Microsoft recently made it known that they weren't going to completely bury the Games For Windows Live service, after word spread that it would shutdown on July 1st. The DRM authentication portal will continue to stay active for the sole purpose of enabling games that rely on the service for authentication. Well, one game won't be relying on Microsoft's Games For Windows Live service any longer, and it's Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising.
Blues spotted a forum post over on the Steam community thread where it was made known by a community manager that the game would no longer be relying on GFWL, stating...
Okay now this is where it gets kind of funny, because it's like you're trading a boat full of food with no gas, for a boat full of gas and no food.
You see, while the removal of Games For Windows Live is a very notable thing, as there are plenty of horror stories attached to the requirement of the service. It's very buggy, it oftentimes doesn't work when it's supposed to and it has a terrible tendency of corrupting save data. Worst of all is that support for GFWL is almost next-to-nil. Trying to get help with certain problems (missing DLC, game fails to authenticate, etc.,) is like trying to scale Mount Everest.
It's great that GFWL is removed from Dawn of War II, but it comes with a price: the removal of LAN /Direct Connect. Some of you might be wondering what this even means. Well, it means that you'll no longer be able to play on a local arena network. No more being able to just plug in a direct CAT5 cable into a router hub and having fun with friends; no more one-on-one matches by hooking up two computers together.
I'm not so sure the trade-off is really worth it, but at the same time it's more-so an important step of moving away from invasive, intrusive and unnecessary digital rights media measures that have pervaded their way into the gaming sphere, offering nothing of significance for the play experience.
Another issue that's cropping up is that due to the switch from GFWL a lot of achievements and save games have been lost. Basically you'll now have your games stored locally via Steam's system as well as take part in Steam Achievements, but all that time you put into the game with the GFWL service will be lost.
It's a victory and loss all at the same time, but that's how it goes when online DRM is involved. It's a problem that will never go away so long as these services are used as gatekeepers for software titles. For now, Steam's setup seems to be the most consumer friendly and comprehensive in the age of digital distribution.