Microsoft Want To Give You Free Games!
Since around the time E3 2013 started you will have been able to download Fable 3 for free if you subscribe to Xbox Live Gold. At first it was believed to be some sort of technical error but after a few days Microsoft began advertising it on the front page of your Xbox. Yay a free game! But wait! It doesn’t end there! They want you to know, if you pay them £6 per month for the rest of 2013 you will get 2 free games per month. One on the 1st and one on the 16th. For July we get Assassins Creed 2 and Halo 3.
From a marketing perspective this is a genius move, particularly these two games specifically. These are both fantastic games for starters, but they’re also part of ongoing franchises. I would imagine a great proportion of gamers have already played these games so no sale lost there if those people download them. Also if someone were to buy these games there are plenty of preowned copies out there at this point so the cost is going to be minimal for the gamer but to no benefit to the studios – so there’s not really a massive loss from that perspective either. Then there’s the big advantage to Microsoft – introducing people who are not already familiar with these franchises. A scenario, if you’ll indulge me – Little Billy downloads Halo 3 and is amazed by it. He’s never played Halo before so he plays it from start to finish then decides he wants to get the other Halo games – He downloaded this from Xbox live so he gets Halo and Halo 2 and goes for ODST and then onto Halo 4. Then Halo 5 is released. It’s a big deal in the gaming world and Little Billy has to get the game because he loves Halo so much. Billy will make his parents well aware he needs the Xbox One because he needs Halo 5.
Just like that, Microsoft have a next gen sale in the bank. Play this scenario out twice a month and that’s a big increase in XBone sales.
With Assassins Creed it’s a similar story, Black Flag is getting a lot of buzz right now and if anything is good advertising for that game it’s Ezio Auditore.
On top of all this Microsoft will get an additional subscriber to Xbox Live Gold. People that have experience with dealing with customers who make monthly payments will know there are a great deal of them who forget they have these kinds of subscriptions. How many people will end up subscribing for the free games then keeping it through both apathy (“I can’t be bothered to call MS to cancel, it’s only £6”) and just sheer ignorance.
Overall its a smart move by Microsoft that will generate some extra revenue but it certainly isn’t going to win them the console war. It’ll be hard for them to recover their launch losses from the whole “Online Only” fiasco but if they play the long game, they still have a chance to come out on top.
Also don’t forget to “purchase” your free copy of Fable 3 on the link below. Available until June 30th.
Posted on June 22, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged assassins creed, assassins creed 2, black flag, console war, fable 3, fable 3 free, free games, halo 3, halo 4, halo 5, microsoft, sony, xbox, xbox live, xbox live gold. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.