We hardcore gamers sure are an insatiable bunch. We sink hundreds or thousands of dollars into our habit, show up in lines dozens of hours before our favorite products even launch, and we ask for a little bit more than an avatar helmet when Xbox Live turns ten years old. Is it too much to ask?
A few days ago, I revealed that Microsoft had been sending out Xbox Live-branded consoles to the service’s oldest subscribers. I didn’t receive a console – yet – but my inbox revealed that the rewards were probably going to be few for me. Maybe I just wasn’t loyal enough? I bought my Xbox on November 15th, 2001, I secured my Gamertag on November 15th, 2002, I even waited thirteen and a half hours for the bragging right of waking up all my relatives with the industrial noise of a midnight launch Xbox 360 on November 22nd, 2005.
Maybe I just wasn’t loyal enough.
When Xbox Live turned five, I didn’t even qualify for their free point giveaways, even though I never missed a day – something to do with the funky transition in upgrading my Xbox Live account to the Xbox 360. Seeing the depleted value of their service, I even dropped my Gold subscription for several months last year, won over only when they bribed me with a free copy of Halo Reach. I was there when Xbox Live was the revolutionary broadband-only upstart service that only a few people were on. I was there when voice masking was still a feature you could brag about. What about those games that were “Xbox Live-enabled” and you could see if your friends were playing them, even when they were single-player titles? What about years later when you needed a paid Xbox Live subscription to access features and streaming services that were available for free on other platforms? They still got my dollars. As soon as they let us buy games right through the service, who was there? I was. Did you have to deal with a decade of having to not only remember someone’s Gamertag, but a Gamertag’s someone? Did you have to deal with a decade of only having a hundred players on your friends list? I doubt it. I also paid for it.
So, whatever Microsoft. I’ll take your little avatar helmet. I doubt I’ll wear it because it’ll shroud all the clever customization I did to my avatar’s head, but I guess it’s the thought that counts.
Sour grapes, rabble rabble rabble, etc.