Rumour: Free to play titles coming to Xbox Live

 

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Team Fortress 2 was to become a free to play title, a juicy new rumour has surfaced thanks to develop online.

The rumour is simple - Microsoft is allegedly talking to various developers about bringing free to play titles to Xbox live. Xbox live is due to receive an update in the future that will allow gamers to seamlessly purchase items in game, which could lead the way for free to play titles that typically make their money from microtransactions.

Details beyond this are scarce; if it turns out to be true, there's no guarantee that it would incorporate all Live platforms, or just the likes of the Xbox 360, nor is there any guarantee that you wont still need an Xbox Live subscription to play the "free" titles.

If true, this shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone. There appears to be a shift in the gaming industry towards free to play, microtransaction based games. Even successful titles, such as City of Heroes, have decided to go the free to play route and recently Valve added support for free to play titles to Steam. Games companies like Zynga have shown that it's entirely possible to make incredible amounts of money from free to play titles, such as their various Facebook games and Microsoft are almost certainly going to want to get a piece of that pie, eventually.

Microsoft never comment on rumour or speculation, so file this under "maybe" for now.

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16 Comments

Um we have already had free to play titles, 1vs100 for example.
Joy ride was supposed to be free with microtransactions but MS realised how weak the line up for Kinect was and slapped in some half arsed motion controls and a full retail price on it.

the better twin said,
Um we have already had free to play titles, 1vs100 for example.
Joy ride was supposed to be free with microtransactions but MS realised how weak the line up for Kinect was and slapped in some half arsed motion controls and a full retail price on it.

Just when I thought I forgot all about 1 vs 100 you go and bring it up. Such a great game and such a stupid thing to cancel. Gold was required, you had in game ads from Sprint (along with some MS ads) yet they still cancelled it.

the better twin said,
Um we have already had free to play titles, 1vs100 for example.
Joy ride was supposed to be free with microtransactions but MS realised how weak the line up for Kinect was and slapped in some half arsed motion controls and a full retail price on it.

1 vs 100 was free, not 'free to play'. 'Free to play' means you can download the core game for free but you have to buy access to everything else via microtransactions. The current set up of the Marketplace means this isn't very convenient atm - you'd have to restart the game every time you buy something.

what said,

1 vs 100 was free, not 'free to play'. 'Free to play' means you can download the core game for free but you have to buy access to everything else via microtransactions. The current set up of the Marketplace means this isn't very convenient atm - you'd have to restart the game every time you buy something.

No you don't. If the game is setup right it will rescan for DLC and load them in on demand. Just choose Continue rather than Play when the download is done.

the better twin said,
Um we have already had free to play titles, 1vs100 for example.
Joy ride was supposed to be free with microtransactions but MS realised how weak the line up for Kinect was and slapped in some half arsed motion controls and a full retail price on it.
They knew Watson would dominate the field.

Will Netflix be one? Seriously, it's stupid that to this day you still need a Gold subscription on top of your already existing Netflix subscription to use the Netflix app on the Xbox, when everything else in the house can do it without any extra charge (laptop, phone, TV, microwave, etc).

Macrohard said,
Will Netflix be one? Seriously, it's stupid that to this day you still need a Gold subscription on top of your already existing Netflix subscription to use the Netflix app on the Xbox, when everything else in the house can do it without any extra charge (laptop, phone, TV, microwave, etc).

I second that.

Macrohard said,
Will Netflix be one? Seriously, it's stupid that to this day you still need a Gold subscription on top of your already existing Netflix subscription to use the Netflix app on the Xbox, when everything else in the house can do it without any extra charge (laptop, phone, TV, microwave, etc).

Worse yet is the Zune Pass on Xbox 360. I'm already paying Microsoft for the Zune Pass, so why should I have to pay again just to play it on the Xbox 360? Especially when those plays don't count in my play count as Windows PC and Windows Phone plays do.

Macrohard said,
Will Netflix be one? Seriously, it's stupid that to this day you still need a Gold subscription on top of your already existing Netflix subscription to use the Netflix app on the Xbox, when everything else in the house can do it without any extra charge (laptop, phone, TV, microwave, etc).

LOL, microwave???
But seriously, yes. There's no reason why you should have to pay money to pay money to use Netflix.

Macrohard said,
Will Netflix be one? Seriously, it's stupid that to this day you still need a Gold subscription on top of your already existing Netflix subscription to use the Netflix app on the Xbox, when everything else in the house can do it without any extra charge (laptop, phone, TV, microwave, etc).

I have to agree. Signed up for Netflix, only to find out that I can't use it on my 360 without a Gold subscription.

Ji@nBing said,
All I know is I'll be skipping and games that use this. I HATE the freemium model and skip any game that uses it on iPhone. Just let me buy the bloody game if I like it, rather than nickel and diming me for it to the extent that it ends up costing more than a regular game would.

Agreed. I think this is a trend that won't last long. Maybe 20-somethings don't mind being nickeled-and-dimed to poverty over video games, but parents surely aren't going to hand over the credit card so their 6-year-olds can buy $50 of in-game content. If Microsoft lets this happen they will hand any remaining market share they have in youth gaming right back over to Nintendo.

So the difference between that and having to pay $50 just to find out if a game is $50 and adding $15 a month (and wondering whether or not it'll still be running in six months) is?

Hell, I've played some F2P games. I've certainly never paid more than 15 a month on anything in them when I was playing them.

well they showed it with Age Of Empires, they know there is a bussiness and alot of people knowing its free will play it and if they get addicted they will buy at least 1 item.

and city of heroes, did it because there is no bussiness with that game. i would believe it when their games, like: Aion, Blade and soul (when its released), lineage, are free to play. but they wont, aion, is too well played in Korea. lineage still people play it. guild wars, you buy the game an no montly fee. they are making CoH free to play to try to save it, but i bet it will go Dungeon Runners, Exteel and Tabula Rasa. ncsoft its like that not a good example.. i think its better to talk about nexon, webzen, ijji, which make or/and publish free to play games, and its their business.

but it sounds good if they add even a small game to play multiplayer through xbox <---> wp7 for free while you get achivements.
after playing alot of free to play, you get to hate it, people have advantage and stuff like that. but its fun when you play with friend and noone care about paying a cent. so no complains either, just when you pvp or something

The idea is to give you a 'demo' of the game.. stats won't save, don't get the cool gun, don't have the fast car - until you BUY it with REAL money. All in all, if they are able to get $10 out of a gamer a month for new addons/accessories IN the game, they make more money.

Anyone can play for free, which appeals to the online gamers - so theres always competition. If you want to be good at the game, you need to sink money into it, real money.

This don't surprise me much as Microsoft stopped banning consoles in '09 as hardware sales were likely costing them more in PR and ****ed off customers than leaving people play backups and buy DLC and XBLA and videos from the marketplace. Just makes sense in a digital distribution model to not 'sink' all your money in at one time, and 'customize' your game how you like it!

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