Xbox Live

Earlier this week, we reported on Microsoft’s plans to further monetize its already quite profitable Xbox LIVE service. At that time, it was anyone’s guess as to what that actually meant – which is still mostly true, but new details have emerged to give subscribers an indication of what isn’t in store, and that’s free-to-play microtransactions.

In an interview with MCVUK, Pav Bhardwaj, Xbox LIVE UK product manager, confirmed that this monetization won’t involve microtransactions like those seen on Sony’s PlayStation Network, among other platforms. Those aren’t on the table at the moment, he said, quashing rumors that this is where the service is headed:

“Potentially yeah, I think the model we’ve got at the moment with Xbox Live Points is what we’re working to at the moment. It’s really successful for everybody. People are really pleased with it and everyone understands it, which is the most important part of it all. So we wouldn’t change it at the moment.”

The original report came from the LinkedIn profile page of Praveen Rutnam, group product planner at Microsoft. The “experience” section of Rutnam’s page states he created a “strategy to further monetize Xbox LIVE subscriber base,” set to be rolled out this holiday season. The initial report led to speculation as to what form that might take, which is where the rumor surfaced in the first place (although not for the first time – similar rumors surfaced a few months ago before being shot down). Other speculation suggests Microsoft might implement some kind of online pass similar to those utilized by publishers like Ubisoft and EA.

For the most part, it’s still anyone’s guess as to what this “further monetization” will involve. However, in February Michael Wolf, XBLA global marketing manager, said the company would consider offering “freemium” titles if it had “content that made sense for [it],” which is another possible form this monetization might take.