The winds of change are blowing moderately over in Microsoft land. If you’re an Xboxer on the side of your PC love affair, you may already know that the odd currency known as MS Points are being retired in favour of real money. As part of that Live update, the PC Marketplace is also being retired. They’re preparing to paint the windows with that white stuff and nail up MDF sheets over the doors as we speak. By August 22nd, the PC Marketplace will be gone for good.
Knowing the average PC gamer’s opinion on Games for Windows Live, this news probably affects about half a percent of you, but should you own content from the Marketplace, or play GfWL games, then there’s a few things you should probably know. First up: if you own a GfWL game and have been considering buying a DLC pack for it, buy it now. When the Marketplace shuts down, there will be no other way to purchase that DLC unless the publisher creates one, so it’s worth grabbing it incase no new method of purchase is created. For example, the rather excellent Minerva’s Den DLC for BioShock 2 is only on the PC Marketplace, so if 2K don’t offer a new place to sell it, post-August 22nd it won’t be available anywhere.
If you’re looking for a Games for Windows Live game digitally that’s published by Microsoft, it will only be available on the PC Marketplace, and won’t be available anywhere else post-closure. Buy now, or forever hold your peace.
Don’t worry about any GfWL titles you already own, though. The GfWL client will still be sticking around (do we cheer or boo now?) and any games or DLC you’ve purchased will remain downloadable through the interface. So it’s still safe to uninstall.
If you’d been forced to use MS points for anything on the PC Marketplace, your points will be converted into real money post-closure. You’ll be able to use these to buy stuff on the Xbox Live or Windows Phone stores. If you don’t have access to another Microsoft device, you can contact Microsoft and they’ll help you out.
Is this the a step towards complete dismantlement of Windows support for PC gaming, or part of the plan to re-establishing it as the platform of glory and endless happiness?