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Games for Windows - Live, launched on May 8, 2007 (with the release of Halo 2 and Shadowrun), is an online gaming service used in a number of Games for Windows branded PC games. Users have a gamertag, which can be used across all Live services. Originally, a number of features required a subscription fee and Xbox Live Gold subscribers also had access to Games for Windows - Live features and vice versa. Access to all features have later been made free to all users.

A recent update has changed how the GUI looks and adds a stand-alone application.


  • Single gamertag
  • Common gamer profile
  • Common gamerscore
  • Single player achievements - All titles have achievements, though some share the list with the Xbox 360 version
  • Private chat via text and voice
  • Common friends list and online presence
  • PC only multiplayer including browsing a list of active PC games
  • Multiplayer matchmaking with friends
  • TruSkill matchmaking
  • Multiplayer achievements
  • Cross-platform gameplay
  • Games on Demand (December 15th,2009)

A single friends list is shared across GFW - Live titles, but it is not possible to access it when not in a game.


There have been several setbacks and delays with Games for Windows Live and Live Anywhere. None of the Arcade games announced for release on Games for Windows Live and Live anywhere have been released, such as Uno and Geometry Wars.


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