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MS talks Games for Windows Live benefits

Points to better install and sign-up process.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Microsoft Game Studios has defended online gaming service Games for Windows Live – and outlined the benefit it gives to gamers' "social network".

But Microsoft Game Studios' Danan Davis, who is executive producer on "freemium" PC RTS Age of Empires Online, told Eurogamer that there's still work to be done on the service, and called on PC gamers to continue to provide feedback so it can improve it in the right way.

"I look at the benefit of what we get through Live, not least of which is we're tapping into a system that already has millions and millions of players out there," he said. "This is not separate from the Xbox. It's tied in with that whole Live ecosystem.

"So if you play Xbox games already, your whole friends list is instantly there. You can communicate with them across platform and say, 'Hey, I'm playing Age, come join me.' There's a real benefit to your social network of gaming. It instantly exists when you go into your Games for Windows Live piece on Age of Empires."

Some have complained about the hoops Games for Windows Live forces gamers to jump through in order to install games.

This is an aspect of the service Davis believes Microsoft has improved - and Age of Empires Online, currently in open beta, is proof of that.

"We work very hard to streamline the process of getting into Age of Empires Online, including the sign-up and install process through Games for Windows Live," he said.

"I know some of the complaints have always been around that. It's on our radar of how we make sure players get through that process as quickly and smoothly as possible."

To that end, Microsoft called on players to continue to provide feedback on Games for Windows Live, which for many PC gamers has fallen behind Valve's rival service Steam in terms of quality.

"That's a part of the experience of the game," Davis continued. "Microsoft wants feedback about their systems so we can always improve.

"We've done a lot of work to streamline that process quite a bit. We have thousands and thousands of players in on the beta right now, that have both given us feedback but have obviously got through the process because they're playing.

"The fact you get Achievements inside Age of Empires, that's never been done before. You're going to increase your Gamerscore and add to your Achievement list by playing Age. That's never been done."

Last year Microsoft announced a redesigned, Steam-like Games for Windows Marketplace designed to make buying PC games easier.

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