Microsoft unveiled a rewards system that would rebate Xbox Live marketplace purchases, based on the amount of gamerscore a Xbox Live Member had accumulated over the years. The strategy makes sense in the short run. Some people spend ridiculous amounts of time trying to obtain a high gamerscore to show off to their friends. I myself am guilty of wasting away many late nights trying to up my gamerscore with impressive achievements such as the Mile High Club for Call of Duty Modern Warfare, or the Zombie Genocide for Dead Rising (3 days to get that bloody bit of gamerscore)
However, Microsoft’s new system is pretty much a slap in the face to gamers who have stuck it out with Microsoft. While gamers should in no way expect something back for buying games, Microsoft’s rewards system is just a ridiculous idea.
According to Xbox.com, gamers can unlock the “Contender” reward if they have a gamerscore of 3000, which allows the member to receive a “special gift” around their birthday Now, everyone loves getting presents for their birthday, but the website also specifies, in small, fine print, that the birthday gift has a retail value of just $0.25 USD. 25 cents? Is Microsoft so out of touch with its customers that it thinks that people want to get a gift with the monetary value of 2 pieces of gum?
The more dedicated gamers, who have a score of 10,000 gamerscore, can access the “Contender” achievement, unlocking the “special gift” and 1% rebate on Xbox Live Marketplace purchases every month. I’m not sure how many games the average person downloads on the Xbox Live Marketplace, but I for one am lucky to download a couple games a year, so I can’t see this benefiting a large amount of customers.
The last achievement, called the “Legend,” attainable at 25000 gamerscore, allows once again for the “special gift” and a whopping 2% rebate on all Xbox Live Marketplace purchases.
Alright, let’s do some simple arithmetic. If 1600 Microsoft points costs approximately $20.00, a 1% rebate would come out to be a face palming 16 Microsoft points. What the heck can anyone buy with 16 Microsoft points? The only person who would be happy with such savings is perhaps penny pinching Scrooge McDuck, and even he would be scoffing at the idea of only saving 16 points for every $20.00 spent. Perhaps the most brutal part of the deal is that you’re not even saving money, you’re saving points, whose value has already been questioned in several lawsuits. You can’t even buy a hat for your avatar at that amount.
Even at this ridiculous point back rate, Microsoft has restricted the amount of points back to 30,000. So even those who are willing to spend wildly on this deal will be disappointed.
My guess is that this is Microsoft’s attempt at giving back to gamers in light of Playstation’s decision to create a PSN plus members rewards system. At least PSN members can get free games back in return for their membership.
The new system wont be a major issue for any gamer, but Microsoft certainly wont be reeling in any loyal customers with this deal.