Amid Economic Woes, Microsoft Pushes Into Your Home
More money spent on gas and groceries means less for luxuries. In the past that meant more people going to the movies and picking up used musical instruments. Now, Microsoft wants to be an entertainment outlet, serving games, videos, and oh yes, advertising.
In the time it took to type this sentence, I found all the listings I could ever want on Craigslist for used guitars available locally. People in need of cash want to sell theirs, while those seeking a low-cost diversion might pass up the high prices I saw in favor of a trip to a pawn shop.
The digital lifestyle of the 21st Century provides more convenient opportunities for entertainment, ones that are interactive rather than purely passive. Plenty of people sit quietly in front of electronic screens and take in the content, while others want to get out and play in a digital sense.
We feel Microsoft picked up on this and wants to capitalize on the soaring economic costs that keep people home rather than out and about when money is tight.
Microsoft opted to eliminate fees for Xbox Live, a charge that some feel Microsoft never should imposed for multiplayer gaming in the first place. Gaming site 1Up.com found out from Kevin Unangst, Global Director, Games for Windows, that Gold-level subscribers will see refunds for their subscriptions.
The company would love to get more developers on board with integrating Live for multiplayer capability in their games. We also think Microsoft sees an opportunity for its in-game ad division, Massive, to turn multiplayer into an ad revenue stream.
With gaming a multi-billion dollar business rivaling the entertainment industry, one might think the focus on the future stays away from the old-line video model. Google, however, plans to try and find an audience across its network of AdSense publishers with an online-only comedy series from ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth McFarlane.
Microsoft followed that with its recent news from Comic-Con; they plan to present comedy video pilots created by noted horror film directors across Xbox Live in the fall.
Here’s one example: