PC games space will close next year

Microsoft to discontinue Games for Windows Live

Microsoft will shut down Games for Windows Live on the 1st of July, 2014, the company has confirmed.

Last week Microsoft revealed it planned to disable the Games for Windows Live Marketplace in September, which has some wondering why the company would willingly cut its chances of competing with Valve’s rival Steam digital distribution platform.

The company does have a ready replacement in the Windows Store, so it might not be quite the cataclysmic change some have made it out to be.

The news broke when Polygon spotted a support update by Microsoft for Age of Empires online, which will be shut down on the same day as GFWL.

“Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014,” reads the now-edited post.

“Although it is available through Steam, Age of Empires Online requires features of the Games for Windows Live service. You can continue to enjoy all the features of Age of Empires Online as the service will remain 100% operational until July 1, 2014 when the server will shut down.”

While GFWL has never been a roaring success, this comes as something of a surprise after Microsoft picked up Jason Holtman – formerly head of Valve’s Steam – who would be overseeing the company’s digital efforts.

Microsoft tells Gamasutra it isn’t backing out of the PC space, and has long-term plans to support the platform it’s been so influential in shaping.

“We believe in Windows/PC gaming and have long-term plans to grow our support,” reads the statement.

“We expect there to be transitions as we build out new investments, but we remain committed to bringing first party gaming services and games to Windows for years to come. We will share more details in the future.”

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