Windows Phone 7 to use Microsoft Points for game microtransactions

Microsoft has used Microsoft Points as a way to purchase downloadable games for the Xbox 360 game console for several years. It has also used the service for purchasing movies and TV shows from the Zune Marketplace and DLC for both Xbox 360 and games that use Games For Windows Live. Now a new report says that Microsoft Points are being used in a new Windows Phone 7 game for in-game microtransactions.

The Electronic Theatre web site reports that the Windows Phone 7 game with the microtransaction support is called Beards and Beaks. It's the first game made for the smartphone operating system that was developed and publishing completely in house by Microsoft Game Studios. The game itself has the player controlling a group of gnomes who have to deal with a hostile group of crows that have invaded Gnome Town.

The game gives the player a number of special powers and abilities to help defeat the crows. However, those gnome powers are fueled by mushrooms. While the game lets the player get a new batch of mushrooms when they complete levels, the player could run into a situation where his or her mushroom supply runs out before that happens. In that case the game allows the player to dip into his or her Microsoft Points to refresh their mushroom supple. While the first mushroom resupply using this method is in fact free, additional mushroom packs must be purchased by using 40 Microsoft Points. Here in the US, that's the equivalent of 50 cents.

The article speculates that Birds and Beaks was developed not just as a game but also as a test for these new in-game transactions. It will be interesting to see if other Windows Phone 7 games use this business model.

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They should use Microsoft Points for the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the new Windows Store. All or nothing, Microsoft. Come on; where's the consistency?

Ok folks, everyone here seems to have forgotten the Smurfberry fiasco on the iOS.

I for one look forward to this over 'real money' as people call it. It's a good way to limit spending and force one to conciously decide to spend again.

Man, I was disappointed they didn't integrate points from the get-go. I think some folks will always want dollar amounts and that's cool, but for some, the points allow for some convenience as well. Plus, they aren't affected by exchange rates, using cards can be more safe (sony), could be (if allowed) gifted in certain states to bypass gambling laws plus not all under 18 kids have access to a cc. They should have had them from the start.

majg said,
Man, I was disappointed they didn't integrate points from the get-go. I think some folks will always want dollar amounts and that's cool, but for some, the points allow for some convenience as well. Plus, they aren't affected by exchange rates, using cards can be more safe (sony), could be (if allowed) gifted in certain states to bypass gambling laws plus not all under 18 kids have access to a cc. They should have had them from the start.

I would have to agree with that. At least make both choices an option tied to your account.

So Points for microtransactions, but not for buying in the marketplace, thats pretty logical. </sarcasm>

MFH said,
So Points for microtransactions, but not for buying in the marketplace, thats pretty logical. </sarcasm>

I'm expecting that to now change as well.

MFH said,
So Points for microtransactions, but not for buying in the marketplace, thats pretty logical. </sarcasm>

I hope that will change... I don't have a credit card (-> I haven't bought anything on the WP7 marketplace yet) and I can buy MS points with Paypal or anything I want.

M_Lyons10 said,

I'm expecting that to now change as well.

I hope it'll change as well since I have a US based zune/xbox live account but a EU credit card so I can't buy games/apps without using MS Points. At this rate i'll have to migrate my account in the end but you lose some stuff if it's not in the US so there's a drawback to it as well.

M_Lyons10 said,
I'm expecting that to now change as well.

The real question is: Why wasn't that offered in the first place? They must have known that credit cards are not as widespread in the EU as in the US…

InfiniteLuke said,

I hope that will change... I don't have a credit card (-> I haven't bought anything on the WP7 marketplace yet) and I can buy MS points with Paypal or anything I want.

Oh goodness if it changes to that, I'm going to hate buying apps. That will really blow. I hate their pre-loading crap.

andrewbares said,

Oh goodness if it changes to that, I'm going to hate buying apps. That will really blow. I hate their pre-loading crap.

They won't drop credit cards. They add points, which should have always been offered as payment method…

*sigh*, I really hate the Microsoft Points mechanic... I want to just be able to pay as I go with real money so I 1) Know how much I'm spending, and 2) don't have to preload it. I really hate that... I was hoping things would go the other way...

M_Lyons10 said,
*sigh*, I really hate the Microsoft Points mechanic... I want to just be able to pay as I go with real money so I 1) Know how much I'm spending, and 2) don't have to preload it. I really hate that... I was hoping things would go the other way...

Wallet systems like this tend to be used on any ecosystem that supports microtransactions. The reason for it is simple, Credit Card companies and banks charge transaction fees, and therefore microtransactions can actually end up costing too much to be sustainable. You'll see other techniques used to avoid the same problem in other places, for example, iTunes. Apple waits for a period after you have made a purchase before they actually charge you for it, in the hope that you are in to buy more than just one song. This way they can charge you once, and only have to pay one transaction fee, rather than several

If the Sony PSN Hack fiasco didn't teach you anything, then you're on your own when stuff like happen. I rather buy points in small number instead of handing out cc# to anyone online.

Sraf said,

Wallet systems like this tend to be used on any ecosystem that supports microtransactions. The reason for it is simple, Credit Card companies and banks charge transaction fees, and therefore microtransactions can actually end up costing too much to be sustainable. You'll see other techniques used to avoid the same problem in other places, for example, iTunes. Apple waits for a period after you have made a purchase before they actually charge you for it, in the hope that you are in to buy more than just one song. This way they can charge you once, and only have to pay one transaction fee, rather than several

Oh, I understand that. And though I'm not crazy about preloading in general, I do understand that. But if you're going to preload, at least have it be like for like. The MS Points system makes it more confusing than it needs to be. Why not just have it be $ 10, not 1200 MS Points or whatever...

M_Lyons10 said,

Oh, I understand that. And though I'm not crazy about preloading in general, I do understand that. But if you're going to preload, at least have it be like for like. The MS Points system makes it more confusing than it needs to be. Why not just have it be $ 10, not 1200 MS Points or whatever...

To be honest, I'm not sure, it could be to mask the actual cost of something, or because of how xbox live is set up or a combination of things

flexkeyboard said,
If the Sony PSN Hack fiasco didn't teach you anything, then you're on your own when stuff like happen. I rather buy points in small number instead of handing out cc# to anyone online.

The problem is, by default XBox Marketplace holds onto your CC info for you. You have to opt out of it remembering despite the point system. Its setup this way so you can quickly and easily buy more points.

Shadrack said,

The problem is, by default XBox Marketplace holds onto your CC info for you. You have to opt out of it remembering despite the point system. Its setup this way so you can quickly and easily buy more points.

There is also an option to buy MS point cards and enter the redemption #

M_Lyons10 said,
*sigh*, I really hate the Microsoft Points mechanic... I want to just be able to pay as I go with real money so I 1) Know how much I'm spending, and 2) don't have to preload it. I really hate that... I was hoping things would go the other way...

Ya, but these are 'micro-transactions', which means if you want to buy a new sword for a game, that cost 0.03 US, the credit card company will laugh at you and the company selling it and not allow the sale, as their transaction and percentage costs would be larger than each transaction.

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
you just beat level 1! for 99 cents you can play level 2!

You mean 150 Microsoft Points. LOL.

In app transactions should only be for apps like Netflix or apps that have to do with a store. I'm sick and tired of this pay-as-you-play mentality going on in the game industry. The games on Windows Phone are already expensive enough.

PlogCF said,
In app transactions should only be for apps like Netflix or apps that have to do with a store. I'm sick and tired of this pay-as-you-play mentality going on in the game industry. The games on Windows Phone are already expensive enough.

Though I don't feel microtransactions should be abused, I don't understand the argument that games are too expensive on WP7... I've bought several, and they are generally around $ 3... That's not bad to me, considering I now own it and can take it to my new phone and such...

M_Lyons10 said,

Though I don't feel microtransactions should be abused, I don't understand the argument that games are too expensive on WP7... I've bought several, and they are generally around $ 3... That's not bad to me, considering I now own it and can take it to my new phone and such...

Have you considered how much cheaper the games are on the iPhone?

andrewbares said,
Have you considered how much cheaper the games are on the iPhone?

For the price difference between a WP7 device and the iPhone you can buy half the marketplace^^

PlogCF said,
In app transactions should only be for apps like Netflix or apps that have to do with a store. I'm sick and tired of this pay-as-you-play mentality going on in the game industry. The games on Windows Phone are already expensive enough.

I could not agree more about this "pay-as-you-play" frenziness; unfortunately FB and Zinga proved the profitability of the concept so other companies are jumping on the wagon.

MFH said,

For the price difference between a WP7 device and the iPhone you can buy half the marketplace^^

Not really: a HD7 with 8GB of memory costs around 600 Euro, an iPhone 4 with 32GB around 700 Euro. I do not see such a big difference.

Fritzly said,

Not really: a HD7 with 8GB of memory costs around 600 Euro, an iPhone 4 with 32GB around 700 Euro. I do not see such a big difference.


are you kidding? where did you find such expensive HD7 with minimum memory capacity, lol? I heard you can buy Omnia 7 in Germany for 300 Euro or less, and it's been more expensive then HD7.

х.iso said,

are you kidding? where did you find such expensive HD7 with minimum memory capacity, lol? I heard you can buy Omnia 7 in Germany for 300 Euro or less, and it's been more expensive then HD7.

That was the price it was sold in Italy around May 2011; personally I do not like the Omnia 7: smaller screen and all plastic but this is just a matter of personal taste.

Fritzly said,

That was the price it was sold in Italy around May 2011; personally I do not like the Omnia 7: smaller screen and all plastic but this is just a matter of personal taste.


it's not all plastic, just top and bottom caps are plastic and the rest is aluminum.
anyway, the point is that current WP7 phones should be 500 EUR at most, but maybe really depends on country.

Fritzly said,
Not really: a HD7 with 8GB of memory costs around 600 Euro, an iPhone 4 with 32GB around 700 Euro. I do not see such a big difference.

http://geizhals.at/eu/?cat=umt...7E2363_ohne+Branding#xf_top
http://geizhals.at/?cat=umtsov...7E2363_ohne+Branding#xf_top
From ~180€ to ~280€ without a contract (not counting the DVP as it's been unavailable almost the whole time since WP7 was released)
vs.
~490€ to ~700€ without a contract.
That's quite a price difference…

MFH said,

http://geizhals.at/eu/?cat=umt...7E2363_ohne+Branding#xf_top
http://geizhals.at/?cat=umtsov...7E2363_ohne+Branding#xf_top
From ~180€ to ~280€ without a contract (not counting the DVP as it's been unavailable almost the whole time since WP7 was released)
vs.
~490€ to ~700€ without a contract.
That's quite a price difference…

My German is not really good but it seems that WP7 devices are not really popular; prices have been fallen more than 50% in less than one year.....

Well, this the risk of being an early adopter like me.....

Xerax said,
Good . No sales tax i believe.

Umm.. there is sales tax. I dislike the point system... seems like I always have like 200 points that I can't spend on anything. Seems like a shiesty way for MS to hold onto more money than actual product they sold me. They should at least give me some interest on those 200 points.