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Games for Windows Boss Axed

VentureBeat notes that one of last week's layoff's at Microsoft was Chris Early, who had headed up the Games for Windows program. Early has not been reached yet for comment, but his email now returns a bounce message saying his time at Microsoft "has come to a close." Games for Windows launched almost two years ago, but it hasn't quite taken the gaming world by storm, and with belts tightening at Microsoft, author of the VentureBeat article Dean Takahashi questions how long they will be willing to continue investing heavily in this program. Thanks Spong.

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61 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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61. Re: GFW Boss Axed Jan 28, 2009, 13:10 theyarecomingforyou
 
Yeah, I don't get how the standalone GfWL client doesn't give you any friends options, like accepting requests / chatting. Crazy. And the idea that Microsoft wanted to charge for it is absurd given how much people despise it even when it's free. They should just retire it now and move on.

Heck, MS couldn't even KEEP a Windows storefront in any way, shape or form.
Exactly. How a company like Valve can manage to create a huge successful online store when Microsoft can't is just bewildering. They're even closing down their digital locker service because nobody used it. It really does make you wonder how Microsoft is even still going - I'm surprised they haven't run Windows into the ground yet (arguably they tried with Vista).
 
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60. Re: GFW Boss Axed Jan 27, 2009, 17:54 VoodooV
 
So to sum up this thread:

We all agree that GfW is a joke, but despite this apparent consensus, we're all still inferior to the wisdom of Derek Smart.


That's what I'm getting out of this thread anyway, correct me if I'm wrong, we all seem to be on the same page, yet somehow, Derek still knows...better
 
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59. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 27, 2009, 07:26  dsmart 
 
@ Scott

The whole GfWL effort seemed little more than lip-service to PC gaming from the start, and they never really had a clue what to do. A small sample:

IIRC, GfWL was originally announced to have no voice ability for Silver accounts, but they back-pedalled that right before release.

They tried to use GfWL to sell copies of Vista initially (it originally required Vista for no technical reason), but they changed their mind on that and enabled it for XP after some backlash (though most didn't care enough).

They pushed console vs PC play hard as a big thing which tanked, as most people knew would happen.

They alienated many game developers by having heavy restrictions on what features developers could add to their games (not permitted to compete with current nor future GfWL Gold features). Difficult questions were met with vague responses.

They changed their mind about the fees, and in a desperate measure, made Gold subscriptions free.

After claiming they understood the importance of having a standalone desktop GfWL client, a year and a half later, they finally release a half-baked client that is little more than a download portal (no friends list, no messaging of any form).

Did I miss any?

Nope, you didn't miss anything. That pretty much sums it up nicely.

I think some of you forget that they switched the PC side to free.

Free != Better

atm, the only reason it is even used is because some popular games (e.f. Fallout3) use it. If it wasn't for the fact that large (the ONLY ones using it) publishers are somehow required to use if if they want to jump on the [non-existent] Gamers For Windows brand marketing, NOBODY would bother with GfW or GfW Live. Period.

MS made too many missteps and by the time they realized they were doing a completely rubbish job of it, Steam had already steamrolled (lol, I keeel me!) through and became the somewhat de facto standard for ESD.

Heck, MS couldn't even KEEP a Windows storefront in any way, shape or form. Look no further than their failed ESD storefront over at windowsmarketplace.com which they - again - relaunched in 08/06.

This comment was edited on Jan 27, 2009, 07:27.
 
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Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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58. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 27, 2009, 05:15 Kxmode
 
DON'T CARE!!! IF YOU KNEW HOW TO READ AND WEREN'T AN ASSHAT, YOU'D REALIZE THAT I WAS MERELY POINTING OUT HOW I MADE A PREDICTION!!! RUBBISH!! NONSENSE!!! UTTER BOLLOCKS, I SAY!!!!1!

Yeah, see, you're at a 10. I need you to be at a 5. Think you could do that for me? Greeeeeeaaaaaaaatttttt.
 
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57. Re: GFW Boss Axed Jan 27, 2009, 03:18 Scott Kevill
 
The whole GfWL effort seemed little more than lip-service to PC gaming from the start, and they never really had a clue what to do. A small sample:

IIRC, GfWL was originally announced to have no voice ability for Silver accounts, but they back-pedalled that right before release.

They tried to use GfWL to sell copies of Vista initially (it originally required Vista for no technical reason), but they changed their mind on that and enabled it for XP after some backlash (though most didn't care enough).

They pushed console vs PC play hard as a big thing which tanked, as most people knew would happen.

They alienated many game developers by having heavy restrictions on what features developers could add to their games (not permitted to compete with current nor future GfWL Gold features). Difficult questions were met with vague responses.

They changed their mind about the fees, and in a desperate measure, made Gold subscriptions free.

After claiming they understood the importance of having a standalone desktop GfWL client, a year and a half later, they finally release a half-baked client that is little more than a download portal (no friends list, no messaging of any form).

Did I miss any?
 
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56. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 27, 2009, 00:56 Prez
 
Again, don't confuse GfW and GfW Live. Live is a service, admittedly of somewhat dubious worth. Games for Windows was an initiative that was supposed to coincide with PC Gamers' wholehearted embracing of Vista and DirectX 10 and set standards for game releases that were supposed to make PC Gaming more "accessible" and viable. Vista was an utter flop with gamers and GfW was a non-starter.  
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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55. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 23:31 Jerykk
 
Here's the thing: If you had ANY reading and comprehension skills, you will CLEARLY see that I was laying claim to MY predicition HERE on Blues - where I frequent the most. I don't give a rat's ass about anyone else's prediction elsewhere or what the frigging price of rice is in China. So, it makes no frigging difference. For me to think that I was the only one who could foresee GfW's failure, is like saying that my local weather man is the only one who could tell me its going to rain tomorrow.

What's the point in stating the obvious..? Hey, look, the sun is going to rise tomorrow! What? Everybody else knows that too?! I DON'T CARE!!! IF YOU KNEW HOW TO READ AND WEREN'T AN ASSHAT, YOU'D REALIZE THAT I WAS MERELY POINTING OUT HOW I MADE A PREDICTION!!! RUBBISH!! NONSENSE!!! UTTER BOLLOCKS, I SAY!!!!1!
 
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54. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 22:08 Beamer
 
I think some of you forget that they switched the PC side to free.



It's overall a good idea. And something that can be made to work very easily. Problem is they took too much from the console side without paying attention to the PC side. Valve, for some reason, seems to have made some similar mistakes with L4D (that they quickly realized were bad decisions.)

You can do this. You can do this easily. You can do this well. You can make this very useful. Just remember that many PC gamers got introduced to internet gaming via QuakeSpy and remember what made that functionality useful.

Ug. This was a division of MSFT I explicitly mentioned in my interview.
 
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53. Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 21:47 Kxmode
 
And Microsoft didn't even use the Konami Code.  
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52. Re: GFW Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 19:56 Free Mumra
 
Microsoft is not going to give up until they can charge people for patches and defile independant developers on the PC like they do on the Xbox 360. This is far from the end of GfW.  
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51. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 19:47 Kxmode
 
"Doctor" Derek Smart had this to say: "You assholes need to stop insulting people YOU DON'T KNOW!!!"

If it pleases the court, we'd like to refer the good "Doctor" to the following information:

[url=]http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/irony[/url]

Win! Clap
 
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50. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 19:43 the_culture
 
For me to think that I was the only one who could foresee GfW's failure, is like saying that my local weather man is the only one who could tell me its going to rain tomorrow.

It wasn't you laying claim as the only one who predicted this right; it was the fact that you had to draw attention to yourself because of it.

You got it right... big deal, bro. Rolleyes
 
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49. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 19:39 Kxmode
 
One of them I think is that they picked some xbox execs and put them to the task of making a PC gaming service. Only they really had no f'ing clue what PC gamers want, what we expect, and what we already have.

Which is why their next task will involve alienating us and ultimately destroying PC gaming all together in the hopes we'll begrudgingly buy a 360. To that I say Embrace Solitude...
http://www.imeem.com/jazon-pearl/music/3XmI-uSA/jcb_embracing_solitude/

This comment was edited on Jan 26, 2009, 19:39.
 
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48. Re: GFW Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 18:59 Phu5ion
 
Now all they have to do is axe the entire GfW division.  
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47. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 18:46  dsmart 
 
Honestly, despite their GFW initiative, I think they are working to end PC gaming as we know it.

Yes in fact IMO they are. I've said this too here on Blues time and time again. They have given up on the fact that they simply cannot bamboozool gamers into paying them for the right to play games. So now, they're just going to focus on the console side and kill PC gaming - as best they can - in the process, thinking that it will drive gamers to consoles. That notion is exactly what is going on now with publishers all pushing console games over PC games.

For more, read this

http://www.3000ad.com/aaw/2009/01/developer-blog-4/

Even on the console side, game devs are already seeing just how greedy and monopolistic MS can be. To wit: The royalty payment revisions for XBLA games which was unveiled a few months back. Couple that with XNA's Creator Club's own restrictions and you will begin to see the picture.

My guess is that XNA is going to be the next to fail once those pretty boys figure out that they're not going to be making squat (compared to MS) for their efforts. There is a reason why there is a TON of crappy ports and games on XBLA amidst one (e.g. Braid) or two best in class games.

MS has lost it. And if Sony hadn't royally screwed up PS3 in terns of development ease of use, MS would be third fiddle in this console gen and my guess is that they would have been shuttering the games devision when the XB360 cycle ends right about now.
 
Avatar 9141
 
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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46. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 18:37 Krovven
 
The problem with assholes is that unlike normal people, they don't realize that they're assholes.

Thanks for categorizing yourself.

At least not until they run outside. Naked.

Please don't. Nobody wants to see you do that.
 
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45. Re: Games for Windows Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 18:34  dsmart 
 
"The program - as I predicted here on Blues - was doomed to fail from day one. Why? Because MS wanted to monetize it while giving nothing worth having in return".

Sorry, but you earn zero cred for that "prediction" as a ton of people were skeptical about GfW from the start. It's not exactly an earth shattering revelation that it was nothing but lip service.

The problem with asshats is that unlike normal people, they don't realize that they're asshats. At least not until they run outside. Naked.

Here's the thing: If you had ANY reading and comprehension skills, you will CLEARLY see that I was laying claim to MY predicition HERE on Blues - where I frequent the most. I don't give a rat's ass about anyone else's prediction elsewhere or what the frigging price of rice is in China. So, it makes no frigging difference. For me to think that I was the only one who could foresee GfW's failure, is like saying that my local weather man is the only one who could tell me its going to rain tomorrow.

But don't let that little thing called common sense stop you ladies from being your usual asshat selves.

"I was checking out this functionality while Netflix showed my son the episode of Mighty Machines where trees are transformed into lumber. I was surprised to learn that signing in to Games For Windows Live signed out my Xbox, which meant that a Gold Account was no longer signed in, negating my access to video streaming. Now perhaps it's more clear why they don't allow you access to Xbox Live directly from the Windows shell: because they have no idea how to manage this incredibly rudimentary scenario."

That sounds pretty fucking awesome. Microsoft FTW!

Unbelievable...

It actually is a LOT worse than that. Seriously.

This comment was edited on Jan 26, 2009, 18:36.
 
Avatar 9141
 
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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44. Re: GFW Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 18:25 Paketep
 
I wish they fired all the team (ok, or relocated them) and finally dropped that hellish POS that is GfW.

They probably deserve to work on Songsmith for some months. Them, and the IE team also. Suffer, you bastards.
 
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43. Re: GFW Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 17:44 LittleMe
 
I like this thread. I'll expand on one person's insight that the PC is where they need to focus, and not console. They need to allow the market (ie. Steam) to utilize Windows as the foundation of the PC as a gaming platform.

I dare say that most console focused companies have gone bankrupt and closed their doors. The temptation for huge profit is legitimate, but there is a significant amount of luck involved. It is very risky.

Even Nintendo and now Sony have both gone through hard times due to their own mistakes,etc. Sony lost a huge leading role, and even the X360 has had its ass handed to it by the Wii.

In contrast, Microsoft has enjoyed a long leading role in focusing on the PC platform. It was the open PC architecture which helped them greatly, and also hindered a monopoly of the platform (only the OS, Office apps, and some other softwares).

They just need to accept that they can't have it all. That in my opinion is what it boils down to: greed, the obsessive need for more (money). They've risked a lot, to gain a lot, and I think they will lose if they continue this route.

This comment was edited on Jan 26, 2009, 18:00.
 
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42. Re: GFW Boss Axed Jan 26, 2009, 17:28 RP
 
You're right Dagok; saying they lost control wasn't the most accurate phrase. Tumbler said it better: they want people paying for games in as many ways as possible. The Xbox gives them a level of control they won't get on the PC. On the Xbox, MS -- not Steam, not Battle.net, not Gamespy -- controls the show.  
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