At Microsoft's E3 Press Conference, it was revealed that Wargaming's free-to-play World of Tanks would be coming to the Xbox 360 as a console-exclusive in addition to the already successful PC version. There's just one thing getting in the way of Wargaming's free-to-play model—Xbox LIVE Gold—and Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi is "not happy" about it.
Speaking with Gamesindustry.biz, Kislyi had this to say about the Xbox LIVE paywall Wargaming is facing:
With Microsoft, unfortunately it's not 100 per cent free-to-play because it requires the Gold subscription to Xbox Live membership," explains Kislyi. "But that's a Microsoft requirement which is valid for us and for Activision and for EA and all other partners. They cannot drop it for us because they would have to drop it for everyone and it would be a total mess for them.
This we have to tolerate, which I am not happy about. I would rather add another 30-40 million non-golden members and they will monetise occasionally.
It's difficult to define World of Tanks or any game as truly free-to-play if an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription is required.
This is in contrast to Sony's stance on F2P games, even after they announced that PlayStation Plus would be required to play PS4 games online. Sony is allowing F2P games to be played without the PS Plus requirement, making them truly free to play.
What are your thoughts? Does Microsoft need to change their policy on F2P games? Or have they done enough backpedaling on policies lately?