games for windows

While it is safe to assume the folks that run SF are big fans of Steam that does not mean the service has zero flaws.  There are little ones here and there (maybe a few larger ones we can get into another day), but in my mind one of the greatest flaws was allowing Games for Windows titles to run on Steam but not behind Steamworks.

Steamworks is the backend used by games that you purchase and play on the Steam platform.  It is the reason you can play most games and have cloud sync; the ability to install Steam on another PC, download your game, an pick up right where you left off.  Steamworks is also the reason for a multitude of other features, some you may not even see and work in the background.  But there is a very tiny percentage of games that you can purchase on Steam, or off Steam as a key, that run on the Games for Windows Live backend.

Microsoft, who owns and runs GFW, has realized that it never took off to compete with the likes of Steam, or even Origin from EA, and has always been rumored to be shutting it down.  We even reported on that earlier this year with a list of current GFW titles that should be getting the conversion to Steamworks.  We can now say with utmost certainty from a very reputable source that Games for Windows Live will officially shutdown in July of 2014.  Consider this good and bad news.  Let’s start with the good.

The good news is with the shutdown of GFW, those titles we reported on earlier are getting the conversion to Steamworks.  That means no more having to login to the title with a GFW live account.  Thank goodness for that alone.  You should also get Steam cloud storage capability as well as other known Steamworks features.  The bad news, many titles are not being converted over to Steamworks by their publishers and developers.  If your Games for Windows live game is not getting the conversion it is highly possible that the game will cease to function once GFW shuts down.  Tough to think about, but ultimately taking that extra layer away from your Steam gaming will help in the end.

An FYI, our source said this will NOT happen any earlier than July of this year, and its always possible the deadline will be extended baring possible issues, but be aware, Games for Windows live will absolutely be shutting down.  Competition is always good, unless the competition is doing nothing to compete.