Stardock founder Brad Wardell has voiced his opinion of Games for Windows Live, stating that the service has “too many stings attached” for developers.
Speaking with Edge, Wardell said that when it comes to online game services, including Stardock’s own Impluse, Steamworks has the most features available.
“The key mistakes I’ve seen Games for Windows Live make includes having too many strings attached,” he said. “As a developer, I want accounts and Achievements, and seamless multiplayer. But I don’t want to have to go through some third party to get approval for updates and whatnot.
“If I was in charge of Games for Windows Live, I would make it a series of tools and libraries that is a companion to DirectX. I’d eliminate the client and focus on the key tools and services: accounts, Achievements, matchmaking.”
Wardell called the service’s frequent time-outs, patch freezes, and server error messages a “lack of commitment to quality”, and cited Valve’s Steam service as one of the better examples.
“Right now, there are three major platforms for developers and publishers,” said Wardell. “Steam with Steamworks, Impulse with ImpulseReactor and Games for Windows Live.
“Steamworks is, by far, the most mature. It has the most features and services.”
A one time a champion of GFWL, Wardell became disillusioned with the service while Stardock was trying to release Elemental and found that the certification process caused too much grief.
Last year, he told Shack that if GFWL took over, he’d no longer be “making PC games” and “would be done.”
There’s loads more through Edge, and it’s a decent read, so hop to it.