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Xbox 360 gets its first free-to-play game

Happy Wars will launch this fall, supported by microtransactions

While Sony's been a bit quicker to adopt free-to-play games on PSN, Microsoft will finally be releasing its first free-to-play title on Xbox Live Arcade this fall. ToyLogic's Happy Wars, a multiplayer combat game, will be free to download and play for Xbox Live Gold members. Players will be able to purchase "lavishly rendered items" to customize their character.

The Japanese studio's free-to-play game marks the first on Xbox Live but others are on the way. Signal Studios' action title Ascend: New Gods will be released next year with the free-to-play business model. It'll be interesting to see how the console audience reacts to these titles and whether the free-to-play model can start being used for larger, triple-A console experiences.

Xbox Live Arcade has seen plenty of free to download titles in the past, but they've typically been released as advergames, promoting brands like Doritos, Red Bull or Toyota.

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Latest comments (9)

Hugo Trepanier Senior UI Designer, Hibernum4 years ago
I'll be eager to see if there's any value in this product, but mostly in its microtransactions. If they only have cosmetic items on offer I doubt they'll make serious money. I would certainly pay to get access to new worlds or more missions, but just to get a better looking hat? Meh.
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Richard Gale Lead Gameplay Engineer, Booyah4 years ago
Second free to play game I believe; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_vs._100_(Xbox_360_video_game)
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Jed Ashforth Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe4 years ago
Wasn't '1 vs 100' advertisement-funded rather than microtransaction-funded?

(There's quite a few other 'free to play' X360 games - for instance, Doritos Crash Course, Harms Way, Aegis Wing).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jed Ashforth on 28th August 2012 10:41am

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Show all comments (9)
Hugo Trepanier Senior UI Designer, Hibernum4 years ago
I tried (and enjoyed to a certain extent) 1 vs 100, and I don't recall any form of microtransaction being available. In fact for me the ads did not even load most of the time, so it turns out it was just free! The ability to play a live game show with a hundred other players was quite entertaining.

There was another horrible advergame for a car a few years back on XBLA, to add to Jed's list. These things are generally not worth anyone's time, unfortunately.
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Fyzard Brown Sales Associate, VideoGameAdvantage4 years ago
What about Crimson Alliance. The red headed step child of XBL that seems to have been forgotten.
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Hugo Trepanier Senior UI Designer, Hibernum4 years ago
Crimson Alliance had a very interesting and simple business model but wasn't quite freemium. Freemium typically implies you can play through the entire game but to progress in CA you absolutely needed to purchase at least one class. So it essentially functioned as a demo, with the option of buying only one class for a lower price or paying more to unlock all classes.
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Pierre Gravereau Manager, digital distribution, Sony Network Entertainment4 years ago
Free to Play? Aren't XBL Gold Members paying $60 a year to play online?
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Pierre Gravereau Manager, digital distribution, Sony Network Entertainment4 years ago
Maybe I am a bit biased towards what Sony is offering... but still. ;-)
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 4 years ago
A valid point though Pierre; it's not 'free to play' but rather 'free as part of an XBL Gold Membership'. In the same way I can watch Arrested Development for free under my Netflix subscription, or download LBP2 for free as part of a PS+ subscription. To call it 'free to play' is at best misleading and at worst a lie.
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