Rumor: Xbox 360 getting free-to-play games next year

Microsoft may be introducing a free-to-play games through Xbox Live next year, letting developers take advantage of micro-transaction based revenue models.

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The free-to-play games model that become popular in PC development circles is starting to creep into consoles, and may make its way Xbox 360 in the near future. Microsoft plans to introduce F2P games next year through Xbox Live, according to an undisclosed source speaking to IGN. Microsoft had planned to make the casual racer Joy Ride follow this revenue model, before it transformed into a Kinect launch title.

The sales model, true to its name, lets users play a game for free, but allows them to purchase cosmetic or game-altering items as well as micro-transactions. It's become particularly popular among massively multiplayer online games and Facebook titles like Farmville. Recently larger publishers like EA have taken notice, experimenting with f2P games like Battlefield Heroes and the recently launched Battlefield Play4Free. Meanwhile, Sony has beaten Microsoft to the punch by utilizing one of its own established properties, launching Free Realms on the PlayStation 3 in March.

As usual with rumors, take this with a grain of salt. If it proves true, E3 seems like the place for Microsoft to announce such a plan, as the event serves multiple roles in attracting game fans, stockholders, and developers.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 11, 2011 2:30 PM

    Comment on Rumor: Xbox 360 getting free-to-play games next year, by Steve Watts.

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      April 11, 2011 2:42 PM

      Summary: Microsoft may be introducing a free-to-play games through Xbox Live next year, letting developers take advantage of micro-transaction based revenue models.

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        April 11, 2011 4:46 PM

        Summary's Summary: Maybe free games?

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      April 11, 2011 2:59 PM

      Summary: Farmville.

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      April 11, 2011 3:02 PM

      not really free if you have to pay for xbox live to play them.

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        April 11, 2011 3:06 PM

        It doesn't specifically say that you would need xbox live gold to play them. A silver live account is free.

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          April 11, 2011 3:16 PM

          Well obviously, if they get some good titles that offer micro transactions that people will pay for, why hamper them with gold.

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      April 11, 2011 6:54 PM

      Spiral Knights for 360? That'd be neat.

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      April 12, 2011 7:13 AM

      Not too surprising on the heels of the announcements that Dungeon Fighter Online would be coming to xbox 360. Especially since Nexon said the main thing that had been holding them back was trying to work out the micro transaction model on XBL.

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      April 15, 2011 4:15 AM

      Hope this is true because I think it'll be good for consoles and consumers.

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      April 16, 2011 3:47 PM

      Will likely only be available to Xbox Live GOLD subscribers...

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