Games for Windows – LIVE is all about making great Windows games even better – and today we have some exciting news to share regarding changes to Games for Windows – LIVE service  for developers, publishers, and gamers: 

  • Effective today, all Games for Windows – LIVE multiplayer features are now completely free.  Achievements, enhanced TruSkill ® matchmaking, cross-platform play with XBOX 360 (in games that support it), voice and text chat, a friends list that is consistent across both Windows and XBOX 360 – everything – is now free to Windows gamers.  This change immediately affects all currently available Games for Windows – LIVE titles and all future titles.
  • At E3, three great new titles announced support for Games for Windows – LIVE.  Warhammer® 40,000™: Dawn of War® II (Relic/THQ), Battlestations: Pacific (Eidos Interactive Ltd) and Fallout 3 (Bethesda) (game details at bottom of document).
  • Microsoft also announced plans for a new Games for Windows – LIVE marketplace (coming this fall), with support for free and paid downloadable game content.  The marketplace will keep gamers coming back for exciting new game content, trailers and demos that will enhance the Games for Windows – LIVE experience, while also giving publishers and developers new ways to offer ongoing value to their customers .
  • The Games for Windows – LIVE interface will also be getting a PC-friendly makeover this fall, exchanging console-focused blades and buttons, for a slick new display the provides access to the community features of LIVE via menus and interfaces familiar to PC gamers.
  • Microsoft is also making it easier for all publishers and developers to add achievements, friends, chat and all of the other Games for Windows – LIVE features to games (single player and multiplayer) with fewer technical requirements and testing hurdles.  The number of Technical Certification Requirements has been reduced by more than one-third, and we’re providing simple, straight-forward instructions on how to implement LIVE features in Windows games.

GFW – LIVE:  Game Details:

  • Dawn of War 2:  The highly anticipated sequel from one of the industry’s premiere Real-Time Strategy (RTS) developers, Relic Entertainment, is scheduled to bring the 41st Millennium’s savage warfare to life like never before in spring 2009.  Powered by an enhanced version of Relic’s proprietary Essence Engine 2.0™, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II will take players to the brutal frontlines of war where they’ll experience intense action and visceral combat through a non-linear single player experience and a fully co-operative multiplayer campaign. Set in Games Workshop’s highly popular Warhammer 40,000 science fiction universe, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is being developed exclusively for Windows PC.
  • Battlestations: Pacific:  This title delivers intense, action-packed combat and strategic warfare at an extraordinary scale and features two distinctly different single player campaigns. As the Americans, the game picks up the story where Battlestations: Midway left off and allows players to fight their way from The Battle of Midway to Okinawa as they try to secure peace in the Pacific. As the Japanese however, players take control of the Imperial Japanese fleet and have the unique chance to fight at Pearl Harbor before attempting to change the course of history and take full control of the Pacific Ocean.