Xbox Live Offers to the Wrong People

Xbox 360

Recently every Sunday Night (United States) and Monday Afternoon (Australia) I have posted a unique article that you will only ever be able to read if you visit this site. (Or if you are my teacher).

Today I was going to share my hypothesis I wrote for my psychology class entitled ‘Stress in Relation to Gamers: The Proper Application of Games to Reduce Stress’. My psychology teacher hasn’t returned it to me and since it is kind of long I’ll have to reduce a majority of it. So if I get it back next week you guys will be able to read (or skim through) the abridged version next Sunday.

Since I couldn’t do the above paper, I have been thinking what else I could do. That is when my younger brother turned on my Xbox and loaded his profile. On his dashboard was an offer for 12 months of Xbox Live plus bonuses and the idea struck me. Below you can read my opinions on the matter.

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Xbox Live Offers to the Wrong People

There are many offers floating around Xbox Live. Most of the offers are displayed on the Xbox Dashboard. There is only one problems with the offers, they are displayed to the wrong people. From the eyes of the marketer the right people are seeing the offers, but from the eyes of a consumer these offers are shown to the wrong people at the wrong time.

When someone doesn’t have Xbox Live for a while, the dashboard will begin to show special offers to renew your Xbox Live membership. According to the marketer, this moment is the perfect time to show them because they will want to purchase a new subscription. If they throw in some offers they will have a greater chance of getting you to buy it.

There are a few major problems with this. My main example is with my younger brother. He can only ever afford 3 months at a time, and consistently gets these offers. Today he was given the offer: “Buy 12 months of Xbox Live, get 2 extra months free and a riot shield prop for your avatar.” Even if he wanted Xbox Live again, he can’t afford to buy 12 months all at once, he would miss out on the offer because he can only afford 3. On the other hand, if they were to show me that offer right as my subscription was about to run out, I would’ve picked it up instantly. Not for the Riot Shield (Nothing beats my Chocobo) but for the extra 2 months.

As you can see the major problem is that these offers don’t pop up until you haven’t had Xbox Live for a while. The reason this is done is for more money, but if you look at it correctly they are showing these offers to the wrong people.

Most of us buy a new 12 month subscription every time it runs out. We rarely ever get to see these offers because according to Microsoft, we are going to pay no matter what. So Microsoft instead shows the offers to the people who don’t have Xbox Live, but honestly if you don’t have Xbox Live there is a reason. You either can’t afford it, or you simply don’t want it.

My preposition is that Microsoft should show these offers to people 2 months before their Xbox Live runs out. Xbox Live users will see this great offer, and know that they only have a few months left. Microsoft will then have gained another year worth of money a few months early and and not have to worry about convincing you to spend money on another year because you’ve already payed for the next year.

Instead, the offers going to those without Xbox Live are being wasted. If you have Xbox Live you will never see the offer unless you wait about a month or two after losing it. But if you really want Xbox Live you are just going to rebuy and not worry about the offer.

Xbox Live offers are going to the wrong people at the wrong times. To further prove my point Microsoft could easily take the data they receive for the most played games and know exactly which games are played the most. We all know they can see what games are being played, as seen in Major Nelson’s most played games blog posts. If Microsoft were to take this info, and then offer this recent deal to everyone who plays Modern Warfare 2, a lot of people will take the offer even if they are no where near ending their subscription. Why? Because of that simple riot shield. It is unique and will show how much they love Modern Warfare 2. Admittedly a majority of Xbox Live users are there because of their parent’s credit cards. They are the ones that throw out tons of virtual cash on useless avatar items. This offer should’ve been focused primarily at those people and Microsoft would have easily made millions.

According to recent statistics Modern Warfare 2 has acquired 25 million unique players. This is not only on the Xbox 360, but lets say minimally 1 million of these are on the Xbox 360. 12 months of xbox live costs about $50 depending on where you live. If even 200,000 of the players took this offer Microsoft would’ve made an instant $1,000,000. Instead of focusing on these players, they have instead focused on the Silver Members. These members are either grounded, or they simply don’t have Xbox Live. Since they don’t have Xbox Live they will never have played Modern Warfare 2 since it is primarily a multiplayer game, so the Riot Shield doesn’t even appeal to them.

As you can see Microsoft are focusing on the wrong gamers for these Xbox Live offers. They shouldn’t focus these offers only to the people without Xbox Live but to those with it as well. Everyone with Xbox Live is a continued supporter, and just because we are most likely to pay Microsoft for another 12 months, doesn’t mean that they should just ignore us. Many people would’ve bought that deal instantly, for different reason and most likely the offer would have gotten more takers from already existing members then those without Xbox Live.

  • Pretty good article although the thing is I think you may actually be wrong. I get what you’re getting at, they need to think more about who they advertise to and what they are advertising but I’m pretty sure that everybody gets these offers…

    I haven’t been without XBL Gold Membership for almost 3 years yet I see these offers under the “Spotlight” option all the time and I’m pretty sure that the riot shield one will be there too if I were to check.

  • Really? I asked 10 of my friends and they all don’t get any offers either. While my younger brother’s account, which is on the exact same Xbox as my account, does get offers.

  • frankcastle66

    it just goes to show how right you are because i haven’t gone without live the 2 years i have had it and i have not seen a single deal like that

  • That’s very strange. Maybe it’s just because I live in Canada. I know for sure that I have seen (and continue to see) those advertisements.

  • PlayingMantis

    I don’t know how it goes in Australia, but there are usually deals for $30 to $35 US for 12 months through online retailers like amazon, best buy, etc. That’s a lot better deal than the direct price from microsoft, no matter what bonus they are offering.

  • Andrenekoi

    It’s always like this, not only on Xbox 360 live, but all kind of subscription systems. They always seems to ignore the current users in favor of the new ones. Could have worked better considering both publics.

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