Now this may seem like a complicated concept but doesn’t free still mean “without cost or payment”? It seems as if Microsoft & the Xbox team has yet to realize that what every other console maker has already learned. Free-to-play games should not require payment to play, period. There is no scenario where anyone should believe otherwise.
Now I have been on the front lines praising Microsoft for all of their pro-consumer and pro-gamer moves towards the end of this generation but with that comes the need for warranted criticism. The Xbox team clearly has this one wrong. The gaming community must speak out to spark some much-needed change to this ridiculous policy. As of today, Microsoft is the only video game console maker that requires you to have a paid subscription to play games that were designed for you to play for free. Neither of Microsoft’s main competitors requires you to pay to play free games so why does Microsoft continue with this mistake? Does Microsoft believe they will lose Xbox Live subscribers if Xbox players are allowed to play the most popular game in the world for free?
Yes, they absolutely would. There is a subsection of gamers who are as casual as can be and only play games like Call of Duty Warzone day in and day out. With that said, I do not believe it should be big enough of a factor to make Microsoft flinch. Any gamer lost due to this move can be won back by releasing great games and having a great ever-evolving online service. With services like Xbox Game Pass and the upcoming in beta X-cloud, there are more than enough reasons for players to stay in the Xbox ecosystem.
The ball is in Microsoft’s court; they have the power to make the right decision. They should tear down this paywall and continue to be the pro-gamer company they have shown themselves to be as of late. Granted, I would love for that day to be today but it would be a welcome announcement this year along with some awesome new studio acquisitions, Xbox features, and new game reveals. Just as the gaming community forced Sony to reverse its policy on cross-play, we must put the pressure on the Xbox team and make this happen. Free-to-play means we don’t have to pay to play it, period!
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