Microsoft discussing free-to-play support for Xbox 360

When Hi-Rez Studios announced its plans to release Tribes: Ascend, the original plan was to release the revival of the classic sci-fi shooter series on both the PC and the Xbox 360. Since that first announcement the studio has backtracked on those plans and has since announced that the game would be released as a free-to-play game for the PC platform only. However in a recent chat on Eurogamer Todd Harris, the head of High-Rez Studios, says that Microsoft is in talks about letting free-to-play games like Tribes Ascend be allowed on its Xbox Live Arcade game download service.

One of the issues that Microsoft is still dealing with is allowing for more frequent updates to games that are designed for free-to-play business models. Harris says, "It's really just the degree to which the free-to-play model and, even more specifically, constant updates are at - kind of what level of support there is for Xbox." However Harris added that Microsoft is not blind to where the game industry is heading, saying, "It's inevitable that Microsoft will move towards that because the industry is moving towards that, and once that groundwork has been laid we would be in a better position to consider Tribes: Ascend for Xbox." For its part, Xbox senior product manager David Dennis didn't comment specifically about free-to-play game plans for the console, saying only, "We're always looking at different models and different ways we can work with partners to bring content out."

In the meantime, Tribes Ascend is still scheduled to be released for the PC later this year. Attendees of QuakeCon in Dallas next week will be the first members of the public to play a build of the game. Neowin will also be attending QuakeCon next week, reporting on all of the activities of the US's biggest LAN event.

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