Games for Windows Live is being put out of its misery - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE: Games for Windows Live DRM and its related servers will be terminated on July 1, 2014.

~~~

The digital storefront known as GFWL is having its plug permanately pulled soon, and the related DRM is being patched out in a number of games :
Quote:
As part of the upcoming Xbox 360 system update, Microsoft Points will be retired, and the Xbox.com PC marketplace will be closed as of August 22, 2013. We encourage you to spend your Microsoft Points balance prior to this change. Although you will not be able to purchase new games, you can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows LIVE client software as usual. More information is available here.

NeoGAF has compiled a status summary of what to expect from games in your library affected by the death of GFWL:
Quote:
Will no longer be digitally purchasable as of Aug 22; possibly available at retail
AFL Live
Battle vs. Chess - Not purchasable on Steam, Publisher is essentially defunct
CarneyVale: Showtime - Independent title
Crash Time 4: The Syndicate - Other series installments are on Steam
Game Room - Many constituent titles are available sans-GFWL
Gears of War for Windows
Halo 2 for Windows Vista
Hour of Victory
Quantum of Solace - Game no longer for sale on Steam
Shadowrun - Servers are no longer running for this, right?
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Mahjong Wisdom -- MS has a free Mahjong game on W8, "replacement"?
Rugby League Live
Tinker - Free, download right now if you ever want to play
Tron: Evolution
Vancouver 2010
Viva Piñata for Windows
Where’s Waldo? The Fantastic Journey

Purchasable on Steam, but requires GFWL for activation, so will die if GFWL dies and are not patched
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon – Enhanced Edition
Blacklight: Tango Down - Game has been replaced by sequel, which is F2P, on Steam, and not GFWL. But original game is still for sale on Steam, but requires GFWL to activate.
Bulletstorm
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
Dead Rising 2
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
DiRT 2 - Most recent sequel is available sans-GFWL
Dirt 3 - Most recent sequel is available sans-GFWL
F1 2010
F1 2011
Fable III
Fallout 3 - Sequel doesn't use GFWL
FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage - Sequel doesn't use GFWL
FUEL - Also uses SecuRom, **** these guys
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
Iron Brigade
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men - Sequel doesn't use GFWL
Lost Planet 2 - Sequel doesn't use GFWL
Microsoft Flight - F2P
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection - Subsequent PC port doesn't use GFWL
Ms. Splosion Man
Operation Flashpoint: Red River - Sequel doesn't use GFWL
Red Faction: Guerrilla - Sequel doesn't use GFWL, publisher dead, new IP owner probably isn't going to patch
Resident Evil 5 - Sequel doesn't use GFWL
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Section 8 - Not sure if it uses GFWL on Steam, Enhanced Steam doesn't say anything, sequel uses GFWL
Section 8: Prejudice
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes - Publisher no longer exists
Street Fighter IV - Replaced by upcoming Ultimate SF4, which does not use GFWL
Street Fighter X Tekken - DLC is on Steam, but presumably requires GFWL for activation
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition - Replaced by upcoming Ultimate SF4, which does not use GFWL
Universe at War: Earth Assault
Virtua Tennis 4

??? -- Unknown how the change affects the following titles:
Stormrise
The Club
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II + Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising

Safe!
Age of Empires Online - Sans-GFWL version exists on Steam today.
Batman: Arkham Asylum - Being updated
Batman: Arkham City - Being updated
Battlestations: Pacific - Sans-GFWL version exists on Steam today
BioShock 2 - Being updated
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger -- Ported to W8 sans-GFWL but not on Steam
Dark Void
Gotham City Impostors -- Patched
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition - GFWL version is separate from Steam version ("Colonies edition")
Osmos - Separate Steam version
Toy Soldiers - Patched
World of Goo - Steam version has no GFWL
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post #2 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 11:07 AM
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Not sure if I understand - the first quote says "you can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows LIVE client software as usual."

Then the NeoGAF thread says "Purchasable on Steam, but requires GFWL for activation, so will die if GFWL dies and are not patched".

So is GFWL being completely shut down, or just the marketplace and ability to buy games through GFWL? confused.gif

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post #3 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Ahh, it seems like the store is officially closing but the DRM is merely being removed from a number of titles (maybe it's unofficially being dropped as well). I'll update the first post.

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post #4 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 12:35 PM
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So the NeoGAF list is referring to games that you buy on Steam. You can purchase these games on Steam, but then in order to play them, they have to be activated through Games for Windows Live using a serial.

My understanding is that theoretically, if you purchase them on Steam but never activate them, it sounds like you could be stuck without being able to play them.

I don't have any on the definitely not being updated list, but I really hope that some of the unknowns get an update to play without GFWL... because I own all of the following games from that list and I absolutely hate dealing with GFWL:

Bulletstorm
Fallout
Fable 3
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
Iron Brigade
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection
Ms. Splosion Man
Red Faction: Guerrilla
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

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post #5 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 01:19 PM
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Never had an issue with GFWL, always been super simple, but maybe that's due to being a 360 user as well so I already had a live profile. I'd hate to see some of the functionality disappear, namely the achievements that apply to my Live profile lol.


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post #6 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 02:16 PM
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Layers like GFWL and U-play work fine, but they needlessly slow down installing and/or launching a PC game.

Good riddance, I say!

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post #7 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Not sure if I understand - the first quote says "you can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows LIVE client software as usual."

Then the NeoGAF thread says "Purchasable on Steam, but requires GFWL for activation, so will die if GFWL dies and are not patched".

So is GFWL being completely shut down, or just the marketplace and ability to buy games through GFWL? confused.gif

I'm confused too. I have several GFWL retail titles and I want to know what I need to do to keep them functional.
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post #8 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Layers like GFWL and U-play work fine, but they needlessly slow down installing and/or launching a PC game.

Good riddance, I say!
This. I have 40 games on Steam with another 26 on Origin, but then I have a handful that need GFWL and a couple with Uplay. Hopefully Uplay dies next. I'm happy with Steam and Origin for my gaming needs.

But as mentioned before, I think it's just the storefront that's closing. The client is still going to be supported. I wish they'd kill the client too.

As an aside, I registered my Bulletstorm copy on Origin a few months ago. I had bought it on amazon and registered it on GFWL a long time ago, but saw the EA logo and wondered if it'd work on Origin as well. It does. Not quite sure how it works when you boot up the game (if it still forces you to use the GFWL client) as I had already beaten it before trying it on Origin.
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post #9 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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The DRM client is being patched out of some of the games like the Batman titles. No new games have announced support for it (i.e. Dark Souls II won't use it unlike Dark Souls).

The writing is on wall for the DRM, too.

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post #10 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 07:04 PM
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That's why it's confusing I think. Because they say that the GFWL service will continue to operate as usual.
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post #11 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 08:47 PM
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I hope they realize the scrutiny they're under to get this right.  Some of these are still recent games....I was playing Fallout 3 the other day.


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post #12 of 41 Old 08-15-2013, 09:41 PM
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I thought PC games that interfaced with Xbox Live was a good idea. Sad to see this happening.

I wanted to get some of these one of these days when I have a PC more up to the task. Thankfully it was mostly just for better graphics like with the Codemasters games so the loss of access is minimum if some of what I wanted isn't available after this thanks to 360 versions that I already own. Looks like the only thing I wanted to play that was exclusive to this that I'll now miss out on was Microsoft Flight.

I notice that F1 2012 isn't listed. Is that an oversight or was it not a Games for Windows release like the first two were?
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post #13 of 41 Old 08-16-2013, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post

I thought PC games that interfaced with Xbox Live was a good idea. Sad to see this happening.

I wanted to get some of these one of these days when I have a PC more up to the task. Thankfully it was mostly just for better graphics like with the Codemasters games so the loss of access is minimum if some of what I wanted isn't available after this thanks to 360 versions that I already own. Looks like the only thing I wanted to play that was exclusive to this that I'll now miss out on was Microsoft Flight.

I notice that F1 2012 isn't listed. Is that an oversight or was it not a Games for Windows release like the first two were?

F1 2012 is a Steamworks game, they dropped the GFWL from it.


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post #14 of 41 Old 08-16-2013, 09:28 AM
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I hope they make GOW available on Steam. That would be awesome, not to mention appropriate. GOW on PC didn't do well in sales because a lot of PC's that shipped when it was readily available were not up to the task of playing it - early days of Windows Vista and all that - and it wouldn't really tax the average gaming PC out now. Halo and Halo 2 would be welcome as well.
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post #15 of 41 Old 08-16-2013, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post

I thought PC games that interfaced with Xbox Live was a good idea. Sad to see this happening.

I think the vision was sound......integrate the environments across all gaming platforms, perhaps tease the concept of cross-platform game play......and on and on it goes......

Its the crappy execution...

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Well, their Xbox Games for Windows (8) isn't much better either.

They had the chance to make Xbox gaming a system-wide connection (which for the record is what they do with Windows Phone), but instead, each game individually needs to connect to Live on its own, with its own initial confirmation that you want it to be able to access your Xbox account, and with its own delay (usually somewhere between 15 seconds and a minute, depending on the game) while it connects at launch and accesses your profile.

Hopefully the guy they poached from Valve/Steam can help set Microsoft on the right path, because there's definitely potential in the idea if they ever do it right.
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post #17 of 41 Old 08-19-2013, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, it is now official. GfWL DRM servers will cease to exist on July 1, 2014. A NeoGAF mod summarized affected games:
Quote:
Games that will no longer be available for digital purchase on August 22, 2013:
AFL Live
Battle vs. Chess - Not purchasable on Steam, Publisher is essentially defunct
CarneyVale: Showtime - Independent title
Crash Time 4: The Syndicate - Other series installments are on Steam
Game Room - Many constituent titles are available sans-GFWL
Gears of War for Windows
Halo 2 for Windows Vista
Hour of Victory
Quantum of Solace - Game no longer for sale on Steam
Shadowrun - Servers are no longer running for this, right?
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Mahjong Wisdom -- MS has a free Mahjong game on W8, "replacement"?
Rugby League Live
Tinker - Free, download right now if you ever want to play
Tron: Evolution
Vancouver 2010
Viva Piñata for Windows
Where’s Waldo? The Fantastic Journey

Games whose online facilities and achievements will die July 1, 2014, and may no longer be able to be activated and thus will be dead:
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon – Enhanced Edition
Blacklight: Tango Down
Bulletstorm
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
Dead Rising 2
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
DiRT 2
Dirt 3
F1 2010
F1 2011
Fable III
Fallout 3
FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage
FUEL
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
Iron Brigade
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Lost Planet 2
Microsoft Flight
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection
Ms. Splosion Man
Operation Flashpoint: Red River
Red Faction: Guerrilla
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Section 8
Section 8: Prejudice
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes
Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter X Tekken
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition
Universe at War: Earth Assault
Virtua Tennis 4

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post #18 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 07:32 AM
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So what will happen if I try to install one of those games after July 1, 2014?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osirus23 View Post

So what will happen if I try to install one of those games after July 1, 2014?


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post #20 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 09:56 AM
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I played and finished Halo 2 for WL a few weeks ago. And got a lot of achievements that carried over to Xbox Live and Waypoint. Will those achievements disappear? Will I still be able to load and play that game in the future? This is the kind of stuff that make me very skeptical about the reliability and integrity of DRM. Especially games. I am just dumbfounded that MS would choose this time to announce something like this. When they were trying to sell everyone on the integrity of the DRM intensive and super restricted Xbox One (initially). Amazing! Correct me if I'm wrong...but isn't that message tantamount to saying trust me with Xbox Live and Windows 8 gaming while I screw you unmercifully with your games for Windows Live. This is very troubling how MS is handling this.
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post #21 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 10:01 AM
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Your achievements are linked to the account, they'll never disappear, you just won't be able to get any that you missed after it shuts down. What they need to do is release a patch to remove GFWL from the games so we can still play them, although without the servers I don't think the multiplayer for any of them will work. What they could do is transition them all to Steamworks or something.
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post #22 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marafice Eye View Post

Your achievements are linked to the account, they'll never disappear, you just won't be able to get any that you missed after it shuts down. What they need to do is release a patch to remove GFWL from the games so we can still play them, although without the servers I don't think the multiplayer for any of them will work. What they could do is transition them all to Steamworks or something.

Exactly what I was thinking about. If they won't do it themselves with Xbox Live...why not just toss them over to Steamworks, Uplay or even Oculus Rift to ramp up. OR has John Carmack in the house. And it would be a no brainer for someone like him. Just let OR mod & make that library on the cheap as a part of their launch pad. It would be cheap money for MS and could expose them favorably to something very hot. Could even create a new grassroots for them in the emerging VR space with some of the games. The way they are doing it now makes it appear they don't give a care about their loyal customers.
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post #23 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 10:28 AM
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Exactly what I was thinking about. If they won't do it themselves with Xbox Live...why not just toss them over to Steamworks, Uplay or even Oculus Rift to ramp up. OR has John Carmack in the house. And it would be a no brainer for someone like him. Just let OR mod & make that library on the cheap as a part of their launch pad. It would be cheap money for MS and could expose them favorably to something very hot. Could even create a new grassroots for them in the emerging VR space with some of the games. The way they are doing it now makes it appear they don't give a care about their loyal customers.

Now I personally could argue that, I'm not playing those games at all, not anymore at least, and I honestly don't care much about multiplayer, so this really isn't a big deal to me, but for others, this is huge.
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post #24 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 10:30 AM
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Now I personally could argue that, I'm not playing those games at all, not anymore at least, and I honestly don't care much about multiplayer, so this really isn't a big deal to me, but for others, this is huge.

Yeah, I don't really care about multiplayer, but what happens a year from now when I try to install Dead Rising 2 and Street Fighter IV onto my new PC using my retail copies? Even my Steam copy of Fallout 3 still using GFWL to launch.
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post #25 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 10:41 AM
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Yeah, I don't really care about multiplayer, but what happens a year from now when I try to install Dead Rising 2 and Street Fighter IV onto my new PC using my retail copies? Even my Steam copy of Fallout 3 still using GFWL to launch.

That's what I mean by saying they need to release a patch to remove the GFWL requirement. But what would be better is patching in Steamworks.


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post #26 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marafice Eye View Post

That's what I mean by saying they need to release a patch to remove the GFWL requirement. But what would be better is patching in Steamworks.

It sounds like the patching would need to be done on a case by case basis for each title, which has me skeptical. Microsoft should release a solution for this as some of the publishers of those games don't even exist anymore.
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post #27 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 11:11 AM
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This is a bungle, no doubt. It's moving me even further away from anything microsoft and gaming. The xbone announcement and now this. I wish all the PC games that have gamepad support would switch up the graphical references to buttons and anything related to the gamepad to sony. I'm turning anti MS quickly.

MS should be responsible for making these games run properly. They should release some little program that will trick your system into believing GFWL is still working.

I keep thinking about Larry Hyrb talking about the new xbone and the servers going offline "you really think we would do that" or something that stupid. Yes I do, you just did it.
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post #28 of 41 Old 09-03-2013, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marafice Eye View Post

Now I personally could argue that, I'm not playing those games at all, not anymore at least, and I honestly don't care much about multiplayer, so this really isn't a big deal to me, but for others, this is huge.

But the psychology of ownership doesn't quite work that way with all people...as you correctly stated. For me personally...if I own it...the disk...license...or both...then I want to play it whenever the urge moves me. That's what happened with Halo2. I have not really played an original Xbox game outside of the Xbox 360 redos since I started gaming on the Xbox 360. But I really loved the way Saber Interactive redux of Halo CEA. So I wanted to see how my favorite Halo of all time (Halo2) held up under real next gen graphics with my PC. Plus I wanted to see how they integrated the achievements into it. To my surprise...the game was beautiful at 720p. And it integrated seamlessly with Waypoint and XBL. I couldn't help but think..."how is MS missing the boat this badly. GFWL should be a key integration with XBL in the Win8 ecosystem". The PC gaming potential world is vastly larger than next generation consoles by nature of their install bases. I still think something good will emerge out of MS on this. But right now they really seem to be reeling.

Like you and Osirus...I really don't like multiplayer. But I do like achievements...new single player DLC campaigns...co-op gaming on Legendary/epic/mashup levels like Halo forges with close friends and family. So I do revisit lots of the Xbox 360 games to tie up loose ends, experience higher difficulties and extend the fun. It just seems to me that the Xbox 360 library is a pot of gold that MS should have farmed out to Steamworks, Ubisoft or Saber Interactive. Because there are many games that I will continue to replay from that generation. Especially on future generation PC platforms. I can't believe they will just walk away from that cheap money. I liked replaying Halo2 so much that I am now going to replay one of my other past generation favorites on PC...Advent Rising. I want to see how it holds up. I'm one of those who thinks maintenance of GFWL & Xbox 360 library in the cloud is a huge link to the past.
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post #29 of 41 Old 10-18-2013, 09:42 PM
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So it appears that there are now new GOTY versions of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City on Steam that got rid of GFWL, and Bioshock 2 had a similar update a few weeks back.

Unfortunately, there's still a bunch of major games that still haven't been patched (and I'd doubt that they will be).

I in fact completely forgot about this list last week... I probably wouldn't have bought Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising Off the Record (even though they were on a pretty big sale) had I remembered that this nonsense was going to be an issue.
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post #30 of 41 Old 10-18-2013, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

So it appears that there are now new GOTY versions of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City on Steam that got rid of GFWL,

Thanks for the heads up, but uggg... game saves are hosed. I was a little over halfway through City on my second playthrough! mad.gif

Oh well, great games that I don't mind starting over again at some point.

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