Blimey: Age of Empires 3 For 10 Pence/Cents

Hurry! The recently-rebooted Games For Windows Live has dropped a crazy-assed old deal today – the complete edition of the habitually over-expensive Age of Empires III for just ten of your British pence, or ten of your American cents. Not sure about Euro-prices just yet, I’m afraid. A saving of $40/£40-ish, which is quite remarkable. Obviously it’s Microsoft’s own game so they can get away with this sort of slasher-behaviour. It’s only for the duration of today though, so get a wriggle on, eh?

(Thanks Ben)


  1. Miker says:

    At first I thought this was a pricing mistake, but it’s been ten cents for about 12 hours now.

    • Ringwraith says:

      You can tell it’s not a pricing error as the front page actually says “99% off”.

  2. Javier-de-Ass says:

    awesome deal

  3. shrk says:

    * “You Save: £27.39”

  4. Risingson says:

    First time I do this: I don’t buy the game because I’ve just read the terms updated, and I found them abusive. So there’s no deal.

    • Evil Otto says:

      what excactly was the offensive thing in the terms of use?

    • kyyninen says:

      Care to elaborate?

    • Heliocentric says:

      The terms called him ugly and said his mother was stupid.

    • Starky says:

      no, no, no…

      They called his mother ugly and HIM stupid.

    • sebmojo says:


    • BAReFOOt says:

      Why would you adhere to those terms? It’s data. No some actual physical object. And it’s already out in the world. So get it somewhere else.
      It’s not your problem that those freaks live in a delusional reality.

    • Gutter says:

      The “Terms updated”?

      What you have read is your MS Live account terms, not the Game For Windows Live terms, which were not updated for a while.

      So unless you intent to stop using that account (no more XBOX Live for example, if you are into that sort of thing) I don’t see why you wouldn’t buy the game.

  5. Ridiculous Human says:

    Region not supported. And I’m Ireland. Bloody hell.

    • Nick says:

      they don’t trust your economy, clearly.

    • Azhrarn says:

      Most regions apparently don’t work through the site, however if you use the GFWL marketplace client (most GFWL titles will install it), you can get it for 0,10 of your local currency (or 10 MS points).

    • Jerricho says:

      I’m Irish, but I live and work in London but “Unfortunately your Xbox LIVE account region is not currently supported.”

    • Ridiculous Human says:

      Azhrarn, you are a gentleman and a scholar. Cheers!

    • Azhrarn says:

      My pleasure.
      I had the exact same issue, I’m from the Netherlands, and the site simply didn’t recognise my account. But through the GFWL client it worked like a charm. :)

    • deiseach says:

      Second the thanks to Azhrarn. 10c. Won’t need to go to the IMF to pay for that.

    • BarerRudeROC says:

      I’m Irish (living in meath)

      Use your Microsoft points.
      Thats what I did.

      Now I’m downloading 2.75 gigabytes of pure steal.

    • StenL says:

      I’m in Ireland myself, but I used United Kingdom as my region, used a random UK postal code and bought it.

  6. strange headache says:

    I agree with Risingson. Not even for 10 cents.

    • kyyninen says:

      Yes, but why? My legalese isn’t hot enough to pinpoint the abusiveness inherent in those terms.

    • strange headache says:

      Well first of all they don’t accept my card nor does the deal seem to be offered where I live.

      Second of all, I detest Microsoft Points that are non redeemable. If we can buy MS points with our herd earned cash, then give us the possibility to convert it back. Even better, get rid of MS points entirely, it’s a rip off.

      Third of all, I don’t see any relevant information concerning the game itself. What kind of DRM does it use for example. Minimalism is great, but I’d like more information available before I buy something.

      Last but no least, no refunds, no warranties, no liability. Also they are only liable in their country (Washington), should you have any legal issues to settle with them (if I understood this correctly: If this contract is with Microsoft Corporation, then claims for breach of this contract will be subject to the laws of the State of Washington, without reference to conflict of laws principles).

      Also it doesn’t help that their TOS is copy pasted from the console TOS. So you will find references to console products like KINECT that are absolutely irrelevant for you as PC user. At least have the decency to write a streamlined TOS for your PC customers instead of this convoluted wall of text that simply says that you have practically no rights at all.

    • Gepetto says:

      What has MS points got to do with it? They accept real money also, you know.

    • Mac says:

      “Last but no least, no refunds, no warranties, no liability” – you do realise that it is only 10p/10c you are talking about … jeez !!!

    • Bhazor says:

      “Last but no least, no refunds, no warranties, no liability. Also they are only liable in their country (Washington), should you have any legal issues to settle with them (if I understood this correctly: If this contract is with Microsoft Corporation, then claims for breach of this contract will be subject to the laws of the State of Washington, without reference to conflict of laws principles). ”
      So y’know, like Steam.

    • IncredibleBulk92 says:

      “Also it doesn’t help that their TOS is copy pasted from the console TOS. So you will find references to console products like KINECT that are absolutely irrelevant for you as PC user. At least have the decency to write a streamlined TOS for your PC customers instead of this convoluted wall of text that simply says that you have practically no rights at all.”

      The account you use to purchase games from this marketplace is the exact same account you use to play games on Xbox Live, GFW Live and Kinect so it has to include console stuff too.

      I’m not exactly a fan of GFWL but your reasons for not buying a game for TEN PENNIES are pretty off to me.

    • strange headache says:

      10 cents is all it needs, to get your soul :)

    • strange headache says:



      Concerning jurisdiction: “The terms of this section may not apply to European Union consumers. You agree that this Agreement shall be deemed to have been made and executed in the State of Washington…”

      Concerning refunds, you can have them on Steam (got Worms Reloaded refunded because it was a buggy mess an did not work properly even after multiple patches).

    • Vinraith says:


      Shhh, you wouldn’t want to point out the obvious.

      @strange headache

      Putting aside that the “exceptions for EU countries” is only of any help if you’re IN an EU country, those are there due to the questionable legality of the sections in question under the law in EU countries. That means the equivalent passages in GFWL’s EULA is no more and no less valid than that in Steam’s, and the stipulations are identical. You can’t have it both ways, either Steam AND GFWL have unacceptable user agreements (a perfectly rational position, if a limiting one) or they’re both tolerable.

    • strange headache says:

      Well go figure, I’m IN an EU country, so yeah I’m sorry that this is relevant to me and not for somebody from Nigeria. Besides I was asked to point out problems with the TOS and that’s what I did. The differences are there or at least Valve has the courtesy to point this out. Whether a TOS has any jurisdictional relevance is an other discussion and one that is not so simple as you may point out. But anyway, it’s not like didn’t try to buy this game…

  7. Emperor_Jimmu says:

    What a lovely bit of marketing. I wonder how many new subscribers GFWL will get as a result.

  8. Vinraith says:

    A great game for a great price and a hell of a marketing stunt. I have to admit, it kind of worked too. I’d never bought anything through G4W before, but that was an easy buying experience, a fast download, and I don’t appear to have to have the client running to run the game (which puts it a step ahead of Steam). I haven’t found a mechanism to back said game up yet, though. Is there really no mechanism for that with G4W? If I could get that resolved I’d probably be inclined to buy from them again in the future, at least when there’s a good sale (like Bioshock 2 at the moment…). I generally won’t pay more than $10 for anything that requires a client, but I’d been ignoring G4W even below that threshold and that may have been an error.

    • Tuco says:

      Yeah, great marketing stunt, except almost no one knows about it. They don’t even say it when you launch the client.

    • Blather Blob says:

      @Vinraith: It was a bit glitchy for me — I had to chase around various microsoft sites agreeing to terms and then go back and start my order over from the beginning — but I was also pleased to find it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I wish they were more explicit about any DRM included, instead of a standard DRM disclaimer even on games like AOE3 that don’t seem to have any. It also seems like they have to use too many different Microsoft technologies on the site/client (Live passport, XBox Live, .NET WPF) not because they are useful or lead to a better service, but because they need to justify the various other department’s technologies.

      Anyway, as to backups: The first option under “Settings” in the client should be your download folder. Navigate there, or the path can be clicked in the GFWL client to open an explorer window straight to there. You should find 6 .cab files, which can be extracted via 7zip (just open the first one, it will find the other 5 automatically) and the contained Setup.exe can run without GFWLclient running, and without an internet connection up (which is actually how I installed my game). That should do for a backup, so either backup the 6 .cab files directly or repackage their contents into a single archive for backing up. You’ll also need to copy the serial key out of the client and write it down somewhere.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Blather Blob

      From what I’m gathering, it seems to go a lot smoother if you order through the client, rather than the website. I did the former and had no problems, but it sounds like their website integration is quite lacking. And yes, the lack of DRM info is distressing, though I’m somewhat used to having to research that on my own anyway.

      I’d noticed those files after download, but hadn’t realized I could simply use them to install without the client or an internet connection. That’s quite remarkable, actually, and puts it another step ahead of Steam. Thanks!

    • FP says:

      If you check the Settings pane in the GFW client it shows the location of the Downloads directory. Once you’ve downloaded the game, there is a multi-part cab file in that folder, you can open it using 7-Zip (or similar) and extract the game files for backup (or just backup the cabs).

    • FP says:

      Beaten to it. I could swear those earlier replies weren’t showing up before. :)

    • Vinraith says:


      I appreciate the help, regardless. :)

    • Unfair says:

      If the crash is the memory leak one I was experiencing you can avoid it by minimizing the client – it seems to only crash when you have the window open for 10-15 minutes or so (and seems to crash even when it isn’t downloading). I saw one mention that updating your .Net to 4 might fix it, but didn’t try it since I figured out the minimize trick

      Crashes also seem to make you lose the partial download, and it doesn’t automatically start redownloading. I had to cancel the download and restart it in order for it to work again. Also once your download finishes you’ll notice that so many people downloaded AOE3 that they ran out of license keys, so you can’t play it until they generate more anyway.

  9. a.nye.123 says:

    Wouldn’t take my Maestro card, and I don’t have any ‘MS Points’ to use, so no deal. Bummer. Support Paypal, darn it!

    • Crainey says:

      I had same problem mate, always been the same with xbox etc for me its such a downer.

  10. rocketman71 says:

    It’s GFWL. I’m not getting that even if they pay me.

    Especially not after seeing what they’re doing to the poor Age of Empires franchise with Age of Farmville Online.

    • Hideous says:

      It’s not GFWL, it’s GFW. Game was released in 2005, before Games for Windows Live existed. You don’t have to run the client with the game, and the game doesn’t want you to sign in to live.

  11. Araxiel says:

    God damnit, they don’t accept pay pal!

  12. Collic says:

    I out and out refuse to support this service at all. Deals or no deals, I’m scared of GFWL becoming a viable service. Microsoft have enough influence over PC game development as it is.

    • Tasloi says:

      Indeed. Competition is a good thing but GFWL? No thanks. I thought we’d almost gotten rid of it with the number of games switching from GFWL to Steamworks..

    • droid says:

      True, but some more competition for Steam would be good. Competition between Steam, GFW, GOG and Amazon’s new service should motivate all the companies in digital distribution to be more reasonable.

    • Joshua says:

      That is the same as those publishers who said ‘Valve is killing PC gaming’ because they apperently control the industry.

  13. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Man, I knew having just 40 MS fun-points lingering in my account was going to come in handy someday!

    • CreepingDeath says:

      The exact same situation I was in.

      If only it allowed for gifting to friends so I could clear up my remaining 30 points…

  14. NPC says:

    Just when I decided that finally there is something to buy on GFW, it turns out that it supports a really short list of countries, mine excluded :( Shame.

  15. Shazbut says:

    Do they not accept debit cards?

  16. Sheesh says:

    I actually noticed this sale last night and passed it along to my friends who were online at the time, all of us jumped on it immediately. It’s a hell of a marketing stunt but that ends once you actually use the client.

    Without fail, all four of us had the same issue: the client, which is required to download the game, burns through RAM and causes the program to crash. It could be timed, repeated, and predicted via monitoring. Compounding the problem, unlike every other digital distro client (Steam, Impulse, D2D’s Comrade, all of which I’ve used) the client crashing doesn’t cause the download to cancel. In fact, once it’s crashed there’s no way to halt the download at all and it’ll continue downloading useless *.tmp files that won’t convert to the proper *.cabs on completion. This includes completely uninstalling the entire client, blocking all traffic via my firewall, and rebooting the PC.

    All four of us had this problem, on systems ranging from Windows XP to Vista 32 bit with a variety of hardware. The one constant was that everybody had 4 gig (or the maximum that could be seen by the OS) of RAM. I haven’t been able to find someone on my friends list willing to try it that runs a 64bit system to see if this is a 32bit thing or an XP/Vista thing. Hell, once it was complete the client wouldn’t even install it, opting to give the infamous error code 800700D and ask you to redownload. Manually installing it from the *.cab files works just fine.

    If it DOES happen to you, here’s how we managed to get it installed after a lot of trial and error and going through about 8 gigs of my monthly cap over a 3 gig download. I’m the stubborn type:

    1. Monitor your RAM usage. Once the GFW client is logged in you’ll discover quickly if you’re going to have this issue. You can just leave the program idle and watch it burn through RAM before it crashes.

    2. While monitoring your RAM, begin the download. The key is to pause and properly exit the client *before* it crashes and start again. You have to babysit the download. It helped a lot to exit all non-essential processes and let GFW gorge on all of your memory. I generally waited until it was a bit under 1 gig remaining before pausing and exiting.

    3. Once it finishes, copy the cd key they provide to notepad or something. You’ll need to enter it twice, and we’re just going to skip the client as much as possible at this point.

    4. Browse to the download directory, open the first *.cab file, and launch the setup.exe located within. Everything should install fine.

    I’m sure this isn’t happening to everybody, but I’ve noticed the crashing problems from several people outside of my circle of friends on various sale reporting sites, so it appears to be somewhat common. I also checked my RAM via memtest just to make sure it wasn’t faulty RAM conflicting with the GFW client, and came up clean.

    Definitely the first, and last, time I use the marketplace. One of my friends remarked that it was a waste of a dime, and I’m somewhat inclined to agree considering I have a monthly bandwidth cap.

    • Ivr56 says:

      Really Sheesh? I only experience that during install.
      I’m on 2GB RAM and Win7 . I played a bit of DiRT2 Smoothly while AoE3 downloaded. No hiccups.
      Got 4 games off of their service. No slowdowns for me during download. Install takes it’s toll but I don’t see stuff crashing. Steam/Chrome all running fine during install.

    • Sheesh says:

      Yep. I have no idea why it’s behaving that way. I’d be willing to chalk it up to a quirk in my system or hardware, but the fact it’s reproducible on four different systems is a bit much.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      That was an entertaining story

    • asdffdsaasdffdsa says:

      I ran into this as well – except for the continuing to DL part.

      Poking around lead me to re-installing the .Net 4.0 redistributables, which fixed it

    • Sheesh says:

      That’s weird. I had just updated .NET 4.0 two days ago.

      Reinstalling and updating via Windows Update appears to have solved the crashing issues, however the client is remains a memory hog and a bit laggy to use. Worse, with the client open it’s noticeably laggy in other applications as well.

      But at least it’s not crashing. That’s a plus.

    • Iucounu says:

      So they got me to sign up for GFWL on the back of this offer, and I downloaded the client. First we went through a few failed downloads: they apparently can’t be paused and resumed, despite the presence of a ‘pause’ button. ‘Pause’ apparently means ‘stop the download, and then a few seconds later, shut down the client’. Reopening the client shows an unresumable partial download that has to be cancelled and restarted from scratch. OK, I thought to myself; I’ll go out for a couple of hours and let it download in peace.

      I just got back and saw it was ready to install. Yay! But then the install failed a quarter of the way in. Retry. Fail. Abort abort abort.

      Steam works perfectly. This piece of shite… it doesn’t even seem to have a search bar in the marketplace. I start to understand some of the things people have been saying about this service.

    • Tei says:

      sounds like use yet another piece of unstandard technology, BITS, designed to do background downloads, but really create more problems that it solve.

    • Fumarole says:

      I can happily report that the .NET 4.0 solution to the RAM problem worked for me.

    • Eamo says:

      I had the same problems, I want my 10c back.

      Anyway, if you are having this problem (on XP) and want to cancel the background downloads then download the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools from link to

      Within that set there is a command line tool called bitsadmin (Bits being the Background Intelligent Transfer Service). The full documentation is at link to but the cliffnotes version is to use:

      bitsadmin /list

      to get a list of everything being downloaded at present and if all you see is Age of Empires downloads type

      bitsadmin /reset

      To clear all the downloads. After that, uninstall GFWL and consider that 10c well spent since it warned you well away from such a service.

      P.S. On my XP machine I had to install an undocumented windows xp hotfix in order for the program to run, on the Vista box the program just crashes immediately at launch with no warning.

      Microsoft really need to get their act together, this is the worst piece of junk software I have ever had to install, tying the download to the svchost.exe that runs for windows update is just daft. It looks wrong to have things downloading when there is no program running that should have downloads, it means many people will end up turning accidentally disabling windows update when they turn off the bits service because of it and having downloads with no mechanism to pause them is so terrible I can’t even begin to say how annoying it is. Utter and total disaster, whoever was responsible for this needs to be sacked as the battle was won, once the service is on my PC with one game on it there would have no longer been any reason not to buy there again but after this fiasco all I can do is bonk myself on the head for ever thinking that GFWL could be a worthwhile service.

  17. Emphursis says:

    So why can’t get get it for £0.08, that £0.02 would have been really useful (Was thinking of donating it to Ireland :P)
    Shame I already have AoE 3 and War Chiefs (still not finished the campaign in the base game, and haven’t started WC’s, two years after getting them…)

  18. luminosity says:

    Sadly, I just don’t think the woeful Age of Empires 3 is worth ten cents, nor the trouble of installing Microsft’s client. That game was such a disappointment after AoE2.

    • strange headache says:

      Indeed, AoE II is still my favourite RTS up to this day. I was bitterly disappointed by the third installment. :/

    • RCGT says:

      Honestly, they took everything good about Age of Empires II (quality historical setting [educational!], awesome historical campaign [epic!], quality RTS gameplay [fun!], depth of tech tree [complex!]) and turned it into a melodramatic pseudo-history with annoying characters, dumbed-down tech, and poor strategy.

      And yes, I beat it, and every expansion. Get falconets. Farm home city drops. Pwn. Repeat.

      Maybe I just like the more historical settings, I don’t know.

  19. Drachenfells says:

    Had 10 Microsoft points lurking about so i grabbed it. Even if i only play it a few times its still worth it.

  20. Michael says:

    It’s ten pence and it runs on a netbook. I’ll have it. GFWL may not be the greatest service ever sold but I’m beginning to think Steam could do with some real competition – I haven’t been tempted by their prices for quite some time.

  21. pakoito says:

    Id rather get kicked in the nuts than…

    a/ …play a GFWL game.
    b/ …play FailOE 3.
    c/ …both of the avobe.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      nobody said you needed to play the game, just buy it!

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s not a GfWL game, actually it’s DRM-free as best I can tell.

  22. Chris Evans says:

    Not the biggest fan of GFWL, though it has been slowly but surely improving over recent months. This is another tick in the box for me, even if it is only a publicity stunt.

  23. KauhuK says:

    I went to update the new licence agreements. Didn’t bother to read em though. Was there somehting fearful or dangerous? Always should read the darn licence agreements. Stupid stupid stupid.

  24. kafka7 says:

    I’m looking for the checkbox that says your soul is forfeit.

  25. Chris D says:

    Why does this feel like inviting a vampire to cross your threshhold? Or deciding that big wooden horse must be a gift from the gods.

  26. Fullbleed says:

    Within ten seconds of trying to buy the game I’m already ready to give up, fucking games for windows live man! I have to sign in to GFWL just to go through the terms and conditions? All you need is a fucking check box! *Sigh* 10p, 10p, jsut remember 10p

  27. Paul says:

    And yet, again, GFWL epic FAIL !

    It is absolutely hilarious how inept and clueless MS is.

  28. Jajusha says:

    Logged in.
    Pressed Purchase.
    Pressed Checkout.

    You need to read terms and condition on another site.
    Open website, see no such thing.

    Close. Close. I still remember the 2 days GFWL didn’t let me play Dawn of war 2. Not happening again.

  29. neolith says:

    I wouldn’t even consider using GfWL if they gave me money for every game downloaded.

    • Berzee says:

      I would. That would be an easy job.

    • BarerRudeROC says:

      Then you are a better man than I my dear fellow

    • MrTambourineMan says:

      @Berzee – If you really wrote that book that’s linked to your name here, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d do anything. I mean christian love and ninjas wtf ?!?!?

    • frymaster says:

      As far as I’m able to tell, Age of Empires 3 doesn’t use GFWL. Your comment confuses me.

    • Bhazor says:

      @ pupsikaso

      Please don’t write that again. It really doesn’t help your argument.

    • Berzee says:

      @MrTambourineMan — lol, you know they belong together! :D

  30. Rakysh says:

    I agree with the GFWL hate, but this is exactly the same stunt Valve pulled with Portal. Just sayin’.

    • Ozzie says:

      Not really. Portal was for free. :P

    • noobnob says:

      Don’t you forget Alien Swarm also, which is free (though it has a rather inactive community ATM).

  31. Caleb367 says:

    Got that, BUT… can’t download ’cause it keeps telling me it can’t connect to server. GFWL keeps being crap all the way. I’ll try again tomorrow, btw, 10c. I lose more money when i throw an used chewing gum away.

  32. Fullbleed says:

    Bought the game downloaded their client and now what? *Tries to lauch GFWL Marketplace* … *Error report* FFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want my 10p back!

  33. Out Reach says:

    Not worth my soul.


  34. malkav11 says:

    You know, a lot of these complaints are perfectly legitimate and yet, except for the guy with the RAM/crashing problem, they seem a bit silly over a game that is ten cents.

    I mean, I hate DRM and I don’t like Microsoft much and their site sucks and so on…but it’s a game, one which many people consider great, for $0.10. For $10, yeah, I’d consider the EULA and the DRM scheme and so on, but move that decimal point two spaces over and why does it matter?

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Yeah, you’re kind of right. You can see my thoughts posted below. I try not to be accusatory, but my whole thought on the program can pretty much be summed up with “meh.” I think there are a whole lot of people here who are only putting up with this because it’s 10 cents. However, even if at 10 cents its worth playing around with clunky software, that doesn’t really change the fact that it’s clunky software. Valve has given away free games before (Portal, Alien Swarm), and I never had to play around with stuff (forced software updates, TOS updates, and so on) like this.

    • pupsikaso says:

      It isn’t about the money at all, don’t you understand? The fact that it’s only 10 cents completely eliminates that. You could consider it as being “free”. But it’s being served to you by a devil’s hand. Will you accept? Is it worth it?

    • Gepetto says:

      ‘The Devil’s Hand’ ?

      Well done, Sir!

      You win today’s “overreaction of the evening” competition. The prize is a copy of AoE3. To claim it just send 10 pence to Microsoft.

    • Sheesh says:

      As the guy with the crashing issues, those were largely solved via a suggestion to reinstall .NET 4.0. Despite having updated it two days ago. And no indication the client needed it.

      10cents or not, the client is absolute dreck. Sitting idle it’s using 122k memory compared to Steam and Impulse’s 12kish. It actually hit about 125k-130k while downloading a demo, whereas Steam (in large mode, no less) maxed at 30k while downloading. Impulse stayed at around 25k. It’s also noticeably lags other open applications while it’s running — something that immediately disappears once it’s closed. I also had it crash immediately after logging in once already.

      In it’s favor, the download speeds are top notch. Only Steam usually maxs out my fiber line like that. Which is a good thing because I want to exit out of the client asap.

      The sale is a good one but that doesn’t excuse the client from being so poor still. And yes, all the running around it sends you to tick checkboxes or create an xbox live account when what you want a windows live account is pretty ridiculous. The whole thing comes across as very half-assed.

    • pupsikaso says:

      I could spend three paragraphs elaborating that sentence, or present it quickly and in an age-proven easy to understand way, as I have. The underlying concept remains the same either way. You don’t have to take every thing literally.

    • malkav11 says:

      The thing is, every practical or moral consideration I’ve run into for rejecting the offer is rendered moot by the price. I would buy an Ubisoft game for ten cents and I’ve sworn to boycott them over their shitty DRM. They wouldn’t be getting a meaningful amount of money from me, and they certainly wouldn’t be getting positive reinforcement for their sins. I don’t need to worry about my copy of the game going away other than in the abstract, because I have made no investment to speak of. What else would prevent you?

      I mean, if you’re simply not interested in the game at any price, that’s fair enough, but taking stands of principle over a ten cent game? Really?

    • pupsikaso says:

      And this is the problem that’s currently plaguing the industry. I’m sure you’ve seen articles begging people to start voting with their wallets. And here you don’t even have to do that! Forget the wallet, simply vote, but no, because look! Shiny new game to play! Have you considered if the game is even worth your time playing it?

    • Ozzie says:

      I think most people are put off by the time investment. Yeah, the game costs pretty much nothing, but then you have to fiddle around with the client. Who likes that?

    • Bhazor says:

      @ pupsikaso

      We get it, you don’t like GFWL.

    • malkav11 says:

      The reason voting with your wallet works is that if the people selling the product cannot make a profit, they will either have to change their act or go out of business. Clearly there is no profit to be made in effectively giving a game away, so the only thing you are accomplishing by not taking advantage of the offer is screwing yourself out of a game. I assume the idea behind this particular sale was to draw attention to the site in an effort to get people to make followon purchases, or at least consider GFW marketplace as a viable way to shop for games. But if you just take your $0.10 Age of Empires and run, they get nothing out of it.

    • DrazharLn says:

      I spent less than 5 minutes (and 50p, I borrowed a friend’s card and paid him in cash, mine wouldn’t work) installing the client and game. It really wasn’t an issue.

      This is obviously a marketing stunt and the monetary compensation for MS will be tiny. I will continue to buy games where the DRM is very loose (as here) and where the price is good (also here).

      I have a lot of games on steam, though. I worry about their fate :S

  35. Karhax says:

    I bought the game, downloaded just fine. It did not give me a CD-key though so I am now unable to install it.

    Screw you GFWL

    • Vinraith says:

      Go to the “downloads” tab in the client, click on the game to expand the information, click on “Display CD key.”

    • Karhax says:

      When I check for a CD key it just says: “No key assigned”

    • Blah blah blah says:

      Yep, “No Key Assigned” is the same problem I have. All their support lines are busy and the wait’s half an hour long. I’d say pass on this deal until they get it sorted out.

    • Vinraith says:

      Hmm, sounds like, like Steam on many occasions, they’ve run out of keys.

      I’d say pass on this deal until they get it sorted out.

      I’d say for 10 cents it’s worth the gamble that they’ll get more keys, even if it takes a few days, but to each his own I suppose.

    • Robin says:

      This system is an absolute nightmare of bad design… in order to buy stuff in the shop, I have to go to the US Xbox site and agree to some terms and conditions. Then, once I’ve bought it, I’m told my Windows isn’t up to date (despite automatically updating itself…) so I have to get some new update. Then, when that’s downloaded, it asks me if I want to restart or not. I say no….so it restarts anyway. Finally I get the application running and my game downloading. Then, once it’s almost done, it asks me for a CD key…and it turns out Microsoft hasn’t seen fit to give me one. When I click to view the game keys, it just says ‘no key assigned’. Bollocks to this, I really cannot be arsed to deal with Microsoft’s no doubt useless support team in order to get a game working that I only wanted in the first place on the basis that I could get it cheaply and easily.

      I didn’t think anyone could ever make me regret spending 10p… Microsoft are definitely still the market leaders in Making Things Shitty.

    • Clovis says:

      I’ve seen Steam run out of keys for other company’s games, but are you saying that MS ran out of their own keys?

    • Ozzie says:

      That truly makes no sense.

    • zBeeble says:

      I’m stuck without a key too. Does sound like the perennial Steam problem: out-of-keys. Geez. At least they’re in good company. Been waiting on the phone for awhile. I think I’m just going to cancel and wait and see if it fixes itself.

    • Blackberries says:

      “No key assigned” here, too. What the hell, Microsoft?

      Leaving that aside, this is a fairly smart move. It’s my first purchase using their service. It’s a bit confusingly designed but I got it purchased and downloaded without too much hassle in the end, and I’ll be more inclined to take a punt on something cheap from here in the future.

    • Tomm says:

      I myself had absolutely no problems getting the game downloaded, just ran into the problem of not having a key. Tbf this happens on Steam a lot, so I’m not going to get outraged at GFWL just for the sake of being outraged like some people.

  36. Fullbleed says:

    I want a refund or failing that a packet of Space Raiders.

  37. Vinraith says:

    People seem to be missing something here: it’s a DRM-free game people. You have to use the client to download it, but after that the client is not required, is not integrated, and you could uninstall it if you liked. This game DOES NOT REQUIRE GFWL, period.

  38. Fergus says:

    Me: “Good deal … checkout, clicked.”
    GFWL: “Please sign-in to your Xbox Live account to agree to some terms that we’ve apparently changed recently”.
    Me: “… I don’t own an Xbox, but whatever, for 10p.”
    GFWL: “Welcome to Xbox website. Were you looking for something in particular?”
    Me: “F**k this.”

    Games For Windows Live: So bad, even giving away games can’t make me want to use it.

    • CreepingDeath says:

      You can sign in with your hotmail account…. That’s what I used

    • Clovis says:

      I recently had trouble loading GFWL to make sure it wasn’t installing stuff the wrong drive. Instead I got an error message number with a broken link. I eventually discovered that I had to login to XBox Live on the web to accept the new EULA. GFWL fails every time.

  39. Conor says:

    Well, it worked perfectly for me. Only took a few seconds to check a box and I experienced no client issues, and it installed painlessly. I must be lucky, I guess.

    • Dave says:

      I think people that encounter problems are more inclined to post than the rest of us.

    • Bill says:

      @Dave here here, voice of reason

    • Hideous says:

      That’d be “hear, hear”, Bill: link to

    • Bill says:

      @Hideous that’d be, Hideous

    • Hideous says:

      Are you insinuating that because I care about grammar, spelling and the correct use of common phrases that I do not have a girlfriend/wife/fiancée? Are you implying that every single grammar nazi, spelling communist and caps lock fascist is single, alone in this dark world, looking for their one true soulmate?

      All I’m saying is that now you know how to spell it right, so do that next time.

    • Bill says:

      @Hideous well no, I was just making a joke, but your reaction certainly reinforces the idea ;) relax

  40. DarkNoghri says:

    Hmmm. Mixed feelings on this.

    10 cents for a game. Awesome.

    However, it was somewhat aggravating to go buy it. I heard (according to Vinraith, I believe) that it was easier with the client. So, I go open the client, which I installed a while ago for Red Faction. I get a generic connection error (upon loading the client, not logging in). Try again, same error. So I click the helpful button that says “help,”, which brings me to a page that suggests various things, including checking if the Live service is down. Follow a couple of links, get sent to the Xbox live support homepage. Lovely. Give up on their “help” stuff and go look in Windows update for the ability to update GFWL. Bingo.

    Open the client again. Click login. Get some horrendous looking popup error, error code blahblahblah. What could possibly have gone wrong now, this is a login screen? Either it should log you in, or it should fail due to connection issues…. Click the link, get sent to updated TOS webpage. Using IE, no less. Oh. Why on earth isn’t this integrated into the client?

    So I go to find the game. Upon a cursory glance, there isn’t a search box. Either I’m missing it, or this is sheer idiocy. There doesn’t appear to be a real way to sort the games list either (no, Best Selling vs Title doesn’t count). So the only way to find AOE3 appears to be actually clicking through pages of games looking for it. This is not a good way to design a marketplace. At that, the prices aren’t listed on the main page, so you actually have to click on the game to find out what it costs. This is also stupid.

    Now that I’ve gotten this far, it seems ok, mostly. The game picture was broken for me during checkout, and there doesn’t seem to be a purchase without download option that I see. You purchase game (via the download button), and it assumes you want to download it immediately. That’s not how I roll, sorry Microsoft.

    Also, maybe it’s just me, but Firefox feels rather sluggish right now with the client open. Sitting in the background, doing exactly nothing, GFWL is taking up between 2 and 5% of my CPU, as well as taking up 5x as much ram as Steam. Annoying.

    So, to recap:
    The price was good.
    Getting logged into the client was aggravating.
    Once in, the shopping interface was rather clunky.
    Performance is suspect.

    • Vinraith says:

      Sitting in the background, doing exactly nothing, GFWL is taking up between 2 and 5% of my CPU, as well as taking up 5x as much ram as Steam. Annoying.

      Yes, but unlike Steam once the game’s installed you can shut the client down, or even uninstall it, and the game will work fine anyway.

    • pupsikaso says:

      So you’d rather put yourself through hell every single time you want to buy, download and install a new game, Vinraith? Be my guest.

    • Vinraith says:


      I didn’t have any problems, so there was no “putting myself through hell” involved. I opened the client, logged in, bought the game, downloaded the game, and installed the game. No issues at all, just as easy as using Gamersgate, Steam, or any other service I’ve used in the past.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Then consider yourself one of the lucky few. This comments thread attests to the majority having quite the opposite experience. I’m sure you’ll find even more examples of problems people are having on other websites and forums.

    • Vinraith says:

      The vast bulk of the problems here (which are affecting far from a “majority” by the way, or this would be a much longer comment thread) appear to be with account setup. The business of pages being down and servers being inaccessible is undoubtedly a consequence of too many people trying to access them at once, which is certainly a familiar problem for any download service. There’s also the “out of keys” thing, but we see that every time Steam has a game giveaway as well so it’s hardly new. Since I already had an account, things went very smoothly for me, and since I got there early enough, I got a key. I suspect that once the crowds die down, or once they’ve got their accounts working, people will find the service works about as well as its competitors.

  41. Bill says:

    Wahey! Thanks GFWL…

    It’d be great if these guys offered sales to counter Steam’s – the d2d and impulse sales are usually kinda meh, but M$ have the dollu to do something interesting…

  42. Lewie Procter says:

    I had no real problems, although it did tell me to check the back of my packaging for the serial number during install.

    The game doesn’t use GFWL as DRM, so you don’t need to run the client at all once you’ve got the game downloaded.

    I wonder what other recent Microsoft games we should expect similar discounts on. Perhaps Midtown Madness 2 or Dungeon Siege.

    • Bill says:

      GFWL client -> where the game download is -> view game keys revealed my key.

      Hopefully that’s all anyone needs to do.

  43. Retro42 says:

    *sigh* No key assigned. I understand the probably sold a butt-ton of copies today but I expected them to at least be prepared. Not the consumer confidence I was hoping this sale would have given…

    • Bill says:

      That’s cataclysmically unlucky – I got mine in mere minutes before you and got a key right as rain :( condolences mate

  44. Zwebbie says:

    Timeo GFWL et dona ferentis…

  45. hotcod says:

    link to

    Seems they are aware of the no key assigned issue and are saying you can e-mail if you are having the issue. Not that it’s likely to help much heh

  46. pupsikaso says:

    So against better judgement, I decided I’d at least give it a try. And guess what? It asks me to log in with my xbox account? Like, what xbox account? I don’t have that, and I’m getting an unrelated game for the PC?
    Yeah, no thanks M$, f* off. What a great way to demonstrate your new and improved “service”.

    • Vinraith says:

      Xbox account and GfWL account are the same thing.

    • Eclipse says:

      you know you have to register to the service right? If you have an MSN messenger \ Passport\ Live \ hotmail account you can log using that one, make your gamertag and you’re go.
      The ability to spend your ms points both on pc and xbox games is the only good thing this service offers that’s not elsewhere.

    • pupsikaso says:

      If they are the same why are they asking me to log in or make an xbox account if I’m already logged in with the gfwl account? And why does it take random people in comments on an unrelated website to try to clear up that by xbox account they mean any microsoft related account? What ingenious design!

    • subedii says:

      Yeah let’s be honest here. It’s a minor issue, but in terms of UI design, pretty shoddy. A fair amount of their UI design could use some updating.

      So we’ll see how things have changed in a few weeks. If they’re intent on updating the service this time then they’re hopefully paying attention to comments right now.

  47. Eclipse says:

    it’s 10 eurocent too, or 10 ms points.

  48. Heliocentric says:

    Grabbed 2 copies for lan, nice new client. But making me manually enter the key was a schoolboy error.

  49. Flobulon says:

    So I logged in with my GFWL account.
    It asked me to make an Xbox account.
    I made an Xbox Account.
    Logged in – “Welcome, CuteHercules13!”.

    • Krimson says:

      Yeah, I got that too. Apparently, I already had a windows live account, so why it asked me to make an X-box account is baffling. It didn’t let me enter a name for the account, so I assumed it would use (what I thought was) my original Live account name. WRONG.

      Long story short, say hello to DuctileGalaxy97.

    • Atholearl says:

      “why it asked me to make an X-box account is baffling”
      Nice way to increase the XBL numbers :P

      Joking aside, I thought the GFWL was already considered an XBL account?

  50. oceanclub says:

    If only I could actually buy it. *sigh*