Today’s news in the technology industry is largely focused on the launch of Windows 10 which is arguably a very important step for Microsoft’s vision of the future. When you think about it there are very few companies in the world that are positioned to create a unified ecosystem among PC, video game consoles and mobile devices. It is also understandable that individuals who write about technology or video games will be drawn to such a widely publicized event to gain hits for their own websites. I am no exception but apparently I did not get my invitation for the current bandwagon.
You see, Solitaire on Windows 10 does add some new game modes and leaderboards but there are also ads within the game. If you prefer you can remove the ads for a cost. Microsoft charges $1.49 a month or $9.99 per year to remove the ads from Solitaire. The ads are commercial videos which run from 15 to 30 seconds and you cannot play the game until the ad is finished.
Sound familiar? This is exactly how some of Microsoft’s free to play games from Windows 8.1 worked. Microsoft Jigsaw and Microsoft Jackpot are two examples of such games and as far as I know most of the media did not find this particularly news worthy. However, some journalists seem to feel that this business model appearing in a Windows 10 represents a dire future for video games.
Andrew Griffin from the The Independent opens his article with a very misleading headline.
To be fair Griffin does admit in the article that the game itself is free to play and there are new modes and features. He also explains that the charge is optional. Griffin even mentions that subscribers get bigger rewards from solving Daily Challenges and boosts for two game modes- Pyramid and TriPeaks but that still does not excuse such a misleading headline.
Not to be outdone, Anthony Cuthbertson from the International Business Times ups the drama level by declaring that an optional subscription fee to remove ads has “ruined” Solitaire. Ironically, that webpage is absolutely infested with advertisements including two video ads that play automatically and one that covers the viewer’s screen.
Just to be clear, I can easily understand that some players will be annoyed. I found myself just wanting to get through similar ads and start playing in games like Microsoft Jigsaw. I was never annoyed enough to cough up the cash to remove those ads though. Microsoft has some ambitious plans and I am certain there will be missteps here and there to write about. As far as Solitaire on Windows 10 goes, I believe several members of the gaming media are just blowing things out of proportion.
Image Source: Microsoft News