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GTA IV On PC Goes Exclusive With 'Games For Windows Live' 132

Posted by Soulskill
from the yeah-thanks dept.
Erik J writes "Microsoft has announced that the PC version of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV will exclusively use Games for Windows Live for its multiplayer mode when it hits shelves November 18th. Rockstar founder Sam Houser explained the decision: 'As we work toward the release of the PC version, Games for Windows Live affords us the opportunity to seamlessly translate the multiplayer console experience for PC gamers, the service is a natural fit for the platform and we strongly believe it will help in building a strong online community around GTA IV PC.'" Wired is running a story suggesting that this release could save the rather unpopular Microsoft PC gaming platform.
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GTA IV On PC Goes Exclusive With 'Games For Windows Live'

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  • Motherfuckers. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nog_lorp (896553) * on Saturday September 27, 2008 @11:30PM (#25181931)

    Wired is running a story suggesting that this release could save the rather unpopular Microsoft PC gaming platform.

    Motherfuckers.

    • Re:Motherfuckers. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bragador (1036480) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @11:49PM (#25182029)

      I agree with parent. This just forces games to be even more locked on a platform than before.

      This is not about saving or helping the pc market. It's about selling windows.

      • Re:Motherfuckers. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Scott Kevill (1080991) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @01:32AM (#25182449) Homepage

        This is not about saving or helping the pc market. It's about selling windows.

        And poorly.

        GFWL was originally Vista-only. The multiplayer support also used to have a yearly fee (aside from the gimped Silver plan), while disallowing developers to have any game features they considered competitive to GFWL's (eg. voice communication and achievements).

        So they release a multiplayer-only game ported from a console version (Shadowrun) using GFWL Vista-only, pay-to-play multiplayer. Surprise, surprise, it doesn't sell.

        They've back-pedalled somewhat now, making GFWL free and supporting XP, but they seriously shot themselves in the foot, and will have a long way to go before they reverse the damage done to the GFWL name in the minds of gamers.

        • by nog_lorp (896553) *

          Man 2 supportive posts and -1 troll :(

        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          Is it completely free now? I was avoiding Universe At War because it has archievements that grant advantages in multiplayer mode so goldmembers could get stat boosts and such which normal players had no access to. If that's no longer pay-only I might pick the game up for a tenner from the bargain bin.

          • Yeah, it is free now. Check the forums though, there might not be anyone playing Universe At War online anymore so long after release. (Particularly given the GFWL mess).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ozphx (1061292)

          Why would I want some shitty in-house voice comm setup / achievements / server browser / login system?

          Take a look at how well Steam works when you force people to use the "platform" services.

          There is nothing worse than using some crappy server browser designed for a console without being able to do things like "click column headings to sort". Just like every damn EA driving game.

          In fact I've always said that the best menu system for a game was a standard damn Windows Forms app with standard bloody common co

        • by Jaysyn (203771)

          Bad example, Shadowrun was crap regardless of how they released it.

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Ok, so two Slashdotters won't buy it because they hate Microsoft. Then again, if they already hate Microsoft, they already don't have an Xbox or a Windows computer to run it on anyway, right?

        • by Rogerborg (306625)
          Pfft, of course they have a Windows partition. They just didn't pay for it, because they're Sticking It To The Man.
      • Not as helpful as they might think, since GTA multi is most definitely an addon and not integral to the gameplay.
  • It really says: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 27, 2008 @11:35PM (#25181951)
    "Games for Windows Live affords us the opportunity to seamlessly translate the multiplayer console experience for PC gamers" (Microsoft paid us like, a lot of money to do this, if you want to play it without errors get a console.)
    • "Games for Windows Live affords us the opportunity to seamlessly translate the multiplayer console experience for PC gamers"

      Exactly how seamlessly? As I understand it, "the multiplayer console experience" involves inviting a couple friends over to my house and playing Smash Bros. together on my 32" Vizio monitor. Does Games for Windows certification guarantee that PC games will let me and a friend play with one PC, one monitor, and two gamepads? Or will players still have to buy a separate PC per person?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LingNoi (1066278)

        If the game supports xinput and you have two xbox controllers plugged in then it shouldn't be a problem.

        • by tepples (727027)

          If the game supports xinput and you have two xbox controllers plugged in then it shouldn't be a problem.

          Unless the game supports DirectInput or XInput but refuses to read more than one controller per PC.

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        The technology is in place, DirectX definitely supports it no problem, the crapshoot is whether the game developer decided to add it in.

    • Actually i'd guess its not money just effort. I dont know much about multiplayer game platforms but id guess microsoft are offering a well designed wasy to use interface to sort out all the multiplayer stuff that will be alot easier than developing thier own for scratch. Unfortunately for those of us not on windows, this is the same trick they used to get directx everywhere and few games will turn their noeses up at an easy to implement multiplayer system for xbox-live AND windows-live. The real kicker is t

    • by Kankraka (936176)
      Actually..... I -do- play it on console (360), and the game locks up the whole system (no center button to access the dashboard) requiring a hard reboot) at completely random intervals. I could play it for 20 minutes, or 2 hours, or 5 hours, or 5 minutes. It is no set action in the game that does it, i could be walking, beating a hooker with a bat, flying a helicopter, driving a bus through a crowd of homeless people. It doesn't matter, at one point or another, that game is locking up for no real understand
  • It's just not a drawcard. I doubt many people think too much about its concept when purchasing the game. They buy the game on the virtues of the actual title.
    • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @11:52PM (#25182047)

      That's the point. It's not Games for Windows Live that sells GTA, it's GTA that sells Games for Windows Live.

      On the plus side, I'm glad I didn't wait for GTA IV to be released before buying the rest of the series on Steam.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Decado (207907)

        Not being available on Steam reduces the chance that I will buy a PC game by about 90% these days. It is just so handy to have all my games in the same location, automatic patching, no need to worry about CD keys etc.

        If GTA IV doesn't come on Steam I won't be buying it. That said I would take this announcement with a very large game of salt. Considering GTA IV was announced as being exclusive to pretty much every platform in existance before its release it is more likely that they have some little piddling

  • Games for Windows - LIVE is free as it should of been at first and also run on XP.

    If this was payed for LIVE + vista only then that would of KILLED the game.

  • by wc_paladin (989918) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @11:54PM (#25182059)
    I don't really have a big problem with the Games for Windows label. It helped developers get their acts together for 64-bit windows versions, and games now all save in the same area, so saves are separated among users. What I don't really like, however, is GFW LIVE. It seems really dumbed down from other PC gaming services. Whoever thought that PC gamers would pay a subscription fee for it is also insane. I think they dropped the subscriptions recently, but it still has the stigma of being Xbox LIVE, for Windows.
    • by Macthorpe (960048)

      GFW Live is free. Website quote time:

      Introducing Games for Windows LIVE, the free gaming service built for Windows that makes great Windows games even better. With Games for Windows LIVE, you get an online identity called a gamertag and a friends list that works across multiple games, the XBOX 360, and even the Zune music service. You can easily find and communicate with your friends online with text and voice chat. Earn achievements and Gamerscore that lets you track and compare your accomplishments.

      Play multiplayer games with your friends, or play against new opponents online using our exclusive TrueSkill matchmaking system with other Windows® players or with or against XBOX 360 players (in supported games.)

      All of this is possible today and at no charge.

      • GFW Live is free. Website quote time:

        He already said that at the end of his comment:

        I think they dropped the subscriptions recently, but it still has the stigma of being Xbox LIVE, for Windows.

    • by ozphx (1061292)

      Please tell me this forces them to use some sort of standard server browser like Steam does. Nothing shits me more than some horrible fucking server browser without the standard gridview control. Yes you EA fucks, I'm looking at you.

    • I LOATHE this "all games save in the same place" stuff. When I set my system up I had a small system partition and a main partition so I could reinstall Windows without wiping everything. Now with this I have to remember to back stuff up. Not only that, developers aren't using common sense. Right now I have games:

      That set up their own directory in the Documents and Settings directory.
      That save their games in a directory named after the game in the My Documents directory.
      That save their games in a directory

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dutch Gun (899105)

        Well, games that are writing to your user folder are doing the "correct" thing, according to Microsoft.

        http://ati.amd.com/developer/SwedenTechDay/02_Preparing_Games_for_Windows_Vista.pdf [amd.com]

        It's not just about sharing - it's about security practices as well. If you are not running with Administrator privileges (which normal users are *supposed* to be running at), then these user directories are the only legitimate places an application can freely write to. In Vista, writing to the program files directory will

      • by Zarhan (415465)

        Uhm, you are aware that "Documents and settings" corresponds to /home/ on Unix systems? If you are running a two-partition setup where you wish to have a separate "System partition", you are SUPPOSED to set up your home dirs on the other partition. Just configure your system to store profiles on your "D:". Or use symlinks (junctions in NTFS parlance).

      • That save their games in a directory named after the game in the My Documents directory.

        Another thing that the other replies didn't point out: Google lists a bunch of guides on how to move My Documents [google.com].

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        That set up their own directory in the Documents and Settings directory.
        That save their games in a directory named after the game in the My Documents directory.
        That save their games in a directory names after the game in the My Games directory.

        All of those are "correct" (meaning, they follow Microsoft's recommendation, and they work in XP and Vista even for users with no admin privileges.)

        It's a mess. Not only that more and more games are eating up my system partition space and in most cases can't be convin

        • Windows XP will let you move your 'My Dcouments' folder to somewhere else, but Documents and Settings/$user is always on C:, you cant change this, so will end up with settings/files on C anyhow.
          • by Blakey Rat (99501)

            Well, the entire conceit is utterly unnecessary unless the two partitions are on two separate drives, anyway. XP and Vista are perfectly capable of "repair" installs.

            So I still stand by "you're doing it wrong." Or at least "you're so paranoid you're doing stuff that's a waste of time."

      • Why the fuck are your user directories on your Windows partition if you reinstall Windows? That makes no sense.
    • look at all the servers letting cracked copies of call of duty4 play
      . don't you think this is them just trying to stop that? Ok people will still play copies offline but the online co-op play is what they are pushing.

  • Wait, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @12:27AM (#25182201)

    Rockstar founder Sam Houser explained the decision: 'They paid us. Cash. A big green pile of the stuff. We had our own code for it, but nobody was paying us to use it. They said we have to spew some bullshit about how great it is without making it sound like it's about the money. Whatever. I can do that.'

    There. Fixed that for him.

  • PC gaming (is supposedly) going down hill.

    I'm rather disappointed with the lack of a steam release. I really like the steam platform. Maybe in a year or so...

    I've pre-ordered every GTA for PC since I played GTA2 years ago. I even purchased them again over steam (So much easier then disc hunting) This one will be a wait and see approach. If I consider the hoops unreasonable (I have no interest in running two content management platforms for games thank-you-very-much) I'll just do what I did for spore.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft: Exclusively beating up hookers to sell Windows since 2008.

  • Does anyone know if this excludes the possibility of GTA IV being released on Steam? Can we expect a Steam release?

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      exclusive means no.

      I think this is a monumental blunder on Take2's part.
      It may have been a sound 'business' decision, but it is the wrong one.

      Take2 has already seen a return on Steam. "Games for Windows" is a failing platform. I will certainly not be purchasing any G4W games.

      Take2, I was looking forward to a Steam release.

    • by paudle (781865)
      I think the possibility it is on steam still exists. Universe at war and lost planet are games for windows live one and are on steam
  • I made the mistake of buying a Games for Windows - LIVE game (Gears of War for PC). Hated it. It was just pathetic. Every time I would launch the damn game, I get nag screens saying "You can have cool features if you pay $50 and buy a Gold membership!!!". Laggy as hell. Reminded me to much of Xbox Live (Waste of money). It seemed like a dumbed down version of Xbox Live (how much dumber can it get)

    My experience was so bad with GFWL that it made me vow never to buy another PC game with the "Games for Windows

  • by Tom (822)

    It also might reduce sales numbers for GTA4.

    I know here sits a customer they just lost. I'm sick and tired of tie-ins like that where for no good reason they try to force me into signing up for some unrelated service that I otherwise had no interest in.

  • I just got Universe at War, and Games for Windows Live is really pissing me off. I only want to play a LAN game with my roommate, and we can't without having GFWL accounts. Every time I log into GFWL, it says I need to patch. So I hit okay, and it tries to download, and fails. I downloaded the patches separately, applied them, launch the game, log into GFWL- and it says I need to patch. So I hit okay, and it tries to download, and fails... I just want to play multi-player on our network.
  • Let people run their own servers. Take the middle man out. Keep it simple, stupids.

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