Friday, September 17, 2010

The expected price increase of the Xbox Live annual subscription : The tip of the iceberg

Hello all,

After a (too) long pause due to a heavy workload, I resume writing in my blog. Some friends told me I should post more and worry less about my writing style and that is exactly what I intend to do.

Last month, a well-informed source inside Microsoft hinted that the 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription will increase from $50 to $60 in the US. A similar price hike would also be planned for the UK.

At first, I was surprised. Why would Microsoft take the risk of alienating its users when Sony is offering nearly the same service, for free, on its Playstation Network ? Then, I crossed that information with another one: The current debate on how to charge users of multiplayer games. Publishers are realizing that their players are sometimes spending far more time on the multiplayer mode of their game than the solo one ... and that does not yield a single cent. By charging more for the annual Xbox Live subscription, Microsoft might be planning to pay publishers whose titles are heavily played on the Live. That would be a smart move, probably far more acceptable to players that prohibiting the sales of used games, another hotly debated issue. Microsoft could develop thisbusiness model known as Games-on-Demand. Metaboli/Gametap is already doing it and it works.

Of course, this is only a speculation from my part but who knows ?