Crimson Alliance Not Actually Free; Microsoft Testing ‘Freenium’ Price Structure
There are no free lunches, especially when it comes to Crimson Alliance.
That’s the conclusion I came to when I was browsing Xbox Live today, when I noticed a brand new title, Crimson Alliance a 972.28 MB download for a whopping 0 Microsoft points. If you’ve been on lately, you may have noticed it too and may have been enticed by the seemingly free price.
But don’t be fooled, you’ll always have to pay eventually. Crimson Alliance can be played free, for a time, up until a certain area of the game, where players are promoted to buy a player pack valued at either 800 Microsoft points ($10) for play with one character class or 1200 Microsoft points ($15) for play with all character classes.
Certain Affinity, the developer of Crimson Alliance is made up of ex-Bungie employees, who have worked on content in many of the Halo titles.
What Microsoft is trying to do here, and what many MMORPGS have successfully done including Age of Conan, is use the ‘Freenium’ pay model to make a profit. What the ‘Freemium’ price structure does is essentially give consumers a bite of a gutted version of the game, and charge for content that would be in-game if you paid retail. It’s not a bad strategy at all, but has not really been done in single player games like Crimson Alliance as of yet.
Now, to actually try the game, and see if the worm is appealing enough to be allowed to reach into my wallet.
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