11.09.12

Microsoft will pay you to play Halo. All you have to give them is your soul

Microsoft has a novel campaign to encourage people to play Halo 4's multiplayer: pay them with Microsoft points. Here is the breakdown:

  • Play 35 or more hours, and get 100 Points, OR
  • Play 70 or more hours, and get 300 Points, OR
  • Play 140 or more hours, and get 600 Points

Remember, this promotion ends on Nov. 30 so if you're gunning for that 600 Points, you're going to have to play about 6 hours every single day for the rest of the month.

By the way, most Xbox Live Arcade games are at least 800 Points.

Yes, its kind of scary to encourage playing a game that is already at risk of being played too much. But hey, if you are going to be playing this much anyway, might as well go for the reward.

For a game that isn't as popular, this might actually be a useful and more defensible idea. If a developer comes out with a new game, it can be difficult to populate your servers, especially if its a new IP. It can be something of a catch 22: you have a great multiplayer that people would enjoy, but they won't play it until other people are playing it. Mass Effect 3 used a negative strategy to counter this, where players would not see the full ending of the game if they didn't participate in the multiplayer mode.

The Halo 4 strategy shows an alternate route that is more positive and player friendly, even if it does border on addiction encouragement. It will be difficult to see how this campaign effects Halo, because it is already such a popular multiplayer arena, but future IPs may want to experiment with this strategy.