After announcing that its Games for Windows marketplace would be shutting down later this month on August 22, it seems Microsoft is planning to take the entire Games for Windows Live service with it, as a now-redacted support page on Microsoft’s website pointed to a shutdown date of July 1, 2014.
According to Polygon, the message appeared on the Age of Empires: Online support page on Xbox.com before being taken out of the support notes for the game a short while later. The message also noted that service for Age of Empires: Online would be ending that same day as well, although it’s not specified whether the entire game would shut down or just some aspects of the game, but Microsoft stated that gamers would be able to “continue to enjoy all the features of Age of Empires Online as the service will remain 100 percent operational until July 1, 2014 when the server will shut down.”
We don’t know exactly why Microsoft pulled the message from the support page, but it simply could’ve been posted prematurely or by accident, with an official announcement possibly coming in the near future. In the meantime, though, it seems that Microsoft doesn’t have a lot of faith in its current PC gaming offerings. While many big titles have used Games for Windows Live, developers are starting to back away from the service due to its drop in popularity.
However, Microsoft may have something else in the works to eventually replace Games for Windows Live. The Redmond-based company recently hired former Steam director of business development Jason Holtman to focus on “PC gaming and entertainment strategy” for Microsoft. Steam has been a leader in the PC gaming industry for several years, so Holtman could bring a lot of useful insights to Microsoft as they attempt to focus more on the platform.
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