Good By GFWL, Hello Misery

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So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months you know that Microsoft are killing the GFWL platform mid 2014. Oddly this move has been met with mixed emotions.

On the one hand a lot of people are dancing over the fact that one of the worst DRM platforms is going. However others (such as myself) are not so happy. On the one hand we’re glad to see it go, but we also understand that a lot of good games are no longer going to be playable anymore.

I’m one of those lucky guys that have never had issues with GFWL over 3 separate machines. so much so that i think a lot of the hate raging for it is nothing more than people jumping on a band wagon. However, it’s now going the way of the Dodo, but the real question is what happens to all the games that use the platform?

Well, that depends sadly. Over the path moth or so we’ve seen some games being patched to run with Steamworks, a lot of them are most likely going to be ignored. So far we’ve seen three major patches for games, Bioshock 2, Batman Arkham asylum and Batman Arkham City. In a move that has once again divided the gaming scene( and proves my feeling that Gamers are self entitled shit heads)the dev.’s of these games gave people free upgrades (how dare they give gamers free stuff!!). So owners of Bioshock 2 got the DLC for free, and owners of both Batman games got free upgrades to the GOTY versions.

Of course gamers never being satisfied started complaining about several aspects of the change. Firstly, they now have 2 entries for the games, their original base games and a separate entry for the GOTY edition.

Tied with this was the complaint their saves were no longer compatible, and that they couldn’t carry their achievements over to the new Steamworks game. This was despite the fact that a work around for the save issue was posted, and even stickied, but because it requires people to do a bit of work on their own it’s evil. Also, while i never understand the whining over achievements, especially for a service that’s going end shortly. Sure it would be nice, but is it that much of an issue?

Rather than whining over the good this doing, rather lament over the loss games. At the moment on my steam list I’ve got the following games that use GFWL (that I’m aware of)

  • Bulletstorm
  • Dirt 2
  • Dirt 3
  • Fallout 3
  • Universe at War
  • Section 8: Prejudice
  • Dark Souls

And more I’ve not bothered with since i bought most likely. The problems will come with HOW the games use the GFWL platform. For example Fallout 3 used it deliver the DLC so when the service ends you wont be able to get your DLC anymore. However you could play it ‘offline’ through a local profile.  The Steam version of the game i believe included all the DLC , but required the GFWL for online play.

Here is the problem, if the game lets you use an offline profile, then your going be okay, you just launch as an offline profile and all is well.

However if your game requires server authorisation or has Zero Day Protection (to protect against playing early), then you’re screwed. The servers they use will go down next year with no replacement. What’s more Microsoft seem to be washing their hands of the problem completely. Arguing that buy giving a years notice, the dev.’s have plenty of time to make the patches and move to other platforms or remove them completely.

And for current games that may well be true, but for games such as say Dirt 2 it’s not going to happen. Lets face it we’ve had 2 games since then, and despite many feeling dirt 2 was the best and still play it frequently, Codemasters probably don’t see the need to invest in the time and money needed to patch GFWL out.

But what happens with games such as Section 8: Prejudice? Their dev.’s are gone, and no patch is possible. Well, bad news here the game just wont work. What this means is that a lot of games are just going to become dead weight, and require you to essentially pirate the game to get it to run properly.

The fact that it’s a move by MS forcing people to pirate the game (which GFWL did in the first place for eastern europe) is damn annoying

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