Games for Windows FAIL

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fix-the-spade:
You're forgetting Shamus, Microsoft told Valve that Steam wouldn't be possible for another ten years in 2003. We still have three years to wait before GFWL might be as good as Steam was at launch...

...dear God in Heaven...

A bit optimistic with the time scale there lol.

GFWL really is attrousious it put me totally of DoW 2 due to its stupidly long join times to get into an Multiplayer game Vs or Co-Op it was still a drudge to get into a game they probly fixed it ages ago but i cant be bothered with GFWL.

buy teh haloz:

SL33TBL1ND:
For the love of Cthulhu, email this to them! They might actually listen to you.

Are you shitting me? This is Microsoft we're talking here. Their customer service is so horrible they make Dell look like Gods.

I was being optimistic for a change.

LoganN:

SextusMaximus:
Haha! I have games for Windows cause of my copy of Halo 2 PC. I bought Empire TW on Steam... and randomly GFWL locked me out of my STEAM GAME because it was compatible with Empire and I hadn't entered a Key Code.

Luckily enough, the Steam interface allowed me to bypass that stupidity straight away! Thank you Valve :D

Damn shame it didn't allow you to bypass your own stupidity. Empire Total War doesn't use Games for Windows LIVE. At all. In fact, none of the Empire games do. So uh, gg?

Grow up. Dare call me stupid? I merely assumed it was compatible with GFWL because it LOCKED ME OUT OF THE GAME, REQUESTING A KEY. The point still remains.

Next time, tell me something without hurting your own respect here.

Now you too can experience 2 days of Hell for only 10.

yup, went for the 10 cent sale for this game too. i had all the same problems, minus a few steps. but still, this thing is fail on its own, but has anyone looked at their game library? its beyond weak, its almost non existent.

pass.

and of course, microsoft does another complete copy of someone elses idea and implements its horribly. I cannot think of ONE original idea to come from microsoft.

The Rogue Wolf:
See, if the sale had been on Steam, I would've been like, "Whoa, ten cents?! Gimme gimme NAU!" and slammed the purchase button like it was a witness against the Mob and I was an enforcer, and probably ten minutes later (relatively slow download speed here) I'd have been up to my eyeballs in Age of Empires. But when I saw "Games for Windows Live", I just sort of shook my head, said "Not worth ten cents for the hassle" and went on with my life.

GfWL is a pile of failham on failbread on top of a failplate with... a side of... failjuice... yeah, I'm running out of steam (see what I did there?) with this metaphor, but anyway. It is a shining example of how Microsoft is absolutely, utterly unable to GET OUT OF ITS OWN WAY. It is so mired in legacy systems and design incoherency that it cannot do the simplest things right (like, as someone said above, install the correct version of Microsoft .NET to ensure that the program works). Why should I wrestle with that when there are several cleaner, more dependable and more user-friendly platforms out there?

By the time GfWL gets to where Steam is now, Steam will have advanced to a wireless neural interface with optical overlay that lets you mind-chat with every form of life in the universe.

This, if only because it had me laughing a lot.

I see a lot of people trashing steam but then quite happily using GFWL. Apparently because Steam wants you to be on the internet to get your game working. This is a price I am very happy to pay for convenience. At least it does what it says it's going to do: "Here's our brothel" they say "you can pick out any one of the hookers here (or more, if they take your fancy), they're cheap, they work well, you can tell them how to suit your tastes and the brothel is within walking distance of your house. Although, you'll have to let us watch every time you shag one or more of them, and if you want to have sex with one but can't find us then we're afraid it's no sale." Then one day you get a mild STD from one of them, but the owner apoligises, refunds you then offers you another session with a different one, free of charge, so you stick with this place even though the lecherous perving creeps you out sometimes but he's behind a two-way mirror so you can ignore him, and it's kind of annoying when he goes on holiday and you can't get what you already payed for but at least you know he'll come back eventually and treat you fairly about it all, polite and upstanding fellow as he is (besides that whole perving thing).

GFWL is like a Brothel you walk into and it's all dimly lit and crap and falling apart, and then you go to the owner but he looks like he's got some horrible disease and sounds like he's got the contents of an ashtray down his throat, and he keeps leering at you like he wants to molest you but you just ask him about some of the hookers you can have, and he points you towards a room but they're all standing behind curtains so you have to kind of guess, and then the owner charges you and you head to a room but sometimes she shows up and starts dancing but you're like "uh no, sex please" and she's like "talk to the owner", so you do, and he claims you never paid for anything and eyes you up again, but you insist you did and point out the money you gave him, and he tells you it wasn't enough, so you give him more but now when you go back to the room there's nothing, and then the owner appears from under the bed and tells you that the woman isn't available, so you leave as he's trying to feel you up and come back next week and get to finally have the sex you paid for only now there's these strange eastern European gangsters ambushing you as you try to leave so that they can steal your money and all you wanted was a reasonable service but now these big burly blokes are punching you and oh god why won't it stop...

SextusMaximus:

LoganN:

SextusMaximus:
Haha! I have games for Windows cause of my copy of Halo 2 PC. I bought Empire TW on Steam... and randomly GFWL locked me out of my STEAM GAME because it was compatible with Empire and I hadn't entered a Key Code.

Luckily enough, the Steam interface allowed me to bypass that stupidity straight away! Thank you Valve :D

Damn shame it didn't allow you to bypass your own stupidity. Empire Total War doesn't use Games for Windows LIVE. At all. In fact, none of the Empire games do. So uh, gg?

Grow up. Dare call me stupid? I merely assumed it was compatible with GFWL because it LOCKED ME OUT OF THE GAME, REQUESTING A KEY. The point still remains.

Next time, tell me something without hurting your own respect here.

I'm telling you you are wrong. Empire: Total War does not use Games for Windows - LIVE, in any way. It isn't even installed with it. It is a Games for Windows game, but not LIVE enabled. In fact, it is a Steamworks title. Games for Windows - LIVE doesn't run with it at all. If anything was locking you out, it was your precious Valve.

Here's my GFWL story. I bought Fallout 3 from a meat store, and then the first few pieces of DLC from GFWL. Not long after that, I had to move, and my internet service wasn't available at my new address, so I had to change my e-mail address as well. I try to login and change my e-mail address with them; they send me back stuff saying they sent my changes to my old e-mail address. Finally I got on the phone with them. They don't change the first e-mail address you give them. That's right, folks: there was no way for me to play DLC I had paid for. They had absolutely no contingency for someone who lost their e-mail address. I demanded my money back. They refused.

I will never deal with them again. Not until they refund me for the DLC they stole from me.

Void(null):
Lets not forget GDWL only allows you to install any game a maximum of 15 times, and every-time you add the same CD key to the exact same GFWL account it counts as an install.

Reinstall Windows? Need to re-add all your CD Keys. Uninstall the game and reinstall it? Need to add it to GFWL yet again even though its the same PC and yep... that counts as another install with no way to revoke licenses.

You uninstall your games while connected to the internet, GFWL and Windows takes care of the deactivation.

LoganN:

SextusMaximus:

LoganN:

Damn shame it didn't allow you to bypass your own stupidity. Empire Total War doesn't use Games for Windows LIVE. At all. In fact, none of the Empire games do. So uh, gg?

Grow up. Dare call me stupid? I merely assumed it was compatible with GFWL because it LOCKED ME OUT OF THE GAME, REQUESTING A KEY. The point still remains.

Next time, tell me something without hurting your own respect here.

I'm telling you you are wrong. Empire: Total War does not use Games for Windows - LIVE, in any way. It isn't even installed with it. It is a Games for Windows game, but not LIVE enabled. In fact, it is a Steamworks title. Games for Windows - LIVE doesn't run with it at all. If anything was locking you out, it was your precious Valve.

Stop with this ridiculous arrogance. The GFWL logo flashed on my Steam, it blacked me out and said that GFWL hadn't received my Key. Steam allowed me to bypass that problem. Also, if it wasn't Empire Total War, it would've been another Steam game which utilises GFWL. I'm not the only one who has problems with the service, so don't claim I'm "bullshitting". Just because you haven't experienced the problem (which is probably a result in your lack of faith of Steam) doesn't mean I couldn't have done.

This is the first time I've been compelled on the Escapist to tell someone to go and fuck themselves, so stop using bullshit phrases like "your previous Valve" and put forward your facts in a clear and non biased way.

Well Shamus, I always read your articles because they contain a lot of constructive critique, and touch base on a lot of points that need to be tended to, but this time it only seems as a whining rant.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Games for Windows FAIL

Wherein Shamus tries to use Games for Windows and finds that he cannot.

Read Full Article

GFWL is fucking terrible, to this day I still can't get the local client to connect to the internet properly on my comp. No settings to tinker with, NOTHING. Just a message saying "You might not be connected to the internet". I AM connected to the internet you stupid sack of shit.

Anyway you hit the nail on the fucking head with this article.

Am I the only one who hasn't had trouble? I;ve bought five games off the thing, and never had a worry with it. I kinda hope it can give Steam a run for its money, but as a client, it's early days yet.

You have to give Microsoft credit. They can fail hard if you give them the right resources to make something halfway decent.

SextusMaximus:

LoganN:

SextusMaximus:

Grow up. Dare call me stupid? I merely assumed it was compatible with GFWL because it LOCKED ME OUT OF THE GAME, REQUESTING A KEY. The point still remains.

Next time, tell me something without hurting your own respect here.

I'm telling you you are wrong. Empire: Total War does not use Games for Windows - LIVE, in any way. It isn't even installed with it. It is a Games for Windows game, but not LIVE enabled. In fact, it is a Steamworks title. Games for Windows - LIVE doesn't run with it at all. If anything was locking you out, it was your precious Valve.

Stop with this ridiculous arrogance. The GFWL logo flashed on my Steam, it blacked me out and said that GFWL hadn't received my Key. Steam allowed me to bypass that problem. Also, if it wasn't Empire Total War, it would've been another Steam game which utilises GFWL. I'm not the only one who has problems with the service, so don't claim I'm "bullshitting". Just because you haven't experienced the problem (which is probably a result in your lack of faith of Steam) doesn't mean I couldn't have done.

This is the first time I've been compelled on the Escapist to tell someone to go and fuck themselves, so stop using bullshit phrases like "your previous Valve" and put forward your facts in a clear and non biased way.

I've put facts forward. Empires isn't a GFWL game. It has no intigration at all. Now you say it could be another game, okay. Except GFWL only works in-game. The 'logo' doesn't 'flash' and kick you out of a game for not having a key. If you don't enter a key you just don't sign in. It doesn't prevent you from playing at all, you just can't save until you sign in OR make an offline profile.

So you, you are bullshitting.

Yosharian:

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Games for Windows FAIL

Wherein Shamus tries to use Games for Windows and finds that he cannot.

Read Full Article

GFWL is fucking terrible, to this day I still can't get the local client to connect to the internet properly on my comp. No settings to tinker with, NOTHING. Just a message saying "You might not be connected to the internet". I AM connected to the internet you stupid sack of shit.

Anyway you hit the nail on the fucking head with this article.

Sounds like a port forwarding problem. I bet you've heard that before, right?

LoganN:

SextusMaximus:

LoganN:

I'm telling you you are wrong. Empire: Total War does not use Games for Windows - LIVE, in any way. It isn't even installed with it. It is a Games for Windows game, but not LIVE enabled. In fact, it is a Steamworks title. Games for Windows - LIVE doesn't run with it at all. If anything was locking you out, it was your precious Valve.

Stop with this ridiculous arrogance. The GFWL logo flashed on my Steam, it blacked me out and said that GFWL hadn't received my Key. Steam allowed me to bypass that problem. Also, if it wasn't Empire Total War, it would've been another Steam game which utilises GFWL. I'm not the only one who has problems with the service, so don't claim I'm "bullshitting". Just because you haven't experienced the problem (which is probably a result in your lack of faith of Steam) doesn't mean I couldn't have done.

This is the first time I've been compelled on the Escapist to tell someone to go and fuck themselves, so stop using bullshit phrases like "your previous Valve" and put forward your facts in a clear and non biased way.

I've put facts forward. Empires isn't a GFWL game. It has no intigration at all. Now you say it could be another game, okay. Except GFWL only works in-game. The 'logo' doesn't 'flash' and kick you out of a game for not having a key. If you don't enter a key you just don't sign in. It doesn't prevent you from playing at all, you just can't save until you sign in OR make an offline profile.

So you, you are bullshitting.

I said to put your facts forward in an unbiased way. Read what I said, GFWL flashed a logo at the top of the screen in game (which read out my login name and said the number of friends I had online), the screen went dark (I could faintly see the title screen) and it didn't kick me out, just locked me from interacting with the game, requesting a key. I didn't sign in, it signed me in.

Fix your attitude, sir.

Games for windows live is so shitty.

This is why you use linux

I had absolutely no problem with buying/downloading AOE3. I can honestly say I've never had trouble with a GFWL game.

I have more trouble with Steam client games than I do with GFWL, but to be fair, I have more Steam games.

Wow, I didn't have quite as much trouble, but I still had to do the TOS with xbox, go back, readd, recheckout, and after all that and trying to install it twice I didn't have a key and had to wait a few days for it... I hate GFWL so much...

SlainPwner666:
I'd rather there not be any DRM at all.

Steam's fine and dandy and all that, but in the end, it's still yet another program that you have to install and sign into just to play your games.

For example, got a new computer, and decided to install a few games on it to see how it ran. Oh, Left 4 Dead sounds good!

Oh wait, I gotta download steam first. That's fine, it's like 50 MBs, right? Download that, sign into my Steam account.

What?

I have to download the goddamn game off of Steam's servers? On a dial up internet connection? You're fucking joking, right? What's the disc for?

Steam's got plenty of good deals, and it's not very invasive at all, but we're getting farther and farther from "Pop and Play" gaming, something I'd really love to see make it's way to PC gaming. And the bigger hassle a game is to play, the less chance I'll have of reinstalling it in the future, especially when gaming is supposed to be an "Escape" in the first place.

You're actually downloading the years worth of updates for L4D, they don't update the disc as far as I can tell.

Should I be shocked by this? Because I'm not..

I saw the AOE3 for a dime thread. I logged in and then GFWL tried to charge me 27 quid.

Dawn of War was once on my list of games to get through one way or another (for about 5 minutes), but i read the back, saw the words "Games for Windows Live" and realized that any redeeming qualities of a game that I was expecting would be a disappointment or worth a single playthrough didnt exist.

games for windows live is not just a piece of crap, its a giant light consuming cancer on the face of all things glorious about PC gaming. there is nothing good in it, from the fact it lets the inferior consolfags play with the PC gaming Overrace, to the terrible distribution, to the failure of its matchmaking. now my issues with steam are more personal issues related to the fact i have never successfully played a game on steam

I purchased the same deal and the only problem I had was trying to remember my password for my windows live id. Maybe I was just lucky but it downloaded in an hour (few gigabytes) and runs perfectly. Just saying all cases are not like yours.

I am so happy I refused this "offer" when I saw that I could only pay .10$ by either credit card or by buying an 800MS points card from a retail store. Nah, really not worth the hassle, let alone the obvious aftermath that I seemingly evaded.

My sincerest sympathy to all who fell for what Microsoft propagates as "charity".

The worst part is that some companies get the bright idea that using Steam and GFWL at the same idea is "great DRM". (See: Dead Rising 2, Dawn of War 2.) So you need to be logged in with two accounts at the same time - one of which is perfectly functional, the other of which is... yyyeeeahhhh.

Even though. I know we all expect a certain degree of polish from programs like this, but it's hard to read this like anything other than "Shamus has computer issues!" I can count on one finger how many programs that haven't needed serious tinkering to get working optimally, from Word to Steam to iTunes to Chrome. Maybe because it has "Microsoft" and "Windows" in the title we expect different - and even then, in what universe does that makes any sense?

WaaghPowa:
I haven't had any serious issues with GFWL yet, but the games I have that require it I got from steam. I was seriously thinking of getting Gears of War for pc, should I, or avoid it now that I've read this? :P

I myself haven't received major issues from GFWL titles that you buy in-store, like Fallout 3 and Halo 2, but if I remember correctly, without update, Gears of War had a pretty crippling bug that made sure you couldn't play it if your computer's date was set past 2008. This article, however, was about the GFLW store and backend.

cocoro67:

SlainPwner666:
I'd rather there not be any DRM at all.

Steam's fine and dandy and all that, but in the end, it's still yet another program that you have to install and sign into just to play your games.

For example, got a new computer, and decided to install a few games on it to see how it ran. Oh, Left 4 Dead sounds good!

Oh wait, I gotta download steam first. That's fine, it's like 50 MBs, right? Download that, sign into my Steam account.

What?

I have to download the goddamn game off of Steam's servers? On a dial up internet connection? You're fucking joking, right? What's the disc for?

Steam's got plenty of good deals, and it's not very invasive at all, but we're getting farther and farther from "Pop and Play" gaming, something I'd really love to see make it's way to PC gaming. And the bigger hassle a game is to play, the less chance I'll have of reinstalling it in the future, especially when gaming is supposed to be an "Escape" in the first place.

You're actually downloading the years worth of updates for L4D, they don't update the disc as far as I can tell.

6 gigabytes of updates sure is quite a lot, but I'm not very tech savvy so I'll buy it. But what if I don't want to download the updates? What if I just want to play the game? Is that illegal or something? I'd rather just be able to stick the disc in my drive, install it, and play it.

My 2 cents.

I didn't have this much trouble, though I did have to accept the terms of conditions on two different accounts (one of which being my brother's).

yeah, GFW is an epic pile of shit. There really is no excusing it. Like why can't you manage your games/profile from the GFW program itself? You can only do that from IN GAME. The standalone program does absolutely nothing except have links that take you to the GFW store in your browser. What in the hell is the point of that? Why is the program even there?

I'm glad to see more and more games abandoning GFW for Steam. While Steam isn't perfect, at least it works and has a good community and doesn't treat PC users like bastardized XBLA users.

GFWL denied me the possibility of getting the DLCs for Fallout 3 and insisted on being a bitch and ruining my Red Faction experience. That said I will never ever ever use it.

As others have mentioned the CD key thing happens from time to time on Steam too, I only recently discovered that fact. I own a few GFWL games, I own a few Steam games (All through retail). If you create a local profile and choose to forgo the online services you can fire up your games no hassle AT ALL, in this regard "Games for Windows Fail" > Steam. That's all I'm saying. Personally, I'm not a fan of either. I'm really, really not.
By the way I can't wait for the huge writeup bashing Steam
OHNOWAI....
I usually like your content Shamus, but bludgeoning one service to death while ignoring the rest is rather distasteful.
EDIT
Now I realise I may just come across as having a vendetta against Steam, you know what, I kinda do.
But what I'm trying to get at is this:
I understand you had a fucking TERRIBLE experience and this article was probably a heat of the moment thing. I'd have preferred if you'd slowed down and done a writeup on the shortcomings of the still young Digital Distribution business, and included all platforms (or more realistically all the current big players). Your spiel would have fit in just fine under the same heading but within a larger commentary and you would be very much justified in ranking this particular service bottom of the table based on your experiences.
I'll leave you with these parting words:
Big picture my friend, big picture.

Microsoft just plain straight out fails at lots of things, with the exception of microsoft office or thier operating system. Windows sucks so bad they had to sue htc and motorola in order to force them to make the next crappy windows phone. i went from widows mobile to android(which is newer to the mobile world than wm and nailed it when wm failed it). i also hate GFWL. It is far inferier to Steam, and in my opinion is made to be crappy to force others to resort to thier piece of crap rigged red ring of death crapbox 360. microsoft is a ripoff company nothing more and nothing less. After having to deal with gfwl with Batman AA, i realized its more trouble to play a game that uses gfwl.

You know, if the title of this thread didn't read Games for Windows FAIL and just Games for Windows, I would still have been able to predict the contents.

Games for Windows,
keyword: Windows

Windows in and of itself generally represents failure, problems and misery except when it does get some things right, a lot of the time the things its getting right is making things difficult for the user.

Part of me wants to ask "What part of this whole proceeding surprises you?" the rest just feels sorry for you.

Had pretty much the same experience, up to the point of installing the game, which I'm holding for when I have some space on the harddrive. Horrible horrible system..

Here's how my purchase of AoEIII went:

Load up GFWL, accept new ToS blah blah.

Click the offer.

Purchase, accept.

Download.

Play game.

Also, your point about GFWL running after closing down? Steam does that too.

That said, GFWL is abominable. It's so clunky and restricted, and the majority of content is overpriced as fuck. I hate having to use it, and I'm thankful when games don't have to use it.

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