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Microsoft's Gamefest Explored

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the future-looks-green dept.


1up was there to cover Microsoft's annual Gamefest event, and came away with some interesting information. Across all of its gaming platforms (Xbox Live, Games for Windows, MSN Games, etc.), the company claims 100 Million gamers per month. Xbox Live, in particular, received attention at the event. The company talking about more demos, downloads, and microtransactions being the hallmarks for the future of the service. From that article: "While Microsoft wants demos and add-ons to be a critical part of the plans for games, they also iterated the importance of other parts of the Marketplace. The personalization options offered by the Gamer Pictures and Themes is something Microsoft will continue to encourage developers to create. However, the notion that these 360-pieces of flair would regularly appear free on the Marketplace should be squashed, for now. Microsoft indicated that they have very strict limitations on free content and that they intend on keeping the gamer pictures and themes pretty consistently priced."

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How dare they (4, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910491)

How dare developers try to give away next to worthless items like icons for free...

I might actually considering BUYING those things if they added the super cool features to actually SEE what you buy on the console before you buy it. Maybe a 5 minute trial for themes instea of just buying it blindly for $2. If I'm going to spend money on something that's nothing more then a pretty picture, at least let me determine if the pretty picture is actually pretty.

Re:How dare they (1)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910910)

This is like trying to profit by charging money for something as simple as ringtones or cell phone wallpapers...

... oh, wait...

It is a feature (1)

Hylis (956571) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910592)

Players will not have free stuff like on PC and it is a feature. Good to know.

Re:It is a feature (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15910674)

This is just a result of the buisness model that Microsoft has adpoted. They sell their system at a loss, so they need their customers to buy as many pieces of high-margin content as they possibly can; through the XBox Live Marketplace, Microsoft can take a cut of every $2 cow or theme that you purchase (and they probably end up with a healthy profit from it). Developers need more money to add normal maps, and material effects, to the coffee cups in the games you play so they need their customers to give them more money; they will charge more for games, give gamers the "benefit" of episodic content, add advertizing and sell themes.

What kind of marketing plan is this? (3, Insightful)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910615)

From TFA:
Microsoft recommends releasing add-ons between 60 and 90 days after a game's release.
The article starts by discussing the success and popularity of DOA4, and then says that the game developers shouldn't want to release add-ons to the game for a full quarter? I can understand when the add-ons have not been developed yet (such as The SIMS), but certainly many add-ons can be developed in line with the game and released at a closer later date (ie war games that focus on mid-20th century Europe, or games such as the venerable C&C and all of it's subsequent titles).

If MS is going to cater to the gamer market, don't they need to realize that the best way to sell a lot of titles is to build on immediate success?

Re:What kind of marketing plan is this? (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910828)

released at a closer later date
If I saw a bunch of content appear immediately after the game's release for an additional charge, I know I'd begin to wonder if the publisher wasn't being more than slightly disingenuous with me, their customer, by witholding content that could very well have been included in the final version. This is likely the reason behind Microsoft's recommendation...not that I necessarily condone their logic.

Again, no mod points when you need them... (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15916356)

You got it. You don't want to make it look like you're screwing your clients over, when you are screwing them over.

Plus, you want to keep interest in your game up. When you add new content, your name comes up again. Maybe I missed "WizzO: RPG" when it first got released, or I had other things to buy that month, but now I have some cash and 'Wow!' you can buy an attack slug for this WizzO game for just 900 credits! Maybe I should buy WizzO...

Re:What kind of marketing plan is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15919659)

The game should be complete and ship as-is. Addons shouldn't even exist. They should just start working on the next game after. The only reason for addons is to keep you using their "Live" service or to cash in on an uncomplete game - to make you pay for the rest of it once you've bought it.

Those bastards! (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910827)

Across all of its gaming platforms (Xbox Live, Games for Windows, MSN Games, etc.), the company claims 100 Million gamers per month.

If that many gamers are being killed every month, I think it's high time we instituted some sort of "Just Say No to Microsoft" campaign in our schools. Won't somebody please think of the children?

Solitare and Minesweeper doesn't count. (1)

dk3nn3dy (722733) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910848)

I didn't read the article of course, but... I'm sure Nokia would have at least 100 million 'gamers' playing Snake on their phones, but it doesn't count. Just because 99.5 million bored office workers play Freecell and Online Reversi (Othello... whatever) doesn't mean your #1 with the hardcore gamerz. man.

Correction (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910948)

If you read TFA it says they have 7 million gamers a month and 93 million bored office workers and former AOL users.

Lofty Aspirations (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15910981)

I think microsoft is thinking too big with the marketplace, or as I like to call it, the get-rich-quick-E-mart. The idea of placing marketplace items in fable (well TFA said something about buying a fancy sword from an ingame vendor, which seems to coincide with Fable 2 IMHO) may be interesting, but I feel that it will destroy gaming.This whole idea looks like it will go from the "hrm, I'm bored I wonder if I can get a new car to race in PGR3?" impulse micropayments to forcing people to make a purchase to continue the storyline of a certain game, either making a specific race in PGR not possible to win unless you have *supercar for "just 300 points", or by some form of misconcepted episodic gaming.

I mean, at best case a specific game could force you to "spend money to make money" and at worst (and most probably) just causing you to spend money to access content which should have been included with the game in the first place.

As to the forced cost on gamer pictures and themes, it is a wonderful way of making a quick buck for them, it is easy for you to be browsing the market and find a gamer picture and grabbing it because "it's only 80 points" I know i've been a victim/guilty of that myself.

Re:Lofty Aspirations (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#15911231)

The cost of the games is too high as it is and now they want to pay monthly fees and you are being forced to buy stuff in game to move on in the game what a rip off.

Re:Lofty Aspirations (1)

cloricus (691063) | more than 7 years ago | (#15915223)

Indeed. $110 for a boring game that is $30 cheaper for the PC... Why do all games cost the same? Blockbusters that aren't hype should be in the higher range and every day run of the mill games should be almost nothing price wise. (All prices in AUD.)

Re:Lofty Aspirations (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#15917324)

The sales forecasts for this scheme must make for humorous reading, really out there, more fit for some business RPG than the real world. Microsoft is really struggling with the xbox, this marketing diatribe is just the billy goat's, devlopers, developers, developers, developers coming to fruition.

The xbox main target audience is teenage children, by far the majority do not have credit cards, any regular payment style purchases are generally restricted to mobile phones and MMORPG, if their ain't no money in your target market place, no matter how much M$=B$ you spread, there will not be the revenue to justify it (kids will definately not give up their mobile phone for a fictitous sword etc.).

The more mature audience just flat out baulk at being nickel and dimed (nickel and dimed is a very old saying, everybody hates it, and will do their level best to avoid it), get frustrated and drop the whole product.

Hmm, buy more gold with points when you run out, how close are microsoft drifting to online gambling for children?

Re:Lofty Aspirations (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15923552)

I think you're trying to put too much anti-microsoft spin on it. This could be ANY company at all but because it happens to be Microsoft it is "extra evil." I call bullshit on this!
You're also trying to pull this Jack Thompson "Somebody please think of the childrens!!!1" when last I checked Microsoft is marketing to the right market, the majority of gamers are approximately 16-25 year old males. 16-25 year old males tend to have the most disposable income to be used on entertainment.
I could see Nintendo doing the very same thing, possibly selling special rare Pokemons on the Wii, so please keep your "Microsoft is teh ev1l cause they are on to an idea that will make them money" to yourself. I can guarantee that other companies have been trying to nail down an infrastructure that would allow them to do the exact same.
I mean, it might destroy gaming but don't think for a minute that only microsoft would dream of doing it because they are "teh big evils corp3rationz."

Re:Lofty Aspirations (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#15924629)

Sure every accountant dreams of charging everybody all the time. Past history has demostrated the failure of this expectation. People generally pay once for one block of entertainment, they get frustrated when you keep trying to charge extra, for each little bit.

People call lawyers sharks not only becuase of how large their bill is but also because of it's contents, charges for photcopying, make call, answer call, read letter, write letter, say hello to client in hallway etc. Contrary to your leet speak, the law will make a close inspection of these kinds of practices, run out of gold , buy some more to continue playing, build up a quantity via luck and skill (any radom generated results add a touch of gambling) and cash out.

Dumb companies fall into the trap, and all their investment into the product is detroyed, rather than the childish name calling it is simply the result of evil via stupidity (microsoft at least 50% of the time). Last time I checked the xbox was marketed to a younger audience than 16 to 25 year olds i.e. to what age group is your use of leet speak generally limited to (apert from the odd childsih exceptions) or do you think this title is aimed at 25 year old men lt.htm [] or check out this web site [] those are some pretty weird looking 25 year olds. Microsoft and marketing, truth has no meaning.

Re:Lofty Aspirations (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15929961)

Bullshit, you dredge up 2 ads from Microsoft's website and you can say their primary market is children?

how about the front page with ads for Ninety Nine Nights; one of the biggest hack/slash games in the past few years. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; a game that would largely fly over the heads of anyone younger than 16. Or maybe Prey; ultraviolent, bizarre, first person shooter that would give nightmares to anyone younger than 16. Why don't we try Gaming with Audioslave, how many children do you know that listen to Audioslave? Dead Rising, Saint's Row, and Call of Duty 2 all have visual presence on the front page, that's gotta say more about their advertising than finding the link to the family oriented software that your links slant to.

Also, you must have read into the fact that the leet speak is only what I read into your last post, obviously that wasn't the message you wanted to spread, so don't attack me if I call you on it! Childish my ass, I brought up a good point and you slanderize me by calling me childish? CLASSIC.
rtb61 and marketing, truth has no meaning.
One last thing, you mentioned that Microsoft is evil by stupidity, if they're such a stupid company then why are they on top of the home computing world? why are they netting in the money they are grabbing? I think it's not that Microsoft is stupid, it's that their consumers are stupid for just eating up their product!

Microsoft's Gayfest Explored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15913751)

Surely I can't be the only one that read the headline 7 times before seeing `game' ??

I wonder if they'll have a flair rating system. (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#15914809)

Cause you know there'll be some annoying asshole with 37 peices of flair.
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