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.