Free Xbla Game for Everyone

By: Sharudin Rahmat

Microsoft is to present all its subscribers worldwide with a free Xbox Live Arcade game as a "token of appreciation" following several connectivity problems with the service over the Christmas period, GamesIndustry.biz reports. Xbox Live's general manager Marc Whitten made the statement on the Major Nelson blog, explaining that while the service was never totally offline, the team was "disappointed in our performance."

In his statement, Whitten apologized for the technical issues on the service, due to the "massive increase in usage" from new members. He explained the outages on the service as follows:

"During this past holiday season you helped us break a number of Xbox Live records. This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox Live in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke the record for the single biggest day of concurrent members ever on the service.

As a result of this massive increase in usage we know that some of you experienced intermittent Xbox Live issues over the holiday break. While the service was not completely offline at any given time, we are disappointed in our performance. I would like to take this moment to thank you each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as our team has worked around the clock to return the service to a stable state.

At the same time we would like to offer a token of our appreciation to all of you in celebration of record success for the service.

And as a thank you for your loyalty during this holiday period, we will be offering all of our Xbox Live members around the world access to a full Xbox Live Arcade game that will be available to download free of charge. In the coming weeks we will be sharing the specific details of this offer with you."

Over the Christmas period, a lot of users were getting kicked off the service, while some simply could not connect at all. It's easy to imagine how tough it was to maintain XBLA when countless gamers were spending their holidays playing online, but the real reason behind the connection issues are yet to be determined. Microsoft's engineers are "continuing to investigate and are working to resolve this issue."

This is not the first time XBLA is offering free games. Last August, the service offered two free games to anyone who bought a 360 and Live account over the past year. Plus, every Live Arcade game has a free demo version, which is basically the full game with most of the features locked out. If you like the game and you want to buy the full version, the purchase simply unlocks the demo game you already have on your hard drive or Xbox 360 memory unit.

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