Is Microsoft going to push PC gamers to pay for a subscription?

2 min read


Yesterday, we told you of some comments that Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Windows and Devices Marketing Yusuf Mehdi made regarding 2015 being the console’s “best year ever.” He may have been right, and his comments certainly reflected his belief in his words.

There were some other things he said at the same time though, that are cause for concern.

“But the other interesting thing, is now we are bringing that Xbox gaming value prop to other devices, in particular the PC,” Mehdi said at the Credit Suisse Technology Broker Conference.

He followed that up with something that’s made ears prick up, possibly in horror.

“And then you have the ability to effectively now start to get Xbox live in all these games that you are using, whether it’d be Solitaire or Minecraft and now what we see is, we have almost the same number of Xbox live monthly active on Windows as we do on the console,” he continued talking about Microsoft’s newly invigorated PC push.

“To be fair it’s not the same: the console uses our Xbox Live Gold, paying subscribers. These are free customers, but the ability to build a subscription business on the back of that now, you can start to see some light for that opportunity.”

Build a subscription base? There’s a heavy insinuation there that Microsoft may try to charge PC gamers for Xbox Live Gold again. I say again, because they’ve tried this in the past. The much-maligned, ill-fated Games for Windows Live attempted to layer Xbox Live functionality over PC games, and Microsoft tried its hand at convincing PC gamers that Xbox Live was worth paying for.

If they’re going to try that again, they’ll just be laughed in to a corner – with just about every self-respecting PC gamer saying the sorts of things usually reserved for Call of Duty players.

That said, I really don’t think Microsoft is brash or stupid enough to even try that – and his comments are more likely regarding subscription models in games like Solitaire.

Last Updated: December 3, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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