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Microsoft Experiementing With Free to Play

As you probably know, the video game industry is huge, and the latest movement has been the Free to Play business model. That said, many companies have been experimenting with different free to play models, including the creators of Xbox Live, Microsoft. Microsoft will be rolling out its very first Free to Play game on the Xbox 360 later this year.
 The name was dubbed as Happy Wars by Japanese Toylogic, the title will be followed by action-RPG Ascend:New Gods from the widely known Toy Soldiers maker, Signal Studios.

“We’re always looking at ways to push the boundaries of the console and our digital platform,” a Microsoft spokesperson told OXM. “Bringing true free-to-play gaming experiences to Xbox 360 is a natural extension of that.

“With the ongoing success of the model on PC, and the interest from both our consumers and our partners looking to explore this system on console, it simply made sense to deliver this experience through great games that would take advantage of it.

“In this pilot program, Microsoft Studios will support free-to-play gaming with Happy Wars, due out in September, as well as the recently announced game Ascend: New Gods which will ship in several months.

“The free-to-play model and games experiences will be available to all Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers, as many of the games planned will be multiplayer games by nature (an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription is required for multiplayer gaming). The games that use the free-to-play mechanic will leverage the Microsoft Points system.”

It’s not really a surprise that Microsoft is headed this way since Sony is now offering a few free titles for PlayStation Plus members. In fact, I wonder if they even had a choice in the matter so that they could stay pretty competitive and offer the same or better experience than what Sony offers with its PlayStation Plus service. Of course, you should note that in order to access the free titles, you’ll have to have a Xbox Live Gold membership much like you would have to have a PlayStation Plus membership. While many have dubbed it a “scam” or even a “ripoff,” this is actually a nice move. You already get tons of features with the Xbox Live Gold membership, and adding some free playable titles to the mix makes the value for it even better. In a sense, it is Free to Play, but at the same time it isn’t. I guess you could think of it as a monthly subscription to the hit MMO World of Warcraft.

Is anyone excited to see Microsoft headed this way with some of the new games coming out on Xbox Live? I kind of am, seeing that Gold members are getting exclusive content as opposed to the other options is pretty nice. It adds more value to the Gold membership and because of that, I think a lot more players might just upgrade their subscriptions to Gold.

What are your thoughts on this new move by Microsoft? Let us know in the comments below!

source: TG Daily


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