The storied history of Microsoft’s ill-fated attempt at digital distribution will continue on it for the foreseeable future. With one week left until it’s rumored demise, Microsoft has officially declared continued support for Games for Windows Live. Just what type of support, or how much remains to be seen.
Back in August of 2013, Age of Empires Online released an announcement of the planned closure of the Games for Windows Live service on July 1, 2014. After quickly removing the announcement, Microsoft has been tight-lipped about the true fate of service. Despite numerousgamestransitioning off of the service, Microsoft has just went along as if nothing had ever happened. Even Ms. Splosion Man, a game created by Microsoft first-party developer Twisted Pixel, has made the jump over to Valve’s Steamworks platform. When your own developers are abandoning ship, it’s clear there is something going on behind the scenes that is prompting it.
Speaking with GameInformer, Microsoft had the following to say:
We are continuing to support the Games for Windows Live service. As previously announced, as part of the retirement of Microsoft Points the Xbox.com PC marketplace was closed. Although customers are unable to purchase new games from the marketplace or receive title updates, they can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows Live client as usual. We remain committed to investing in PC gaming in the years ahead, and look forward to sharing more in the future.
It appears that with Phil Spencer at the helm, things really are changing at Microsoft’s gaming division. What exactly the team plans on doing to re-invent Games for Windows Live is still a mystery at this point. The important questionÂ is whether or not customers (and developers) are willing to put their trust in a service that Microsoft has clearly almost abandoned for dead in the recent past.