Report: Microsoft to shut down Games for Windows Live July 1st, 2014

Just a few days after Microsoft announced that the Games For Windows Live online marketplace would close its doors on August 22nd comes a report that claims the entire service will be shut down on July 1st, 2014. If true, it would be the final nail in the coffin for one of Microsoft's biggest missteps in the PC gaming industry.

Polygon reports that the following statement was posted on the Age of Empires Online support pages earlier today, but has since been removed:

Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. Although it is available through Steam, Age of Empires Online requires features of the Games for Windows Live service. You can continue to enjoy all the features of Age of Empires Online as the service will remain 100% operational until July 1, 2014 when the server will shut down.

We have emailed Microsoft to confirm the content of the deleted support message. If true, it would end the service which launched in 2007. GFWL was suppose to give first and third party PC games access to online multiplayer features, leaderboards and achievements similar to Xbox 360 games. However, the service suffered from bugs and poor technical support, along with a misguided attempt to charge for access to multiplayer features that was later changed to allow for free access.

Despite efforts by Microsoft to improve the service over the years, most PC game publishers quickly abandoned GFWL for Valve's rival Steamworks tools. Even Microsoft has published PC games in the past year that use Steamworks instead of GFWL.

Source: Polygon | Image via Microsoft

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