Arkham City Is A GFWL Title

There was some talk over the weekend that Batman: Arkham City would not be using GFWL. That turned out to not be true, according to this article on VG247, who contacted Warner for comment. A Warner rep said: “Arkham City is indeed a G4WL [sic] title.” Did he say [sic] of his own esoteric spelling? I just don’t know.

The game is out on October 18th. I will still be playing it.


  1. Choca says:

    I can’t wait to have to restart the game a thousand times because there are five millions pointless updates to download at a snail’s pace for GFWL…

    • sassy says:

      if only that was the worst bit. I had to restart the last game at least 6 times because my save was no longer recognized due to the encryption on the file.

    • Nim says:

      Firewall-blocking GFWL from the internet always works. I’ve had minimal trouble with it since then.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      I picked up the first one during the summer sales.

      I started an offline account. Then foolish went online and lost my save. The game loaded ONCE with GFWL being online. Then next time it demanded I update. So I let it. It seemingly updated but now AA would crash when I ran it.

      So I uninstalled GFWL. Again it insisted I install. This time it failed with no reason given. A long Google session eventually showed me a solution. Which didn’t work.

      I spent three hours mucking about until I was able to play the game again. (And don’t even get me started on the issues with using a non MS controller…)

      Was going to pick this up on the Xbox this time around, but with the announcement of “ongoing DLC”… Well I’m tired of being treated like a wallet with legs by these people, so I’ll wait for the inevitable GOTY with DLC bundle for half the initial release price.

    • Covmeister says:

      Attempting to play Age Of Empires Online took an entire six hours of infuriating troubleshooting to install GFWL. I got it eventually, but I have no idea what made it work as all of a sudden it just decided to install properly. Well, at least it is installed now and I don’t have to go through all that again…. OR WILL I?

  2. arrjayjee says:

    Well this is disheartening. I’m sure GFWL works for some people, just as I’m sure other people have trouble with Steam, but I do not have trouble with Steam and I do have problems with GFWL. I will be saving my money for now and putting it towards the other bajillion great looking games coming out soon. 2011 is the new 1998 it seems.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Given the issues I had (noted above) it will be a cold day in Hell before I buy a GFWL infected game ever again.

    • Amun says:

      I agree with you both. GFWL does nothing positive and Microsoft seems incapable of supporting it.

  3. jon_hill987 says:

    This is some sort of scheme by the Joker isn’t it…

  4. Nameless1 says:

    “I will still be playing it”
    Me too, when it costs no more than 20€. That’s the price for your g4wl garbage, baby.

  5. Sauronych says:

    I won’t be buying it then.

    • Quxxy says:

      As much as it pains me, I won’t be buying it either.

      If the only way we can stop companies using this steaming pile of excrement is to outright refuse to give them any money, then so be it.

    • Zogtee says:

      I’ll buy it, but I’ll wait until it’s piss cheap. I’ll play Skyrim and Rage while I wait.

    • Maelor says:

      Yep, I won’t be buying it either. Dawn of War 2 was enough GFWL for a lifetime.

    • Zeronine says:

      No deal for me either.

    • neolith says:

      Same here – GFWL means you don’t get my money.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      At least Relic saw fit to shitcan GFWL from Retribution, thus rendering it actually usable.

    • Commisar says:

      Well, i will be, unlike most people here, I have had next to no trouble with GFWL, apart from having to log in alot. Arkham City is looking to be a great game

    • fyro11 says:

      They’ve lost another customer here.

  6. Nova says:

    Maybe he meant: [sick]

  7. GenBanks says:

    I don’t particularly mind this, but it does seem like an odd decision… GFWL does sort of seem like a sinking ship.

  8. Ian says:

    After some brief installation wobblage I had no problems with GFWL on Arkham Asylum. (AA was a GFWL game, right? Or am I thinking of something else?)

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Correct it was a GfWL, a good one, one which I bought, realized it was GfWL, so I rebought it pre-owned for my *shudder* xbox 360, so I didn’t have to put up with the GfWL nonsense, and also, I was told it was better with a controller :>

    • jRides says:

      I did, i got 12 hours into the game before GFWL decided that I didn’t like AA any more and just stopped working. I have no idea why and never did manage to get it fixed – it still worked fine with DoW2.

    • Mana_Garmr says:

      I got it on Steam and I’m not sure if that makes any difference, but all I did with AA was choose a user name for GFWL and off I went. I never wanted to use any of the online features so it never bothered me again. I don’t think I ever saw more than a little message in the corner registering that I was launching the game.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Some parts are better with controller, some aren’t (I played mostly with controller, but learned to do proper combos only with mouse), but the PC version is definitely better than the x-box. And it works with x-box controller very well.

      Oh, and I had issues with G4WL too, but somehow manageable. I was also making archive saves on my own, before key moments, because the game doesn’t have such an obvious feature. Even VHS movies watched on home video had it (you could rewind and watch from a chosen moment), not mentioning DVDs. In that respect the game is sooo oldschool…

  9. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I died a little bit inside.

    On the other hand, yay more time for; Skyrim, BF3, Dues Ex, Minecraft 1.8, The Witcher 2, oh my I really must get started.

    • Commisar says:

      but, but but….. BF3 is going to suck because it doesn’t have Commander mode or mod tools!!! / sarcasm Well, i will be getting Arkham City because the first one was great and I have had next to no trouble with GFWL

  10. SquareWheel says:

    Then I retract my statement suggesting I would purchase it.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      I liked the first one, didn’t love it, so I can certainly live without it. GFWL is too much of a ball-ache.

  11. Mman says:

    That image in the Binding of Isaac post seems appropriate here.

  12. CMaster says:

    Not sure I’ll ever forgive GfWL for not letting me play DoW2 singleplayer. (Well it did eventually, but only after I’d updated it 5 times (during the update process, pressing any key on your keyboard or clicking elsewhere with the mouse aborts the update. The update takes approximatley 10 minutes) before I realised that updating wasn’t working. So I started the GfWL client. It game me an error message, with a “solution” link that took me to a microsoft page that never loaded, simply sending IE round in an infinite javascript loop. Some googling eventually told me (although the GfWL offical support gave an incorrect answer) I had to sign in to and agree to the XBOX Live (no mention of GfWL) terms of service. Then it worked. An hour and a half later. And then it’s a horrible service to use.

    • TheApologist says:

      I had a very similar problem to this launching Dead Rising 2. Eventually got it working, but only after separately launching GfWL and updating it out of game, restarting a couple of times, saying ‘abra cadabra’, and staring intently at the screen.

    • suibhne says:

      Same issue here with Bioshock 2.

      Really, it absolutely amazes me that anyone uses GfWL. It’s so objectively a piece of dung, and it’s improved only slightly in the last few years (at least in usability).

    • Aedrill says:

      Were you in my house when I was trying to play DoW2? You should’ve said something, I’d make you some tea…

  13. pipman3000 says:

    You have failed me for the last time.

  14. TheApologist says:

    Hmmm…that might push me on to ugly old PS3.

    GfWL has never been game breaking for me as it has for some, but it has often been a hassle requiring several restarts and jiggery-googly-pokery before letting me start the game. If the port is good, and the PC is much prettier I guess I might stick with it.

    On the other hand, given the other big releases coming up, I might just wait for a sale. Shame. I loved the original.

  15. Lambchops says:

    Oh 4 [sic] crying out loud.

  16. LQ says:

    You have one Warner rep telling an online store it isn’t GFWL, and another telling a magazine it is.

    Sounds like the usual GFW/GFWL confusion.

    link to

  17. Rii says:

    From the context I imagine Warner was responding to a query that itself abbreviated GFWL as ‘G4WL’.

    For my part I prefer to call it “Godawful”, but that’s on account of my scintillating, undisciplined wit rather than any deep-seated loathing of the service, which I can’t recall even having used outside Bioshock 2.

  18. westyfield says:

    And my decision to buy BF3 instead of Arkham City just got vindicated.

    • EOT says:

      Enjoy your Origin.

    • westyfield says:

      Origin hasn’t directly shafted me yet. GfWL has.
      They each get one chance.

    • Torgen says:

      “GfWL shafted me once…



    • Bonedwarf says:

      This is all a cunning plan to force you onto consoles. I pre-ordered Space Marine for the PC, but Batman (eventually once all DLC is out and bundled nicely), Battlefield 3 etc…

      I’m going Xbox. A) not sure my system is entirely capable of running BF3 etc… and B) I’m 40 years old and my spine is largely decorative so my couch is much more appealing to game at than my desk chair.

  19. arienette says:

    A year or two from now I may pick it up in some crazy cheap sale, but I’ve had so many bad experiences with GFWL it’s not worth it right now.

  20. Jaffo says:

    Never had a prob with GFWL (Halo 2, Dirt 2, AA, GTA IV) so no biggie. I had more trouble getting past the WordPress login to post this.

    • max pain says:

      Nice try, Mr. M$.

    • aethereal says:

      GFWL may be pretty bad but that doesnt mean everyone on the planet has an issue with it. It never crapped out on me, though I still hate it because of the terrible clunky UI

    • Strontium Mike says:

      Yeah never had a problem with it, I wish more console ports used it. And I want my avatar on my pc damn it. Like Clippy, I miss Clippy.

  21. Prime says:

    I’ve only had a couple of minor irritations from using GFWL. Steam has actually been more problematic over it’s lifetime but that’s because I use Steam a lot more. Having GFWL won’t stop me buying this; I may not like having games saddled to content delivery platforms but it makes little sense to play favourites if you generally dislike them all.

  22. suibhne says:

    Well, that’s too bad. I won’t be buying this at release, even if there are good pre-order sales.

    In addition to the standard GfWL bollocks with updating, GfWL basically destroyed my Batman: AA savegames when I had to reinstall the game due to a hard drive migration. (Of course, if it had been on Steam, I’d never have had to reinstall the game in the first place because Steam handles data migration so nicely.) I’d finished the main narrative but was working through the Challenge Rooms, and I lost all of my progress just because GfWL doesn’t allow you to migrate savegames; it encrypts them and hides them for absolutely no good reason whatsoever. I would’ve had to play through the entire game again, finish all the Achievements and such, just to unlock the Challenge Rooms I’d been playing the day previous.

    At the time, there were no solutions on the web. It was insanely frustrating, and I finally just cursed and gave the game to a friend who was about to buy it for herself. So I guess GfWL actually cost them a sale, heh.

    • Rii says:

      “GfWL doesn’t allow you to migrate savegames; it encrypts them and hides them for absolutely no good reason whatsoever.”


      … in reality I suspect it’s tied to account privacy issues either in GFWL or Windows itself. Still they should at least offer the option to dump them in plain sight…

  23. Shadrach says:

    He had to [sic] it because there’s no thing as GFWL, the name is “Games for Windows – LIVE (TM)”. Abbreviations reduce Brand Penetration you see ;)

    Personally ‘m ok with it, didn’t have any big problems with it in the first game. It’s just another DRM scheme, maybe crappier and more annoying than Steam but it works (most of the time).

    • Berzee says:

      Those are DANGEROUS words on this little corner on the big ol’ internet, sonny boy. That mouth’s gonna gitcha in trouble. Get the heck outta Dodge.

  24. PoulWrist says:

    Who cares. It works fine in the previous Batman. Even when I had to use a warez version because I only had a key and a iso.

  25. FieldOfTheBattle says:

    Arkham Asylum was GFWL and had no DRM. Ironically Steam version had GFWL, Steam DRM AND Securom with 4 activation limit. I welcome Arkham City being a GFWL title, buying it as soon as it is confirmed that it doesn’t use any kind of DRM just like retail Arkham Asylum.

  26. indigohjones says:

    So, from a developer’s/publisher’s perspective, what’s the attraction of making your game a GFWL title?

    • Rii says:

      $$$ from (or via) Microsoft. It’s part of the Xbox 360 vs. PS3 war. Sony very productively secured exclusive content for AA, looks like Microsoft is planning to return the favour here.

  27. Javier-de-Ass says:

    at least it isn’t steam only

  28. Lobotomist says:

    Ok, just lost me as a customer

  29. Mordsung says:

    The only appropriate response I can come up with is…


    Steam only: no problem
    Origin only: no problem
    GFWL: not buying

    • wintermute says:

      If you think Origin is “no problem”, then clearly you’ve never used Origin

    • Mordsung says:

      Haven’t had a problem with Origin yet. Sure, it ain’t Steam, but it’s no worse than when it was just EADM.

  30. Burning Man says:

    Oh just get a crack people. It’s not that hard. I would never pass up another Batman game.

    • Amun says:

      We have to make them understand that GFWL is not okay. Not even once.

  31. elnalter says:

    i wasn’t going to buy it anyway

  32. Zarunil says:

    I’ve never had a single game with GFWL where it hasn’t given me some sort of problem running it, so I’ll say no thanks. I don’t want to troubleshoot, I want to play my game.

  33. Sian says:

    Not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, I never had any corrupted save files or any other severe problem, on the other hand GfWL is a clunky PoS that only makes things more complicated. I don’t want to support it, but I really, really want the game…

  34. Bilbo1981 says:

    Yet another display of a PC gamers getting it in the ass. My ring is still sore after from Dust so I guess I’ll be getting the free version of this game. Cheers!

  35. Vandelay says:

    Was the rejoicing when we thought it wouldn’t use it not a hint?

  36. Unaco says:

    “I will still be playing it.”

    As shall I. GFWL added an extra 10 – 15 minutes onto the install and setup of “Batman: Arkham Asylum”. Most of that time was me trying to remember the u’name/p’word combination I had used for it previously. After that, once it was all updated and I had my details stored, there were no problems at all. And the game was more than worth that extra 10 minutes. Better this than something like Origin and making a whole new account to play it.

    • UnravThreads says:

      I would wager most PC gamers who come across Origin will already have an EA account, so it’s hardly a biggie.

    • Urthman says:

      I’d wager that you’re wrong except I can’t think of any way to settle that bet.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @Urthman He is. COMPLETELY. Or an EA fanboy.

  37. NukeLord says:

    I never asked for this.

  38. Khemm says:

    So many trolls, I bet many of you never ever had a single problem, but choose to moan like crazy because it’s trendy.
    GFWL is perfectly OK for single player games. It isn’t without flaws, I agree. But at least I’ll be able to install offline, at worst activate the executable – that is something everyone’s favourite Steam does not provide (online installation only).

    • Malk_Content says:

      The last game I tried to play with GFWL was Bulletstorm. Trying to lay the singleplayer only. Never got it to work because I needed to update GFWL (even after downloading it straight from the website) and it always (after about two days worth of on off attempts to fix) crashed during that process. After two days I had to download a crack just so I could play. GFWL is a buggy piece of shit. I’ll admit that the only problems I had prior to it was finding my save games (what do you mean if I’m not connected to the internet I can’t play my saves, oh because you store them in several different places?) but still that worse than no problems.

    • Khemm says:

      That is unfortunate indeed. But it surely didn’t crash for no reason. What OS do you have? Do you have all necessary services enabled (mainly Windows ID)?

    • TheApologist says:

      I have definitely had problems. In my entirely personal experience, GfWL makes gaming more of a hassle and less reliable. As such it puts me off games I would otherwise wish to purchase.

      You can say I’m only complaining because it’s trendy if you like, but that doesn’t make my complaint not true. It makes you sound a bit patronizing, though.

    • Malk_Content says:

      Windows 7 (64bit) and I went through every available piece of troubleshooting that I could find (Official first, then unofficial.) I’ve used GFWL in other games (DoW2) and because they didn’t force me to update to play the singleplayer I had no problems. Bulletstorms bungled attempt to use GFWL (needing it to even access the fecking menu) was partly the developers fault but the blame can also be put on GFWL, at least a little.

    • AmateurScience says:

      Positives: GFWL taught me a lot about the complexities of networking. I had never heard of ‘port forwarding’ before I bought Batman: AA from steam.

      Negatives: It took me 9-10 very frustrating hours of installing, cursing, uninstalling, reinstalling, redownloading, cursing, deleting, updating, signing up, signing out, getting knee deep in router settings, cursing, redistributable getting, facepalming, ragequitting and googling to get it working. I still haven’t played more than the first 30 minutes as a result.

    • bluebomberman says:

      Telling people that all the problems they’ve had with a piece of software are all made up for the sake of looking cool on the Internet isn’t going to make you many friends.

      EDIT: Damn, you sound just like a Windows IT nerd. “Do you have all the necessary services enabled?” What the heck does that mean?

    • Ridnarhtim says:

      “It worked for me, therefore there is nothing wrong with it, and everyone who had trouble with it is stupid.”

      How about this:

      A well designed piece of software will work for the majority of, or preferably all, users and systems, without causing the consumer unnecessary hassles.
      When the majority of people complain that your interface is ugly, confusing and intrusive, your update system requires constant restarts and takes hours, not to mention frequently crashes or simply doesn’t work, then clearly SOMETHING isn’t right. Not to mention most of these people have no problem whatsoever with the way Steam installs, updates and interacts with your games.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Because people are unable to install a program, they moan and bitch. They should get consoles instead. More up their alley. Less of everything, including potential issues.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      PoulWrist – you seem to be saying that PC gamers SHOULD have frustrations, issues and problems with their games… is that part of the PC gaming experience in your view? Should nothing work properly first time, should we always have to trawl the internet every game we install to get it to work?

      I don’t think so, Microsoft should be called out on this. They have the resources to make it right, they have unique access to understanding how the damn OS’s work. They should be able to provide the smoothest experience of anyone.

      Poulwrist, you continue to live in your nerdy little hole where only you can get games to work. It gives you power over the bullies. When they resort to the inferior gaming experience that is a console, you feel smug that they will never know how great the game runs on a PC. The rest of us will demand better service from games. When we hit install, download the game, only to have to re-download great chunks of it because GFWL saw fit to not patch the game for the download, when it works fine then suddenly changes it’s own settings so it no longer can connect, when it drops connection even though your actual connection never dropped, when it makes you relearn everything you wished you could forget about networking protocols – I’m a lawyer, becoming an expert in something from scratch in an hour or two is pretty much what I get paid for, I realise I am much better at it than most people. I really feel for everyone else who has to struggle with the damn software just to get it to do what they paid for.

      GFWL sucks, and the worst thing about it is, it doesn’t have to.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      The biggest problem I ever had with GFWL was on a purely single player game. At least, as far as I can recall, Red Faction: Guerrilla didn’t have multiplayer. Anyway, I spent about a month troubleshooting, on and off, trying to get to the main menu of that game. No solutions anywhere. Tried game updates, driver updates, GFWL updates, uninstall/reinstall, compatibility modes, etc. Nothing. Still couldn’t get to the main menu. All I had was a black screen with a funny looking cursor on it.

      I eventually got to play it. How? By installing xliveless. Which is a user mod/patch/thing that REMOVES GFWL functionality. The only real problem I had after that was the game crashing if I changed graphics settings in a certain menu.

      Aside from that, the amount of bad design decisions is astounding, ranging from a terrible in-game UI, encrypted saves, forced updating (that often doesn’t work), broken help pages, to a lack of documentation (oh, I have to go to a broken website to agree to the new TOS? why couldn’t this be in the client somewhere?). For all that, I don’t hate GFWL. I would prefer not to use it, however.

    • Malk_Content says:


      I’m not an idiot. I can install program quite fine. I can update programs with equal ease. Hell I can build my own computer (not hard I know) and keep it tip top continue with everything it needs. I can get pretty much anything to work on my computer with enough fiddling, manual downloads, troubleshooting etc. GFWL did not work, plain and simple. Direct download gave me an apparently unpatched version, patching requires you to exit the game, which you have to end the process for as without the patch you couldn’t get to the menu screen and thus quit normally. Attempting to patch outside of the game crashed the updater. Cracking the game to remove GFWL eventually worked but should not have to be an option.

      I’m able to hot fix basically any problem I have ever come across for any piece of software I’ve had installed for the last decade, but not GFWL. So I should go play on the consoles instead?

  39. Lukasz says:

    i do remember having few problems with actually starting up AA. Had to register for gfwl and then do something in game.

    but afterwards i just played offline without any problems whatsoever from the game or from GFWL.

    no reason for me not to get it.

  40. deadstoned says:

    £3 sale off Amazon then like the last one, seriously Rocksteady what fucking idiot took the decision to use this shit again……

  41. virtualmatrix258 says:

    Sorry but I can’t. GFWL has restarted my games, updated and restarted my computer over and over without me knowing and in the middle of a game. Can’t justify the price tag for a game that I’ll have to play in 5 minute increments.

  42. Subject 706 says:

    Never had any major problems with GfWL, but lots of annoyance, from the crap updater to the horrid UI. This won’t stop me from buying the game though, but I sure hope xliveless will support it. Worked wonders in GTA4.

  43. I4C says:

    I have more problems with steam, then gfwl(never had any).
    So this is great news for me.

  44. Sheng-ji says:

    Pissflaps…. I’ll be buying it because I loved the first game so much – GotY for me last year – but still Pissflaps!

  45. hilllbilllyjoe says:

    GFWL is a broken piece of crap. It’s kind of hilarious that the Microsoft is so large now, that they can even consistently produce products of a decent quality for their own software.

  46. AMonkey says:

    Does that mean GFWL isn’t dead yet? Damn shame.

  47. Vexing Vision says:

    I regularly play three GFWL titles: Bulletstorm, Street Fighter 4 and Arkham Asylum.

    In Bulletstorm and SF4, GFWL is a bitch but it works and doesn’t cause any additional problems apart from another login and password to remember. In Arkham Asylum, my saves get corrupted all the time.

    This is what makes me very wary. I really want to play the game, but this announcement just moved my purchase from “Day 0” to “2 weeks later when a reliable crack that removes GFWL comes out”.

  48. moarage says:

    what does he mean by “[sic]”?

    • EOT says:

      It means written as intended/written as it appears in the original source.

  49. boiglenoight darkstar says:

    Going with the PS3 version then.

    • Khemm says:

      Enjoy the worst version, then. And the more expensive one at that.

    • TheApologist says:

      Well indeed, Khemm, because this person is clearly unable to decide which is the best or worst version for themselves. If only we all had your insight into our personal preferences.

      Again, I’d suggest you stop patronizing people.

    • Ridnarhtim says:

      I think ‘no GFWL’ is a reasonably good argument for not being the worst version. Not to mention I’d expect the PS3 version to be better than the 360 one.

    • Khemm says:

      I’m the one constantly being patronized here, because I DARE not like Steam.

  50. Lemming says:

    I’ll be buying this on PS3 as I always was. I love my PC for gaming, but I’m sorry guys I just cannot bring myself to play any 3rd person action game on anything but a console no matter how many extra bells and whistles they tempt me with. It just fits the couch+tv+joypad approach too easily to ignore.

    • skinlo says:

      Works fine on keyboard on mouse? I suggest you give the demo a try first if one comes out.

    • Khemm says:

      All I have to say is: LOL, more couch/joypad/huge ass TV stereotyping…
      What, do they give you couches and 50″ TVs free of charge when you buy a console these days? Btw, it’s such a shame we have no USB ports so we can’t play using controllers. Such a shame.

      P.S. I had much more fun playing Batman with k&m, surprisingly, considering it was made with controller in mind…

    • Lemming says:

      Khemm, you really LOL’d?

      It’s not a stereotype if I have a big tv, couch and decent sound system is it? Am I not allowed nice things?

      Also the fact you think it comes down to whether I can plug a joypad into my PC or not is quaint.

      Quit being such a fanboy. It’s a good thing that some of us don’t live on rails in life like yourself, and can enjoy games by circumventing the hurdles (like GFWL) put in front of us. It’s about choice.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Lemming: You obviously have the equipment, so what is stopping you from playing a PC version of Arkham City on your TV, while sitting on your couch with a joypad? Is it location? If your PC is anywhere near your TV set, I would imagine a higher resolution, shinier game would make you happier.

    • Lemming says:

      Opposite end of the house. I have a dual monitor set up for my computer in its own room.

      I don’t think I’d rig up the PC to my TV even if it was easily transportable back and forth. A PC is wonderful to use on a desk with a keyboard and mouse. Hooking it up to the TV in the front room would cheapen the PC experience for me. I mean, it’s not as if I want to be using word and checking email/internet on a 40″ wall mounted tv a considerable distance from my face with people wandering around and chatting in the same room.