At the Gamefest 2008 event on Tuesday, Microsoft announced that all Games for Windows Live multiplayer features are now free. These features -- including multiplayer achievements, matchmaking, cross-platform play with the Xbox 360, GFW voice chat, and more -- previously required a GFW Live Gold account. The change is effective immediately and across all GFW titles, both past and future.
In addition to making Games for Windows Live free, Microsoft will also be creating a brand new GFW marketplace this fall to rival the marketplace found on the Xbox 360.
As with the Xbox Live Marketplace, GFW's will offer demos, videos, downloadable content, and more. The GFW interface will also receive some tech-friendly changes, lowering requirements for developers looking to make their games GFW compatible.
To cap off the news, two new games were revealed to be receiving the Games for Windows branding: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II and Battlestations: Pacific. So PC gamers finally get the totally free service they've been asking for since Games for Windows launched, but is it too little, too late to save Microsoft's attempt at a PC gaming service? And will this make 360 owners question why they have to pay?