Ace Combat: Assault Horizon calls an air strike on Games for Windows Live

My favourite thing about the big Games for Windows Live shutdown is that it was never officially confirmed. While originally announced via a message on the Age of Empires Online support page, that update was quickly removed. Since then, the Age of Empires Online support page has also been removed, as part of Microsoft's apparent attempt to hide all evidence that PC gaming even exists. As far as I can see, this is all that remains of Microsoft's non-Windows 8 support.

At least that feeling is mutual, with PC games trying to hide all existence of Games for Windows Live. A further official confirmation of the July 1st switch off date seems almost unnecessary, especially given that many GfWL games are switching over to Steamworks. The latest to do so is Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Its developers recently announced that owners can manually activate a patch to remove the unwanted client.

The Ace Combat switchover should officially happen on April 1st, but can be manually triggered now. Doing so will let players keep both their saves and achievements.

In this instance, the switch may have little to do with the impending Live shutdown. Users are currently unable to buy Ace Combat through Steam, thanks to an existing issue that prevented buyers from redeeming their GfWL keys .

If you're not interested in the long-term survival of an arcade aerial combat game, there is still a reason to pay attention. It's an example of Namco Bandai's willingness to update their old PC titles to exorcise the shade of Games for Windows Live. Hopefully it's a sign that they'll do the same for Dark Souls, something the publishers have yet to confirm.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.