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Xbox Live Users Revolt Against Free Service

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Xbox Live is a fascinating place. For the die-hard gamer, it's a place for showing off skills in whatever games they have in their collection. For casuals, it's a place to sit and relax while chatting with friends.

And then, there's the rest…

The racists, the gay-haters, the team killers, the "I hate this game" group even though they're playing it, and finally, there's the group of people who visit Major Nelson's blog.

Larry Hryb, known as Major Nelson on Live, is the (according to his site) "Xbox Live Director of Programming." His idea was to set up a blog to inform people about what's new on the Xbox Live Marketplace on his own time without being paid for it. The Marketplace, for the uninformed, is a free (key word) service for Microsoft's online gaming community. It has movie trailers, music videos, game demos, themes to customize your console, and simple games in the Xbox Live Arcade.

It's expanded far beyond what Microsoft ever anticipated. During this years E3, the Marketplace exploded with trailers, demos, and countless behind-the-scenes looks at games from the show floor. It was unprecedented. And then, there was nothing.

This seemed to rub people the wrong way. Well, at least some of them. As time passed with little new content aside from movie trailers or gamer pictures, the masses at Nelson's blog became restless. So restless, their ranting and raving was picked up by multiple sites as news.

It's one thing to ask for content. It's another to act like spoiled brats. During a recent fiasco involving a demo for recently released game Prey, the comments section on his blog became an insult to the gaming community. Some even went as far as threatening physical violence to Nelson if the demo wasn't up by a certain date.

Not only did these people make themselves look ridiculous, they reflect on the entire gaming community. It's amazing how utterly spoiled the E3 explosion on the Marketplace has made them. Unfortunately, it's not an isolated incident. These gaming "fans" if you can call them that are never happy.

When the Prey demo finally went up, they complained about lag in the multi-player. This was a free demo. When a Top Spin 2 demo went up, over 300 comments were posted complaining that they didn't want it. When a Kameo demo went up, they whined that they already the game or said it was terrible. When new maps for Ghost Recon were released, people talked about being ripped off for content they didn't need to download unless they wanted it. Today, when the Live Arcade release of Frogger was 10 minutes late, one person wrote this:

"If it doesn't deliever (sic) in the next 7 minutes I'm going to punch you in the throat."

It's absolutely absurd that anyone can get that worked up over the release of a 25-year old game, but these Nelson followers apparently think they can get away with it. A comment like that should immediately be looked into, and whoever wrote it honestly deserves to have charges pressed against them.

At this point, it doesn't matter what Microsoft (or Major Nelson) is doing for the ever-growing Live community. These people seem to live in their own little world where they fail to understand that a Kameo demo released today may entice a user who just bought a 360 to get the game. They claim the content isn't what they want or it's overpriced when there's money involved. They claim the FREE access to the Marketplace isn't living up to their expectations.

The problem with all of this is that they offer no suggestions. They only ask "where is this content" or "release this item now!" It's unfathomable to think what goes through someone's mind when they believe it's okay to demand something they're not paying for. Demand is the proper word too. They seem to believe they're owed something.

It reflects on all of us in the end, and on a personal level, it's probably time for Major Nelson to give up his blog. Very few comments are appreciative, and once people realize how convenient his information is, they could finally come around and understand how much work he does for free for the better of the community.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • Marche

    My frekin goodnes.

    Why are all these people so insane.

    They spoiled masses. Why can’t people be happy with what they get?

  • If we understand why some people choose to be militantly unhappy, even when they are receiving free goods and services, we will know a lot more about happiness than most advertisers would ever want us to learn.

  • Arkile



  • You put money down for a game system, not for the Marketplace content. MP has exploded far beyond what anyone who bought the console could have expected, and most of it’s FREE. You have no right to complain.

  • those people should just be thankful and keep their mouths shut..they would’nt say that to anybodys face.

  • Andrew Ogier

    Jason, as you’re already aware, I put my own personal opinion up on Major Nelson’s blog, addressing Ken and all of the other negative comments, particularly about Frogger. I think because he’s a figurehead for Xbox Live and the 360 console itself, he gets flak from a particular community. He’s the only high profile public avenue of communication for Xbox. I would assume (mostly from the terrible spelling, grammar and vocabulary) that the majority of the derogatory and negative comments that poor Larry has to deal with are people who are PS3 Fanboys vainly trying to skew the balance of generally positive comments that Larry both gets and deserves.

    If they aren’t PS3 fanboys, then they’re impatient and very forgetful abuot what life was like in the Pre-360 era, where us old timers had to wait for a coverdisc at the end of every month to see videos and play demos, and if a game had a bug, there was no fix for console gamers. We just had to grin and bear it.

    To think, in 8 months we’ve gotten so accustomed to the superb service that MS has given us that we’re too impatient to wait 15 minutes for something we would used to have to wait a month for.

    All I know at the end of the day is… I know sure as hell that Sony won’t be as open, honest, and informative to the public with the PS Life service as Larry has been with the Xbox community.

    One thing’s for sure… if this barrage of useless criticism continues, Major Nelson’s blog won’t be up much longer, and then all the idiots posting negaative comments on it will start bitching about the site being closed instead.

  • That’s something I haven’t thought of Andy. The price for Live was the same on the Xbox and we didn’t have ANY of this stuff. All these people asking what they’re paying for really are acting stupid. I can’t believe that didn’t hit me up until now. Good point.

  • Javier

    I’ve been a loyal fan of Xbox and now the 360. I admit that there were times, were I thought to myself what are they thinking, like charging the same price for the Xbox and X360’s wireless connections. Overall though, I’m pleased with Xbox and even more with the 360. I guess my point is, yeah they do reflect the gamming community, but they aren’t the whole gamming community and that’s what matters. Also, if we were given new content every other day, would any person be able to really enjoy it? With the E3 content, it was so much to take in for me, I decided to wait a while before I downloaded a new item because I wanted to enjoy what I had, not complain about what I didn’t have.

  • The mass media would describe me as a ‘hard core’ gamer – in as such I’ve been playing for nigh on 20 years and have NEVER missed purchasing the latest console. If one of the largest global monsters out there (i.e. Microsoft) can see it fit to provide me with free content, then throttle down, damn right I have a right to complain! (In the retail industry this is known as a bait-and-switch, and is the subject of many complaints!) Working in IT as well as a gamer, I have handed Microsoft over $200,000 (conservative est.) over the past 10 years! While personal threats are not exactly my style – who the hell are Microsoft to decide how much *added value* is enough to give their customers… I predict a revolt…

  • No, you don’t have a “right.” It’s the summer months. There is no content to give you in the first place. It’s not a bait-and-switch. You honestly believe that they can give you the same amount of E3 content all year round? It’s not only impossible, it’s ignorant to expect that 365 days a year.

    I don’t care what you’ve paid them over the years. That doesn’t make you different than any other 360 fan. You paid for a console to pay games, and they’ve provided those. Anything else on top of that is an extra bonus, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Ivan_PSP

    Why are this people always complaining is not like Xbox Live Arcade is any good is just a bunch of crappy demos to get your money Xbox Live will always be lame and stupid.

  • Oh, you’re right. I mean, the fact that the Arcade is home to original games by small developers, superb stuff from PopCap, and classic arcade stuff like Robotron, Smash TV, and more still coming doesn’t mean anything.

    And those demos are free, as is the Xbox Live Silver service used to get them. Someone has obviously not used it, but I won’t mention any names.

  • Wow. You really can’t take a joke, can you Jason.

  • Andrew Ogier

    Ivan, You’re obviously in the Sony camp (I mean, having the word “PSP” gives you away there) and have probably never experienced Xbox Live for yourself.

    There is MUCH more than just “Crappy Demos to get your money”. Sure you get demos (Free demos downloaded direct to your machine), you get Full, original titles, you get trailers for the latest movies and TV shows, HD Music Videos, special promotions, Competitions, Tournaments, and Original exclusive short films as well as the unparalleled and superb Online play.

    To cut a long story short Ivan_PSP, Don’t knock Xbox Live until you’ve tried it. I’m sure once you see it for yourself, you’ll know why it’s so good.

  • I appreciate the work that Larry does and subscribe to his blog. If the comments are such a problem then he can simply turn comments off though, and perhaps that is what is required when the discussion cannot be productive and/or intelligent.

  • “If the comments are such a problem then he can simply turn comments off though”

    Well, he really can’t. It then looks like PR is ignorning their customers, no matter how stupid they’re being about this. That would probably be far worse. If they want it to stop, there should be a final message and then take the whole thng down. It’ll never happen, but it would be great to see these whining people get theirs in the end.

  • Xbox is the crappiest system in this whole damn world it has no decent game HALO is over over over hyped is really crap compare to games like SOCOM. Xbox live is always full of lagging servers can Microsoft do anything write i guess they just suck.

  • I love when people complain about a system they don’t own and seemingly never played. Would love to hear about those laggy servers when you sit down and play Ghost Recon. You’d take that comment right back.

  • LOckO

    Hey u Guys Are all Sad Fighting Over Xbox Live GET A LIFE !!

  • “It’s absolutely absurd that anyone can get that worked up over the release of a 25-year old game, but these Nelson followers apparently think they can get away with it. A comment like that should immediately be looked into, and whoever wrote it honestly deserves to have charges pressed against them. ”

    It’s also pretty absurd that someone could get so worked up over an OBVIOUS idle threat.. and say that that person deserves charges.. Wow.. we really do live in a world of complaining whino’s.

  • khano

    in australia they have stoped makeing xbox live orignal cards so i have to get a 360 wtf is up with that

  • Mike C

    Obviously the writer of this has no clue about Xbox live. The only thing that is free on xbox live is the ability to look at some content, 90% of which is premium content that is overpriced. People complain because Microsoft the giant rapes their customers in every way possible. Is it too much to ask for some decent downloadable content. Whether its xbox or windows vista, users are overcharged for products that are sub par. Not only that, but then your forced into buying accessories which can only be Microsoft licensed, and overpriced. while sony allows its users to play online for free and use accessories from makers. I own an xbox 360 and i love to play it, but where do you draw the line. Microsoft is taking advantage of it’s customers by limiting their choices. So stop bitchin about people who are upset because they spend a great deal of money on a service which is not worth the price. We deserve to get our money’s worth.

  • “Obviously the writer of this has no clue about Xbox live”

    No, I don’t. You’re right. I only use it every single day.

    “The only thing that is free on xbox live is the ability to look at some content,”

    Really? I have gigs of free stuff sitting on my hard drive, ranging from map packs, expansions, themes, and pics.

    “Is it too much to ask for some decent downloadable content”

    And what exactly would be decent DLC? If there’s not stuff on there you like, you must hate gaming.

    “Not only that, but then your forced into buying accessories which can only be Microsoft licensed, and overpriced.”

    Aside from the hard drive, which is true, what else isn’t made by a third party? Controllers are, memory cards are, batteries are, etc. You can find any of those a lot cheaper than the MS brand. Just because they have to be licensed doesn’t mean a thing.

    “Microsoft is taking advantage of it’s customers by limiting their choices”

    How are they limiting anything?

    “they spend a great deal of money on a service which is not worth the price. ”

    If you don’t like it, why are you spending money on it? You know you don’t need to pay for Live to get the content, right?