“We are committed to the safety of all insects,” says Microsoft’s mouth, while its left arm rhythmically smashes beetles with a rock. Just a week before a Games for Windows Live shutdown date that the company themselves inadvertently announced, as developers scramble to replace the online components of their games, Microsoft have pledged their ongoing support for the service.
“We are continuing to support the Games for Windows Live service,” the company told Game Informer.
“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.”
It’s a baffling message of support for a service that has been turning off the lights for the best part of a year now. Microsoft first confirmed in a post on the Age of Empires Online support page that Games for Windows Live would be discontinued on July 1, 2014. The announcement was removed hours afterwards, but the behaviour of the company and their partners since has suggested imminent closure.
The Games for Windows Live PC marketplace is long gone, and with no explanation forthcoming from Microsoft, developers have moved to replace GFWL in their games with Steamworks or other alternatives.
No explanation until now, that is. Microsoft’s new statement seems designed to quell panic that unpatched online games will become unplayable from next week. But given that Microsoft studio Twisted Pixel are the latest to switch support from GFWL to Steam in Ms. Splosion Man, it’s unreassuring to say the least.
“We remain committed to investing in PC gaming in the years ahead, and look forward to sharing more in the future,” finished Microsoft. Actions not words, yeah?