Speaking with Eurogamer, Hi-Rez Studios’ CEO and Executive Producer, Todd Harris, said that with microtransactions becoming all the more relevant in today’s market Microsoft will soon follow suit. But at the moment Xbox Live subscription fees makes it difficult for developers.
“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,” said Harris.
However, Harris says that both Microsoft and Sony are exploring the possibilities of the free-to-play model.
“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," he claims.
Harris says that if Microsoft put something in place then he would be keen to bring his upcoming free-to-play multiplayer shooter, Tribes: Ascend, to Xbox 360.
“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.”
Tribes: Ascend, which has been billed as the multiplayer successor to Tribes 2, is a futuristic shooter featuring jet-packs and hi-tech weaponry. Currently it is pencilled in for a late 2011 release as a digitial download on PC.