Games For Windows Live Is Shutting Down
August 22, 2013

Games For Windows Live Is Shutting Down

Be glad and rejoice because Microsoft has finally decided to do away with that nasty piece of software that’s got gamers and GTA players supremely pissed off. Microsoft is letting go of Games for Windows Live, a form of UI created for PC players of Take Two’s select games. Since the domain of GFWL isn’t that well developed, the software sort of crashed and burned long before it had any success.

But what’s got gamers so pissed off about Games for Windows Live? I’ll explain.

The software acts as the online store and Digital Rights Management (DRM) for certain games published by Microsoft. While console players were having a ball with Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA IV) after its release, PC players were still struggling with the issues that came with Games for Windows Live. Those problems included frame rate drops and even complete system failures, file registry mix-ups and, finally, driver issues. Most clients managed to fix their issues with a few downloads and uninstalls, but for others, Rockstar’s game was rendered completely immobile and useless.

GFWL is a big reason that the PC release of GTA IV has a large amount of hate from diehard fans. And I do mean the diehard ones. Because Rockstar failed to give any update or assistance to thousands of unlucky gamers trying to get into free mode, a large portion of Rockstar’s support left the GTA IV forums.

What little mods that we had vanished with the malfunction of their file registries, and free mode generally became a lot more boring. Instead of calm and blissful drives through Star Junction to classical music, I now usually only last a few streets into Liberty City before boredom settles in.

Apart from some obvious negatives, GFWL actually did give players the ability to connect their Xbox Live and PC experience into the same general area. This meant that I could still plug my controller into my wireless adapter and play a good ol’ fashion free mode match of GTA. The full functionality and driver support for the controller allowed for me to never have to map any of the keys from my controller to the game-it was already set up and ready for me to have fun with.

Not only this, but the guide button on the controller was given full support and functionality with GFWL’s software, so I could check achievements and messages on Live while still playing the game on Steam. Unfortunately for me, getting GFWL to work wasn’t the easiest of tasks. In fact, it was extremely difficult.

The uncertainties of a file error or the lack of know how to initiate a reboot can be very frustrating for gamers who aren’t tech savvy, and that usually meant that GTA IV was largely overlooked by very critical gamers.

But not to worry! Google showed me most of the ropes. More on this blog in a future post, but please, tell me what you think of Microsoft’s sacking of Games for Windows Live?

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