Why it matters: Bethesda appears to be just two weeks away from Fallout 3's thirteenth birthday, and it's made a slight upgrade to Microsoft's legacy Live Windows gaming service. Depending on how DLC modes and packs are set, this update may complicate the installation of Fallout 3.
Bethesda Fallout 3 released on Steam this week. Due to the update's impact on the game, its patch notes are brief. When it was released in 2008, Fallout 3 was one of the games that used Games For Windows Live (GFWL), Microsoft's earlier attempt to integrate PC games with Xbox. Microsoft no longer supports GFWL because many older games had trouble launching a dead service.
Especially Fallout 3, you can always play without logging into GFWL. I only used this service when players purchased and installed the DLC (this was the primary reason I created my existing Microsoft account over a decade ago). Players have resolved this by using modes or purchasing the Game of the Year Edition, which includes all DLCs, so no reason to enter GFWL other than achievements has been eliminated.
Other versions of Fallout 3 are available at GOG.com. And the Microsoft Store has already patched GFWL. However, attempts by the Steam version to log into GFWL after leaving Microsoft may cause problems.
However, users have noticed that removing GFWL from Fallout 3 can cause problems. Users who purchased DLC through GFWL may lose access to it unless they receive the DLC via Steam or have a GOTY version. I checked the original version of my Fallout 3 release and lost the DLCs (fortunately, I have the GOTY and GOG versions too). Updates may also disable modes. The patch notes suggest deleting and reinstalling the game before restarting it.
Bethesda has finally removed Games For Windows Live from Fallout 3
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