Post by Dan @ 11:39am 20/08/13 | 2 Comments
Microsoft has since removed the offending text from the support page Age of Empires Online, but not before the Internet made note of a paragraph that suggested that the much maligned Games for Windows Live service is scheduled to be discontinued in July 2014 (thanks Polygon).
Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. 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.The service's enduring unpopularity as an intrusive, and often superfluous, extra layer of DRM in many games makes the move seem like a long time coming, and does make sense with the imminent phasing out of Microsoft Points.
Microsoft's swift removal of the suggestive text might indicate that they're not completely committed to the July 2014 date, so we'll have to wait for more formal confirmation, but it does look like the writing is on the wall.
Outside of Microsoft's own games like Halo 2, Fable 3 and Shadowrun, Games for Windows Live was implemented in a number of major third party PC titles in recent years such as Grand Theft Auto 4, Bulletstorm, Dark Souls, and Resident Evil 5. Should the service stop, it is uncertain if the publishers of these games will make efforts to ensure that they would still be playable.
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