Microsoft's ill-fated PC games client Games For Windows Live was long-rumoured to be shutting down next week - following an accidental announcement on Age of Empire Online's support page last June - but now Microsoft has stated that it will continue to support already existing content on it, even if users can't purchase new games or receive title updates.
"We are continuing to support the Games for Windows Live service," Microsoft said in a statement to GameInformer. "As previously announced, as part of the retirement of Microsoft Points the Xbox.com PC marketplace was closed. Although customers are unable to purchase new games from the marketplace or receive title updates, they can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows Live client as usual. We remain committed to investing in PC gaming in the years ahead, and look forward to sharing more in the future."
I suppose that means the service is less dying so much as it is going into a coma from which it may never return, but it will still be alive.
Obviously this vegetative state is less than ideal for the games in its library, so naturally publishers have been migrating their content over to Steamworks. We've seen this with Dark Souls, Dirt 3, BioShock 2, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, and most recently Ms. Splosion Man. This last one is most telling as its developer, Twisted Pixel, is owned by Microsoft. It's never a good sign when a publisher migrates its own content away from its proprietary client.
Still, this will make accessing one's older titles in their GFWL library more convenient. And it's entirely possible Microsoft plans to resurrect the program or relaunch it as something else. We've contacted Microsoft to ask about its future plans for GFWL, but have yet to hear back.