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First post, by infiniteclouds

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I know that any physical copy of a PC game that has Steam written anywhere on he box is totally useless without an internet connection. ...but what about "Games for Windows Live"? Did this failed service just provide additional features like multiplayer, achievements and a storefront for DLC or are they also just coasters? I absolutely love GOG but if I also really like physical copies (especially when they still had manuals) to where the "physical DRM" doesn't bother me as long as I don't need internet.

Reply 2 of 20, by wirerogue

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it depends on the publisher.
my copy of crysis still works, ea is the publisher.
my copy of bioshock does not work because 2k games turned off the activation servers several years ago.

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Reply 3 of 20, by infiniteclouds

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wirerogue wrote on 2020-05-29, 01:58:

it depends on the publisher.
my copy of crysis still works, ea is the publisher.
my copy of bioshock does not work because 2k games turned off the activation servers several years ago.

but in both of these cases an internet connection is required to activate the game, no?

Reply 4 of 20, by wirerogue

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infiniteclouds wrote on 2020-05-29, 03:11:
wirerogue wrote on 2020-05-29, 01:58:

it depends on the publisher.
my copy of crysis still works, ea is the publisher.
my copy of bioshock does not work because 2k games turned off the activation servers several years ago.

but in both of these cases an internet connection is required to activate the game, no?

bioshock did but, i don't remember if crysis did. it's been a while since i installed it.

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Reply 5 of 20, by Errius

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How many times can Crysis be activated?

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 6 of 20, by Desomondo

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Crysis does not require any kind of activation. Crysis Warhead does.

In general physical releases with "Games for Windows Live" stamped on them require activation while those with just "Games for Windows" may or may not depending on the publisher.

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Reply 7 of 20, by infiniteclouds

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Desomondo wrote on 2020-05-29, 12:57:

Crysis does not require any kind of activation. Crysis Warhead does.

In general physical releases with "Games for Windows Live" stamped on them require activation while those with just "Games for Windows" may or may not depending on the publisher.

Thanks for this distinction!

Reply 8 of 20, by zerodiagonal

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If you have the CD Keys chances are you can redeem some of the games on newer services. Steam used to have a full list of supported game/keys format that you can use to grab a digital version on their platform but I can't find it anymore. The most recent version is still available though Internet Archive (https://web.archive.org/web/20160505042257/ht … =7480-WUSF-3601).
Last month or so, I reclaimed a secondhand cd keys of a copy of GTA V: Complete Edition that I was given. At the time, Steam was down and so was Rockstar service (apparently no new keys could be generated/validated due to GFWL wenting down or something). Since then Epic gave it for free to anyone but that's another matter. Anyway, those are definitely just coasters but some could be. I guess it's a per basis case. (I also would much prefer to avoid old versions for new ones without that agressive DRM or having to look for a cracked copy elsewhere).

Reply 9 of 20, by infiniteclouds

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zerodiagonal wrote on 2020-05-30, 10:57:

If you have the CD Keys chances are you can redeem some of the games on newer services. Steam used to have a full list of supported game/keys format that you can use to grab a digital version on their platform but I can't find it anymore. The most recent version is still available though Internet Archive (https://web.archive.org/web/20160505042257/ht … =7480-WUSF-3601).
Last month or so, I reclaimed a secondhand cd keys of a copy of GTA V: Complete Edition that I was given. At the time, Steam was down and so was Rockstar service (apparently no new keys could be generated/validated due to GFWL wenting down or something). Since then Epic gave it for free to anyone but that's another matter. Anyway, those are definitely just coasters but some could be. I guess it's a per basis case. (I also would much prefer to avoid old versions for new ones without that agressive DRM or having to look for a cracked copy elsewhere).

Sorry, I know I didn't really emphasize this in my original post but using it to claim a DRM always-online copy defeats the purpose of looking for a physical copy.

Reply 10 of 20, by K1n9_Duk3

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I have four games with a "Games for Windows LIVE" logo on the box:

007 Quantum of Solace
Bioshock 2
Fallout 3 (GOTY edition)
Star Wars - The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes

All of these are German releases. Other releases might behave differently.

My copy of Fallout 3 GOTY doesn't use GFWL anymore. I don't know why the box still has the GFWL logo on it.

The other three do use GFWL, but I could get all of them to work to some extend. I think I had to install the most recent patches, otherwise some of them wouldn't even start due to them requiring some sort of online activation. I think Bioshock 2 required a patch, maybe 007 QoS as well. I don't remember if Republic Heroes also needed to be patched. The biggest problem with these games is that they won't allow you to save your progress if you don't link the game to a GFWL account. I played through 007 QoS without saving and I think I was able to beat the whole game. The game locked up with a black screen at the end and I didn't get to see any ending credits, but based on what I've seen in Let's Play videos online, this must have happened after the final level. The other two games I've only played for a couple of minutes, since I knew I wouldn't have enough time for a full playthrough anyway.

I guess there's no definitive answer here. If you come across a game that requires online activation and there's no patch for it that removes that, the physical copy is pretty much useless.

Maybe there are cracks or GFWL wrappers out there that allow you to save even if you don't have a GFWL account. I don't know.

Reply 11 of 20, by tannerstevo

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There are some games that use GFWL that will let you make an offline account. I ran into that a few times but I cannot remember what games.
I have too many games.

Reply 12 of 20, by The Serpent Rider

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Crysis Warhead does.

It's probably not commonly known, but 64-bit executables of Warhead don't have any DRM.

my copy of bioshock does not work because 2k games turned off the activation servers several years ago.

Just use executable from GOG release. Consider it a "patch" for modern times.

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Reply 13 of 20, by Desomondo

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-05-31, 22:23:

Crysis Warhead does.

It's probably not commonly known, but 64-bit executables of Warhead don't have any DRM.

I certainly did not know this 😀 I'll have to remember next time I re-install. Cheers!

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Reply 14 of 20, by sf78

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tannerstevo wrote on 2020-05-31, 22:12:

There are some games that use GFWL that will let you make an offline account. I ran into that a few times but I cannot remember what games.
I have too many games.

I believe the first one that I ran into was Batman: Arkham Asylum

Reply 16 of 20, by shamino

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I think the only game I own with a "Games for Windows Live" logo on it is Fallout 3 GOTY.
My experience agrees with K1n9_duke - it seems to be a meaningless logo with this game.
I had never even heard of GFWL when I got the game and just ignored it. I don't know what "Games for Windows Live" ever did for this or any other game, but it seems to mean exactly nothing for Fallout 3. It doesn't need internet or creation of an account or anything else. You just install the game and start playing like any other game with CD based copy protection.
The only trouble I ever had with that game is that one of my DVD drives has never gotten along with copy protected discs. I can't run the game using that drive, but it works fine with others.

Reply 17 of 20, by The Serpent Rider

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That's because you have GOTY edition, which has DLC preinstalled.

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Reply 18 of 20, by shamino

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-07-04, 10:04:

That's because you have GOTY edition, which has DLC preinstalled.

I don't see how DLC relates to the "GFWL" thing, but one thing I will say about the DLC for Fallout 3 is that it's basically broken as far as I can tell. It makes the game crash every 5 seconds, so I've never used it.

Reply 19 of 20, by The Serpent Rider

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GOTY usually includes all stuff which was released for that particular game. So GFWL is not an issue for such release, but vanilla Fallout 3 owners, who purchased expansions via GFWL, were very screwed.
So unless a particular release is already GOTY or there weren't any DLC to begin with, GFWL releases are inferior product now, which can't give you full experience on "legit" terms.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me