Games For Windows Live: a new low for Microsoft
Just when I thought I had a handle on how low-quality Microsoft products were, they found a new way to surprise me. I recently purchased the game "Bulletstorm" on Steam. The game has some pretty tough battles, but the most difficult one was the battle to play the damn game!
After starting the game, I discovered that it is IMPOSSIBLE to play the single-player game without a Games For Windows Live (hereafter referred to as GFWL) account. WTF? After a few Google searches, I resigned myself to creating a GFWL account. I clicked on the "create account" button in the game, and Internet Explorer popped up with a form to fill out. So, I filled out the form, clicked the button to submit it, and...it gave me an error message that basically said "It didn't work. Try again." After several tries, I concluded that it simply wasn't going to work and tried a different tack.
A Google search lead me to the main Windows Live (not to be confused with Games For Windows Live) signup page, so I signed up for a Windows Live account. This, thankfully, succeeded, although I am frankly disturbed by the information they demanded from me. Specifically, they wanted to know my phone number and zip code, and they wouldn't take no for an answer. Fortunately, Windows Live accepted a blatantly invalid phone number and zip code.
I then went back into the game and signed in with my new Windows Live ID. It then told me that having a Windows Live account doesn't give me a GFWL account. So, I went back to Firefox, found a signup page for GFWL (not the same one I did battle with earlier, thankfully), and signed up. I was then confronted with the GFWL profile for a "FourBasilisk38". Huh? Did they give me that name, or did they connect my Windows Live account with some random person's GFWL account? After playing the game for a while, I got a message saying that I had been logged off of GFWL because another person signed on with the same account, so I guess it's the latter. HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?
So, here's my advice: if you want to play a game that uses GFWL, pirate it. Trust me, it will be easier.
I contacted Xbox Live support (since GFWL seems to be under the Xbox Live umbrella--the GFWL sign-up site is at xbox.com). They replied with the following:
We understand you have an issue creating an account with Games for Windows Live.
This will have to be addressed by a separate team. You can find the contact information below:
Games for Windows Support
Toll free: (877)-274-4349
Hours of operation:
9 am to 1 am Eastern Time 6 am to 10 pm Pacific Time
If you need to reply to this e-mail, please reply 'with history' (include any previous e-mail) or reference to Service Request Number blahblahblah so we can expedite our service to you.
Thank you for visiting Xbox.com. If you should have future questions on Xbox products or services, please be sure to revisit our Web site as we are continually adding information to enhance our service.
Xbox Live Support Team