The cold dead hand of Games for Windows Live has pulled 5 Capcom games into the abyss for 600 days and counting

Several fighters pose dramatically from Capcom's: Street Fighter X Tekken, one with her palm outstretched, another raising her leg high to deliver a powerful axe kick.
(Image credit: Capcom / Bandai Namco)

Games for Windows Live—Microsoft's ill-fated PC equivalent to Xbox Live's service—stopped receiving updates way back in 2014. Many games pulled out the discontinued service splinter early, while others dragged their feet. Seven years later came the kicker: in 2020 several of Capcom's games were made unavailable on Steam, thanks to the scraps of Games for Windows Live code which were actively breaking them.

The games impacted by this—as highlighted by user DedSec_Pearce on the PC Gaming subreddit—are Lost Planet 2, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Colonies Edition, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Street Fighter 4 (though you can purchase the Ultra edition, which still works fine), and Street Fighter X Tekken. If you find their Steam pages, you'll see the following message:

"We are aware of an issue that some customers may be experiencing during game installation which is related to Games for Windows LIVE. We are temporarily disabling the purchase option on Steam while we investigate the matter further. We will keep you informed of the progress of the investigation. Thank you for your patience."

The only issue is it's been 600 days since that message went up. That's stretching the definition of 'temporarily' very thin, especially when some of these games still remain broken, as user Powler mentions in a Steam review of Street Fighter X Tekken:

"Special thanks to Games for Windows Live (GFWL) and Capcom's lack of concern, I cannot in good faith recommend purchasing this port. The GFWL service no longer exists so you'll start up the game and see the DRM overlay go into a signing in loop," they wrote in 2020. It seems that there was even a window where you could even buy the game in its busted state back then: "This is completely unacceptable and it's incredible that this product is still allowed to be sold in its current state."

It's perhaps understandable that these particular titles aren't high on Capcom's priority list—'let's revive the servers for these games that a handful of people are playing' is going to be a hard sell in any meeting. But you have to feel for people who've a deep investment for these games. Earlier this year PC Gamer contributor Kerry Brunskill wrote a love letter to Lost Planet 2, which I have foggy memories of playing on the Xbox 360 myself, and now you just can't play it on PC. 

PC gamers who were fans of these titles will have to resort to fan patches or piracy to experience them, unless Capcom breaks their long streak of silence. It's a sad reminder of how transient games can sometimes be, with these defunct Steam pages now looking more like obituaries. It makes me think about how our current libraries are tied to these platforms and online services—Steam might seem permanent at the moment, but what about in two, three decades from now? 

Plus, with Atlus suing two fans who were maintaining a Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online server last year, even well-intentioned acts of preservation can put players in hot water for loving a dead game a little too much. Not that I think Capcom'll break out the lawyers to protect Lost Planet 2, but that lingering threat no doubt encourages preservationists to keep things hush-hush.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.