It's not even Christmas yet and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment along with Rocksteady Studios decided to finally get rid of GFWL (Games for Windows Live) and switch to SteamWorks.
For those who don't know, Microsoft announced in August 2013 that Games for Windows Live will cease to exist starting with July 2014, taking Age of Empires Online to the grave.
Fortunately some publishers decided to react upon the announcement and updated their games. That was also what Rocksteady and WB decided to do. They got rid of GFWL and Securom and replaced them with Steamworks.
Awesome and bad news at the same time. While Steamworks makes the game more accessible, all the savegames are now lost, due to GFWL storing the savegames on it's own servers. Players can now also activate their keys on Steam if the game is bought somewhere else. However there aren't any news about players who own retail copies. Right now, trying to register a retail key on Steam will just return an error saying that the key is invalid.
But to make up for the bad choices they made in the past regarding GFWL, Rocksteady and WB decided to make it up for their fans by giving away GOTY editions of both AA and AC to everyone who owned the standard editions. So if you owned a standard copy of Arkham Asylum or Arkham City make sure to check your Steam library for the new copy.
However, there are still tons of games that make use of Games for Windows Live and we have yet to receive any news about what is going to happen with them. Games like Fable 3 who rely heavily on GFWL might not be patched, but there are some out there who still have a chance, given that the developers are inclined on giving them one.
Since the update that removed GFWL, both games also feature Steam Trading Cards now, making the game even more desirable for collectors. The removal of the infamous DRM also removed the region-lock for the games, making them available worldwide on Steam.
Both games now on sale with 75% off until Monday. You can grab them from the Steam Store.