Xbox 'begins dev support for free-to-play'

Xbox 'begins dev support for free-to-play'

By Rob Crossley

June 24th 2011 at 12:55PM

Develop sources: Microsoft is preparing microtransaction system

Microsoft is fostering new relationships with developers in a bid to bring free-to-play gaming to Xbox, Develop understands.

Several sources connected to the matter say Microsoft is, behind the scenes, calling on developers to discuss possible free-to-play game deals. This will be games that can either be monetised by in-game items or premium upgrade costs.

The Xbox manufacturer did not comment on the matter when approached by Develop.

Microsoft’s 360 operating system will incorporate a microtransactions service, Develop has heard, where in-game items will be exchanged for Microsoft Points on the fly.

The new drive for free-to-play comes as Microsoft positions its Live service at the centre of PC, mobile and console entertainment.

It also comes at a drastic state of transition for the games business.

Social games groups such as Zynga have turned industry heads with soaring valuations and multimillion dollar acquisitions – all of which is being fuelled by free-to-play gaming.

Yesterday, Valve revealed it was making the cult hit Team Fortress 2 a free-to-play title.