Batman’s Ditched GFWL, But Say Goodbye To Your Saves

By Nathan Grayson on October 19th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

Nyahahahahaha, just as I planned.

Even when villains are given a good, hard KAPOWTHWACKBIFFZOTT-ing and the day is saved, Batman stories rarely end on entirely happy notes. Thus, it’s almost sort of fitting that Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City haven’t escaped Games For Windows Live’s years-long countdown to self-destruction entirely unscathed. Yes, they’re finally free of Microsoft’s arbitrary, ages-behind-the-times shackles, but your save files, amazingly, won’t be making the jump to Steam. Kinda justifies some of those fears we’ve had about these DRM systems for all this time, huh? You know, the ones companies like Microsoft tried to reassure us about by promising that they’d never leave us without the things we worked so hard to buy and earn?

It’s good, at least, that we get to keep the games we paid for, but their assimilation into the Steam borg hive cluster geosynchronously orbiting Gaben mega-beard has been anything but graceful. Warner Bros’ Erik Miller explained:

“Dear Batman Arkham Fans – Microsoft has begun the process of closing down Windows Live services over the next year. To make sure there is no interrupted service, we will be moving the game to Steam for verification and update services for both the Base and GOTY versions of Batman Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City.”

“Unfortunately, you will not be able to continue playing from your current save. You will need to start a new game.”

Hmm. Sounds like it’s time to start re-digging-up all those Riddler trophies, then.

But hey, odds are, you’ve already gotten your fill of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City at this point. For most, I imagine the saves and Riddler trophies and things of that nature are just that: trophies. So it’s not the end of the world, but it doesn’t exactly set the best precedent for other DRM systems, regardless of whether the blame should be on Steam or GFWL for their proprietary gears failing to interlock. Here’s hoping other game developers and creators are taking notes – more specifically, on their “OH GOD PLEASE FIND SOME WAY TO AVOID THIS” lists.

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164 Comments »

  1. moben says:

    This might or might not work to save your save, haven’t tried yet:
    http://steamcommunity.com/app/200260/discussions/0/810938810549705289/

    • mAk says:

      It works. It won’t unlock any achievements though. To get them back, you’ll have to play the games again.

      • RiptoR says:

        Works perfectly here, and achievements kept unlocking just fine after removing the GFWL headers.

        • DigitalImpostor says:

          I think mAk means that any you already had won’t be unlocked on Steam unless you get them again on another playthrough.

    • Zorn says:

      I think I should bookmark this in case Iron Brigade should ever get rid of gfwl.
      Already bought candles and ingredients for a celebration cake.
      Now only the day’s gotta come.

    • Hastur says:

      Thanks for pointing out that thread, it worked for me. It took me some trial and error to find the right spot in the file to edit though.

    • Jaffo says:

      Worked a treat. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Asherie says:

    Tbf, with steams DRM your savegame is also on your hard drive, and it isn’t encrypted (so you can share it, back it up, restore it etc yourself. Unlike with GFWL savegames, well, without hacking them anyway)

  3. Hmuda says:

    Small price to pay to rid ourselves of that pox-ridden-blight-upon-gaming. It’s perplexing why would any company would use it in the first place after it became evident that it’s a horrible system for everyone, but still, it’s good to be free from it.

    Kinda helps that they gave the GOTY version for free to those who only had the regular version, so that’s bound to help the transition to a new save slot. :)

    Now…Dark Souls, please.

    • lautalocos says:

      i really hope they get rid of it sooner. i had to pirate it because GFWL doesn´t work on my country.

      i want to be invaded. please, just a few times.

      • Natdaprat says:

        Seriously? Damn, that’s harsh. There are only ever a couple of justifications for pirating a game (you own it but lost the disc for example) and this is definitely one of them. Maybe you should buy it now!

        • Ricc says:

          As shitty as excluding entire countries from a game is, I don’t think it makes the phrase “I had to pirate it” any more true. You don’t have to do anything. That was entirely your own decision.

          I don’t support companies that are unwilling to do business with me, but using that as an excuse to just take what I want doesn’t quite work either, in my opinion.

          • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

            Isn’t the only real reason to not pirate is that it takes away a sale? Because that wouldn’t seem to be the case here.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            At Ricc, yes YOU, you sanctimonious sack of shit: Oh do fuck off, you sanctimonious sack of shit!! Edit: IMO, you sanctimonious sack of shit!

          • derbefrier says:

            Actually contrary to popular belief the reason pirating is wrong is because stealing is immoral. But as is plainly obvious from the many supporters of piracy the ego is capable of rationalizing anything. I mean that’s the reason crime exists right? How many criminals you know just admit they were wrong? None right they all have some silly rationalization of why, in their case, its acceptable. The rationalizing between stealing an iphone or a video is no different.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Theft is PERMENANTLY denying ownership, check the LEGAL definition. As long as when given the opportunity the lad/lass bought it legally, NO CRIME, you sanctimonious sack of shit!

          • LionsPhil says:

            Break into an Apple store the day before they release their next iPhone and nick one. Then go back the day after to fess up and pay for it.

            See if they go “no harm, no foul” at you. Go on.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            I think the ‘breaking in’ would be the flaw in your exquisitely constructed argument!

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            If ‘said person’ got accused of ‘stealing’ a game where there was no ‘legal way’ to ‘buy’ BUT when pulled was ‘amicable’ to ‘full purchase price’ the only court that would find him guilty? Well maybe the Deep South, Israel, Russia, suggestions to other supposed free states that are not?

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            Worth noting: Pirates are doing a better job of preserving the medium (ie games that are no longer sold) than legitimate services. Sure we have GOG and Virtual Console now but they are hardly a comprehensive archive of all digital culture. Like it or not, without pirates games preservation is fucked.

          • thefinn says:

            Haha, I love how people in america think.

            Their great morality.

            Is this morality judgement/discussion over… The dislocation of millions of people through war, the fact they are the only country to make legal torture renditions, nuke countries, invade for no reason, or just plain lock their own citizens in Guantanamo with no trial or evidence? No.. the debate is “Video Game Piracy”

            Quick everyone, Saddle up your high horses! This must be stopped!

          • Premium User Badge

            DragonOfTime says:

            Oh yes! Another “piracy is wrong” vs “piracy is okay” discussion. It’s full of insults you say? All the better! I do so love these comment threads.

          • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

            “derbefrier says:
            Actually contrary to popular belief the reason pirating is wrong is because stealing is immoral.”

            It’s a nice platitude, but I don’t see how it’s relevant, since I don’t see how this particular case qualifies as theft. It deprives the developer and publisher of literally nothing: the game was impossible to buy (so no lost money) and it’s a virtual product (so no lost stock). What is being stolen? Or are you just accusing them of sinning?

          • JadedPrimate says:

            You wouldn’t steal a handbag. You wouldn’t steal a car. You wouldn’t steal a baby…

          • Mctittles says:

            I just don’t like supporting the nasty people who run the pirate sites. Because that’s the real sub-economy here.
            And anyone who thinks they need advertising to support bandwidth on a site with no images (besides ads) and no files then I think you misunderstand how all the other sites with images and movies and ads can make money.

            In conclusion, considering bandwidth vs ads vs traffic it is the most profitable business model you could imagine.

          • Jack Mack says:

            The argument here seems to be “Some acts are inherently evil” VS. “Acts are only evil if they have a negative effect”. So, if you stole 50 bucks from your grandma, and then a passing genie took pity on her and magically regenerated the $50 (so she never realized that you stole from her, and there was absolutely no negative effect from it) was it still an evil act?

            Seems like some people here would say yes, some no.

          • Premium User Badge

            Don Reba says:

            And then, some actions are inherently good, but sometimes have a negative effect. Sharing might be one of those.

          • PopeRatzo says:

            I’m not sure you’re thinking this through. If “stealing” in the case of a digital game means “depriving the producer of profits from his work” and that is done through selling a “license” to the game (not actually selling the bits themselves), and the license was not available under any legal circumstances in his country, then what has he actually deprived the producer of?

            I would say there is a very good case (moral, too) that anyone in his country could download and play the game and it would not be stealing. Not in the strict sense and not in any sense.

            It’s not like he deprived anyone of a legal sale, because it is impossible to have a legal sale in that country. They didn’t lose one penny of revenue by his playing a cracked version of the game. The fact that it is available via torrent is not the fault of the downloader in that country, and the producer lost no revenue. No harm, no foul. No sin.

          • Lemming says:

            In D&D alignments, Piracy is Chaotic Neutral at worst.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            @JadedPrime: But I’d steal your heart.

          • waltC says:

            I can’t say that I ever bought a game just because it was a GFWL title…;) More like I bought the game and then noticed it was GFWL, which I then proceeded to disable if possible. DRM is such a pain. For instance, for Bioshock 2, there’s a program file you can download (xlive.dll) and install locally in the game directory that allows the game to be played regardless of the requirements of GFWL. Works perfectly.

            It really would be interesting to hear the publisher’s “moral” side of the story of forcing their paying customers to jump through their DRM hoops! Probably runs something like: “Well, the bad apples spoil it for everyone.” Which is grade-school morality, if I’ve ever heard it, and avoids the question entirely. Why should paying customers have to suffer the slings and arrows of DRM? Good question. I don’t think they should.

            So, I’m all in favor of *paying customers* taking any steps they deem necessary to free up their software, up to and including downloading a cracked, DRM-free copy of their games if they choose. Morality is satisfied because the customer has paid for a license and copy of the game, and the customer also takes care of the publisher’s immorality (forcing DRM on paying customers) at the same time. I’m in favor of people owning the rights to a *copy* of every game they buy.

            Another area where obtaining an “illicit” copy is in fact legitimate, is in the case of old games out of publication and no longer being sold that a person might wish to play. Since no one is trying to sell those games anywhere, then the person obtaining a copy of them damages no one financially. Hence, no theft is even possible in those cases. Last, as mentioned earlier in the thread, if a person buys a copy but later loses his copy then it is acceptable to obtain another copy, since he paid for a copy of the game and surely under no circumstances would buy two copies of the same game…;) (Unless he’s a bit “touched”, that is…;))

          • MellowKrogoth says:

            Can’t believe some people are still stupid and twisted enough to deny someone the right to play a game, even though they’d willingly paid for it if they could. Remember, culture belongs to the people, to humanity, and copyright is only a temporary favor from the people to encourage the authors to make content. (Even American law says that much.) If that system for some reason fails to help the author in your country, you playing the game is only taking what’s rightfully yours.

          • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

            “Jack Mack says:
            The argument here seems to be “Some acts are inherently evil” VS. “Acts are only evil if they have a negative effect”. So, if you stole 50 bucks from your grandma, and then a passing genie took pity on her and magically regenerated the $50 (so she never realized that you stole from her, and there was absolutely no negative effect from it) was it still an evil act?”

            How is this an analogy to what we’re talking about? When you take the $50, all you know is that you are taking $50. You don’t know a genie will show up. All you can say for sure is that your grandma has been deprived of $50. This is by definition stealing. That’s obvious.

            A better analogy to the situation we’re discussing is picking up a picture of a $50 bill while your grandma is nearby, and then someone shouting OH MY GOD HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO GRANDMA and you getting kind of confused about why they’re shouting and how they got into grandma’s house.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            @ thefinn: Actually, you insufferably dense dumbfuck, the only thing in your ignorant tirade that is unique to the United States of America is nuking another country and the use of Guantanamo as a prison. And let’s all not forget that the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were totally unjustified acts, right?

            Pick up a history book and actually read it instead of just making shit up and spouting out your completely bullshit xenophobic tripe.

          • DickSocrates says:

            I doubt there’s a single person in this thread that hasn’t committed the mortal SIN of pirating software. I’m scared of people who are so black and white about what’s right and wrong.

        • SominiTheCommenter says:

          Ninja Dodo’s argument single-handedly justifies piracy. I’m dead serious.

          • iridescence says:

            More that it justifies a legal alternative to preserve games as an alternative to piracy.

    • cliffbeall says:

      Well I guess all these games will have to do something since GFWL is going away. It will be good for me for Dark Souls and Fallout 3, since for both of those I have Steam and GFWL together, which is ridiculous.

      For Arkham City, I currently need both GFWL and the disc in the drive (securerom?), which is also ridiculous. Hopefully I can get it activated on Steam.

      • Lemming says:

        The Fallout 3 modding community have been able to patch out the GFWL for a while now. Check out Fallout Nexus.

      • povu says:

        It doesn’t encrypt Fallout 3 saves so those should be safe if they decide to nuke GFWL entirely.

    • defunct says:

      Wait, what? Where do I get my GOTY version? Steam doesn’t have it for me already. I bought the original game before it came out with any DLC, and now am waiting for a sale where it’s really cheap. Free would be better if I could get the GOTY version, but I don’t see that anywhere. A little help here, please?

      edit: nevermind! it WAS in my library, I just had it filtered by installed games. I just unfiltered and am installing now. It’s cool, too, because I didn’t have the GOTY version of either one, and now I do. I bought both just about when they came out.

  4. Archduke says:

    Some guys in the steam forums already provide save converters. I just imported a save from the previous, GFWL version of Arkham City to the new, steam only Arkham City GOTY Edition

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Nice. I tried this and can confirm it works for Arkham City, but could not get the patch to work for Asylum. Side note: When you re-install the games, make sure you install the GOTY version and not the old versions if you had those, because the old ones still have all the DRM. It’s the new ones that are fixed.

  5. womp says:

    “But hey, odds are, you’ve already gotten your fill of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City at this point.”

    You’d think. Oh well, I was deleting past saves to make room for my 5th and 6th playthroughs anyway.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      I never managed one playthrough, thanks to GFWL making my saves disappear several times. Guess it’s time to try again.

  6. Premium User Badge

    PeopleLikeFrank says:

    Aha! My not having gotten around to playing games I’ve had for years saves the day! I don’t have any saves yet! Now, if only I could find the time to play some games…

  7. Kubrick Stare Nun says:

    I don’t really mind. It’s as good a reason as any to play this wonderful game again from the beginning.

  8. Phoibos Delphi says:

    Funny, when it happened to Fallout 3 I just had to copy my saves from the GFWL folder to the Fallout 3 folder…

  9. kwyjibo says:

    Can you find out if Rockstar are ever going to get rid of SecuROM and GFWL from GTA IV?

  10. Viroso says:

    Still no news of what Namco will do to fix Dark Souls. GFWL made it impossible for me to run the game, I had to get a refund from Steam over it. Doubt they’ll do anything. I know their support didn’t do anything when I needed help.

    • Baines says:

      Namco has a sequel coming out, so they probably don’t care about the first game.

      Looks similar in the land of Capcom. Capcom refuses to speak about any of their existing GFWL games. The only news, which came out before the GFWL news leaked, was that Ultra Street Fighter 4 would use Steamworks instead of GFWL when it came out next year.

      • Lemming says:

        Your reasoning makes little sense, as the two Arkham games are being retrofitted for Steam, while the new one is about to be released.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        If Namco doesn’t remove GFWL, then they won’t be able to sell Dark Souls at all. Anywhere. That’s unlikely to happen. It’s possible, but pretty doubtful.

        As for Capcom, they have officially stated they are looking into SF4:AE, and I can’t imagine them not patching out GFWL and then having to stop selling a significant library of very popular titles.

  11. Premium User Badge

    strangeloup says:

    I just picked up both Arkham games, in their goatee flavours, thanks to a very good deal that netted me the pair for £6. I bounced off them on consolebox (and don’t have the machine in question any more), but I figured for such a low price I was prepared to try again, especially as they’re so highly rated.

    I’d been put off the PC versions before due to GFWL’s foul taint, but now that’s been excised I’m sure it’ll be a smoother experience. And yeah, if they could fix Dark Souls, that would be great — maybe do something about all the hackers as well, because at this point it’s better to play offline… to the point where I’m thinking of getting the PS3 version so I can actually unhollow for more than 2 minutes without some invincible murderlord popping up.

  12. iARDAs says:

    What about us Origin users?

    • DanMan says:

      I was wondering, too. I tried putting my Asylum’s “product key” into Steam, but it wouldn’t accept it. I don’t have the GOTY ed. though. Maybe that’s part of the problem.

  13. NailBombed says:

    I assume those who actually bought, as I did, a physical retail copy of Arkham Asylum are left hanging, rather like a certain rodent-like nocturnal creature… or can I stick my activation key from the disc into Steam?

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Supposedly you will be able to, but mine is not working as of yet.

      • Premium User Badge

        Vandelay says:

        Is there any word on if you have bought it from other online stores? I bought Asylum from Eidos store and City from GreenManGaming and neither are being accepted by Steam. Would rather not have to re-buy them, but I am now getting an itching to go back and re-play them both.

        • Mana_Garmr says:

          I bought City from GamersGate and I was given a second key specifically for steam instead of re-using the original.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          My original Arkham City code from GameFly worked. Maybe GMG’s keys just haven’t been migrated over to the Steam versions yet.

  14. Astalnar says:

    So, now I will finally be able to buy Batman games, and not just read about them. The witch is dead, and I hope it never comes back.

  15. Premium User Badge

    slerbal says:

    I had avoided Arkham City after the experience I had with GfWL but now it is gone I picked it up immediately – no saves to lose and also wanted to show developers how bad DRM loses them purchases! Not that my individual purchase will change anyone’s mind…

    • Premium User Badge

      melnificent says:

      But if there are 1,000 or 10,000 or more that do the same….

  16. Monkeh says:

    Feels so silly now having two versions of both Arkham Asylum and City in my Steam-library.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Internet people will wander past, nosily prying through your library, and go “he must REALLY like Batman”.

      Thankfully, there is no shame in liking Batman.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Only if there’s no shame in liking people wearing pants under their underwear.

    • Lemming says:

      Perhaps the non-working ones will disappear at some stage? If not, I’m sure you could talk to Steam customer service and see if you can get them removed.

  17. epmode says:

    It took some doing but I was able to convert my vanilla AA and AC Steam saves to the Steamworks GOTY version. It requires a little (easy) hex editing and some precisely timed file copies (to prevent Steam Cloud from overwriting your changes) but it definitely works.

    2K and Warner have really impressed me with their Steamworks conversions. They didn’t have a way to verify exactly what DLC a user has so they could easily have charged extra for the GOTY Steamworks versions but they didn’t. I only hope Namco/From puts some effort into a Dark Souls conversion. It would be terrible to lose that one.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Fairly extraordinary that they’ve gone to the effort into porting the game from one DRM platform to another DRM platform, but they can’t provide a save-game converter (given that it appears to be a remarkably simple procedure).

      • Deadly Sinner says:

        Actually, they stripped it of all DRM. You can launch it from the launcher in the game files without even having Steam open.

        And creating a save game editor inevitably means that WB will have to provide technical support for that editor. I get the feeling that this was supposed to be a quick and cheap conversion for a game that most people are finished and done with now. Anyway, it’s no matter. There are already at least three editors on the Steam forums.

        • Shadowcat says:

          Ah, fascinating about the DRM situation; thanks for mentioning that. I might actually have to buy the game. And yes, WB would probably need to support the save-game converter (much simpler than an editor), but that happens to be the sort of action which wins companies consumer loyalty — it would have been good PR for them (as well as making things right).

  18. Bongoblaize says:

    I can deal with losing my saves if it means no GFWL.

    It’s a small price to pay for disposing of that godawful hellspawn piece of DRM.

  19. Premium User Badge

    bear912 says:

    I am suddenly concerned about something: as I understand it, GFWL as a “service” is heading gradually to the dustbin. If it reaches there before it gets patched out of a particular game–say, for instance, Bulletstorm–will I simply not be able to activate it if I buy it?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be rid of it. If it leaves games unplayable, though, I may be more sad than happy. It’s a royal pain, but I’d rather play games with GFWL than not play them at all.

    • Baines says:

      As it stands now, any such games are going to be dead in the water when GFWL dies. Publishers are having to go out of their way to remove GFWL, and some publishers just aren’t going to care about their older and/or less successful titles to do so.

    • epmode says:

      This is why I’m so annoyed by extra DRM in Steam releases. I’m a lot less worried about suddenly losing my own internet connection than I am about other publishers bringing down their pointless authentication servers.

      I’m not a huge fan of Steam’s DRM either but at least I trust them to be around in a decade or two. Origin and Uplay? Who knows.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Indeed. It’s why I refuse to buy or accept anything on http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/The_Big_List_of_3rd_Party_DRM_on_Steam.

        I miss when it was curated by Flibitijibibo, though. Harder to drive-by vandalize.

        • Premium User Badge

          Malibu Stacey says:

          Same here.
          The only GFWL games I had before now on Steam were Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet & Toy Soldiers as I got them in indie bundles with a bunch of other games. Thankfully I can now install & play them since they both had GFWL removed & I’ll pick up Bioshock 2 next time it’s on sale too for the same reason.

        • Premium User Badge

          emertonom says:

          Thanks for this list. Looks like I’d better start Fable III while I still can.

      • The Random One says:

        I don’t trust Steam to still be around in a decade, but at the very least I trust them not to hide my game saves in their secret moon servers.

        • LionsPhil says:

          And yet I think if any DRM service were to have servers on the moon, I’d most likely expect it to be Valve’s.

    • Kollega says:

      I have the same question. Bulletstorm and Red Faction: Guerrilla are not that important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s nice to play them every once in a while. And both may be in danger: EA and Epic probably don’t care an awful lot about Bulletstorm, and RFG is in the hands of Nordic Games now, who might not have the resources to port the game from GFWL to Steamworks.

      • Svardskampe says:

        Red faction guerilla is sadly the only GFWL game I own because I bought it on a blue Monday for 2,50 in a steam sale. Not that big of a monetary loss and I can always pirate it again if I want to play it again, but ye, wouldn’t have bought it if I knew it had gfwl. Its also the reason I haven’t played batman arkham series just yet.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      All the GFWL games I’ve played* allowed offline GFWL profiles. This isn’t ideal, and especially doesn’t help with MP games, but unless I’m missing something everyone else knows it means we should be able to continue to play our GFWL games even after the Demise.

      *Which is admittedly not many: AA & AC, RF Gorilla, Fallout 3

      • LionsPhil says:

        What about when you next move gaming computer and want to reinstall them for a bit of a retro blast?

        • Premium User Badge

          Llewyn says:

          What about it? I detailed the limited experience I was commenting on; if you have conflicting experiences then please offer something constructive to the conversation and help those concerned to know where they stand.

          • LionsPhil says:

            It’s a question hilighting an unknown and inviting someone to provide an answer, not a challenge.

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            In that case all I can offer is that in my limited experience there hasn’t been a problem; those games can be installed and ‘activated’ without any connection to GFWL servers. In that sense (and not only that sense) it’s a very strange form of DRM, in that refusing to activate it fully doesn’t prevent playing.

            I’m sure there are other games where the behaviour is different; apparently Dark Souls effectively blocks offline profiles for a start.

      • Moose Malloy says:

        I’m the same as you, I think. GFWL never seemed to work properly for me. I don’t get achievements, but I’ve never cared very much about them. At this point, Batman:AA is working fine for me, as is Fallout 3 (both installed from disc and need them in to play). Both are showing the GFWL thing at the top of the screen on startup, signed in as Offline. Should I still worry and hack/convert to Steam, or will disc-installed offline games continue to work after GFWL dies? Advice welcome, as I intend to be playing these games for years yet. (I love them both but I’m very slow).

        EDIT: Whoops, sorry, I meant Batman:AC not AA. I finished AA, which is rare for me and an indication of how much I’ve enjoyed both Batman games.

  20. Thoma says:

    I believe it would be nice to mention in the article the manymany users with retail copies of both AA and AC are unable to register their game with Steam. There was still no response from Valve (at least from what I have seen), however this issue being present since the so called transition. For me the steelbook edition of PL/HU of Arkham City is not working with Steam – invalid key error message. Plus it is worth looking at the comments below the Steam thread http://steamcommunity.com/games/200260/announcements/detail/1909817119598626547 just to see how extensive this invalid key issue is. Maybe the gaming press could put a little bit of pressure on Valve/Microsoft to take give a response?

    (Blimey, just realised that I’ve been reading RPS over 4 years now almost every day and I just registered today – oh well, better late than never I guess.)

  21. ramonkahn says:

    That’s replay value right there!

  22. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    Weird timing.

    Wanted to play Batman: Arkham City previous weekend, bought it two years ago but never got to it. Registered on steam, registered in their client and then the GFWL-msn message “Your key is already in use”. Fun…

    So all in all, it’s a good thing that euh, GFWL didn’t allow me to play their game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Maybe you were lucky enough to have a serial that someone else’s keygen also spat out.

      • Premium User Badge

        Carra says:

        That’s probably it. It’s pretty fucked up that I had to register my cd key 3x though. Only the third activation failed, what were they smoking when programming?

  23. umaxtu says:

    I have a feeling that it was updating to Win 8.1 but Arkham city wants to reactivate now. Problem is that Steam isn’t giving me the cd-key. (It doesn’t even give me the option to view the key when I right-click it) I’ve sent a ticket into steam support. I’ll see if I get anything back.

    • epmode says:

      I would check the Steam forums for that. The way I understand it, the Steamworks update removed all CD keys from the game. SecurROM originally handled game activations via CD key and that has also been removed. Now Steam handles activations the same way it does for every other game.

      Maybe verifying the game files will help? Maybe you have to be using the GOTY version instead of the regular release? I’d check the forum first in any case.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      I had this problem with Asylum. I suspect you are trying to install the old version. If right, the GOTY-editions should now also be in your Steam library. Install those instead.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      Delete the game, go to the GOTY store page and it should say you already own it, then just click play to install it. That’s what I did.

  24. TWChristine says:

    As we near the point that GFWL will no longer “grace” us with its presence, I have to ask something that I’ve wanted to ask for a while. What exactly WAS the problem people had with it? To my knowledge the only game I own that used it was/is Dawn of War 2. It was a pain to sign in every time I wanted to play, but other than that I don’t remember it ever interfering with anything. Are there issues that I would’ve noticed if say, I had decided to utilize multiplayer?

    (And just to clarify, I’m not trying to be facetious..I just didn’t have enough experience with it to know what all the hubbub is :) )

    • aldo_14 says:

      It was entirely pointless, basically. A layer of inconvenience and resource usage, adding unnecessary complexity into a game. At least Steamworks games have an advantage of becoming digitally available; all GFWL did was force you to log in pointlessly and restrict the ability to save your game.

      And, of course, it lead to stuff like this – where the shutdown is going to make a good number of games entirely unavailable.

    • epmode says:

      Besides the terrible UI, it is a very unstable platform. Consider yourself lucky that you never had to deal with GFWL glitches. There are many and they are often very difficult to fix.

      I personally have had lots of trouble with installing DLC through the GFWL Marketplace client. The GFWL patching system is also a mess. I don’t think I’ve ever had a patch complete without the game crashing and having to restart, all of which could have been avoided had the games patched themselves through Steam.

      • Premium User Badge

        Bugamn says:

        It was really a mess. I had to go through some tutorials on the net telling me how to uninstall GFWL and then properly install it before I could play Batman Arkham Asylum for the first time. Later I had other problems with Dark Souls, which would not load due to an error in the GFWL.

        • Niko says:

          Its white and green interface also looks really bad in Dark Souls. And it’s quite unwieldy, as well.

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        For me, the only real problem with it seems to be what’s happening now: it made access to your games entirely dependent on a system that was almost certainly going to disappear one day, and didn’t serve any apparent purpose. (It seems like if you buy directly through the GfWL marketplace you need to go through some pretty strong voodoo just to make sure DLC is actually accessible through your base game, and not walled off behind a separate profile – but why would you buy directly through Microsoft in the first place?)

        I never had a real problem with it myself. FO3, Dark Souls, and Arkham City have all worked just fine. Its presence was nothing more than a passing nuisance at worst, but its removal is going to break at least one of my games (with no refund, of course). So in one way I don’t understand all the complaints and even kind of resent them. In another way I empathize, because of course MS was going to shut down such an unwieldy scheme some day, and I hope this convinces publishers to avoid that road permanently. But ultimately I think, if you want ownership over your games above all, why were you even dealing with these companies in the first place? The DRM is absurd, but it’s not a secret.

        It’s making me nervous about the size of my Steam library though. Let’s not pretend something equivalent won’t happen to Steam one day. It may be a long way off, but it’ll happen.

    • Cytrom says:

      All my games that used it stuttered and run like 5-10 percent less FPS, which was completely cured by using an “unofficial” executable and removing gfwl (where it was even possible to do that), caused savegames to get lost / corrupted, same for entire profiles (I had to make like 3 different GFWL accounts), MP games lagged like crazy. It’s buttons were bugged in widescreen resolutions. I had manually update it a bunch of times because the auto update thing of it was broken

      Made annoying sounds, looked stupid, killed my kitten, and it made me want to hurt people.. especially microsoft employees.

      ….and its just another layer of useless garbage I needed to start up along the game i wanted to play.

    • kud13 says:

      In my experience, the biggest problem with it was the fact that every time I installed a new GaFWL game, I’d need to update GaFWL.

      This would lead to a million crashes, hours spent redownloading GaFWL, since the official source (xbox.com) would usually be unavailable, or give me a 404 error, or some other crap.

      It was a pain, and even having it in offline profile would be painful, becuase it would still demand those updates.

    • blackmyron says:

      That the site is through one that Microsoft has for XBox says it all – the entire experience revolved around “Why are you playing your sad PC games? Go buy an XBox!”. Their reaction to Steam was to make the process more unpleasant.
      Specific examples are already rife here, but personally I had tremendous fun trying to reinstall Bioshock 2 on a new computer from the original hardcopy, only to have GWFL get stuck in endless update loops. Unfortunately, Steam has deprived me of 80% of game enjoyment by not providing the endless problems to install games I own.

    • Kiya says:

      I bought Batman: Arkham Asylum with GFWL in January 2010 as part of the Eidos Collectors pack during the Steam winter sale. I created my GFWL account, played it for a few hours, then the next time I went to play it my saves had been wiped. Annoying, but not the end of the world – started from the beginning again, played past the point I had reached before, then GFWL wanted to update and I became stuck in an infinite update loop.

      So I followed various instructions to uninstall then reinstall the latest version of GFWL from Microsoft’s website – after which it would not accept my login. I thought maybe I had forgotten the correct password and tried to recover, to be told that my account did not exist. Yet if I tried to create another account I was told that an account with that email already existed. So for the last three and a half years I have not been able to play the game I paid for until the removal of GFWL this weekend – and after that experience I refused to waste any more of my money on the GFWL service.

      I couldn’t be happier with the move to Steamworks. Good riddence to bad rubbish. Farewell GFWL you will not be missed.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      Other than it being bloatware that added nothing useful, my biggest gripe was wiped saves. It’s so frustrating to lose several hours not just once but several times, while receiving nothing from Microsoft on the issue.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      It was notoriously buggy, encrypted your save games, matchmaking was terrible, region restrictions meant certain countries couldn’t play the game or even register it, and then there’s also the little fact that when it first launched, GFWL required you to subscribe to play GFWL games online. Just like XBox Live. Yes, Microsoft thought they could get away with charging PC gamers to play GFWL games online.

      The whole thing was a disaster from launch to its death. It is a shining example of exactly what you should not do.

      It also called my mother a fat, dirty, ugly, old bitch and if I ever see it again, I’ll sock it good right in the nose!

  25. HisDivineOrder says:

    Just glad GFWL is finally gone. Glad the Batman games won’t have limitations on how many times you can install them.

    Those two things make (other) people losing their saves okay to me. I’m going to replay them both now to get all my Steam achievements and cards.

    The real reason they did this, though, is the Batman Arkham duo pack they’re going to start selling soon.

  26. Nim says:

    I’m ok with this.

  27. Vinraith says:

    This seems like a good time/place to ask: how does one not suck at Arkham City’s combat? I was great at, and greatly enjoyed, the stealth takedown stuff in Asylum, but it seems like that far less frequently viable in AC’s more open spaces.

    • Shooop says:

      Do you have rhythm? Can you see an icon above an enemy’s head and then push a button? Then you’re good at this game.

      The only enemies who’ll give you any trouble are the ones with guns.

      • Vinraith says:

        Sorry, wasn’t clear enough. The guys with guns are the issue. In AA, there were paths to sneak around them, drop down on them etc. In the more open outdoor AC environments I can’t seem to find approaches that don’t get me killed.

  28. Shooop says:

    Great news that GFWL is getting the death it deserved for years, but I’m having issues with Arkham City now that aren’t related to my saved game.

    I can’t even open the game. I get the brilliantly unhelpful Windows error message BmLauncher has stopped working every time I choose run game or change settings.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Could still be a save issue. People with incompatible saves are getting game crashes. Check out the Steam forums on the save issue, download one of the working ones that’s been posted there and see if it’ll let you start the game.

      Backup your existing save first, obviously. Hopefully you’ll still be able to fix it with either the converter tool or the Hex save hack.

      • Shooop says:

        It can’t. I deleted my old saves and same damn thing. It never even opened the game far enough to check my saves, the launcher for the game is borked.

        Someone better get their shit together because they’ve just bricked one of my games.

        • somnolentsurfer says:

          Just deleting your saves won’t reset the game to an ‘unstarted’ state. It seems it keeps a record somewhere of whether or not you’ve ever created a save, and if it doesn’t find one, it crashes all the same. Like I said, look in the Steam forums and download one that’s known to work. Five minute job at most. Got to be worth a go.

  29. soopytwist says:

    I’ve got a character in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fall Out 3 and New Vegas I don’t want to loose. I’ve also got a 100% completion save in GTA IV. Somebody tell me what the heckington is going to happen.

    • Cytrom says:

      Oblivion, and New Vegas never used GFWL. The steam version of fallout 3 has long gotten rid of GFWL, and the retail runs fine in offline mode even if you dont patch it for whatever reason. GTA IV has offline saves on your hard drive and is capable of running in offline mode as well so you can save that too.
      I really hope GTA 4 gets cured of this cancer too eventually, but i don’t count on it.

      Actually the only game I know will become completely unplayable (unless it gets patched) is Dark Souls… unfortunately it is also the least likely to get cured. Considering how lazy the PC port of DS is, I doubt they’d spend an equal or more time to remove gfwl, than the entire porting process took them.

  30. Axyl says:

    So.. I have Arkham City on Origin.. does that mean I’ll be getting a Steam Key for it? I’m very confused.

    • Vinraith says:

      You can register the keys you already have for those games on Steam.

      • Axyl says:

        Oh wow, I did not know that. Thank you. Just did it, worked fine with no issues! :D

        • Vinraith says:

          I only found out about it from comments on RPS myself, happy to pass it along!

  31. Tei says:

    DRM: Killing your savegames.

  32. Alexrd says:

    I’ll keep my offline account and respective saves (which never gave me any problems) instead of jumping to Steamworks DRM (as if it’s a good thing), thank you.

    • epmode says:

      It was posted earlier but you obviously missed it: You can convert earlier saves to the new Steamworks format with a hex editor. I did it and my saves for both games moved over properly.

      I believe that a few people are are also creating standalone programs to do the same thing.

      • Alexrd says:

        I didn’t miss anything. My point is that GfWL never gave me any problems nor oblige me to have an internet connection (therefore no need to change) and Steamworks DRM doesn’t benefit me in any way (on the contrary).

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          Cloud Saves. If you have regular edition, you get upgraded to GOTY edition for free.

          You don’t have to go online for Steam, either. And GFWL does try to log in every time you run it. Every GFWL game I’ve ever had has asked me to log in when I run it.

  33. TechnicalBen says:

    “Unfortunately, you will not be able to continue playing from your current save. You will need to start a new game.”

    Hahahahahaha! You “GFWL is actually good” reality deniers. How is that for a wake up call.

    BuawarkCryGasp! All you/us GFWL users. We/I’ll have to rush around finding games that have it installed that I still have saves to… oh no, is Fallout3 GFWL? Oh my… loosing those long saves…

    2013, the year MS killed of (their part of) gaming history.

  34. Muzman says:

    Man, Volition are dead so who is going to fix the latter Red Factions? sadface

    • Jalan says:

      It’d likely be up to Nordic Games to do whatever needs doing with those games, as they bought the IP. Volition isn’t dead though, they just operate via Deep Silver now. I suppose one might consider that to be similar to death though, depending on feelings held toward Deep Silver.

  35. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t perhaps rush to complete all my GfWL titles that haven’t had announced Steam conversions ASAP in case they don’t come up with alternatives after the service is shutdown.

  36. Shadowcat says:

    Nathan, it would be really good if you could link to a statement regarding “companies like Microsoft tried to reassure us [...] by promising that they’d never leave us without the things we worked so hard to buy and earn?”

    (In particular for Microsoft & GFWL, but any such statements for other DRM platforms would be appreciated as well.)

    I ask, because while I’ve heard plenty of people assuming that such companies will do right by their customers, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any official statements to that effect.

  37. PopeRatzo says:

    GFWL is one of those cases of a corporation acting in such a hostile manner toward its customers that it doesn’t deserve to succeed in the marketplace.

    If I buy a game and it’s got GFWL on it (which has happened). I just leave it in the box and get one of the unlocked versions that the Internet makes for me. I don’t believe in depriving a game maker of their fair revenue, but I won’t install malware on my computer just to play the game. And once I purchase the game, I treat it as if it’s my game to use as I see fit.

  38. BreadBitten says:

    I’m cool with this, all the more reason to replay these amazing games! Also, existing owners of vanilla Arkham City get upgraded to the GOTY for free!

  39. brickstool says:

    This is good. Recently I tried to replay Dead Rising 2 which I had registered under an old account from when I was a young lad. I launched it and entered my details, to which it prompted that I had to agree to the updated terms & conditions through a browser.

    So I went onto web and attempted to do so, clicked “agree”. What I had forgotten was that my account was under parental controls, but I had entered my actual age at the time of creation and due to being a few years over the age of 18 I thought that it would auto-remove the parental locks (which my mother had placed in order to look like she was at least attempting to monitor what I was playing/buying to her friends). Unfortunately for me, despite being an adult, it said that I would need my mother’s permission to agree to these new terms and conditions, and that it had sent an email to her email account.

    Her email account was deleted long before this and when I contacted Microsoft about it they pretty much stonewalled me. So basically I couldn’t and still can’t play Dead Rising 2.

    TL;DR Microsoft is mean and silly and so is GFWL. NEVER COME BACK.

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      On the one hand, parental controls really should work like that. It’s the parent who should have all the control once they’re turned on, otherwise what’s the point really?

      On the other hand, the support people shouldn’t have been so stupid. Of course customer service types always are, partly because they’re so disenfranchised by the companies they work for.

      Suckaroo.

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  41. Shadram says:

    I was halfway through Arkham City when I upgraded to Windows 8, and GFWL never worked after that. My saves disappeared, and whilst I could play the game still, it would never save my progress. Looks like I can finally go back and play through it!

  42. reetaangel5050 says:

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  43. Y3k-Bug says:

    Apparently a cat on Steam forums came up with a program that’ll convert your save to the newest version of the games, no messy hex editing needed. I did mine manually, but maybe it’ll be useful for others: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3192933

    Video of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik_TJlyqUDU

  44. Panda Powered says:

    Still waiting for my box retail key to work on steam.
    Last word on steam:
    19 Oct,
    “We are aware of the issue some users are experiencing when attempting to register CD keys (retail, GFWL, etc) and are investigating this issue further. We thank you for your patience.”

    And side note: Threads with people actually sad for GfWL removal…

  45. ImmortalMamba says:

    I have several DLC codes that I haven’t unlocked yet. How do I unlock them now? It says to unlock via a live account but I did that for one it doesn’t work.