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

Saturday, 30 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.

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