games for windows live logo crossed out

Bioshock 2 and Windows Live Can Suck My Big Fat One

Dear Windows Live and Bioshock 2,

Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

Fuck you and your broken-ass, DRM-filled, update-begging, time-sucking software.

I bought Bioshock 2 a few weeks ago on Steam, and was looking forward to playing it on my night off from the kids.  The first time I tried it, I hadn’t installed it.  Then I found out I had to download 9 gigs worth of data which takes 3 hours, so the first night I wanted to play it, that was a bust.

Fast forward to last night when I pressed the “play” button for the first time. First, it’s gotta update. Then it’s gotta update the Microsoft C++ 2005 redistributable, whatever that is. Then it’s gotta update DirectX, as always. Then it’s gotta update Microsoft Live, whatever that is redux. Then I have to enter a CD-key, so I think I just gotta re-enter the activation code below it to prove I’m not a robot. That doesn’t work, but I don’t have a CD. Fortunately, after some searching, I see the link for CD key in Steam, and that works.

Then the game finally starts, and there’s something new and unexpected — a Games for Windows Live dropdown. It tells me I’ve got to enter my CD key again to register my game. This involves a little searching for how to get this without minimizing the game, and then shift-tabbing back and forth to enter it. I think I’m done, but no, it tells me I’ve got to sign in with my Games for Windows Live account. Which I don’t have. I say no, I don’t want to do that. Why should I have to? Oh, because the game won’t save unless I do.

Fucking fine. I go through like eight screens to get to sign up screen, then it has to open a web browser to keep going, so it has to minimize the game, which always has a 50/50 chance of crashing it, and open fucking IE. No, we can’t open my default browser, we have to use your dumb-ass product because you’re Microsoft. After a whole bunch of misleading screens that make me think I’ve already got an account, I finally am able to make one.

Then I re-maximize my game and try to sign in. Now I can play? Oh, no wait, Microsoft Live has to download an update. Game re-minimizes again, while some more shit installs. It never tells me if it’s done or not, because its just a progress bar. After a minute of nothing happening, just the sounds of my computer churning, I try the game again, and try signing into Windows Live. Again, it tells me it needs to update. Probably the update didn’t take.

Fuck this, so I close Bioshock 2, and try starting Windows Live from the start menu. Maybe I can start Bioshock 2 that way. No. Something’s corrupted and after three minutes of a flash screen, it says it cannot find an Internet connection. Which is bullshit, I’ve got my browser open right now, looking at stuff while I wait for all these things to finish their little dowloading/loading/installing dance. It says I need to install a hotfix for Windows XP. I do that. Nothing. So I try downloading Games for Windows Live straight. When I run that, it causes a BSOD. Great.

When my computer restarts (one of the many I’ve done that night), I try uninstalling all the Windows for Games Live shit I downloaded, and try Bioshock 2 again. But when I click the launcher, nothing seems to happen. So since something’s fucked up, I uninstall everything. I started this at 6:00 and now it’s 7:30. I redownload Bioshock 2, but again, it’s 9 gigs, and it’s going to take hours.

This morning, when the download has finished, I try starting Bioshock 2 again, hoping I can start from the beginning. No, it still doesn’t launch. And I have no idea why. No error messages, no processes, no nothing. So now I spend the morning looking on the Steam forums for any help, verifying my 9 gig game, and seeing if I have to re-register my Windows Installer.

So thank you Bioshock 2, who thought it was a good idea to include Microsoft’s magic wand to prevent piracy into what all the reviewers say is a mediocre game. And thank you Microsoft for your broke-ass software that does nothing good. I could play the game fine, except that I couldn’t save. Now I can’t play it at all. Now I’m going to have to pirate the game in order to play it. Thanks a lot, and fuck you in the ass with a spiked dildo covered in maggots.

Update: Last night, after the kids went to bed, I worked on it some more. After re-registering my msiexec installation file in the registry, I got Bioshock 2 to start again. I signed into Windows Live successfully and after it downloaded a looooong update (seriously, I got my book and read it while it was going on) it told me to close the game down again so it could continue.

I did, and it did, with a new “Bioshock 2 Setup Wizard” that I hadn’t seen before. It wasn’t much of a wizard because it didn’t ask me any questions, but it finished. After that I was able to start Bioshock 2 again, sign in, and I could play and save my game. So the terror is over.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.


  • theWallflower

    Clearly, you haven't played Bioshock, because it's anything but mindless. True, it's a FPS shooter, but it's got a fantastic story and great gameplay. It's got a rich background in Ayn Rand and objectivism, moral decision making. Themes of dystopia, relgion, man vs. god, free will, gender, race, allusions to the bible and greek mythology, human evolution, and so on. This ain't your mother's Tetris.

  • Douglas

    Maybe yous shouldn't read these just to be critical of his hobbies, Wallflower nailed. Im assuming Anonymous has a Mac and can't even play this.

  • Anonymous

    Just had a similar experience with Bioshock 2 …

    I. Will. Never. Ever. Again. Purchase. A. Product. If. It. Has. Windows. Live.

    I don't care if the game supposedly makes everyone who plays it have multiple orgasms. I'd seriously rather shoot myself in the knee with a nail gun than go through that crap again.

    Thanks Microsoft for yet another reason to avoid your products like the plague. I'm seriously pissed at myself for firing up your OS for any reason other than QA work.

  • williamdude1

    I'm currently trying to fix this problem myself. I've gotten to the point where I can open the game and get to the update page, but it won't download the update.
    What did you say about re-registering your msiexec? It'd be great if you detailed what you did to get everything to work.

  • ElNabo

    This is a scrambled version of my own experience as well. I gave up on Windows Live for the night because I just wanted to play the game…but when I go to start a new game it freezes. I download the 1.5 patch manually and now it loads the new game movie fine…except it only shows the video at a rate of 1 frame every 20 seconds or so. I hit escape to skip the video and the start moving around and stuff; it's perfect, beautiful. I have it on the highest settings and it is as smooth as silk. "Oh well, I'll worry about the video problem tomorrow when I fix Windows Live (again)…" Then I hit escape to access the menu and it is laggy as hell, just like the movie was. I can't do anything. So I spend a couple of hours trying to find a fix online, but the only forum threads that talk about this issue are about a year old and any download links to files that may or may not help have expired. So I wasted my evening trying to get this derivative piece of shit to work instead of doing something productive or at least entertaining…

  • Anonymous

    I'm actually in the process of getting buttfucked by the same problem. This is total bullshit. I would definitely not play this game but I've already paid for it so I'd rather not have wasted the money. Will avoid windowsliveID games in the future if I can.

  • Anonymous

    verify file integrity with steam, because it seems the windows live update patch corrupts the game (i had the same nightmare lol)

    after that, just answer no to all windows live question (do you want to update : NO FUCK OFF)

    windows live is indeed the worst crap on earth, i'll download the pirate version of the next game using this, twill be faster

  • Anonymous

    What you just described is EXACTLY what happened to me when I got bioshock for Games For Windows Live. Actually, after i beat the game (which I truly enjoyed), the bullshit with then continued. I decided to download the dlc Minerva's den and had more shit with the payment… I'll save some time by not writing 10 pages about what happened: my point is that Games for windows live and xbox live are fucking stupid. I mean i used to think that the only problem with these peole is that you have to pay to play xbox online.. I was wrong, their whole fucking system is fucked up. The next pc game i get will not from games for windows live, I'd rather pay $300 for tetris than give them a single penny for some fucking amazing game.

  • Anonymous

    I feel ya man. Just got this game off of Steam in the summer sale. According to steam, I've already had 2 hours of "gameplay" time… more like FUCKING INSTALL TIME.

    After all that, the game crashes when I try to log in. Fuck Microsoft, man.

  • Anonymous

    Man, i completly agree with this, what a fucking bullshit of sign ins and useless accounts…

    I wish i could somehow punish the publishers for doing this fucking bullshit, but i already bought the game…

  • Anonymous

    I FUCKING HATE YOU FUCKING MICRODICK SOFT. I just spend my hard earned money on the game installs fine try to click play on cd launcher "nopeee.jpg" I HATE THIS NOTHING HAPPENS

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