Games for Windows – Live Goes Totally Free

During Microsoft’s Gamefest 2008 in Seattle on Tuesday, the company seemed to finally answer year-old criticisms about its pricing strategy for Games for Windows – Live.

Microsoft said that it would no longer be charging for “premium” online features in Games for Windows – Live titles, such as TrueSkill matchmaking, cross-platform gameplay and multiplayer achievements.

When Microsoft announced Games for Windows – Live in 2007, the firm said it would offer free PC-to-PC multiplayer gaming and community features, but charge $50 per year (which also included an Xbox Live gold membership) for extra features.

PC gamers and some developers–used to having similar amenities for free–criticized Microsoft for charging anything at all.

The change takes effect immediately for all existing and future Games for Windows – Live titles.

Microsoft also said that it would be launching a Games for Windows – Live marketplace this fall, which will offer free and paid (decided by publisher) downloadable content including but not limited to demos and trailers.

The company added that it would be revamping the Games for Windows – Live in-game interface to make it more user-friendly, at the same time “reducing the technical requirements for developers.”

Published by Reinout te Brake

Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry. Check out his games podcast;

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