The Strange Fate Of Games For Windows Live

If in doubt, relaunch.

This is odd. Well, I say “odd”, but baffling, userbase-offending marketing decisions seem to be story of Games For Windows Live’s short, obtuse life.

The short story: Games For Windows Live Marketplace is moving to Xbox.com

The long story: Huh?

So: this is going to be merged with this. A PC download store will be merged with an Xbox download store.

You may observe that “Games For Windows” and “Games For Xbox” are not the same thing. You would be right to observe this. Hasn’t stopped ’em!

Here’s the only explanation offered so far:

“Games for Windows Marketplace will fully transition over to Xbox.com. Now you can get all of your gaming needs in one place. It’s convenient, it’s concentrated, and it’s a whole lot of great games.”

Yes, having to go to a different website when I wanted to buy a game for a different format was horribly inconvenient and unconcentrated. Thank goodness they’ve cleared that one up. Having one less site on the internet is going to make matters so much clearer.

Speculation engines gogo, then. Could this be:

a) a stealth mercy-kill for the forever-troubled GFW Live?
b) An attempt to make overall Xbox marketplace game numbers higher, as some sort of weeing competition with some other platform?
c) An attempt to bolster GFWL sales by hoping Xbox gamers accidentally buy a PC game? Or simply piggy-backing on the better-known name in the hope of greater success?
d) A sign that more cross-platform games are impending? (“No.”)
e) Just a marketing decision that sounded good at the time but looks bizarre in the cold, harsh light of internet daylight?

Either way, it rather looks like Games For Windows Live (or at least its store) is, while not yet being retired, backgrounded somewhat. Is this a good thing? Well, I’d rather they worked on making it as good as possible rather than killed it, but I’m struggling to imagine that being subsumed by Xboxery signals it’s going to get more rather than less TLC. We shall see, I guess.

How bizarre.

(Thanks to all the folks who sent this in). YOU ARE THE REAL HEROES.

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