      Might be misremembering though.

    • InternetBatman says:

      They have and it didn’t work. Their next attempt will be Windows Live / 8.

  9. Flakfizer says:

    Did the Microsoft PR Dept. just mix up GFW & GFWL like the rest of us do?

    They say GFW isn’t going anywhere but they don’t mention GFWL (bearing in mind i haven’t had my first coffee so reading comprehension is below par).

    • Davee says:

      I was thinking exactly the same thing…

    • Ysellian says:

      Good point! No mention of GFWL only GFW.

    • thegooseking says:

      And, to make matters more confusing, the only examples they give are Microsoft-published games, which is a different thing still. (Tellingly, the publishing arm was called Microsoft Game Studios until last year, when it was rebranded as Microsoft Studios. Why drop the ‘game’ from your name, Microsoft?)

      Of course, Microsoft-published games are obviously going to have GfWL, but if only Microsoft games end up using GfWL, I won’t really care, since most of Microsoft Game Studios’ actually good games are Xbox-exclusive anyway. If other publishers stop using GfWL, that’ll be enough. And I think they’re starting to realise we don’t want it, even if they’re not quite there yet.

  10. Gormongous says:

    Confuse the audience! Split the audience! Alienate the audience!

  11. Lars Westergren says:

    “The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste, they have absolutely no taste, and what that means is – I don’t mean that in a small way I mean that in a big way.”

    It’s a good quote. But it’s not actually the only problem with Microsoft.

  12. atticus says:

    Seeing that dreadful logo brings back memories of the weekend last year when I bought GTA IV and spent the better part of three hours trying to play it.

    Had it not been for the nice birdsong, the smell of spring and the warm sunrays dancing on my face as I walked off my seething rage in the woods, I might have ended up punching a tree, which would have been very painful.

    Thank you world for saving my delicate hands when GFWL (and RockStar Social Club) tried to make me destroy them.

    • sebmojo says:

      Google xliveless, atticus. It is a wrapper that nixes the fucker.

    • Resurgam says:

      You have to update it to the penultimate patch, then throw in about 15 mods to make it playable, xliveless is MANDATORY to play the steaming pile of crap. I’m pretty sure they patched out xliveless in the latest patch so that’s the reasoning.

    • Wisq says:

      I might have ended up punching a tree, which would have been very painful.

      But at least then you could make a crafting bench.

  13. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Windows 8 is Windows ME 2.0 & regarding gfwl it’s getting easier and easier to avoid games with crap like that in it cause there’s so many good indie games that it’s kind of a relief when things like dark souls or sim city can be struck of my anticipation list.

  14. gschmidl says:

    Are they really saying “but wait, we’re improving GFWL by metro-fying it”? Because that’s like saying “but wait, we’re improving your root canal experience by amputating your legs without anaesthetics.”

  15. Was Neurotic says:

    I must know: Wtf are “Metro-style” games? Obviously it’s A Thing because of the capital M, and clearly it’s not ‘Metro 2033-style Russian FPS games’, because that would contradict the notion we’re all 40+ year-old RTS and sim fans.

    • wuwul says:

      They are hypotetical games using the Microsoft Metro APIs and UI to be introduced in Windows 8.

      Now, considering that pretty much all games are already usually/always fullscreen and already use ad-hoc non-desktop UIs, I’m not sure how the user would notice the difference.

      There’s an online “app store” for metro apps though, which might be the thing they care about.

      • trjp says:

        For Metro think Chrome Apps but for Windows.

        Download the W8 Preview and – well – be – erm – underwhelmed :)

      • Bluerps says:

        Yeah, I thank that too. Metro is Microsofts new UI, which has the goal to provide the same UI on every device that runs Windows, from Tablet to Desktop PC (really, what can possibly go wrong?). So a “Metro-style game” is something that fits into that UI, probably incorporating the visual style and the general control scheme. It probably won’t be anything many of the people here would be interested in.

    • chopsnsauce says:

      When thet say “Metro Style” games what they mean is games that run under the “App” model where the app is limited to how it can interact with the OS.

      Whether or not its possible to release a full fat PC game as an app, who knows!

  16. RedViv says:

    Hey, quit stealing my Apocalypse All pen-and-paper scenarios!

    That aside, I can’t do anything other than just laugh at the Microsoft quote.

  17. Bluerps says:

    *sob* Why can’t you let it die? *sobsob* Don’t you see it’s suffering? *weep*

  18. sneetch says:

    Have they made their bi-annual announcement that they’re going to make a major increase in their PC gaming support yet? I look forward to those, they’re so funny!

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I think you are looking at this year’s version of it. :-/

  19. oceanclub says:

    “Metro style games”

    What the hell is this jargon? I’m 41, I can’t keep up with Microsoft’s nonsense anymore.

    GET OFF MY LAWN.

    P.

    • Toberoth says:

      If it makes you feel any better, I’m 26 and I haven’t a clue.

    • mendel says:

      “Metro” is software that looks as if it’s written for tablet computers; Windows 8 prefers those to the old kind.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        I thought “Metro” was the new “Gay.”

        • mendel says:

          From what I’ve seen, there’s not much of a difference – as in, “gay colors” or some such.

  20. JackShandy says:

    Neo Gams, you say? I’ll be totally disappointed if this site doesn’t feature a modernised look at women’s legs from the 1920′s.

  21. Caiman says:

    Look guys, it’s very simple. If we all pledge to never buy another GFWL-infected game ever again, we’ll kill it pretty quickly. I’ve been doing this for several years now, but some of you guys keep buying the damn games! For the sake of us all, please stop. I know there are some games that you’d like to play that are infected with GFWL, but think of it as pulling a rotten tooth. It’s going to hurt, it’s going to bleed, but you’ll be so much happier in the long run.

    • Lemming says:

      Agreed!

    • malkav11 says:

      I would, but many of the games that use it are really good, and I just don’t find GFWL particularly upsetting. I mean, the only thing I actually like about it is the Xbox Live achievement integration, but it’s otherwise merely been unspectacular, never actually a problem. (I admittedly don’t play multiplayer.)

  22. Jezebeau says:

    I swear they do this just to give themselves an easy excuse for low sales numbers.

    • Wisq says:

      That only works up until the first time you deploy the excuse. :)

  23. frightlever says:

    The fact the GFWL client points you at Xbox.com is ominous. I think there’s a real possibility they’re going to switch off GFWL in the next few years, and those games that use it are going in the shitcan of history – unless you use cracks or warez.

    • Wisq says:

      One can only hope. I mean, the cracked versions will be roaming the internet forever anyway, and meanwhile, their legit buyers get to learn exactly what Microsoft really thinks of PC gaming. Win-win!

  24. deimonian says:

    if it’s here to stay, they could at least make it less crap and give it its own support site :[

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Eh, it’s not like the old GFWL support site gave a damn about PC users anyway. I got the “Are you using a black or a white Xbox?” question from their error fixing wizard back when trying to get Fallout 3 to run the first time.

      http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=8059

      Edit: I realise this was a programmer error rather than MS signalling some sort of intent. I’m just a little grouchy today.

  25. Khemm says:

    I don’t understand that. What’s the point in having BOTH GFWL and XboxLIVE on PC? So, GFWL for desktop applications and XBL for Metro-based applications?
    This is… stupid.

    If you want to keep GFWL running, at least try to make people hate it less. It’s not that difficult, you should have a list of what to improve by now.

    • chopsnsauce says:

      All they’re doing is continuing to support GFWL. Which means after Windows 8 comes out, it’s essentially legacy software that will eventually be dropped.

  26. AMonkey says:

    As long as Steam continues to dominate the market (not that Steam is perfect), GFWL can continue to exist in its undead state, for eternity for all I care. Problems occur if Microsoft decides to pump money into GFWL exclusive content, which would be horrible.

    • mendel says:

      Yeah, right. Last year I bought a game on Steam that has Securom, Steam and GFWL for DRM – all at the same time! (I’m looking at you, Codemasters.)

      • Khemm says:

        Which is one of the reasons why I always buy retail copies or from Gamersgate – one DRM layer (Steam) less.

        • mendel says:

          Yes, I prefer GG as well, but that wasn’t an option – nor was retail able to match the steam sale for a game that had very mixed reviews. I’d reconsider and get it retail as well if it didn’t still have GFWL then. :-P
          Too much to hope for gog to have it in 5 years, maybe?

  27. Lemming says:

    Hang on, that quote says only Games for Windows. Is he talking about what we’re talking about?

    • Harlander says:

      It’s important that we clarify this.

      GFWL = a terrible nuisance for a lot of people
      GFW = actually kinda good????

      • jonfitt says:

        That’s an important distinction to be certified as a GFW game Wikipedia tells me:

        Game software must meet certain requirements regulated by Microsoft in order to display the Games for Windows brand on its packaging. These requirements include:
        - An “Easy Install” option that installs the title on a PC in the fewest possible steps and mouse clicks
        Compatibility with the Windows Vista/ 7 Games Explorer (see below)
        - Installs and runs properly on x64 versions of Windows Vista/ 7 and is compatible with 64-bit processors (though the game itself can be 32-bit)
        - Supports normal and widescreen resolutions, such as 4:3 aspect ratio (800 x 600, 1024 x 768), 16:9 aspect ratio (1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080), and 16:10 aspect ratio (1280 x 800, 1440 x 900, 1680 x 1050, 1920 x 1200)
        - Supports parental controls and family settings features in Windows Vista/ 7
        - Supports launching from Windows Media Center

        All of that is good stuff (barring the Media Center bit, what the hell is Media Center?). I have no problem with this GFW certification. I think it is a good thing.

  28. vodka and cookies says:

    Quite disappointing really, GFWL has been cornered off in a ghetto, so all the future cross platforms Metro apps between Windows PC, Windows Phone and Xbox console will use Xbox Live.

    It’s not like Microsoft doesn’t have the resources to actually improve and unify the services they just cant be bothered it seems.

  29. Metalhead9806 says:

    They lost me at Metro Style Games. What does that even mean?

    • Prime says:

      It’s…no. I thought I had it there for a moment but now it’s gone back to being mysterious and unfathomable.

    • Khemm says:

      If I’m getting this right, it’s basically an OS with an OS. You have Metro and then you have desktop. Games running in Metro are incompatibilbe with the desktop and standard games are incompatibile with Metro…

      Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, because that surely sounds dumb if that’s the case.

  30. Toberoth says:

    God, GFWL is a fat mess. I tried playing a bit of Bioshock 2 yesterday, because I just upgraded some components and wanted to see how it runs these days (my processor will no longer bottleneck my rig! Now it’s my graphics card).

    I tried running the game through Steam. Nothing happened – clicked on the icon, clicked play, nada. Navigated to the game folder and tried launching the executable directly. Error message – something related to an xlive.dll which I didn’t have. Googled it and discovered that I needed to reinstall GFWL. “Ok,” I thought. “I’ll install it quickly, try the game, then probably delete GFWL again, I’m only benchmarking after all.” Downloaded the install file, ran it, installed (very slowly, but steadily). Great! Loaded up Bioshock 2, and it runs. “Nearly there,” I think.

    Nope.

    I had to spend ten minutes fucking about, with passwords for my hotmail account not being recognised, an offline account not allowing me to run the game, and even after successfully logging in, I get what appears to be an error message saying that all my saves have been deleted. Now, it’s been so long since I’ve played the game that I’m not too fussed about my saves being deleted, but it reminded me of a similar thing happening with Arkham Asylum a few years ago. I’d transferred all my data from an old hard drive to my new one, but somehow this didn’t work for my Arkham saves, which were permanently, completely, irrevocably corrupted because GFWL refused to recognise them.

    In conclusion: what the fuck?

    • Sir-Lucius says:

      One of GFWL’s greatest “features” is that it encrypts save files and ties them to a unique key buried somewhere in your appdata/local/… folder structure (can’t remember the exact path). Just copying the save is useless without the key GFWL generates the first time you install it. So if you reinstall your OS, build a new rig, and possibly even completely remove then reinstall GFWL (not 100% on that) it will render your saves useless.

      And the best part is that even if you backup the key, it doesn’t always take and you can still get locked out of your saves. It is one of the most absurd, inconvenient things I’ve ever come across in PC gaming and I don’t understand how anyone could have possibly thought it would be a good idea.

    • PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

      Blame Steam as they refuse to repackage their GFWL titles to include the latest GFWL client from MS for some reason so if you buy any GFWL title from Steam & its not recent you have to manually update the GFWL client. The encrypted savefiles is developer choice which they make to limit piracy so again not really GFWL fault is it. Just backup the Xlive folder on your OS drive this will allow almost every GFWL game to retain its saves when you copy the xlive folder back across!

      • Khemm says:

        Yes, one of the reasons GFWL is so broken for many people is because they got it from Steam, which only made things worse.

        That and using Bioshock 2 as an example of how GFWL sucks is not the best idea, because that port was so broken they didn’t even code GFWL in properly. It’s a fact some GFWL titles are less problematic than others.

        • Unaco says:

          This is a joke, right? “Don’t blame GFWL, it’s STEAM’s fault!!”

          I thought you were predictable Khemm, but that’s just ridiculous.

          • Khemm says:

            I’m sorry, but YOU are being ridiculous, because you fail at reading comprehension. I didn’t say it’s Steam’s fault GFWL is problematic, I said that people getting GFWL games from Steam have more problems because Valve fucked something up.
            Steam provides an outdated version of the program, that’s one of the reasons many people have crashes etc in the first place.

          • Unaco says:

            “Yes, one of the reasons GFWL is so broken for many people is because they got it from Steam,”

            GFWL is broken because of STEAM <— This is what you said. And now you try to deny you said it? You are a parody, aren't you Khemm? Or a troll. One of the two.

            The reason GFWL is broken for many people is because GFWL is broken… nothing to do with Steam. It is not broken because they got it from Steam… Steam providing it does not make it broken… Steam doesn't change it. If it's broken after you get it from Steam, it was broken before it got on Steam.

            Also, if I get a 3rd party programme like GFWL from a game disc, or another downloader or similar, and it's out of date, I use the auto-update feature… and it updates. Automatically. Why can't GFWL do that if Steam is giving out an out of date version? Because GFWL is broken?

            We know you have an irrational hatred of Steam Khemm… it's obvious from your attempt to shoe-horn baseless and, frankly ludicrous, criticism of Steam into any and every topic… from your absolute and blatant hypocrisy on the topic ("GFWL has always worked for me, you must be using it wrong" next to "Steam broke for me, it's the worst thing ever, it’s all Steam’s fault and can’t possibly be my fault, even though problems with GFWL are your fault!" – You see how that's a double standard?)… from your frothing, unreasonable and barely literate rants against the service. In fact, if all of your posts were replaced with the words "Steam is bad" nothing would be lost from them, and we'd maybe even gain a little civility.

        • Toberoth says:

          I don’t want them to be “less” problematic, I want them to have no problems whatsoever. I’m going to stick to blaming GFWL rather than Steam, though, because I’ve never had any problems with running games through Steam alone. I find Steam to be generally a very pleasant system.

          • Khemm says:

            I also want Steam to have no problems whatsoever, but that shitty bloatware doesn’t care about what I expect it to do way too often.
            I’m not negating GFWL’s bugginess, it surely does have more than Steam, but Steam bugs are often so nasty I can’t even install my games, and that is unforgiveable.

          • Brun says:

            As I always remark in these threads Khemm, your experiences with Steam appear to be very much in the extreme minority.

          • Llewyn says:

            I can’t work out whether Khemm has some special Khemm Edition of Steam, deliberately inflicted on him by malicious elements at Valve and designed to inflict maximum misery, or whether I have my own special version. I’ve never had a problem trying to install a game, except when their servers are too busy to start the download (which has only happened to me at the start of sale periods).

            I even have offline mode working flawlessly, on my desktop, on my laptop and on the VM I use for ancient games.

          • Brun says:

            He’s said before that he has a slow/unreliable internet connection, and that appears to be the root of his problems with Steam.

          • Toberoth says:

            Yeah… I just can’t relate to that, really, because I’ve never had any problems with Steam at all. Could it be something to do with your hardware config? To have problems with one game is understandable, but to have long term issues with Steam in general, when most people run into very few, if any, problems with it, suggests that there might be other factors at work.

            [Anyway - as a side-note to Unaco, this is what a reasonable response looks like ^^ Your rhetoric is getting out of hand again.]

          • Unaco says:

            @Toberoth…

            Sorry mother. Didn’t know you were the arbiter here. Alas… have you seen any threads with rational and reasonable discussion with Khemm?

            Don’t like my tone, don’t read my comments.

          • Toberoth says:

            “Don’t like my tone, don’t read my comments.” You’re posting them in a thread I started, so it would be rude not to read them. I just find your rhetoric to be completely over the top, and I wish you’d tone it down so I could figure out if there’s any substance to your frothing.

          • Unaco says:

            Yeah… that’s right. My posting is frothing, in the thread with Khemm. Get over yourself.

          • Toberoth says:

            Well, you showed me.

          • Unaco says:

            Damn right I did. I’ll expect a formal apology in writing though, before the matter is fully closed.

          • Llewyn says:

            @Brun: I also have an unreliable connection, to the extent that I have two ADSL connections and a data-only 3G link set up in a three-tier failover configuration to maintain connectivity for work. Steam only gets routed through the primary connection, so if that drops I lose access to Steam while my PC still appears to be ‘online’, which I believe should be one of the conditions that breaks offline mode, but I still don’t get problems.

            I know there are a lot of people out there who genuinely have intermittent problems with Steam, and I do sympathise with that. But there are a few who seem to find it consistently unusable, and I can’t help thinking in those cases that Steam isn’t the problem…

    • Toberoth says:

      Oh, I forgot to add this earlier, but I also had to quit the game while GFWL installed a patch for it, despite it being fully patched up already in Steam, so that took another couple of pointless minutes.

      • kud13 says:

        only a couple of minutes?
        that part usually takes me a few hours.

        Also, i did not know that GaFWL buries its files inside my C drive. the bastard. that explains why my GaFWL games from Steam all went ballistic when I took the 2 TB external hard drive that hosts my Steam folder and connected it to a brand new PC I’ve just built. Getting Steam onto the new rig (and getting it to recognize the appdata folder as its own took me about 2 minutes. GaFWL, otoh, threw a total hissyfit.

        anyone know where exactly I can find the bloody encryption key? mayhaps transferring that over will temporarily fix some of my woes…..

  31. Andrigaar says:

    It’s really not that hard to just refuse to buy 99% of games that use GfWL. Sure you’ll miss out on a few big titles, often ported so directly from the 360 that they lack full graphic options menus and have mouse acceleration anyway. Some PC devs have come to understand that it hurts sales, but others won’t unless you vocally hurt their sales and remind them why you refuse to buy their games infected by it.

    It’s a mess for many, and MS doesn’t care about customer satisfaction in their obnoxious console experience environment, and we all know it.

    • Khemm says:

      That’s the most laughable thing I’ve read in a while. Many ports using GFWL are absolutely stellar.
      Look at how many shitty ports there are which use Steamworks and that didn’t help them be proper PC games at all.

      GFWL or Steamworks have no impact on the port quality whatsoever.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I don’t think that people refusing to buy GFWL games is what made the most studios stop using it. Steamworks just works, GFWL doesn’t. I believe that studios don’t want to have to deal with constant bug reports and the like any more than the rest of us. They certainly don’t want the bad word of mouth GFWL brings.

  32. pkt-zer0 says:

    Microsoft continues to support the Games for Windows platform”.
    “Continues”, hahaha.

  33. Bane2087 says:

    If I ever use Win 8 as my primary OS the first thing I shall install on it will be Classic Shell to bypass the MS Metro fail. Hopefully someone will come with a solution that removes it entirely. I count Metro up their with Bieber on my list of things that should never have existed.

    Similarly I will pretend any game using GFWL doesn’t exist. Oh wait I already do…

    • mendel says:

      ’98 was fine, ME sucked, XP was fine, Vista sucked, Windows 7 is fine, well, what do you expect for Windows 8?

      • Ignorant Texan says:

        A mutlibillion dollar advertising campaign, featuring Lady GaGa’s Born This Way?

  34. Nic Clapper says:

    As bad as gwfl is its the least of the problems for windows 8….its like finding trash in a garbage dump.

    • Mctittles says:

      It’s like paying for a hooker with a life threatening V.D. and finding out she likes facebook games.

  35. drewski says:

    I like GfWL.

    *ducks*

    Seriously though, as inconveniences for PC gaming go, I’ve only found it annoying, rather than frustrating. But I freely admit I’ve never tried to use it’s allegedly abysmal multiplayer “functionality.”

    I’d be happy if they just made it exactly the same as Xbox Live but free.

    • Khemm says:

      I like GFWL in purely single player games – so much better and less annoying than Steam.
      However, I admit that online and patching leave much to be desired – no chat, sending messages is annoying and it’s frustrating GFWL has remained unchanged in terms of UI since… 2007, if I recall correctly?

  36. Blackcompany says:

    Many in the world believe Microsoft is on the way out. According to this subset of tech-lovers, one solid, user-friendly OS from Google or some other such company would likely mean the demise of MS. Some people have fronted the opinion that MS is so out of touch, and so behind the times in terms of tech industry changes and trends, that one good OS from another company would put them out of the game entirely.

    That they hare having to pay devs to make the same apps for Windows phones that those same devs make for free for iOS and Android sort of reinforces the opinion that MS is out of touch and lagging behind. Sort of lends some hope to the idea of a world without Microsoft.

    I could happily live in that world.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I want to see this happen

    • Toberoth says:

      As happy as I am with Windows 7, I’d gladly switch over to a different OS if it could be guaranteed the same level of support for applications and games.

      • Brun says:

        It would be nice if there were a gaming-optimized version of Linux, for example. But unfortunately, DirectX is pretty much the only graphics API used on PCs and that is exclusive to Microsoft. So even if someone made a non-Windows gaming operating system, and all publishers/developers universally switched to writing their PC games with OpenGL (for compatibility), all of your legacy games would still be broken.

        • Edlennion says:

          I want this so much (EDIT: gaming optimised Linux, that is)

          As for legacy games not working, I’d happily use Linux for all future games but keep my current Win 7 install for the games I own already.

          I personally like Win 7, but I’m very worried about where Microsoft are going with Win 8 (which I hate – why can’t I shut down from the desktop?!?). It would be amazing if I didn’t have to worry about that anymore.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I actually think the reverse could happen. If Microsoft could successfully integrate the an X-box media center and PCs into one home environment they could probably retake some market share from Apple, and that’s looking more likely than a wildly popular Apple home media center.

      I love Open source software, but I think the real barrier to its adoption is the amount of choice you have. A widely used open source OS won’t be a real possibility until there’s a continual consensus on which OS to use and that OS comes bundled with the most popular open source software to perform all its basic needs. I could be entirely wrong, but I think it’s telling that the community can’t even reach consensus on which media player to use and support.

    • Bane2087 says:

      Google is making an OS just it’s all cloud based, with mobile devices in mind. While there are some advantages to having things in the cloud I firmly believe that not everything should be that way. I don’t feel too great about all my data and personal files being stored on some server farm somewhere instead of my local machine. Security issues aside, another example is Onlive, which is a poor substitute for playing games on your own decent PC and will be for a long time to come.

      Linux is pretty good for a free OS but a lot of the underlying architecture behind it is about 20 years out of date and driver support is still horrible as always. I recently tried to install the latest nVidia drivers on Mint linux and it was ridiculously complicated. I could do it but your average home user wouldn’t have a clue. There has been an opening for years for someone to develop a brand new desktop OS but it’s such an expensive, difficult and long-winded endeavour with such risk involved I can’t see anyone making one anytime soon, especially since every suit in the business at the moment is jizzing over mobile computing while forgetting that there is still a massive place for the desktop.

      So we’re stuck on Windows and have to try and get around any turd MS decides to send our way.

  37. JD Ogre says:

    I have this horrible feeling that, once Windows 8 hits, all games will be required to use GFWL/XBL if they wish to be sold through the marketplace (and most will, sadly).

    • chopsnsauce says:

      It’s not a horrible feeling. It REALLY will happen. If it doesn’t I’ll eat my own arse.

  38. TwwIX says:

    Looks like Microsoft is doing everything they can to sabotage PC gaming. Windows 8 may very well achieve that.

    • Lemming says:

      Only if people buy it. I won’t be. So far Windows 8 looks like it’s going to severely hamper my gaming efforts. Anyone who loves playing games on their PC would be wise to sit tight with 7.

  39. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    I believe MS as they have definately been working quietly in the background to tweak GFWL recently & there are several games using it in the next month or so. They even updated their FAQ to include a list of what features Steam vs GFWL have so this along with the tweaks made to sell their DLC & own games on Steam tells you someone somewhere is cooking something up probably E3 we will hear more but they need to update the GFWL client anyway as W8 does not work properly with it unless you mess around so I guess they are doing something to address this.

  40. SmittyBit says:

    XBox Live on Win8? Yet another of ~many~ reasons why I will stick with Windows 7 thank you.

    !!HIJACK COMPLETED OF SUCCESSFUL TOPIC!!

    • Khemm says:

      It’d be actually great if XBL replaced GFWL completely, because it’s a much better, more robust service that actually gets supported.

  41. Baresark says:

    I have such little respect for Microsoft. Gamers are and have been a huge part of the clientele, but they don’t even see it. The only reason they are distributed far beyond us is simply because you can’t buy anything (besides a Mac) that isn’t filled with their bloatware. It’s so annoying.

    And yes, they would love to see an end to games on the PC. The funny bit is that we would not turn to Microsoft’s shitty console, more than likely we would switch to Mac, which is getting published on almost regularly now. Even Valve sees Microsoft sabotaging itself, as they are making sure more and more games get both a PC and Mac edition.

    They are so big and powerful, they don’t even need to listen to us anymore, which is also going to be their downfall, eventually. One day it will Apple bailing out Microsoft, instead of the other way around as it was in 1997.

  42. Toberoth says:

    “Don’t like my tone, don’t read my comments.” You’re posting them in a thread I started, so it would be rude not to read them. I just find your rhetoric to be completely over the top, and I wish you’d tone it down so I could figure out if there’s any substance to your frothing.

  43. mmalove says:

    I’m not sure why people see this as bad news. I, for one, probably just saved 60 bucks.

  44. Ultra-Humanite says:

    Windows 8 isn’t going to be mainstream anyway so what’s the point of rolling out a new GFWL?

  45. DrGonzo says:

    The metro games thing is actually really cool. Pinball FX loads almost instantly, good casual fun thats easy to access. That’s what GFWL should be, let Steam or whoever handle the real games and stick to casual games for Xbox Live on pc. There is almost certainly more money there anyway.

  46. jonfitt says:

    I am so confused.
    .
    Windows 8′s take on Xbox Live is casual games? Do they mean XBLA Xbox Live Arcade? I thought XBL was just the Steam overlay/ voice chat part of the Xbox that you have to pay to use?
    .
    My understanding is that GFWL is a cack-handed attempt to integrate XBL-like functionality into games by embedding it into each game instead of launching an always on standalone aplication that all GFWL games could tap into.
    .
    How does that relate to Age of Empires, and what the hell is a Metro (aside from the obvious underground trains).

  47. Geen says:

    Shit.
    *puts gun to head*

  48. alundra says:

    Windows 8 is going to suck anway, so what the heck, DX 11.1 you say M$?? Sorry, about 5 years to go until the market is flooded with DX11.1 games.

    Until then I’m more than fine with Windows 7