Hi-Rez Studios boss Todd Harris says free-to-play games for Xbox Live are nothing but an inevitability. He told Eurogamer that Microsoft has plans to introduce several F2P game on Live. This shouldn’t be a big surprise, since MS has already been discussing this with other developers for some time.
“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, or even PlayStation at this point,” said Harris.
“So the ability to patch frequently, the ability to have it be free-to-play so users can get a taste without any fee. At least from our conversations, both Sony and Microsoft are moving there strategically but there are still some things to be worked out on both the business side and the technical side and the certification side regarding frequency of patches.
“And those issues just need further advancement before we would be comfortable putting a release timeframe on a console version. It’s not the case of ‘never’, but we know all those things we can handle on the PC, so that’s why PC is first.”
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has missed out on several MMOs like Dust 514 and Final Fantasy XIV (lulz) because of their restricted Xbox Live policies. David Dennis told Eurogamer that Microsoft is looking at “a lot of different models for distribution”.
“We’re always looking at different models and different ways we can work with partners to bring content out,” said he.
“If you look, for example, at the stuff Kudo [Tsunoda, Kinect creative director] showed onstage at E3 – Kinect Fun Labs – that’s an ad-supported model. Those titles are sponsored. There are different ways you can deploy or distribute games using different types of business models and we’re always open to talking to partners.
“The strength we have in the business right now and the momentum we have allows us to experiment and try different things like that and see what consumers like and what they don’t like.
“If there are experiences that they like and want to download because it’s ad-supported versus what are they willing to pay for it… you’ll see us continue in the future to look for a lot of different models for distribution like that.”
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