It looks like Microsoft is considering a subscription based model for Xbox Live on Windows PC. The service is yet to find solid ground on Windows PC but Microsoft thinks it is big enough to consider a pay-to-play model.
If this actually happens, it won’t sit well with PC gamers. We highly doubt they will pay to access Microsoft’s servers.
According to a statement from Yusuf Mehdi:
..And then you have the ability to effectively now start to get Xbox live in all these games that you are using, whether it’d be Solitaire or Minecraft and now what we see is, we have almost the same number of Xbox live monthly active on Windows as we do on the console.”
To be fair it’s not the same: the console uses our Xbox Live Gold, paying subscribers. These are free customers, but the ability to build a subscription business on the back of that now, you can start to see some light for that opportunity.
Monetizing Windows gaming is probably the worst idea Yusuf could have come up with. I’m starting to doubt Microsoft is able to understand PC gamers, even after decades in the business.
Thankfully, no plans are finalized yet and we hope MS will think twice before implementing such a model in Windows Gaming.