Slight spoiler for my article this week: I comment on the Games for Windows LIVE situation, and I predict that the service won’t be going anywhere any time soon. A few hours after I submitted the column, I saw this news story with a rumor that, contrary to what I wrote, Games for Windows LIVE may indeed close.
At this point I’m not sure if “closing” means they will end multiplayer, or if it means actual, permanent death for a bunch of single-player games. If it’s the latter then Microsoft is insane, for all the reasons I outlined. Anyway, keep in mind that the article was written before this rumor appeared.
It’s actually a scary thing to me. I own both Batman games, FUEL, all three Fable games, Fallout 3, and GTA IV. I know Batman and FUEL need GFWL to save the game. I dunno about the rest.
While the closing of GFWL would vindicate everything I’ve ever said about online activation – going all the way back to my first tirades on BioShock when the blog was young – this is not an area where I wanted to be proven right. I’d rather have people call me paranoid and keep our games than be smug while significant titles vanish into BitTorrent.
Trying to look at this rumor in the best possible light:
Maybe they will patch out GFWL before taking it down.
Maybe they will actually be handing off these titles to a new platform they’re launching.
Maybe the “closing” only refers to multiplayer stuff and the authentication crap will continue to “work”.
Maybe the rumor is just a rumor.
Again, they hired a guy and seem to be investing in the PC space. It would be nuts for them to burn this bridge right now.
Could Have Been Great
Here are four games that could have been much better with just a little more work.
Starcraft 2: Rush Analysis
I write a program to simulate different strategies in Starcraft 2, to see how they compare.
Trashing the Heap
What does it mean when a program crashes, and why does it happen?
DM of the Rings
Both a celebration and an evisceration of tabletop roleplaying games, by twisting the Lord of the Rings films into a D&D game.
The Best of 2013
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2013.