It’s not easy to admit when you’ve made a mistake. Presumably, it’s even less so when you’re a multi-billion-dollar company that is situated toward the spear tip of the current video game arms race. But that’s exactly what Microsoft is doing.
In a statement made by Xbox executive Phil Spencer, the gaming magnate made what effectively amounts to an apology for the horrendous, chaotic mess that characterized Games for Windows Live. Spencer was speaking to Gamespot, allaying fears of the gaming community that Microsoft’s gaming endeavours on its new Windows 10 platform would result in a similar debacle.
“I understand the skepticism that people have, but I just want to stand up and say we’re very, very committed as a company to ensure that gaming on Windows 10 is a great experience,” Spencer told Gamespot. “”We absolutely have a responsibility to answer the gamers’ concerns of the people who bet on us [with GFWL] and the outcome–it’s front and center.”
Games for Windows Live lives on in the annals of the video game history of the early 21st century, haunting players’ nightmares like a bad memory. The service, which launched in 2007, was intended to be the PC counterpart to Microsoft’s hugely successful Xbox Live service on its consoles. The online service was plagued with technical issues and bugs. Combined with its character as an overzealous form of DRM from Microsoft, it failed to reach anywhere near Xbox Live’s popularity, and the GFWL marketplace was eventually shut down. Still, games that were released during the PC Video Game Dark Ages and still feature GFWL support built in can still suffer from vestigial issues: One famous incident involves a petition to remove the service from the PC version of Dark Souls, which amassed 20,000 signatures in just five days.