UPDATE: Microsoft has provided VideoGamer.com with the following statement, confirming that the Games For Windows Live service "will continue to operate as usual" despite the imminent closure of the online marketplace:
“Microsoft continues to support the Games for Windows Live platform. You can continue to enjoy previously purchased games and downloadable content in your catalogue by downloading them through the Games for Windows Live client. Although purchase functionality will be discontinued through this marketplace, the Games for Windows Live service will continue to operate as usual.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Microsoft is to retire its Games For Windows LIVE download service next Thursday, August 22.
The closure means that PC players will no longer be able to purchase new games through the Games For Windows LIVE Marketplace, with Microsoft recommending that players spend their existing Microsoft Points balance prior to next Thursday.
Games For Windows LIVE users will be able to continue to download their previously purchased content through the Games For Windows LIVE client following the store's closure.
"As part of the upcoming Xbox 360 system update, Microsoft Points will be retired, and the Xbox.com PC marketplace will be closed as of August 22, 2013," Microsoft wrote on the Games For Windows LIVE Facebook page.
"We encourage you to spend your Microsoft Points balance prior to this change. Although you will not be able to purchase new games, you can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows LIVE client software as usual. More information is available here: http://support.xbox.com/pc/pc-marketplace-closing."
It isn't yet known how Games For Windows LIVE will be impacted beyond the store's closure, or whether this is the first indication that Microsoft is planning to retire the entire network.
It also isn't clear how this will affect purchases of Games For Windows LIVE titles through other digital distributors, such as Steam.
Microsoft launched Games For Windows LIVE in 2007. The service is essentially the PC equivalent to Xbox LIVE, and lets PC players play online via Microsoft's network, earn achievements, and chat with friends.
VideoGamer.com has contacted Microsoft for comment.