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Wardell on GFWL: "They Take Over, I'm Done"

The Stardock Interview Part 2 on Shacknews continues their conversation with Stardock boss Brad Wardell. Topics include the dumbing down of strategy games, how publishers lie about sales numbers, competing with digital retailers, and Microsoft's lack of leadership on the PC as a gaming platform. On the heels of an article on Joystiq about opening Games for Windows to indie developers, Brad offers a revelatory quote about the nightmare of working with the Games for Windows LIVE platform:

I don't know. I started out as a big Games for Windows Live advocate. I intended for Elemental to be on Games for Windows Live, but then as we got closer, the Xbox group took it over more and more. And they have things where, oh, if you want to use Games for Windows Live to update your game, you have to go through [their] certification. And if you do it more than X number of times, you have to pay money. It's like, "My friends, you can't do that on the PC."

On the console, I don't have to update my game because an anti-virus program got an update and is now identifying my VB scripts as viruses and I have to apply an emergency patch. That would just add insult to injury. We've had to upgrade our games plenty of times over the years, not because we found some bug, but because some third-party program, or driver, or whatever screwed it up. If Games for Windows Live maintains that strategy and they take over, I'm done. I'm not making PC games. I would be done.

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68. Re: Wardell on GFWL: Oct 2, 2009, 02:54 Jerykk
Why would Microsoft stick with something that's hurting them if they didn't mean for it to be good?

Good for consumers or good for them? GFW and GFWL are good for MS for many reasons.

1) It gives developers an excuse to only support the 360 gamepad. It also greatly increases the chance of them featuring it in the manual. If a game is GFW-branded and has support for gamepads, it HAS to support the 360 pad.
2) Funneling DLC through GFWL means consumers have to buy Microsoft Points, which gives MS more control over transactions.
3) Gamer Tags are cross-platform and achievements earned from GFWL games add to your Xbox Gamer Score. This gives Achievement Whores a reason to buy PC games with GFWL branding so they can boost their Gamer Score.

In essence, GFWL does more to promote the Xbox than it does to promote PC gaming.
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