Halo 2
Games for Windows Live Marketplace Closing Next Week
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The Games for Windows Live service has had a bit of a sordid history. Originally launched in 2007, it was supposed to bring the ease of Xbox Live gaming to the PC. It never quite worked. There was originally an extra fee that developers had to pay simply to feature their game on the service (which was revoked a year later), and a litany of other restrictions for developers, publishers, and gamers alike. The service has largely been shunned by the gaming community, and very few titles have utilized it.

With the release of the Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft has revamped their PC gaming stance and found much more success. It appeared that GFWL had been abandoned, with only two games coming this year, and nothing since the long delayed Ms. Splosion Man in April. Microsoft has now officially announced it will stop selling any GFWL titles through and the GFWL software client. Existing games will be supported by the service (you can still earn Gamerscore from them, in other words), so long as you can find a copy in the wild and the game's publisher decides to support any online component or DLC through in-game purchases.

You have until August 22nd to purchase any content through and the GFWL software client. After that date, none of the digital titles will be available anywhere, and only physical copies already at retailers or on the second hand market will be available for purchase.

For the official Microsoft FAQ about this change, see here. For the official x360a FAQ about the Games for Windows Live serice and a complete list of available GFWL titles, see here.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 132
Comment #1 by cady1992
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:10:12 PM
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windows 8 sucks

Forum Posts: 264
Comment #2 by Stealth David
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:10:50 PM
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No big loss

Forum Posts: 164
Comment #3 by Ohheythere
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:11:59 PM
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Thank you for that contribution #1...this was a decent service that could've done so much more. At least Windows 8 makes games much easier to d/l buy and and find.

Forum Posts: 89
Comment #4 by strawberry
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:13:09 PM
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yeah, windows 8 sucks almost as much as GFWL....

Forum Posts: 346
Comment #5 by bengals84
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:14:12 PM
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@ #1, I agree

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #6 by BrySkye
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:22:44 PM
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Windows 8 is absolutely fine once you download an app like Start8 for less than $5.
It gives you back the Start button and boots you straight to the desktop.

Apart from the Metro interface, which I haven't even seen in months on my Windows 8 machine, it's basically just Windows 7 with some improvements.

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #7 by creaper210
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:29:08 PM
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Doesn't affect me. I buy all my PC games in a physical form, if possible.
I'm gonna try to buy Halo 2 sometime soon for PC, and get some achievements out of it.

It's kind of funny, when you get achievements from a PC title and there are other people who don't know what "PC" means. I get asked this all the time when people see I got "GTA IV PC" on my achievement list.

Forum Posts: 938
Comment #8 by sanger
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:39:38 PM
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What about games I purchased but did not download + install yet? Do I have to download it now and have no option to re-download if for example my hdd crashes or something?

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #9 by dswish96
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:40:11 PM
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NOOOO!!!! I won't be able to download Tinker for my new computer?! I don't think I'll be able to live anymore. JK LOL but still now I won't be able to get extra achievements for these unless any of these games are downloaded to one of my 2 very old and very slow computer!

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #10 by Solo Wing 82
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:52:08 PM
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Im gonna have to figure out how to get Microsoft Flight to work again than. Since I changed my sign in email, the key doesnt work anymore. I guess I will try using a key I get with a different profile and use it on my main account. I actually liked flying around in that game.

Forum Posts: 16465
Comment #11 by The Pants Party [STAFF]
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 08:59:03 PM
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@8: The FAQ I linked says you should be able to download any previously purchased content. :)

Forum Posts: 1171
Comment #12 by luuwat
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:00:57 PM
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Does any have the full list of games and download content that's no available on disc? Achievement games of course

Forum Posts: 94
Comment #13 by dAFKave813
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:15:33 PM
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Looks like I might have to finally give in and purchase Where's Waldo before it is gone forever.

Forum Posts: 489
Comment #14 by Rickmassacre
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:16:25 PM
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@1 @5
i agree with you both
but oh wait we'll get down voted.

Mountain Lion > w8.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #15 by RDWatson16
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:16:47 PM
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at least I can still continue to earn and play on dawn of war 2 so im happy

Forum Posts: 16465
Comment #16 by The Pants Party [STAFF]
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:28:01 PM
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@12: The second FAQ I linked (the one I wrote on our forums) contains every game, with the digital arcade games in their own section.

Forum Posts: 178
Comment #17 by Blue Thunder28
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:30:18 PM
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I had no issues with GFWL, it let me get Xbox achievements and Private Chat with a friend on Xbox and didn't really get in my way at all. Oh well I only had a small handful of games for it anyway. I hope they bring its cross-platform functions to the Games for Windows store on Windows 8.

Forum Posts: 897
Comment #18 by Teh Paralyzer
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:33:17 PM
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@13 waaaay tooooooo late for that

Forum Posts: 94
Comment #19 by dAFKave813
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:33:35 PM
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Bah looks like I have missed my chance to get Where's Waldo as it has been removed from the marketplace, but Blacklight: Tango Down is listed for $0.99 or 80 MSP.

Forum Posts: 79
Comment #20 by Megis Eldurin
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:37:59 PM
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Another shining example of why physical copies will always be better than digital downloads.

Forum Posts: 7857
Comment #21 by StayonTarget
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:38:58 PM
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Any of these arcade games worth picking up besides Blacklight Tango Down? I can get the rest on disc or steam.

Forum Posts: 218
Comment #22 by DragonessAthena
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 09:39:32 PM
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They drop the prices? I remember wanting Batman Arkham Asylum (the regular version to stack more achievements) but they wanted $50 for it.

Forum Posts: 1313
Comment #23 by McDurbin
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 10:07:23 PM
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This should be added to the article, Steam has removed all DLC for GfWL games so better get the dlc now or you might not be able to later. Since the FAQ said you might or might not be able to buy the dlc in game.

Forum Posts: 1313
Comment #24 by McDurbin
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 10:11:42 PM
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I'll wait till the day before and hope they'll mark everything down to $0.99 or free.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #25 by feifun
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 10:23:17 PM
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no one cares, i guess

Forum Posts: 82
Comment #26 by dementedlullaby
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 11:47:10 PM
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RiP G4WL. Unlike the majority of people I did not hate you. At least I have all the content I want because they seriously stripped the marketplace.

Forum Posts: 124
Comment #27 by sho91
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:01:39 AM
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Don't look so surprised this will be xbox360 in a year or so, the ole finger from Microshaft

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #28 by Xero Link
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:33:34 AM
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Windows 8 sucks?

With Windows 7 on my current machine I had a 4 min wait to start up from a cold boot. With Windows 8 that time is reduced to 1.5 min or less.

The system seems to handle my graphics card a lot better with Windows 8 than it did with Windows 7 and a lot of my programs seem to run a lot smoother. My only gripe is having to pay for an app that launches me to right to desktop mode but hell Windows 8.1 a free update due out sometime here soon will do that with a setting change so I really don't see a reason to complain. Besides its just a click away to desktop mode anyways...

Forum Posts: 215
Comment #29 by Restricted-Access
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:43:51 AM
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If there's a game you want from GFWL... go ahead and buy it while you can. If you're planning on upgrading your computer to one that can run a game your current PC can't handle... at least you'll own the license so you can download it when you have a PC that can run it! :-)

BTW... "Halo 2 for Windows PC" (it actually says "For Vista") still has the MP servers online. I thought they were supposed to shutdown in June of this year, but when I logged onto it a few weeks ago... it was still up! If you can find a copy of the game, you can still get the MP achievements for it!!!

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #30 by Zero fox fk
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 01:29:48 AM
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I've always hated it but used it for Achievements

Forum Posts: 19
Comment #31 by SeraphTC
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 03:13:04 AM
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@28 Yeah, it does - for me anyway. I can't replicate your findings. I'm running:

i7 2700K (@stock)
2x 2GB Radeon HD 6950's (Crossfire)
256GB SATA III SSD (Partitiioned in half, Win7 X64 on one, Win7 x64 on the other)
128GB SATA III SSD (Partitioned in half, Win7 Temp and Swap on one, Win8 Temp and Swap on the other)

3x 23" Monitors running at 5960x1080 with Eyefinity

At boot I launch:

2nd Instance of Firefox with alternate profile

In Win8, you also have to add Start8 to that lineup.

Win7 gets me to a usable desktop approximately 50% faster. I couldn't even use the Win8 start screen if I wanted to because it doesn't scale applications properly for superwide resolutions - essentially, unless you limit it to a single screen it's useless.

So in short, on my system, Win8 is slower and far less usable. Ergo, it's not a step forwards, and I'd consider that it really does suck.

Forum Posts: 80
Comment #32 by McMan
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 03:28:27 AM
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I just read that Steam is going to be changing some of their GFWL titles to Steam ones once the closing happens. Arkham Asylum and Bioshock 2 are supposedly going first. Currently, you can play these games on GFWL for the achievements. Does anyone know if they're changing that option to download the GFWL version from Steam? What would happen if you already have the GFWL version installed? I think these are important questions that the news team may want to look into.

Forum Posts: 19
Comment #33 by SeraphTC
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 03:35:28 AM
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@32 - thanks for the heads up. Just in case, I've turned off Auto-Update on my GFWL titles in Steam.

Forum Posts: 2099
Comment #34 by mjc0961
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 03:50:57 AM
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@28: Your computer certainly sucks. I run Windows 7 and I get to its desktop from a cold boot faster than you get to your Windows 8 desktop.

Forum Posts: 1214
Comment #35 by ginge88isfun
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:01:15 AM
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Never used any of it, so its no big loss.

Down vote me for all I care.

Forum Posts: 164
Comment #36 by ScoobyWRX555
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:16:33 AM
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Just dont get the problem of no start button, you still click in the corner anyway. Proves i didnt really use it in previous versions. As i changed pcs its hard to tell but its on a par with win7 and for me goes straight into the desktop.

Forum Posts: 4848
Comment #37 by Evo Kazz
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:18:33 AM
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I kinda liked GFWL never gave me issues, just bought another version of Batman and will knock it out before the 22nd, although from what I have read and understand, achievements aren't affected on retail games or already installed digi content.

Forum Posts: 51
Comment #38 by BinaryRuse
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:19:46 AM
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That's going to be a lot of games that won't be able to be complete if you don't have the DLC. What's going to happen to Age of Empires Online?

Forum Posts: 5525
Comment #39 by master_shake_350
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:23:11 AM
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Well poop, just as I get back into it.

Forum Posts: 433
Comment #40 by Monty111
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:23:27 AM
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There's not even a sale? :(

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #41 by Miikesmama
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:26:45 AM
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@7 - Maybe they thought it meant something like "GTA IV - Politically correct version"? ;-)

OT: Farewell, GFWL, I never once used you!

Forum Posts: 51
Comment #42 by BinaryRuse
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:29:54 AM
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Never mind about AoE I see you can buy all the DLC on steam.

Forum Posts: 1669
Comment #43 by RDrules
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:39:58 AM
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as long as they do keep supporting whats already on it then good riddance, it was a blight on every PC game it touched... now if only EA would give up on origin the world really would be a better place

Forum Posts: 6121
Comment #44 by Crimson Ridley
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 04:54:52 AM
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I can't say that this will be missed. I've had no end of troubles with the service (random disconnects, games not running, not being able to sign in, not recognising my password, having to reinstall multiple times, constant crashing, etc.). It was terrible, and you could see that Microsoft never cared enough to update it. Even as the 360 was updated, and made to look closer to their Metro interface, GFWL stayed the same (though I preferred it to the disgusting green squares their other services have, the point is they didn't update anything).

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #45 by CookiieMoonsta
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 05:23:22 AM
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Wait a second, does that meat that I won't be able to buy USF IV for PC? Or titles like Street Fighter will be on steam(like @32 said)?

Forum Posts: 19
Comment #46 by SeraphTC
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 05:49:02 AM
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It means you won't be able to buy it from the GFWL store. If you find it on another digital store or on retail disc then no problem.

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #47 by Rogue Gamer 23
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 07:09:08 AM
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Out of all this 5 years i only gotten tinker, flight, and age of empire (what they are free). The only place I buy my games is from steam, iwonder what steam is going to do to Microsoft flight and age of empire.

Forum Posts: 896
Comment #48 by Judivarious
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 07:10:57 AM
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Such a shame.. I actually enjoyed the GFWL client, and unlike these other 10,000 people out there who seem to have problem after problem with the thing, I've never really had any issues with it....Sad to see it go. :(

Forum Posts: 35
Comment #49 by crsbrwn2000
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 07:11:12 AM
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Will this affect steam based games too, such as age of empires online?

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #50 by CookiieMoonsta
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 07:42:34 AM
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Thanks for the answer!

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #51 by Jester 343i
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 08:15:51 AM
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So how about a mega sale on GFWL Marketplace?

Forum Posts: 291
Comment #52 by ViNyLek
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 08:21:09 AM
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It was a huge flop like most things MS touches. I never liked though tried to utilize more than once.... Shitty set up and lack of titles was it's demise. Seems like they weren't event rying with it, so good riddance.

Forum Posts: 82
Comment #53 by dementedlullaby
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 09:27:12 AM
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@45 Capcom hasn't been releasing G4WL games for a little bit now. They've switched to Steamworks.

Forum Posts: 360
Comment #54 by AKfoy0face
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 10:07:27 AM
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windows 8 only sucks if your'e a complete imbecile

Forum Posts: 197
Comment #55 by Katarn
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 11:07:46 AM
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Five Things

1. If someone has where is waldo? could i play on the PC with my profile?
2. Second i am having trouble getting game room on my PC. Any help would be appreciated.
3. i like GFWL, granted i didn't realize this is how i could get games. No wonder i couldn't find world of GOO.
4. i i start buying the disc games, is there a way i could get the DLC?
5 Also if i get the Age of empires DLC or bioshock dlc through steam, do i still get achievements from them?

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #56 by Drizzt1987
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 11:42:32 AM
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you can still re-download all purchased stuff, right?

Forum Posts: 80
Comment #57 by McMan
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:37:36 PM
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@45 That depends. Retails copies certainly won't be affected. However, some games are abandoning GFWL with this news. Steam currently offers Bioshock 2 and Arkham Asylum with GFWL, but are changing this in the near future. It depends on the title really. So, if I were you I would download any digital content now to prevent changes to it.

@56 From the GFWL store, yes. You can still access anything in your purchase history.

Forum Posts: 197
Comment #58 by Katarn
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:47:06 PM
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Also if i have the DLC for xbox do i have it on the PC?
Also vice versa. If i bought DLC through GFWL do i get it on the 360?

Forum Posts: 80
Comment #59 by McMan
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:50:31 PM
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1. Do you mean if someone else had the game installed and signed in with your profile? If it was GFWL I would imagine so. I lent my friend my copy of Fallout 3 GOTY for PC and he played it just fine. However, only one person could access it at a time and you had to reenter the software code each time.

2.Well, that's a tad bit vague. I would suggest going to the forums for said game for help with that, but since a multi-platform game shares its forum don't expect solid advice from this site. If the Steam store has the game, I would suggest going to their forum for advice.

4. That's a tricky question. I would assume that the game's in-game option for DLC purchases will be diasbled. Therefore, you'd be better off buying the DLCs now or getting a GOTY edition if available for the game like Fallout 3 or Warhammer.

5. Excellent question. It depends on the game for now. This is what is worrying me. For now Bioshock 2 is available on Steam, but with no DLC. You have to purchase that from the GFWL store. However, Steam is changing some titles to remove GFWL entirely like Bioshock 2 and Arkham Asylum. These new changes will allow them to carry the DLC with Steam achievements, but *no Live/XBOX achievements*.

Forum Posts: 80
Comment #60 by McMan
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:52:51 PM
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No, they're entirely different. Purchases are separated from GFWL titles and XBOX titles. However, some DLCs are cheaper on GFWL currently because of lack of demand like Bioshock 2's DLCs. I would purchase the GFWL versions of DLCs now since the XBOX ones have no immediate danger of being removed.

Forum Posts: 197
Comment #61 by Katarn
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 01:58:52 PM
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@ 59 and 60 Thanks for your help. This information helps me greatly.

The game i can't get is "Game Room". when i go to the link there is no buy option on .

Forum Posts: 41
Comment #62 by Tim 13
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 07:26:07 PM
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32: Your computer opens Steam, Firefox TWICE, and Thunderbird right as soon as the thing starts up? No wonder you're running slow, mother fucker, pull some of those items. Open those one at a time or as you need them, don't make the computer do it all at once and then bitch about how it can't support it...

Forum Posts: 75
Comment #63 by Keirris
Saturday, August 17, 2013 @ 12:22:59 AM
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And may it rest in piece. I still used it to this very day. I'm running windows 8 as well, I found the GFWL client better because I could find all the proper GFWL games instead of scrolling through an unsorted mess of indi games. too bad.

Forum Posts: 40
Comment #64 by PsiScream
Saturday, August 17, 2013 @ 08:21:58 AM
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Also unable to get Game Room due to no buy link. Picked up Flight, Tinker, and AoE for free, and paid $1 for Blacklight: Tango Down. Will keep an eye out for more specials, but otherwise the regular prices are quite high.

Forum Posts: 53
Comment #65 by Assasin13
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 @ 03:09:36 AM
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@20 Why because GFWL sucked? Everyone uses Steam or places like Origin, Green Man Gaming, etc. anyways.

Forum Posts: 181
Comment #66 by Draco719
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 @ 04:32:52 AM
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Are they for real not putting everything on sale? Why the f*ck not? They will never see a red cent from these games ever again....

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #67 by j00na5
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 01:05:56 AM
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They have now closed the marketplace so that's the end of it.

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Game Info
Bungie Studios


US May 31, 2007
Europe June 08, 2007

ESRB: Mature
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