Effective immediately, Microsoft has dropped the regular subscription-based Gold plan on its Games for Windows Live service, allowing PC gamers to play titles under the GFWL banner online with others completely free of charge.
The move includes titles that support cross-platform gameplay between the PC and Xbox 360, such as Lost Planet: Colonies and Universe at War.
Additionally, Microsoft plans to introduce a completely new marketplace interface for GFWL this fall, featuring a variety of both paid and free content, ranging from playable demos to downloadable content for existing games.
To quote: 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.
it's about time, it's still a shame that Live Gold for Xbox360 is still a payed service, when the Wii & PS3 online services are both free, i think they're keeping it payed as long as people buy it, but in a year or so, i'll see less and less people paying for it, and then they'll announce that it's going free aswell, and like usual, microsoft will give a stupid reason for why they charged for it for so long