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Xbox Games for Windows Phone 8.1 updated, removes self from App list

We are big fans of Windows Phone 8.1. We’re really liking that apps, like the Xbox Games Hub, can be updated independently from the OS itself. This will allow Microsoft the freedom to update more frequently than before. Today we’re seeing one of those updates for Xbox Games on Windows Phone 8.1. It’s an odd update though.

Head into the Windows Phone Store and you’ll see version 2.0.1405.2000 of ‘Games’ for Windows Phone 8.1. A few days after the availability of Windows Phone 8.1 we saw the app pick up its first update. There was no changelog then and there is none today. Though we are noticing a few slight differences.

Update the app and you’ll notice that ‘Games’ no longer appears in the App list. Where did it go? We have no clue. Unpinning the app from your Start screen basically means you won’t be able to access it. We did a search for ‘Games’ with Cortana and it didn’t show up in phone section either. So you might not want to unpin the Games hub from your Start screen if you like it there.

Is this truly the end of having your games all in location on your Windows Phone? Maybe. Last month we detailed why Microsoft decided to put games into the App list. It’s a little odd that they’d remove the Games hub completely, we really liked it. Though we should point out that the Games hub still works if you access it from your Start screen. We just can’t find it after updating it and removing it.

We’ll let you know the official word on the potential removal once we find out more. Notice anything else with the update? Sound off below.

P.S. Want Games on your Start screen? Just use any third-party apps that pins apps to your Start screen if you accidently updated. Apps like Transparency Tiles should do the trick. Thanks for the heads up everyone! 

Download Games from the Windows Phone Store.

Thanks for the tip everyone! 

QR: Xbox Games

381 Comments
  • Ops. Unpin Games for curiosity and now I loose the HUB.
  • Can't you go to store, then recent downloads, then go to games and press 'view'?
  • Nope. Good thought though! If you do that it doesn't launch :'(
  • Use Transparency Tiles for that :D
  • Yay.. Recent is back.
  • They also took away Hydro Thunder Go! It was available in Windows Phone 8.1 then they did away with it. It only works for Windows Phone 7.5
  • Strangely, I still have Games in the app list although I updated the Games yesterday.
  • Just tried it with no such luck; it just takes you back to the start screen.
  • They'll fuck this up like Music.
  • I'm trying to refrain from calling you a name, but you're making it hard when you say stuff like that on an unreleased OS
  • +1020
  • Ban this ass hat....
  • Who are you calling an ass hat you numb nut?
  • Sorry but I'm with him.
  • Me too. The deconstruction of the features which set Windows Phone apart is in ful swing. Microsoft seems busy setting the OS up for plan B which IMO will be to switch to (open source) Android with a 'live tile skin' if the OS does got gain major traction within set timeframe. To make a transition to this option as smooth as possible the hubs need to go as they don't translate to ASOP.
  • I'm with you. I'm using WP8.1 on my Lumia 920 from day 1 it became available, and it just doesn't feel like - Good Ol' Windows Phone -  anymore. The features which set WP apart from the competition, like Hubs, Social Media integration, sharing options etc. is slowly dissappearing from the platform. You need apps to do the things we could do without apps before the 8.1 update. The personality of the platform slowly becomes faded and creeping up to Android (I never thought I'd say that). I never thought MSFT would do this as they had the perfect concept for a competing platform. Please MSFT, give us back the Hubs and integration like it was before!
  • He's could be right!  Why the hate.  Truth hurts!  I'm a HUGE WP guy and was a huge Zune fan.  The Current music app (it is released on WP8!!!!!!!!!)  is GARBAGE and MS should be ashamed to have even let it out the door!  I'm a paying XBOX music customer I shouldn't have to resort to Pandora for music listening on my phone.  Also in before switch to Android or iPhone.  FAWK No! I love WP.
  • When the OS is released, and its still shit, will you eat humble pie?
  • Since the OS is awesome as it is its impossible it will be bad when it comes out. I find it amusing how, no matter how obvious Microsoft makes it that they are rapidly updating the gates and music hub to make them awesome, people are so stupidity impatient that they resort to talking crap without any basis. Really sad
  • tkdmacgeek has said nothing but the truth.  they fucked up Xbox Music (from 8.0 to 8.1), they just fucked up the Games Hub... and just as predicted, they'll most likely fuck up the OneDrive Music folder feature that's coming up....
  • +1020
  • Please stop that
  • +1020. . . and screw these thought police.  I am a windows phone fan, no doubt, but the truth is the truth.  I hope killing the Games Hub is just a mistake but the lunacy of killing Zune, mucking up the hubs and corrupting the Metro design with Alpha apps like they did Music leaves a lot room for doubt as they sadly seem to have lost their way....
  • I completely agree.  Windows Phone was better before 8.1, with the exception of Cortana.
  • I want to ask you guys with insight: How will these apps look like at launch?
  • Like shit
  • I agree. The lunacy from dropping Zune was jaw dropping. Yet they continue to destroy what they previously improved upon. I'm a fan but don't know for how much longer.
  • Thank you.
  • All updates are screwed uP!!!!!!!!! whatsapp is the most demanding app and happens to be the shittiest app in windows store. Cortana is really not that great, only its slang is good and it is appliccable to certain commands!!! like if i say tell me about einstein...the thing just bings it(face palm) android has so many assistants in their market which are highly customisable and far better than cortana. Only thing good about 8.1 is a wallpaper and notification centre(big wooowwww :/). Is that all microsoft capable of.
  • Yep. I agree. I wish hadn't updated to 8.1 but I do hope they rectify their mistakes.
  • You are a moron.
  • It IS released, in preview.  And, for all practical purposes, it's a feature-finished product.  So get over yourself.  Microsoft has thoroughly screwed up Windows Phone, as far as I'm concerned.  Nothing works the way it did, and all to placate all those who pine for Android features on a Windows Phone.  I'm not about to use apps like "transparency tiles" since Microsoft shouldn't have screwed with the OS in the first place.  I've gone from one of the biggest cheerleaders for Windows Phone to someone who now recommends people NOT buy a Windows Phone.
  • I just uninstalled Windows Phone 8.1, and am nearly completely happy with my decision. I have hubs back! The Me Tile works as it should, as does People, which also has the Recent pivot back. Games no longer clutter my app list, and I have the Music+Videos hub back (it's not Zune, but it at least five thousand times better than on Windows Phone 8.1.   As to features, IE 11's swipe gestures, URL suggestions, and shared bookmarks and reading mode were nice, but I would rather have my full screen video player that always works and a browser that doesn't get jittery and activate my lockscreen randomly, or display a weird, garbled background on the lockscreen. I get back a cursor that works, thank goodness, though password storage was nice. Most importantly: FACEBOOK INTEGRATION. The "genius" behind removing that and the hubs should be fired. Windows Phone 8.1, knowing that's the future, even though I've reverted to 8.0, has just about destroyed my emotional attachment and investment in Microsoft platforms. They release something great, then proceed to destroy it by ripping out piece by piece till it's half functional (Zune). Now, history is repeating itself. Microsoft, why should I stay with Windows Phone if you remove the hubs, Facebook integration, Me Tiles, etc? What are we left with? A less customizable Android without the gaudiness of Android and without the rabid religious zealotry of Apple fanboys.  
  • I will be downgrading too later, the thought of having all those awesome features back is amazing.
  • How? I'd love to go back to WP8. Nevermind, I found it thanks to Bing :) https://uk.news.yahoo.com/downgrade-windows-phone-8-1-windows-phone-8-114525381.html#qmg9ql2
  • yup missing fb integration and the old photos hub with a background :( :@
  • I tend to agree, although the Facebook integration may not have been their choice. In order to get the offical app and continued use on older phones with integration, Facebook may have pressured them to make the change. The integration limited Facebook's ability to monitize on the platform.
     
  • "It IS released, in preview.  And, for all practical purposes, it's a feature-finished product. " Nope. People were saying this at first, people like Paul Thurott and such, but MS has come out since and said definitively that the preview is NOT final. They are continuing to tweak. XBox music, specifically, is on a every 2-week update schedule until final release - audio scrubbing was just added back yesterday. I'm not happy about what has happened to hubs, but if the point is to make the hubs shells for 3rd parties to plug into, I think that is a better approach than hard coding specific integration while others get left out. I never really understood the point of the games hub. Its basically just a folder for games. I would rather games just act like any other app.
  • Clearly they already have.
  • You guys doesnt know that wp8.1 is only a dev preview and not the official wp8.1 update? You sounds like an idiot. Stop wincing and just wait :P
  • Hoping to Surface from this deluge of comments for a Surface. 
  • You can use Transparency Tiles to pin a tile.
  • I refuse to use something like that.  Microsoft should never have ruined the OS.  I HATE transparent tile, by the way.  I keep my screen READABLE, not chaotic.
  • If you keep your screen "readable" as you say, then you probably dont have a background image on your tiles and just have an accent color. FYI, the transparent tile will just use your accent color.
  • Sorry bud but those transparent tiles are awesome.
  • Not a LIVE tile.
  • My games are now listed again in the hub but are also listed in the all apps list.
  • Lucky... update not available in India... ;P
  • its is available
  • You can still access the app using Cortana. Say "open games".
  • I think thats only if you still have it pinned to Start. The same way Cortana can only open websites if you pin them to Start.
  • Nope, I don't have it pinned to start. It works anyways using Cortana. Give it a try.  
  • This worked for me. "open games"
  • Yes it does work indeed. :D
  • Oh God, why are they fucking up everything for us? Did they misunderstood us when we said they should remove games from the app list? Are these guys drunk at work or what? Instead of them focusing heavily on making Xbox One games appear and bringing us nice features in the games hub...look at what they doing? Like some interns fucking around with the core system. WTF is this shit??
  • I'm sure they're not causing cancer and killing babies, so you can calm down now.
  • Yes they are brother, with unreasonable news like this, they giving us blood pressure which puts men in a higher risk of developing Prostate cancer and women miscarriaging their unborns. They need to stop this for real.
  • +1020 The hubs and their smooth integration is the Heart of WP! I feel WP is trying to be all things to everyone which is a recipe for a slow and painful death. Keep things like they are just update the service not change the experience to make it more like the competition! Many of us got WPs because it's DIFFERENT from IOS and Android!!!!
  • Yeah...they are basically droping all the unique features of WP...talk of hubs, metro, hinges etc all in favor of a clone of iOS and Android. These guys don't believe in what they work on. We (WP lovers will one day be left in the dark). Talking of senior members of the WP team not even using WPs but iOS....SMFH!!
  • Truth.
  • I dont think thats the goal, I hope not anyway. It looks to me like they are opening the hubs up for 3rd part plugins rather than hard-coding one or two services. If that is where they take this, it will be an improvement. I talking about pretty much everything except the game hub. I dont really understant the Games hub, its just a folder for games. When I want to play a game, I would rather just launch the game like any other app. I dont want to open Games, then launch. And I dont want to pin every game to the start screen.
  • Sadly the Androidbots and itards have successfully destroyed the windows phone environment. MS have allowed the competitors to copy the neat features while they provided alot of crucial apps to them first. Sadly this boost of windows phone is only a sign that they will resemble more like mainstream mobile operating systems. It won't be long before it won't resemble what we loved.
  • No they are spreading Aids...So you just keep your mouth shut...Let Techies talk here
  • Stupid comment...are u a techie guy? Do u know who I am?
  • Osama...or may be an aids virus..
  • Lol....ain't got your time bro. Assume what you want to but my advice is never discriminate....and don't boast with ur knowledge or stuff u have in abundance....cuz u might just loose them oneday! Enjoy ur day :-)
  • Just keeping up with you bro...enjoy ur day too dude...may god bless you
  • This is what happens when a bunch of Android and iPhone users dictate to Microsoft how to change the OS.  It gets ruined.
  • Lol it's just a bug that wasn't supposed to happen, get over it, they will fix it
  • I hope you right but with 8.1 just few days more to global release and still having bugs?...Not a good indication. Wonder what's on the soon to be released Nokia 630.
  • This was an app update. Separate from OS updates. If it is an error don't judge them so badly for it. They're only human, mistakes do happen. Perhaps this slipped under the net.
  • I guess they took "take the games out of the app list" too literally.
  • Ha!
  • I think they're trolling us. Pretty soon, all of our music and videos are going to be listed in the app list instead of in the music and video hubs.
  • Well, it looks like I may have to turn off auto app updates then.
  • I think that's a good idea. Makes your music easier to find, and won't have to deal with the music app
  • That doesn't make your music easier to find, that just clutters up the start screen.
  • I think someone doesn't know what sarcasm is
  • those are their own words when they said why we should have the dozens of games that were nicly tucked in the Games hub out in the app list...   don't hate the player, hate the game
  • This.
  • Lol. Be hilarious to see all of my songs listed in the app list.
  • Seriously, I can't imagine my 500+ songs listed in app list... LOL
  • haha, exactly what i was thinking
  • You win the prize of "Best Comment" for this article.
  • Wtf...ftw what is this update what the funk worthy or for the win worthy ???
  • Very interesting
  • This is nothing. Why does my phone not have the data submission arrows, but the 928 and Icon does? >_
  • +620
  • They misunderstood "remove GAMES from the App list". :/
  • Right!!! What a bunch of idiots
  • I blame people for not knowing how to convey exactly what they want properly. Had they taken the extra minute to properly construct their sentences in a coherent manner, this might have all been avoided.   /s  <----- Coherency.
  • Haha! They did it anyway.
  • What the f*ck were they thinking adding the games to the app list and then removing the GAMES Hub where your games are supposed to be in the first place?!
  • +920
  • Just FYI, you can use transparency tiles to get the tile back if you accidentally unpinned it.
  • There was no accidentally about it when I unpinned the Games hub. I know it's beta and all, but Microsoft neutered the thing to the point where there is almost no reason to have it pinned (why I unpinned it), and now they make it impossible without a third-party app to repin it. Is the Games hub team enjoying too much 420 lately, because I really don't follow their thought process.
  • ....so you unpin something because it's useless, then get upset because you can't re-pin it?
  • I never said it was useless. I said that feature-wise it no longer serves much of a purpose on the Start screen.
  • Wtf are MS doing? Hubs, music and metro were the reason I went with WP over Android and iPhone now they're fucking it all up by removing so many elements that made WP unique and replacing them with shitty apps that are slow and unresponsive.
  • +920
  • +1020 they are making WP a copy of ios and Android. The heart of WP is the hubs and their smooth integration. I will not overreact because it's still in beta and maybe they are just testing these new features or at least that's my hope.
  • Cortana is in beta. WP8.1 is released on new phones starting this week. It is not beta.
  • No it didnt, and yes it is.
  • No, WP8.1 ISN'T in beta.  It's in PREVIEW.  It is FEATURE-COMPLETE.  It's no more a beta than Windows 8 was beta.  All OS's get various tweaks and updates after release.  Cortana IS in beta.
  • Now is the time to let them know. I miss being able to easily share items from weave news reader to twitter and facebook, but at least when they removed that feature it gave some developers the option to make an app that does the same thing. Unishare works the best so far, but it needs work. I really don't like the new music app and the podcast app needs alot of work. I see it doesn't download my podcasts unless I open it. I hate that. It should be doing that for me. The music app is still really slow. Im not sure why its so slow to load too, the other app worked great. I also liked having just one app for music, video, podcasts. Maybe in the lung run it's going to be better having separate apps. But I try to keep in mind this is preview release. As I understand it this version of windows phone is not beta, it's a developer preview. Cortana is in beta and she works great. Best feature added so far. She does play music. Lets see what happens. I do feel it has lost some of its shine. Lets get her fixed up nicely.
  • Yup, if I wanted everything to be an app, I would have stuck with my iPhone.
  • Exactly.  Stupid flipping iPhone and Android users have pushed Microsoft to screw up WP.  I hate you all.
  • I rather apps over baked in os that gets an update once a year, providing they put a little more effort in to these apps
  • Apparently some people complained that they couldn't find their games in the apps list because it was in the games hub. That's one of the dumbest complaints I have ever heard, so I was surprised Microsoft actually did something about that. Well, I guess my complaints about the waste of space in the landscape keyboard are even dumber than that.
  • Curious, why not just make an app folder basically and put everything in there? it appears wp is being brought closer to the other platforms so the majority of the average users dont complain about have to relearn to use it.
  • Hey v-007! Mind blowing idea!!!!!!!!! :D
  • Funny how Android/iOS are now gravitating towards the exact opposite I.e. "Game Centre" in iOS is essentially an imitation of the Xbox experience, minus the Xbox experience of course.
  • +9000
  • +1020
  • Not updating
  • Just turned my auto updates off
  • Some developer was like my games not Xbox live compatible, So why the heck is it in the Xbox hub. And knowing Ms there were like your wish is my command
  • Except its technically the "games hub" :P
  • I highly doubt that this is the end of it since there is a Xbox games app for IOS and android that look similar to the one we have.
  • Can't get it on my Note 3. I emailed ms and was told it wasn't available for newer android phones.
  • Not installing this!
  • RECENT is back on the game! =P
  • You're right. The splash screen seems shorter as well.
  • Yes. Loving that feature again.
  • Awesome, I'm bringing back my hub then before it upsets.
  • can you elaborate more, what is RECENT, like RECENT what?
  • Recently played games. A really missed feature of new game app. Glad to have it back.
  • Lol...if you unpin the games hub from the start screen it's virtually gone forever. You can't open it via Cortana if the live tile isn't pinned.
    (excuse me for my English)
  • Say open games to Cortana
  • Well what happens when my phone doesnt have Cortana yet. Cause if i change it i dont get to access my store.Yes i have 8.1 but i dont have Cortana cause i'm in Australia
  • Tell Me can open apps as well so you don't NEED Cortana to open apps.
  • LoL didnt know about Tell Me..I've learn some more new things. Gonna give it a try.
  • Maybe its a bug? Its not like they uninstalled it.
  • That's what I'm thinking, looks like a bug that slipped through the net.
  • Ok? I like to use for messaging. Guess have to be careful not to unpin.
  • Even if they unpin it they can use any app that pins live tiles!
  • Can send messages with Smartglass.
  • Microsoft...what the hell.
  • yea, I feel the same way...
  • I'm wondering at the moment.....what is going on with the OS?
  • I'm avoiding this update like a plague. No way I want my app list to be extra long. I like how my games are neatly hidden away.
  • I bet you're happy that you don't have apps set to automatically update ;)
  • I think he's talking about 8.1...otherwise he'll get the games on the app list with or without the Games Hub app there.
  • This makes no sense. Didn't Belfiore said that they would consider making the games-showing-on-the-app-list thing optional? I NEVER use the app list to access any game. I always use the Hub. Though I must say...the current Games Hub app sucks. Big time. It's an horrible experience when compared with the Hub integrated with WP8. So I hope this delisting is just something made before a big update to it. Because it really needs it, as that 1 and a half star rating shows.   And if this indicates any possibility of the arrival of Sony WP devices along with PS-games on WP, then great. Take it away, do whatever you want with it, Microsoft. If not, then get your act together.   By the way, by scanning the QR code, the app is there. So it's just hidden.
  • //Didn't Belfiore said that they would consider making the games-showing-on-the-app-list thing optional?// And so they did.
    You have the option to install or ignore the update ;-) You can create your own little hub just use "Folders"
  • Anyone not upgrading to 8.1 is just stupid. At any rate, it just doesn't make sense, after you saying you're considering taking a step back and allowing gamers to hide the games from the app list and have it again only on the Games Hub, to delist the Games Hub.   Also, there's absolutely no excuse for the poor performance of the Games Hub app. If Microsoft wasn't ready to bring forth separate good apps like Games Hub and Xbox Music, then perhaps they should have left the removal of these things from the core OS for later. Unless, of course, this was done to allow Sony devices to come to WP with their PS offerings. Which would make sense since Microsoft probably has more interest in having another strong OEM joining in than to be stubborn with the Xbox apps which they, clearly, never really cared as much about (judging by the state they allowed XBL games on WP to reach).   Also, I have the Games hub pinned. Still, it's nowhere near the same experience to put apps in a folder.
  • Actually some apps have been reported not working as expected when running on wp8.1, especially messenger such as whatsapp and wechat where the notification is either delayed or doesn't received at all when the problem happen. Thus for some, restraining from update to 8.1 dev preview is a smart decision :)
  • He was talking about the update in general I think. Because the listing of apps in the app list and the Games Hub app separated is a 8.1 thing, not something exclusive to the developer preview. And the "preview" thing is reaching an end since there will be phones on the market with WP8.1 in the coming days/weeks.
  • Yup I am enjoying following the process but I've learned the hard way as a past android user, Wait for official release. Lol
    I am very excited for the 8.1 release!
  • Indeed. I got both W8 and WP8 on launch day.. And ill get WP8.1 on launch as well. But I use my phone as a work machine too. No need for it to have bugs on it that I don't need. Lots of niggles will get solved by the time it swings by for public release I am sure, even if only via a Nokia firmware update
  • Folders DO NOT replace all the functions of a hub so are NOT an alternative!!
  • It's like a petulant kid...   "I am NOT going to play games with you, we'll just see about that!!   I'M OUTTA HERE."
  • LOL
  • I'd so much rather have my games listed in the game hub than in the list. Darn you MS.
  • seems faster after games hub disappear
  • Hey.....NO! *SLAP*
  • Another *slap*.
  • An another to remember