Microsoft will be discontinuing the ability to buy PC games from the Games for Windows Marketplace at Xbox.com as of August 22nd, in a move that is understood to be a result of the changeover from Microsoft Points virtual currency to real dollars, and the service's waning popularity.
According to comments reported by Eurogamer, it is only the sale of games that will be ceasing, while the Games for Windows LIVE service will continue to function for previously purchased games. Some 165 PC games had been listed on the service
and customers with outstanding Microsoft Point balances have been instructed to spend them before the deadline if PC games are all they are interested in (via Eurogamer
"We encourage you to spend your Microsoft Points balance prior to this change," said Microsoft on the Games for Windows Live Facebook Page. "Although you will not be able to purchase new games, you can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows Live client software as usual."
This somewhat cryptic status update led many to believe that Microsoft would be shutting down its Games for Windows Live service, but this is not the case. When pressed for comment, Microsoft told us that it "continues to support the Games for Windows Live platform."
"Although purchase functionality will be discontinued through this marketplace, the Games for Windows Live service will continue to operate as usual." Thus, it's just purchases through the website that are being shuttered. Not the service itself.
Microsoft also digitally retails an assortment of, mostly casual, games through the Windows 8 store under the "Xbox Games" label, and there has been no word of that changing, so perhaps this move is the first step in a new PC games strategy for the Xbox platform holder.