IT LIIIIIIIIIVES: GFWL Perma-Closing Next July

By Nathan Grayson on August 20th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Not for long

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

Ahem. Sorry. Let me briefly activate my brain’s cyborganic professionalism implant. Bleep bloop. OK then. So the news that Microsoft’s much-reviled game service/malignancy Games For Windows Live is well and truly finished isn’t actually all that surprising. It’s much appreciated – don’t get me wrong – but the writing was already on the wall, given that Games For Windows Marketplace’s days are already very, very numbered. Unfortunately, GFWL’s impending date with the young but exceedingly prolific Server Reaper presents a few game-unfriendly complications.

The announcement first popped up on Age of Empires Online’s support page, but it’s since been removed.

“Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. Although it is available through Steam, Age of Empires Online requires features of the Games for Windows Live service. You can continue to enjoy all the features of Age of Empires Online as the service will remain 100% operational until July 1, 2014 when the server will shut down.”

Microsoft still hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

Assuming it’s sticking with those terms, however, that leaves titles previously tethered to GFWL’s hissing tendrils in a tight spot. Games like Bulletstorm, Dark Souls, Resident Evil 5 (which is abysmal without co-op), Street Fighter X Tekken, Iron Brigade, and Dirt 3 may well lose significant chunks of their functionality unless something changes between now and July.

Granted, that could be the reason Microsoft has start fitting the ill-fated service for its noose so far in advance. Now, one would think, developers and publishers will have time to find alternative solutions for multiplayer, leaderboards, social features, etc. We can only hope.

Guess it’s curtains for Age of Empires Online, though. Apologies to the five people still playing it. (And also apologies for that flippant faux-apology.)

But, despite all that, I must once again return to an ages-old refrain: HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

, .

154 Comments »

  1. gunny1993 says:

    What is this? …. am I being punked …. where are the cameras

  2. GamesInquirer says:

    I hope the good games using this service, however old they may be, can sort out some sort of patch to at least conveniently disable all the related features rather than require any work around for basic things like new installations and playing the single player portions. I’m also not sure how good this news really is actually. Microsoft could just as easily come up with a new successor service to push down our throats (via certain exclusivity deals or whatever as usual) that presents many of the same issues, which mostly seemed to stem from a lack of interest in fixing them anyway. The jury’s still out.

    • Premium User Badge

      P7uen says:

      Although those of us that have GFWL games may have to give them up, it’s a sacrifice our generation has to make to ensure the freedom of our grandchildren, just like our grandfathers did before us.

      I guess I have 4 or 5 GFWL games, and if you had asked me yesterday “will you give up the ability to ever play these games again, if you could slay the beast of GFWL forever” the answer would have been yes.

      • Vexing Vision says:

        But two of these games are the incredibly superb Batman ones…. :/ I am not sure this is a sacrifice I am willing to make!

        • BillyIII says:

          @Vexing Vision
          Batman is singleplayer, so it will be playable with xliveless or similar software.

        • Nim says:

          There are murmurs over at the Batman Steam forums that the developers are at work removing GFWL from the games. Apparently there has been a number of updates to a development version not released to the public yet.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            Several months back Steam Achievements were added to Arkham Asylum as well as to Bioshock 2. So, it would seem that quite a few devs are working on wrenching GFWL out of their older games. I hope Capcom is doing the same. It would be a shame to see such a huge chunk of their PC library become unplayable.

      • akstro says:

        Steam downloaded an update for Bioshock 2 yesterday. So I guess some of the devs are adding the GFWL functionality to Steam. Hopefully that will mean they will disable all the extra DRM on them.

      • werix says:

        While I’m more than happy GFWL is going goodbye, now I’m worried that I won’t ever be able to play DoW 2 or Chaos Rising’s campaigns multiplayer ever again, especially since THQ has gone under.

        • mouton says:

          Even if it never gets patched, you still have one year to do it.

  3. Zanchito says:

    Lovely. Just lovely. They killed Dark Souls.

    • Mechorpheus says:

      Revenge?? :P

    • Meat Circus says:

      Given their love of really high quality PC ports, I’m sure they’ll patch in Steamworks support soon.

      Ahem.

    • ZephyrSB says:

      They killed it by including it in the first place.

      Not that there’s anything stopping them killing it again by killing it.

      Oh the humanity of it all.

    • Squirly says:

      Seriously though, I’m knee-deep in Lordran again right now. Does this mean I can give up on it in a few weeks? What’s going to happen to games that still need GFWL?

      • elevown says:

        Well- its a year off to be fair – not a few weeks- but still sucks- i love dead rising. I guess any gfwl games you realy like – make sure to replay em one last time before then.. And hope they get a patch.

      • XhomeB says:

        Are you using an offline or online profile. It it’s the former, relax. If it’s the latter… yep, there’s a reason to worry.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Apparently Dark Souls is going to be patched to steamworks. Rejoice!

      • IshtarGate says:

        That was a hoax, there is no official confirmation of this. But to look at the bright side, this is probably the strongest confirmation yet of Dark Souls II not using GFWL!

      • Lobotomist says:

        Great …I just recently bought Dark Souls , especially because of multiplayer portion.
        This sucks

        • elevown says:

          You’ll surely be pretty done with it in a year?

          • fish99 says:

            …but Dark Souls is something I could easily see myself playing multiple times over the next 10 years. I replayed Thief last year, and that’s 15 years old. Also Dark Souls is just not the same without the multiplayer component.

          • Lobotomist says:

            Game like Dark Souls ? And with all other games I still have to play trough … not likely

            Point being, when I bought the game it was supposed to be playable online, right ?
            At least so it states on the (virtual) box.

            They should keep what you payed for.

    • Premium User Badge

      DrScuttles says:

      A candlelit vigil will be held for Dark Souls. And I shall weep openly at Ash Lake.
      I want so much to believe that they’d swap it out to Steamworks, but…. uh. I’d be surprised if that happened.

    • Calabi says:

      Yeah I’m playing it as well. I knew something like this would happen Microsoft are the least trustworthy next to EA with keeping servers up.

      This is why the controversy with the XBOX ONE is so contentious. Any of these so called games that require the so called cloud will eventually not work anymore.

    • Synesthesia says:

      My thoughts exactly. There are quite a few builds i still want to try, and many of them depend on the multiplayer component. Fuck them if they kill it. I’m glad GFWL is going down, i really am, but Dark Souls is too good to just let it die. What can be done to avoid it?

  4. Alexander says:

    So what about the guy that left Valve (Steam) to join Microsoft? Will he just work on Win8 and IE10 updates?

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      XBox Live would be my guess. In fact, if GFWL had managed to be half a useful as XBL then it would have been, er, a bit useful.
      I am bad at wordy things.

    • AlmostPalpable says:

      He’ll be working on GFWL’s even worse successor, natch. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!

      • Premium User Badge

        GiantPotato says:

        Yeah, probably. Can’t wait for “Gaming-tainment for X-Windows Cloudstream” to be announced.

  5. aemskelley says:

    Ding dong the witch is dead, which old witch? The Windows Witch!

    Yay!

  6. KDR_11k says:

    I hope at least Iron Brigade gets a patch, Double Fine seem like the kind of guys who would do that.

    • Zorn says:

      As of their last statements on the old and new steam forums, they were looking into it,
      but the talks with M$ didn’t seem to go anywhere. It would be interesting to know what is going on in the background. At the moment, and over the last year that is.

      • rocketman71 says:

        They said Microsoft wouldn’t let them remove it.

        I guess that’s now out of the question, so we’ll see if they really want to support those who bought the game.

        • Meusli says:

          MS are totally clueless. They hire a new guy to improve there PC gaming business and then take away functionality from all my GFWL games. Well as my life rolls on I I am more inclined to never put money towards MS products ever again. Bunch of douches.

    • Teovald says:

      I hope so, but contracts are always a big problem for this kind of thing and Microsoft has built the reputation of being totally clueless of the interests of the indies game devs.
      Without multiplayer, I think we can forget about the Martian campaign since it has been designed around coop (that or I am very bad at soloing these missions).

      • Zorn says:

        From what I read the Martian Bear mission are really tough the first time around, when you’re alone, or even in a group where no one has beaten the game yet and packs some obscenely powerful equipment.

        If you are interested, there is a group on the steam forums called ‘looking for people to play coop with’, we were able to get quiet some games together, also timezones tend to get the better of us. There are some decent folks around, maybe we’ll even stumble over each other. Cheers!

  7. MrSean490 says:

    I’m noticing a strange feeling in my balls right now.

    And I like it.

  8. RProxyOnly says:

    As long as they patch out GFWL from the 2 Batman games then I’m satisfied… If they don’t then I’ll be turning off my VPN and torrenting the cracked games unprotected in the hopes that someone tackles me about it and I can mention why I did it in court.

    • neolith says:

      “As long as they patch out GFWL from the 2 Batman games then I’m satisfied.”

      That is exactly what I’m hoping for.

      • Zekiel says:

        Yes. I am very worried that the Arkham games will suddenly become unavailable; the fact that Origins is coming out doesn’t really inspire me that they’ll want to put in the work to make previous games playable.

    • Yuri says:

      Sooo you’ll be dumping over quality game developers because of a shitty service pushed upon the games by a major publisher?

      It’s not like they’re purely singleplayer games and like you can’t crack them or run them without GFWL. Totally impossible. Better to torrent.

  9. chaos4u says:

    Absolutely no reason why microsoft could not have made GFWL into something special .

    If there is project that could highlight just how hard microsft can fail at something it would be GFWL.

    They had the operating system . the console . and the freaking games. not to mention IP.

    but instead they mismanaged and ran this project into the ground within months.

    later they decided to dig it back up and “renew their efforts” all to be forgotten about again and left to rot.

    i would love to a read book on the decision making behind GFWL. im sure it would be a great book on what not to do regarding marketing and project management.

  10. BooleanBob says:

    Could this be the moment the implications of single-player server-dependent functionality, so long a ‘feature, not a bug’ blind spot for gamers and the press alike, finally comes home to roost? Several GFWL-spliced titles require you to be signed in just to save progress. What’s going to happen to them?

    • Screamer says:

      I just got Arkham City GOTY and it too required to sign in before it started saving…..

    • Runty McTall says:

      Is there a list of the games that rely on GFWL at the moment and which aspects of their functionality require it? I have a bunch of games that I bought in various steam sales that I have never even fired up and, due to real life commitments (ie, had a child) I barely ever get time to play games these days so I seriously expect my backlog to last few years. Some games that have been mentioned on this thread are in that backlog.

      I have no expectation to be getting much out of multiplayer on games that launched literally five or six years ago but to not even be able to do single player would be, um, shall we say “tedious”?

      Meh, guess, as someone above said, I’ll just torrent them but it’s totally stupid to be reduced to this as a legit customer.

  11. Mechorpheus says:

    I think its worse than ‘losing features’ if your game doesn’t get a patch. There are quite a few GFWL games which simply refuse to let you save if you’re not signed in to a profile. That’s fine for now (Assuming you have a profile on your PC you can use the offline mode which seems to work ok), but what if you in future lose this?

    Something I’ve found, if this becomes an unavoidable issue, if you back-up the following folder, you can paste it back into that location and your live profile and any DLC you’ve downloaded will come along for the ride. No telling if this will work right out the gate if the servers are offline (will it let you sign-in using offline mode if you’ve never signed in on that profile before), but I’ve been doing it for years to save re-downloading my profile which takes forever.

    C: Users username AppData Local Microsoft XLive

    (for some reason the comment interface eats the slashes……

    • Antonius says:

      “That’s a lovely workaround you have there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.”
      — MS GFWL Final Patch…

      Or in CS 1.3 days, Simpsons Speak: “Buy him out, boys!” — Simpsons Bill Gates…

    • ix says:

      This. The only GFWL game I own I would consider playing still is Dawn of War 2. I seem to recall it required you to sign in even for the single player stuff. I really hope some sort of patched version will be released, but the game is at this point 4 years old. What are the chances any devs are even still working on it?

      • Archangel says:

        I played all of DOW2 and Chaos Rising with an offline GFWL account and it worked perfectly. Same with the Batman games, Fallout 3, and Bioshock 2 (but not Minerva’s Den). I think Bulletstorm might be in trouble though, which is a true shame.

        • ix says:

          I stand corrected. I thought you couldn’t register without going through the online services.

        • Guvornator says:

          Bulletstorm was real fucker. If you didn’t sign in with your GFWL live account it dumped you back at the title screen- which didn’t have an exit option. So if you couldn’t sign in, you were trapped in an endless loop until you task manager-ed your way out.

          Given that apparently even EA don’t give it the full support you need to buy it* on Origin, I have a sad feeling that it’s toast. Shame, it was one hell of a game.

          *ON the redeem code FAQ it says the following – “Bulletstorm cannot be redeemed through Origin and you will need to contact an advisor to have them complete the process. ” That sounds like a game they’ve given up on…

    • XhomeB says:

      You have to sign in, but you can sign in using an offline profile, and it didn’t work like Steam’s offline mode at all, you could totally never go online even once.
      I’ve heard that Bulletstorm was an exception to this – it did require that you go online once, but all the remaining GFWL games should be fine.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      To make it work for everyone, you need to copy the folder:
      %localappdata%\microsoft\Xlive

  12. somnolentsurfer says:

    Kind of ambivalent about this. Want to be jubilant, but have several games I own but haven’t played yet that require it (GTA IV, Iron Brigade, Dawn of War II…) and Arkham Asylum that I’d quite like to be able to revisit in the future. Certainly won’t be buying Arkham City now until it gets patched.

  13. Premium User Badge

    CelticPixel says:

    I’ve wanted this news for so long. Fantastic news, although yes, I hope GFWL dependent games get patched. Let’s not forget this includes GTA IV which I definitely want to be able to go back to. Also, if they don’t get patched and are left to rot it won”t put a very positive light on the whole ‘games as a service’ shenanigans that all the big companies are into these days.

    • Guvornator says:

      I’m pretty sure my Steam version only has the Rockstar Social Club or whatever it’s called. Maybe they’ll switch you to that.

      • rapchee says:

        the steam version uses the rockstar thingy and gfwl too, although one can use an offline profile, but than you won’t be able to play multiplayer. (which would kinda be the point)

    • Bravey says:

      I only really care about games I didn’t bother buying because of GFWL, such as the Batman games. Can’t say I’d care much about going back to IV with V (presumably) coming out on PC. It will be better in every possible way. A bold statement, but I believe it!

  14. TheTingler says:

    Does this mean we won’t be able to access Batman: Arkham City – Harley’s Revenge and Bioshock 2: Minerva’s Den?

    Also, YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

  15. Low Life says:

    While it is quite natural to epect that Microsoft especially would leave their GFWL titles to die after this, there does seem to be something strange happening in their game division, as proven by the Age of Empires II HD release and the fact that the game’s getting a new expansion after all this time.

    • frightlever says:

      Microsoft is not one big corporation, it’s a bunch of smaller divisions that all hate each other. A Microsoft office party would make the Red Wedding look like something off CBeebies.

      • Pippy says:

        The Red Wedding was already like a sketch off Horrible Histories.

        • UpsilonCrux says:

          *Snigger*
          (In a hushed voice) : Is it just me or is Game of Thrones maybe not the televisual saviour everyone is saying it is?
          (Tiptoes quietly back into the shadows….)

          • 2helix4u says:

            *a slip of paper is pushed under your door, you open it to reveal… nothing, only the sound of retreating feet, it says:*
            Its really rather bad, but so is almost everything on telly. Just wait til every TV show starts killing off main characters as the in thing.

  16. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I’m really curious to see not only if and which games get patched to work without GFWL, but also to see what happens with those that don’t. Will gamers take aktion when their games stop working? And if so, will they achieve anything? Will the terms & conditions stuff about not actually owning the game hold up, or will courts rule them ineffective and require publishers/developers to make their games playable?

    It’s kind of good in that regard that some bigger titles like GTA 4 and Arkham City feature that thing, just so it’ll have a bit more of an impact and we’ll get to see what happens.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      Gamers will moan and complain on the internet and do nothing, just like what happens every time EA shuts down multi-player functionality for their games and when the gamespy service was effectively shut-off for a heap of games.

      I’d personally be annoyed if the Batman games weren’t patched, but I’m not likely to want to spend my valuable time and money fighting it legally. Especially as the “damages” suffered would be pretty minor from a legal perspective especially if you’ve already had use of the game/s in question for a number of years. Who’d really be liable anyway in the eyes of the law – Microsoft, the publisher or the original retailer?

      If you think about physical products you buy, the retailer will normally have an obligation for a short period, after which it’s handed off to the limited warranty from the manufacturer. Yes, your car might be expected to last you 10 years but your statutory rights might only cover 1 year following which your limited warranty covers you up to 5 years. After that the manufacturer likely has no legal obligation to rectify faults or even make spare parts available for purchase.

      Given the commonly consumable nature of games being played and discarded within a relatively short period of time I’d suggest you’d be hard-pressed to win a legal argument that there’s an obligation for publishers to make sure they continue to work for years. You can bet Microsoft / EA or whoever could present some nicely convincing statistical data to support this consumable practice.

      • Premium User Badge

        melnificent says:

        Depends on the laws of the country. In England and wales we have the sales of goods act, and also the provisions of services act.

        The question is do digital only games fall under the former or the latter? Secondly, what is a reasonable length of time to provide access to all the features of a purchased game?

  17. XhomeB says:

    Every single GFWL game I bought could be played in single player mode using an offline profile (which never required that you sign in online even once), so even if they never patch them, everything should be fine, I guess… Only the multiplayer won’t be available anymore.

    • Flea says:

      Grand Theft Auto IV (Steam version) requires it for single player, I think it won’t let you start the game without a GFWL account and without being logged into it. I know by next July everyone will be playing GTA V, but that’s not an excuse, I want to be able to play IV in the future.

      • XhomeB says:

        Really? I am 99% sure you can play GTA IV using an offline profile.
        If you follow these steps, you should be able to play pretty much every single GFWL game without ever connecting to the internet.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Sr7BPPYLJY

        Like I said earlier, I’ve heard Bulletstorm is the only exception, that thing apparently requires that you sign in online once.

        • Flea says:

          Well the thing is when I tried it and when I wanted to save the game it would tell me that I can’t save the game or any achievements until I’m logged in. At least that’s how I remember it…

          To be honest, I haven’t tried creating a “local profile” like they did in the video you sent, so maybe that would work. Thanks, that should help quite a few people :)

          • Barberetti says:

            Saving games in single player GTA4 (non-steam) worked fine for me with an offline profile.

        • frightlever says:

          Well that was frigging subtle. Thanks for pointing it out!

      • Westcreek says:

        I have GTA 4 and i was gonna get around to play it one of these years, honestly. If they make it unplayable due to this virus getting removed, i will have no problem pirating it. Pirates really do get better service. =/

  18. joedpa82 says:

    Welp, you hear that sound? Thats the sound of you orgasming while having nonconsensual intercourse via your bottom.

  19. AbyssUK says:

    Ding dong the witch is dead…

  20. Bull0 says:

    Yeah, so despite the fact a load of games will become unplayable, you’re still cheering. Thanks, mate.

    • elevown says:

      I agree. Microsoft should have implemented some kinda ‘dormant mode’ where for a few years the service was kept running but nothing new was aloud to use it – so when it finaly went all games on it would be at least several years old.

    • XhomeB says:

      Single player should be fine – I’ve explained why earlier, scroll up a bit. Multiplayer… yes, if you’re into it, that will go down permanently.

      • Bull0 says:

        OK, cool, I will check that out. It’d be nice not to lose my GTA, since I traded in my console copies on the basis that I’ve got it on Steam forever. <—Muppet

  21. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    Until it’s confirmed that older titles which require it will retain full functionality without it, I see little to get excited about.

  22. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    I guess this is the part where we find out if games with idiotic DRM will be lost to the ages or if they’ll patch it out in time. If they don’t bother to fix this, it will set a disturbing precedent for other games that require online activation or log ins.

    At least GFWL is dead.

    • XhomeB says:

      Imagine the s**tstorm happening should Steam decide/be forced to close its doors. The very foundations of the interet would be shaken. Scary.

      • DMStern says:

        Valve have stated that in a worst-case scenario they would push out a patch to remove the online authentication. Granted, that statement was made long ago and there’s no guarantee they’d be able to follow through and it would probably break many games, but they have at least thought about it.

        This GFWL business just reinforms my belief that you’d be a fool to hitch yourself to any Microsoft technology.

        • XhomeB says:

          Umm… That “statement” is totally false, because it’s an old internet myth. Valve have never, ever, EVER stated such a thing.
          Unless they’re secretely piling up fixed *.exe files for every single game they sell, flipping some magical switches won’t help.

          • DMStern says:

            The two most commonly cited sources seem to be a reply from Valve support and a Steam forum post.

            Now in the first case there’s no verifiable authenticity to the claim, and in the second case the forum thread in question has been lost to time. So maybe it did happen, maybe it didn’t. The claim has certainly been repeated often enough, even by people who should know better. In any case, it should be enough to patch the Steam client to run permanently in offline mode.

          • Premium User Badge

            Malibu Stacey says:

            Yeah because they need a stockpile of executables when they could simply modify the Steam DLLs those executables call….

          • fish99 says:

            Good luck downloading your games in offline mode with the servers shut down :p

        • fish99 says:

          Has someone got a link to a Valve employee actually saying that, I’m convinced it’s just a myth made up by Valve fans on their forums. Either way, if they’re going bust they won’t actually give a shit about doing anything of the sort, and even if they could and did, you would need to have every single game you own already installed and somewhere to permanently back them up.

          The reality is, if Valve went bust you’d lose all your Steam games, and you’d be relying on pirates to play whole generations of Steam-only games. Plus multiplayer would die in all those games.

          Thankfully Valve have a license to print money so it *should* never happen.

          • Svardskampe says:

            I see you havent played a lot of pirated games, but the scene has made many improvements in playing online. Gameranger, Garena,… offer lobbies and tunneling services. Just as tunngle (only used it for borderlands 2 though). Hamachi still exists to create a simple virtual LAN. Me and my clan/guild/community have an hamachi lan permanently set up. From windows vista and up you can just share folders on your computer if it were dropbox with no hassle at all. It’s just lovely to have access to virtually 6 NASses.

            Also, the pirate scene of call of duty even improved upon the official client: dedicated servers instead of p2p.

      • KevinLew says:

        I don’t know why the “What Happens If Valve Goes Bankrupt” scenario keeps showing up all the time. It’s a really pointless argument and the real answer is: It wouldn’t happen, and even if it did, you wouldn’t care.

        Companies only go bankrupt for a few reasons. For Valve’s case, it would most likely be that they had a terrible service and had terrible products, and somebody else would have much better service and products and took all of their business. So my point is: By the time this situation shows up, you wouldn’t be using their terrible service anyway (which explains their bankruptcy), and you wouldn’t care.

        The other scenario is that should Valve actually start falling under, then Steam wouldn’t go away but Valve would simply sell it to another investor or company. No successful company simply vanishes into thin air, regardless if the original owner retires or leaves. Lots of companies have changed leadership over time. At the very least, a dozen publishers would want the Steam service to distribute their own games as the infrastructure is costly and has all kinds of features.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’ll be doing the “told you so” dance over here, etc. etc.

      (GFWL’ll only be replaced with something worse, you know.)

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      If they don’t patch it they can pretty much stop selling all GFWL game on Steam right now unless they come with a giant warning: THIS WILL STOP WORKING JULY 2014.

  23. sabasNL says:

    So I can’t play GTA IV online and fully legit anymore?

    Whatever, it’s not like most players cracked GFWL so we can play mods.

  24. kopogtias says:

    My beloved Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition :(

    • Premium User Badge

      Tjermnon says:

      Worry not, Capcom already confirmed that they are switching to Steamworks with the Ultra update.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Diziet Sma says:

    But what about Viva Pinata! My nephew will be mortified I say!

    • frightlever says:

      I bought that off GFWL for 99p, but I think I’ve had my money’s worth out of it now. Fun game.

  26. Beernut says:

    According to this thread (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=619976), arkham city and some other titles are already getting some changes over steam which might indicate a removal of their GFWL-requirements (switch to steam-achievements, no GFWL-keys any more etc.).

    Developers have about a year to prepare their products for the shutdown, that should be more than enough to get proper single-player-functionality to work. The main problem is probably the matchmaking-part of GFWL some games relied on and other multiplayer-features.

    But I’m glad it’ll finally be gone. I’ve passed up the Batman-games a gazillion times during their sales, just because I never wanted to have anything to do with GFWL ever again after my Bulletstorm experience.

    • captain nemo says:

      if they remove GFWL from the two Batman games, I’ll buy them

      • Bravey says:

        Me too, held off during several sales due to GFWL requirement.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      Except in a lot of cases the developers can’t make changes / release patches without publisher approval and or just don’t have the funding to do so. Not to mention the issue of old games that may not be easy to retrofit if original developers are no longer around or source code has been lost / inaccessible.

  27. Tei says:

    Good news, GFWL was not a native experience on the PC. Was a underfunded project and it shows.

    Now what will happend? will game devs use steamworks (that is good), make his own stuff, use gamespy (that is weak) or will Microsoft create another vile thing to replace this?

    I totally see Microsoft forcing game devs to use some Windows 8-only framework that turns games not compatible with Windows 7.

    • captain nemo says:

      To be honest, I can see MS sacrificing GFWL because they are more interested in their version of the Apple App Store. GFWL may be dead, but the days of MS screwing over PC users is not.

      • XhomeB says:

        I’m afraid that might be the case. The reason they recently hired one of the former Valve employees is that they probably have big plans when it comes to either creating a new, improved client or simply strengthening and improving the Windows Store in Win8. It wouldn’t surprise me if it evolved into some kind of dashboard, like on xbox.
        With that said, I don’t know much about technicalities or how exactly Metro works with Desktop applications, so I have no idea whether it would be feasible.

    • Premium User Badge

      ts061282 says:

      My guess is MS is going to do very little for the next few years in this sphere.

  28. Cooper says:

    I hope this means I get to play Dead Rising 2 again. GFWL swallowed my saves when I, after hours of play offline, eventually went online and registered the game…

    Then again, I can envisage many GFWL games not getting the little bit of attention they will need to strip it from them…

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      On the counter, there really aren’t that many GFWL games, so there shouldn’t be too much of a catalog that needs to be converted. It’s just a shame that there’s some real gems wrapped up in it, that could be lost due to various reasons.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    The magical land of Peacey rejoiced at the news of the fall of the beast known as the G’fwill. The peasants quaffed flagons of mead, feasted on the fatted foodebeest and regaled each other with well-worn retellings of their sufferings at the hands of the G’fwill. Unbeknownst to them, however, something unspeakable stirred in the darkness of the G’fwill’s master’s sinister Fortress Ekzbokz.

    “My monster… My beautiful monster! Hounded to extinction by these Peacey peasants!” roared the Dark Lord of Ekzbokz. “I tried to bring the Light of Ekzbokz to their filthy hovels, but they threw it back in my sinister masked and cowled face!”

    The Dark Lord paused for a moment to allow lightning to backlight him ominously through the throne room’s enormous lighting-posing window, then he steepled his fingers.

    “They think the G’fwill was the last of their troubles? They dare to raise their Steemes and their Goggues against me? It would seem the Wheen-dose Aet was not a sufficient demonstration of my resolve. Have they forgotten the Wheen-dose Emee so quickly? They forget who wields the true power in this land.”

    He gestured imperiously to a flunky.

    “Bring me… the Dirrek Tex. We’ll see how they fare when I finally allow the life to drain from its ravaged carcass. If I cannot control Peacey, I shall see it consumed in flames!

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Luckly Dirrek Tex can be slain using both Ess D’el and Oppe Ng’l, or even Mon O’gamme. Not all hope is lost, for Robin GNUood will protect us.

    • Skull says:

      This is the best story I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I really feel I can relate to the citizens of Peacey.

    • captain nemo says:

      Sir, If ever you sell the film-rights to this tale, bear in mind that although Gene Wilder would make a good Steve Balmer, Marty Feldman would be better

  30. Prolar Bear says:

    THIS JUST IN: Dark Souls on Steamworks https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BSFDuhQCQAA8smK.png

    EDIT: NOPE, it’s a hoax. :(

  31. frank3n says:

    This is exactly what Iron Brigade needed. Perhaps now the scrap stutter bug will be squashed under the weight of a 10-ton mech heel, and righteous multiplayer sessions can resume in all their hella-fun glory.

  32. SuicideKing says:

    So what happens to my Arkham Asylum? 0_0

    Already finished playing it so not sure how much i care…

  33. Love Albatross says:

    Doesn’t Fallout 3 use GFWL?

    I know it can be played without logging in, however this has implications for the DLC – I believe you have to move the files around and perhaps activate them like mods. Hopefully this will be easy to patch out.

    • Premium User Badge

      DrScuttles says:

      It does, but somehow not in my game due to a complex web of mods, tweaks and fixes. No idea how though, but not once has Live ever popped up playing it. I bought it through Steam, but it still have a LIVE button on the main menu. Never dared to press it.

      • Cytrom says:

        Fallout 3 has been officially cured a long time ago. patch 1.7 or 1.8 removed GFWL, and a fresh download on steam have no trace of GFWL.

  34. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    I bought the Fallout 3 dlc via GFWL. What will happen to them?

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Your hard drive will rip itself, screaming, out of your computer, then smash through any obstacles in its way as it attempts to return to Microsoft HQ in Redmond.

      • Premium User Badge

        GiantPotato says:

        I think the question was what will happen after GFWL is shut down.

  35. fish99 says:

    While it’s good that no new games will have GFWL, the servers getting switched off is very bad news. A lot of these games (maybe all) need the GFWL servers to activate and to save, so they would be effectively unplayable. I really can’t see devs going back and removing GFWL because there’s nothing in it for them financially, and I doubt Microsoft can do it without access to each games code. Even if there’s a way around the activation and save issue, any multiplayer would be dead for sure.

    Here’s the GFWL games I own-

    Batman Arkham Asymlum
    Batman Arkham City
    Bioshock 2
    Bulletstorm
    Dark Souls
    Dead Rising 2 OTR
    DIRT 2
    Fallout 3
    Flatout UC
    FUEL
    GTA4
    GTA4 EFLC
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
    Osmos
    Red Faction Guerrilla
    Resident Evil 5
    Section 8 Prejudice
    Dawn of War 2

    • XhomeB says:

      You’ll be fine. Scroll up, I’ve provided a youtube link explaining how to play them offline.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      Here’s the GFWL games I own:

      Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
      Iron Brigade
      Toy Soldiers

      All 3 were from the MS indie bundle which came with Deadlight & Mark of the Ninja for $10. Still haven’t installed any of the listed ones & I don’t intend to unless GFWL is removed from them.

      Here’s the games I would’ve bought if they didn’t use GFWL:

      Batman: Arkham Asylum
      Bioshock 2
      Fallout 3
      Grand Theft Auto IV
      Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
      Batman: Arkham City
      Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition
      Dead Rising 2
      Dead Rising 2: Off the Record

      BTW Osmos doesn’t have GFWL. It’s cross platform & even runs on my Android phone.

      • fish99 says:

        Thanks. Well I hope someday you’re able to play those games, because there’s some classics in that list , especially both Batman games, Dark Souls, Fallout 3 and GTA4.

  36. lordfrikk says:

    We discontinue GfWL, you won’t be able to play your games anymore. Sorry.

    P.S.: Buy Xbone! Thanks.

  37. povu says:

    Shame about Dark Souls, I’m not expecting a patch. Luckily I don’t own any other GFWL games with important online components. I assume that for games that don’t get patched we’ll still be able to create local profiles that will allow for saving.

    Also if this means we’ll get the Minerva’s Den DLC for Bioshock 2 on Steam that would be nice.

  38. Papageno says:

    They’d better not make it so we can’t play the Batman games. Or at least the SP parts of any number of GFWL games I have.

  39. Text_Fish says:

    Seeing as GFWL is probably one of the reasons there are so few AoE:Online players it seems extra tragic that as soon as that problem is fixed it might be unplayable anyway!

  40. Chizu says:

    hmm, well my only issue is theres still some DLC I wanted for games, like the Bioshock 2 dlc, and some Dirt 3 stuff, and probably a couple things otherwise.

    Kinda sucks if those become forever unavaiable. Maybe they can just update the games to give everyone the dlc/remove gfwl.

  41. Dave L. says:

    The biggest problem with this is that when the registration servers go down, the games that can’t be patched (Red Faction: Guerilla, DoWII and Chaos Rising, others) quite simply won’t be playable. I for one will be EXTREMELY unhappy if I can never play RF:G again after next July.

  42. Panda Powered says:

    Eurogamer added this:

    UPDATE: Microsoft has responded to our inquiry about Games for Windows Live’s impending closure with a cryptic message about believing in PC gaming and having a long-term plan to grow.

    The company’s official statement is as follows:

    “Yesterday, an Age of Empires support web page communicated that the free to play Age of Empires Online will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. We believe in Windows/PC gaming and have long-term plans to grow our support. We expect there to be transitions as we build out new investments, but we remain committed to bringing first party gaming services and games to Windows for years to come. We will share more details in the future.”

  43. ChromeBallz says:

    If they take away my Dark Souls i may have to go and kill someone at Microsoft.