If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Microsoft relaunches online PC game store to battle Steam

Games For Windows Marketplace ditches client, Live and MS Points

The Games For Windows Marketplace is to be relaunched next month, with Microsoft announcing the service will sell non-Live titles for the first time.

Previously, the store only offered games which carried the PC version of the Live community and multiplayer tech. This was limited to just a few titles per year, with Live failing to prove as popular among gamers as its Xbox cousin.

The Games For Windows Marketplace overhaul has been headed up by Peter Orullian, who previously worked on digital distribution planning for Xbox Live.

Orullian revealed to Joystiq that Microsoft are stepping back from forcing a client onto its users. " Feedback we heard is that's not always the easiest experience, so we're bringing the transaction component right to the web.

"The client will still exist, but it'll exist to manage really really large files that aren't maybe so easily managed through the web, and it'll be your transaction history; so if you need to re-download a game, you can go and do that. But it's not going to be necessary to go and look at and buy games."

While the service is clearly designed to compete with Steam, Orullian cited Amazon as an inspiration. Deals and themed offers would be a greater priority than community features for the time being.

As a further stepping-down from its tethering to other Microsoft services, the service will allow direct credit card transactions for the first time. Purchases via Microsoft Points will still be supported, however.

The rebooted service is due for launch on November 15.

Related topics
Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.