In addition to Microsoft's plans to retire Microsoft Points this week, the company has also announced that it will retire the Games for Windows Live marketplace on the same day, August 22. Microsoft has been working hard to unite their brands as well as focusing on their core businesses, and non-Windows 8 gaming under a non-Xbox brand is, apparently, not one of them.
Of course, this is going to open up many concerns about currently owned games. The good news is, I have that information for you. If you have purchased a game through the marketplace, you will still be able to download and play those games going forward. You will no longer be able to purchase new games from the marketplace, however.
Obviously, many of the games that are currently available through the marketplace are also available through other distribution channels, such as Steam or Amazon. Those games will, of course, continue to be available through those stores. Any games that are Microsoft exclusives will not be available through other distribution channels. If you are interested in any of those titles, you will need to purchase them this week. If any of the games you have purchased that you continue to play after the shutdown have DLC available, it will be the responsibility of the publishers to make that content available, either in-game or through other means.
This is probably a sign of the consolidation of all of the entertainment brands under the Xbox moniker, plus the emphasis of Xbox on Windows 8. The experience through Windows 8 and Xbox is certainly a more integrated and seamless experience, even incorporating those highly sought after casual gamers. With titles ranging from AlphaJax (similar to Words with Friends) to Halo, the range available is much higher than that of Games for windows Live. Hopefully for Microsoft this move will not be a mistake, only strengthening Steam.
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