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Software marked as GAMES FOR WINDOWS - Do They Require Internet Connections?

Grandcheapskate

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Hi Guys,
I have been buying a lot of PC games lately even though I don't yet have the hardware to play them. I look for games which do not require the internet, online activation and/or Steam for single player - any game which does gets bypassed.

There are a number of games which are labled across the top as GAMES FOR WINDOWS. I read where this is a standard developed by Microsoft. It is a series of requirements which a game must meet in order to be labled as such. However, it is a bit vague on whether or not this includes (or could include) the requirement of online activation.

None of the games I bought indicate an internet connection is required, but they do say you have to accept the enclosed SSA agreement. Of course, you have no idea what the agreement is until to open the software - at which time most vendors would not accept it for a refund. The only one I found listed online at a publishers website says online activation may be required - so even if you read the agreement, you still don't know what you accepting until you install the software.

So I am wondering - anyone have experiance with games labeled this way and do they require some type of online activation?

Thanks...Joe
 

k2x4b524[

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Usually anything that says "Activation Required" means you need the internet to at least activate the software. Used to be they said flat out if internet was required, Now it is generally assumed everyone has internet, so they don't bother. Be careful though, if you buy a game that isn't on steam or anything, chances are it either will be, or is, and you just got a copy before it was on steam, and any updates the game downloads will require and or force the steam install. There is a way to get steam to enter offline mode, so you can play your games offline. I wish you luck finding NON-Internet required games. Duke Nukem Forever is an example of this. i have the pure online version, it downloaded an update and now wants steam AND the dvd to be installed.... Good Luck friend...
 

GottaLottaStuff

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For a while "Games for Windows" just meant that you had to have Vista, Microsoft's way of forcing you to upgrade. "Direct3D 9Ex, Direct3D 10, and Direct3D 11 are only available for Windows Vista and newer because each of these new versions was built to depend upon the new Windows Display Driver Model that was introduced for Windows Vista."
 

SpidersWeb

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If you want to play outstanding games, without buying an expensive PC, and without requiring an internet connection.... games consoles.
Grab a second hand PS3 for cheap (PS4/XboxOne are the new thing), grab a copy of "The Last of Us", and you'll never want to play anything with "Games for Windows" on the top. It's pretty amazing what they did with an 8 year old games console.

Our PS3 isn't connected to the network because I couldn't be bothered. Haven't had a game complain about it.
We've got two X360's as well, they have internet, but it's only used for game updates and multiplayer.

PC on the other hand, god damn, Origin and Steam :( (although Steam is pretty good in all honesty - and both have offline modes)

Edit: although I guess that didn't answer your question at all, in general "Games for Windows" isn't a brand I trust but my expectation would be either no on-line activation, or a one time activation.
 
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Grandcheapskate

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Here is an example of a game which has the GAMES FOR WINDOWS logo.

http://knightdiscounts.com/estore/disciples-gold-edition-p-2797.html

I have puchased this game and no where on the package does it mention the internet. But it does have the following text:

"You must accept the enclosed License Agreement"

Like I stated earlier, you have no idea what the agreement is until you read it, and even then it probably doesn't specify exactly waht the game requires. I just hope it is not the same as the WINDOWS LIVE protection scheme.

The games have been very unexpensive so I'm not into them for a lot of money. I am going to try to find the link which explains the GAMES FOR WINDOWS concept and post it here for reference.

Thanks...Joe
 

Grandcheapskate

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http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/us/en/pc/games/strategy/disciples-iii-gold/

Third party DRM: Steam
This game requires a free Steam account to play.

Interesting. No where on the physical box does it mention a Steam account required to play. Maybe this site sells a downloadable version of the game which is different than the physical boxed version?

If in fact games require Steam and/or online activation and do not mention it anywhere on the package (let alone in the requirements section), that is about as low and disgusting as it gets. Seems the PC game field is filled with land mines and it's impossible to avoid most of them if you decide to buy games - even if you do your homework beforehand.

Joe
 

GottaLottaStuff

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Titles that display "Games for Windows" on the box have been extensively tested by Microsoft and the game publisher to ensure they perform reliably and work on both 32- and 64-bit editions of Windows.

These games also support the Xbox 360 controller for Windows, widescreen displays, and more.

For more details, go to the Games for Windows website.

http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-us/

It's not all games that require Steam. It is wrong of them to require Steam and not put it on the label. On the other hand, by searching for the cheapest games around, you are setting yourself up for it. These games are cheap because they can be downloaded from Steam for little or nothing (Check out the Humble Bundles) which makes the disk version worthless to most people.
 
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facattack

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http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcf...3-I-spit-on-your-grave-Games-for-Windows-Live

I had quite enough of GFWL. Let's see, you don't want Steam? Why not? I thought was good news that several game publishers were, uh, stepping up to the plate to remove GFWL from their older games and transfer them to Steam.

Because the alternative is DRM that cannot be avoided and you wind up wasting days or weeks trying to get past it when you are a legit purchaser of the software to begin with. I have never felt so much rage..... stupid, lying verification saying it doubts I'm on the internet when I am capable of opening webpages.... or patching into an online game..

EDIT: The good news is that Gamefly actually sold its entire catalog of PC downloads to AtGames and they in turn have resed Direct2Drive.com.
 

barythrin

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I didn't find the 3rd one but other sites like gog.com (Good Old Games) exist with legit non-drm downloads. Steam just makes me nervous although I do buy sometimes for the cheap price but I get so far behind my piles of games I sorta figure by the time I get to my steam collection that's covered in e-dust steam won't be around any more so the games will just fail looking for their drm server :-/

At least owning the physical copy (assuming activation ISN'T required) gets you a future copy for your kids to play in 30 years. Otherwise it's off to the hex editor we go and what benefit to purchasing there was sorta goes out the window.
 

Grandcheapskate

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Wait till the OP finds one that can only be installed from the disk 5 times. They are out there. :)

Oh, I know they are out there. This is why I check the specifications for a required internet connection. If there is an internet connection required, I am setting myself up to be at the mercy of some website/publisher/server not only now, but in the future. If the internet is not required (or only requied for optional online play), then I should be safe.

Of course, if the game is filled with bugs (and I understand most new games are bug fests), waiting years to play them may deprive me of the ability to download patches.

I have so many games that I may never get to most of them. But when I do, I do not want to be stuck because some company or service has gone out of business. I still have dozens of DOS games yet to be opened.

Steam may be a great service, but if they go away where are all your Steam games then? Besides,I have no desire to go online to let the world know what I am doing. Only one of my machines is open to the internet, all the others remain safe from all the junk that gets downloaded.

I didn't find the 3rd one but other sites like gog.com (Good Old Games) exist with legit non-drm downloads. Steam just makes me nervous although I do buy sometimes for the cheap price but I get so far behind my piles of games I sorta figure by the time I get to my steam collection that's covered in e-dust steam won't be around any more so the games will just fail looking for their drm server :-/

At least owning the physical copy (assuming activation ISN'T required) gets you a future copy for your kids to play in 30 years. Otherwise it's off to the hex editor we go and what benefit to purchasing there was sorta goes out the window.

My thoughts exactly.

Games for Windows is not the same as Games for Windows Live --- right?

Joe
 
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CalculatorLab

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I purchased stalker call of pripyat, the label says gfw, but it turned out to be a standalone installer by bitcomposer games.
 

Grandcheapskate

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I sent a query to Kalypso asking if Disciples III needed an internet conenction. I received an answer today stating the game does not need an internet connection to start, but one is recommended so that it remains as bug free as possible. So that is good news for me and should mean Games For Windows does not mean a game requires an internet connection.

I am hoping fixes can be downloaded on another machine and copied to the game machine. It would be especially important if you played the game today and applied all the fixes, yet wanted to play it again some time in the future. If you can't save the fixes now, then those same bugs will appear the next time you run the game and you would have to go through the whole download process again (assuming they are still available).

Joe
 

luvit

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i;m not a gamer. can someone summarize steam and it's purpose in a few sentences? -- is it affecting licensing with legacy games?
i;m not interested in a three page answer at wikipedia
 

GottaLottaStuff

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Valve started Steam as a way to get out game updates and to combat piracy. It is also a form of Digital Rights Management. When you install a Steam game the first step is to install the Steam client, then the game. The problem is, there are so many day 0 patches that the Steam client will download the game rather than install from the disk. You can force a disk install, but you still need the Steam client and online activation. They also sell a lot of games as direct downloads. Most of the PC downloads from places like Gamestop or Amazon actually come through Steam. What you actually own is the Steam key, which is basically a password.
 

Grandcheapskate

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Valve started Steam as a way to get out game updates and to combat piracy. It is also a form of Digital Rights Management. When you install a Steam game the first step is to install the Steam client, then the game. The problem is, there are so many day 0 patches that the Steam client will download the game rather than install from the disk. You can force a disk install, but you still need the Steam client and online activation. They also sell a lot of games as direct downloads. Most of the PC downloads from places like Gamestop or Amazon actually come through Steam. What you actually own is the Steam key, which is basically a password.

Which of course implies that should Valve/Steam disappear or drop support for the OS you are running, your game either won't install, won't activate, or both. Since the games I buy today may not be played for years (due to my backlog of older games), even if I liked the idea of an online patch keeper I could not afford to take the chance that when I do decide to play an older game, Steam will still be there and my machine could gain access.

And what if they decide to charge for their service in the future? Or sell to someone else?

Using Steam also requires that your game machine be connected (or at least have access) to the internet even if you don't want to use their facilities or use online multiplayer. This is another problem when (not if) accessing the internet moves beyond the ability of your older OS (or hardware) to use a supported browser and/or get acceptable response times.

Keeping all my machines (except those designated for internet access) away from the internet gives me the peace of mind that they will not get infected (at least not easily), nor will they get bogged down with downloaded junk I did not request. I have never had to reload machines not connected to the internet whereas I have occasionally needed to reload an internet machine.

Along with this added bonus - no internet access means no need for any type of anti-virus software. So none of your machine cycles get wasted looking for problems.

By the way, I asked Kalypso (publisher of Disciples III) if I could download patches on one machine and then apply them to the game on another machine. Their repsonse:

"Unfortunately the updates have to be downloaded on the computer, that you will use the game on".

So even though the game doesn't need internet access, you can't patch the game unless you do connect the game machine to the internet.

Thanks...Joe
 

barythrin

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My annoyance with Steam is as already indicated, they could go under and what did I pay for, and I have to be online to start any of the games so it can do it's DRM check. After that you can usually disconnect from the internet but that sorta craps on sitting somewhere offline and gaming.

The only cool feature I did like is the key is a roaming key so you can only have the game running on one system at a time but you're welcome to have it installed on any of your gaming systems at the same time (so I could have it installed on my desktop or laptop). Game saves I don't think are in the cloud so that's up to you to copy if you're on the go.
 
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