Microsoft working on relaxing Xbox Live rules for F2P, says Hi-Rez boss

Saturday, 30th July 2011 15:45 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Hi-Rez Studios boss Todd Harris has said due to the inevitability of free-to-play games on Xbox 360, Microsoft plans to relax its rather stringent rules for XBL because of microtransaction trends in the industry.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Harris said his firm’s free-to-lay title Tribes: Ascend is on for PC, but is currently in limbo on 360 until Microsoft can modify¬†its XBL policies.

“It’s really just the degree to which the free-to-play model and, even more specifically, constant updates are at – kind of what level of support there is for Xbox, or even PlayStation at this point,” Harris explained.

“At least from our conversations, both Sony and Microsoft are moving there strategically but there are still some things to be worked out on both the business side and the technical side and the certification side regarding frequency of patches.

“They’re [Microsoft] seeing where the industry is going. It’s inevitable that Microsoft will move towards that because the industry is moving towards that, and once that groundwork has been laid we would be in a better position to consider Tribes: Ascend for Xbox.

“And those issues just need further advancement before we would be comfortable putting a release timeframe on a console version. It’s not the case of ‘never’, but we know all those things we can handle on the PC, so that’s why PC is first.”

Harris has voiced his support for more open platforms in the past, stating that until timely patches and updates on consoles without a fee can be accomplished, PC will continue to be Hi-Rez’s lead development platform until alternate business models are implemented.

Tribes: Ascend is slated for release later this year.



  1. daytripper

    Imo Microsoft needs to open up the player count for online games, you look at the likes of KZ3 and R3 allowing 32+ players on a free service. Dont get me wrong, I think Xbox Live is fantastic but the player count is not good enough compared to the competition.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. pukem0n


    exactly. we all know XBL is way more stable and better than PSN, they should be able to have more players together on a map. i dont get it

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Elite_1989

    Isn’t the player count down to what the consoles can handle rather than Xbox Live not being able to manage? Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m going by the fact Battlefield 3 on PC will have 64 players, while 360/PS3 is 24.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Virginityrocks


    Consoles cant handle that many players. More players means more data to process, ie. Where who is, who shot who, every jump, every bullet, every duck and explosion. Its a lot of data. Consoles are too weak for not just modern graphics, but in processing power for ai, physics, online capability, etc.

    I’m not sure why people focus on graphics as the sole reason the pc excells. Its certainly not the reason I play PC Games.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Gekidami

    ^ Your reasoning fails; There are console games that handle heavy amounts of players without any trouble.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. daytripper

    @4 solid user services like steam, massive open world games, excellent communities, modding, graphical updates, community graphical enhancements like the recent gta 4 add on and much more. yet as i have just said killzone and the upcoming r3 have more players than what xbox live has, i dont see 32 player matches on xbox live. has nothing to do with pc what i said so i dont know why the pc was brought up?

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Christopher Jack

    @4, Most of the stress is on the servers rather than the console, Microsoft are generally too cheap to offer better solutions except for their own games-which they don’t have enough of to experiment with regarding online services.

    I could bet the only thing holding back the PS3 player count is Microsoft’s stubbornness with their network & EA’s desire to keep both versions as equal as they can. The exclusive dlc deal they have with Sony is irrelevant, although a larger player count could have been one of their features.

    I’m not saying that I’m right, I’m just assuming, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong-but that will require an interview with one of DICE’s developers & not just some PR tool trying to keep the peace between fanboys.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Ge0force

    #1: Most ps3-exclusives use dedicated servers, while most x360-games are p2p. Dedicated servers allow lots more players in the same game, up to 64 for Resistance 2 and 256 for MAG.

    #2: We all know p2p-gaming is not better if you pay for it.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. daytripper

    @8 ok cheers mate

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Christopher Jack

    @8, Exactly, I’ve no idea how far somebody like EA would have to bend over to get dedicated servers from MS, I’d assume it’d be easier to work out with Sony-who seem to be jelly with just about anything-as long as it benefits them.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Ge0force

    #10 I’m pretty sure Left 4 Dead has dedi’s on Xbox Live, so I guess it can be done. Perhaps Valve is hiring those servers from Microsoft?

    #11 3 years ago

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