If you’re looking to get an Xbox One for your free-to-play kick and don’t mind paying for an Xbox LIVE Gold membership… well, you still might be out of luck because your selection of games could be seriously limited, thanks to Microsoft’s Stone Age policies regarding digital distribution.




By now, you’ve likely heard about Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi saying that he’s “not happy about” the Gold subscription requirement for World of Tanks on the Xbox 360. He’s still one of the lucky ones, though – his game will actually be on an Xbox system.

On the heels of that interview comes DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall’s questioning Microsoft’s digital distribution model – or rather, it’s existence at all, which he calls “ridiculous”. DayZ won’t be free-to-play, but the points he brings up – echoed in another piece from last month – seem to indicate that Microsoft isn’t exactly friendly toward indie studios and especially developers that don’t have a major publisher or that ship a physical product.

That issue is, of course, at the heart of free-to-play gaming. There are major companies that make free-to-play games, like SOE and EA, that ship plenty of physical products, but if this information is accurate, even they’re limited to one digital-only game on Xbox LIVE Arcade for every two physical retail games shipped.

And what about smaller companies that can’t get on the shelves of Best Buy or GameStop or Walmart? Many F2P-focused companies fall into this category, and F2P gaming itself is primarily a digital venture, usually with no accompanying physical product. Even a well-established company with a very successful “other” game, like CCP, does most of its business digitally, which probably explains why DUST 514 is on the PlayStation 3 and not the Xbox 360.

Microsoft needs to seriously wake up on this issue. It’s no longer 1995, where the only way to produce and distribute games is through physical discs (which they seem to understand only as it pertains to DRM). Perhaps the issue is that they don’t want a ton of indie/low-budget games cluttering up the XBLA marketplace, but that could be solved with a little more quality control… but that would probably require more resources, a.k.a. money.

Victor Kislyi may be right when he says “We will teach – excuse me – we will advise them on how to embrace” how to properly handle free-to-play gaming and alternate payment models. I’ve spoken with Victor and he can be a little blunt, but in a charming way, and this seems like him coming up with the right, though undiplomatic, word and realizing he needs to quickly soften it. Still, it’s a little troubling that developers need to teach Microsoft this lesson, one that a true forward-thinking company should already be in a hurry to implement.

If you care at all about the Xbox One, you’d better hope that enlightenment won’t come too late.

By Jason Winter

39 Readers Commented

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  1. Xboxisshit on July 19, 2013

    Even though microsoft doesn’t support small indies, they’ll happily get minecraft onto their systems
    This is a load of bull, all they care about is money, without a single care for customer happiness

  2. saed on July 3, 2013

    CONSOLES IS FOR BRAINLESS NOOBS ONLY! Almost all games SUX, very bad looking, unplayable controls, big prices… u should be super ideot to buy that crap! Even low end pc beat all console craps, u can do anything even play any console games on pc.

  3. Moremoney on July 1, 2013

    If i have more money, I’d never buy consoles, i’d rather buy a better PC or upgrade it, it does everything i want anyway, no consoles will ever replace or even outmatched, consoles have less work with small specific reward, PC have more work but with better rewardS. End

  4. Consolesaredead on June 27, 2013

    Consoles are dead anyway. Why should someone buy a console when he can have a PC?
    the PC does anything better then a Console and you can play with a GAMEPAD to ive you want.
    Btw when is the STEAM CONSOLE comming out? And STEAM BIG PICTURE makes a console more useless.
    Everyone with common senes should save his MONEY and dont buy a bullshit console better a buy a good pc and you wont have any of this childish problems.

    • Eviil on June 27, 2013

      You’re right with only one thing, consoles are NOT superior than PC’s, but it is more affordable fir gamng. A 250.00 tower and monitor will not even run TIC-TAC-TOE. Consoles are long from dead, your theory is completely false HAHA. An okay low-end tower is around 400, a mid to high end tower will cost you between 700-3,000,00000000.

      • Eviil on June 27, 2013

        I look at my PS3 and I ask myself, since when did I have to replace anything inside a console to be able to play games at stable frames, which was none since launch. then I ask myself the same question for my PC. I see myself buying new video cards every year, new CPU, motherboards and more, and it ain’t cheap at all. When I buy things for my PC, I don’t settle for less, I want the best shit out there.

        CPU: AMD FX 8320 8-core running at 4.19 GHZ
        Memory: Four G.Skill 4GIG sticks running at 1744MHZ (12800)
        2 Samsung Pro 256 SSD (one OS onr Back up) 1 Terabyte HDD
        Asus Sabertooth 2nd Gen 990FX
        EVGA Nvidia 2 670 in Dual-SLI and an 460 for physx
        950 power supply
        and thats current, add that bitch up with tidays “discounted” prices.

        • Vocation on June 27, 2013

          Consoles are not more affordable than PCs in the long term. You pay just as much for games and subscriptions as for new hardware. When time pass consoles turn near useless but a PC will always have its uses. Computers will not be used only for gaming. You can use it for graphic editing, hacking and other such tasks that consoles will never be able to do. PC = more versatile. Consoles = Simple for gaming.

          At the end of the day you will always want a good computer that can do much much more for nearly the same price as a console.

          • Zeke on June 28, 2013

            I believe you pay less in the long run for Console gaming. Let’s say you buy 5 games a year as a console gamer. 60×5 + 399 for the PS4. This is to say you also play F2P Non PS+ Games. This is $699.

            Let’s say you buy a lower end Mid range tower. This you can get on Newegg for $500. Then let’s say you buy the same games off steam for slightly cheaper ($10 cheaper). You still pay more for them. What about if a part of your computer breaks outside of warranty (Console warranties last longer, most pc parts last 1-3 years). What if you play MMOs that are F2P (don’t give me that “We don’t talk P2P here” bullshit) or buy F2P Cash shop items? This only adds to it. What about PC peripherals? Mouse, Keyboard, etc. Second monitor? Neon case? There’s so many things you can do to boost your bill that you just can’t do on consoles.

            Not to mention if you bought a PS4 ($399) and played nothing but F2P Non-PS+ MMOs then that’s $399 with no more cost. Can’t get better than that, no low range PC will play all of the F2P MMOs that the PS4 can.

            I am still a PC gamer by heart, just bought an extra 16GB of ram and a Vishera 8350, the best CPU I can buy on the market currently from AMD. Even with my expendable income I KNOW Console gaming is cheaper.

            Let’s not even mention the Ouya… Which has stellar reviews by the way, and for only $99.

          • Curst on June 28, 2013

            It also depends on where you live. Somewhere in US price for console + games is comparable to price for PC + games + constant upgrades. But here in Russia last generation console is only 10-20% cheaper than average PC sufficient for gaming. At the same time average console game costs 5 or sometimes even 10 times more than average PC game. There’s also alot more free to play games on PC, so in Russia even if you want just a gaming platform and nothing more, the choice is pretty obvious.

  5. Consolesaredead on June 27, 2013

    Consoles are dead anyway. Why should someone buy a console when he can have a PC?
    the PC does anything better then a Console and you can play with a GAMEPAD to ive you want.
    Btw when is the STEAM CONSOLE comming out? And STEAM BIG PICTURE makes a console more useless.
    CONSOLES ARE DEAD everyone with common senes should save his MONEY and dont buy a bullshit console better a buy a good pc and you wont have any of this childish problems.

    CONSOLES ARE SOOOOOO… DEAD

  6. Bic Boi on June 27, 2013

    This seriously puzzles me–is F2P games that you can get on a PC -really- that huge of a deciding factor? What happened to all the AAA disc-based games from big name franchaises? Or did everyone just up and forget about those and are only focusing on F2P? Seriously? Someone throw me a bone here. I’m fricken lost.

  7. chefmadness on June 26, 2013

    Well duh. This is nothing new. I could have told you this months ago. Microshit will never let xbox be free online. You must pay to play no matter what. Even if the game is free it self. This is nothing new & shouldn’t be a shock to any one. That is why PC & PS3/4 for the win! I have never paid Microshit for any thing. I pirate everything I have on my PC including my Win764bit OS & I never use Microsoft word, Open Office is way better & free. Open Source & Free/Share Ware Rule!!!!!

    • Lolno on June 27, 2013

      So in other words you’re both a thief and a social parasite because you can’t be arsed to pay and legitimately acquire a product. Someone’s got a hate boner for microsoft. Be butthurt more.

      • chefmadness on June 27, 2013

        Hey F U K O F F!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! & Stop Being An Ass Hole!!!!! No reason to be a rude Dick to others.

  8. lol on June 26, 2013

    I’m glad PC solves all my gaming needs. I have never had the desire to ever buy a console, and with the trend that consoles are continuing to go towards, I don’t see that changing in my future. The majority of titles released on both Xbox and Playstation are also available on PC, with a few that I do wish they would port, but not strongly enough to actually purchase a console (Gran Turismo, Forza to name a few). Not only that, the xbox 360 controller is becoming more of a trend now in newer games. I essentially have an Xbox, but with no monthly fees, and access to all the free-to-play games I could desire (with an xbox controller might I add).

    • Bic Boi on June 27, 2013

      Here here brother. If F2P games are so damn important to people that it influences a console (that you’d want for anything BUT f2p games) why wouldn’t you get a fuxxing PC? People these days..

  9. ThisJKid on June 26, 2013

    First line correction: “don’t mind playing for an Xbox LIVE Gold “.
    Change “playing” to “paying”.

    • spunkify Author on June 26, 2013

      Thanks! I’m allowed one typo per article, it’s in my contract.

      • Jason Winter on June 26, 2013

        And strangely, that happened while I was logged in as Spunkify to make the edit. I’m allowed to do that once, too.

  10. some random scottish guy on June 26, 2013

    please stop putting console news on the mmobomb website, this is no place for console stuff.

    • spunkify Author on June 26, 2013

      MMOBomb is not PC exclusive. We cover all F2P news on both PC and consoles. The only F2P stuff we don’t cover is mobile games.

      • Eviil on June 27, 2013

        Word! even I understood that before I registered this site.

      • Zeke on June 28, 2013

        “Cover all F2P News” “Won’t cover mobile F2P News”.

        Seems like you should have worded it better.

  11. headintheclouds on June 26, 2013

    and titian is going on there cloud server, ah well another game that lots will NOT play 😉

  12. Ryu on June 26, 2013

    Amazon did a poll for the Xbox One vs PS4 and which one people plan to get, PS4 came out with 95% while Xbox One was 5%, it was around 38,000 for PS4 and 2,000 for Xbox One before the poll was abruptly shut down, how much ya wanna bet Microsoft did some damage control there?

    • Bic Boi on June 27, 2013

      Yes and I’m sure polls aren’t easily influenced, right? It takes no stretch of the imagination to find ways to influence a poll just like there are ways to influence (and even skew) results on an election. But yes I’m ever so sure microsoft shut it down. It couldn’t possibly be fanboys skewing the results because that would mean you’d get butthurt at this comment.

  13. Akshansh on June 26, 2013

    If we have to pay then there will be no sense in subscribe to pay . This means pay to play free to play lol . If I want to spend money I will spend on pay to play games and not subscribing for free to play. So free to play games of Xbox never. PS4 rocks

    • Mgamer on June 26, 2013

      PS4 is not any different also. You’ll still have to pay a subscription to play online if you are getting a PS4, but the good side is the PS4 F2p method is doing a lot better job than Xbox “1.”

      • Kimwer on June 26, 2013

        No you don’t. SOME games will require you to buy PSPlus, it depends on the developer.

        • chefmadness on June 26, 2013

          All games that are F2P for Sony you will not have to pay to play online with Sony+’s. & the new games that are buy to play that are online mmo’s you will not have to have a Sony+’s membership to play online. That in the news I have gathered. & That is awesome. Sony for the win. So in other words WarFrame, Dust514, DCU, no Sony+’s membership to play online & Destiny & Titan Fall No Sony+’s to play online.

          • Bic Boi on June 27, 2013

            Warframe is mediocre and half-assed. But hey, if you’re jizzing your pants over seeing the same 4 environments be reused again and again be my guest; ejaculate over the same steel wall on all Grineer levels. Enjoy.

          • Eviil on June 27, 2013

            not ALL F2P games will not require a subscription with Sony. IF they wanted to, it can be exclusive FOR the PS+ users. and THAT depends with Sony and the game developers.

          • feerau on July 1, 2013

            @Bic Boi, warframe is not mediocre nor is it half assed, just because you don’t like the game doesn’t mean you can tell people to “jizz” or “ejaculate”, your mind is disgusting you know that. Keep it to yourself if your gonna talk like that.

  14. Vinal on June 26, 2013

    So it’s a free-to-play being subscription based. Welcome to the void plane, where no logic exist.

  15. well on June 25, 2013

    well once they see there sells compared to the PS4 they will either shape up or ship out i love xbox but i wont buy bull shit

    • Jyunaut on June 27, 2013

      I too love xbox, but if it’s going to end up like this, then i won’t take it. :\

  16. RottenTaco on June 25, 2013

    Mounted

  17. bob on June 25, 2013

    Another reason why not to buy this POS system….really wish they would just go the way of the dinosaurs.

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