Microsoft experiments with free-to-play on Xbox Live

The video game industry is currently experimenting with a number of free-to-play models, and Microsoft is no exception.

Indeed, Redmond will be rolling out its first free-to-play game on the Xbox 360 later this year. Dubbed Happy Wars by Japanese studio Toylogic, the title will be followed action-RPG Ascend: New Gods from Toy Soldiers maker Signal Studios.

“We’re always looking at ways to push the boundaries of the console and our digital platform. Bringing true free-to-play gaming experiences to Xbox 360 is a natural extension of that,” a Microsoft spokesperson explained.

“With the ongoing success of the model on PC, and the interest from both our consumers and our partners looking to explore this system on console, it simply made sense to deliver this experience through great games that would take advantage of it.”

As Tom Ivan of CVG notes, Sony has been quicker than Microsoft to embrace the free-to-play model on consoles, releasing Free Realms and DC Universe for the PS3 back in 2011.

“Free-to-play on PS3 is huge,” Sony PlayStation exec John Smedley recently confirmed. “In fact, right now, it’s us with DCUO and Free Realms and our friends at CCP with Dust 514 that are going to prove that this market really works.”