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Games on Demand is a feature that was announced by Microsoft at E3 2009. Games on Demand allows players to download complete Xbox 360, Xbox and PC games for a set amount of Microsoft Points or directly via a debit or credit card. As well as downloading Xbox 360 games, the 'Xbox Originals' have also been moved into the Games on Demand area. Later that year the Games for Windows Live (GFWL) client enabled its own version of Games on Demand launching with a number of Games for Windows titles. In June 2010, the catalog was further expanded to include non-Games for Windows titles, along with a day-and-date releases for select games going forward.
Games cost their recommended retail price (RRP), which tends to be more expensive than the price at a store. Beginning in 2010, the service on PC started offering substantial discounts for limited time, similar to Steam sales. As is the case with other Xbox Live content, games can be re-downloaded if deleted or damaged.
Although the vast majority of Xbox Games On Demand are games that are also available through retail outlets, there have been some notable exceptions such as Resident Evil 4 and the original Crysis. In almost all such cases a retail version was available on another platform.
Re-branding: Games for Windows Marketplace
The Game on Demand for PC was redesigned and relabeled to Games for Windows Marketplace on Nov. 15, 2010. The storefront was shifted from the GFWL client to the new website ( http://www.gamesforwindows.com/ ), that now allowed users to buy games directly from the website. However, download and management of the game library still required the GFWL client.
Following the rebranding, the marketplace also expanded its catalog and started supporting more indie, smaller budget titles as well as many older games like Deus Ex.