After Sony's recent declaration that the disproportionately high costs of broadband Internet access and subscription were hindering the uptake of online PlayStation 2 gaming in the US, Microsoft has conceived its own strategy for counteracting this problem. It plans to offer free games as an incentive for American Xbox owners who refer one of their buddies to a 12 month Xbox Live! subscription.
Up for grabs are copies of Top Spin, Links 2004 and RalliSport Challenge 2. If the cost of one of these free games is subtracted from the cost of the year's subscription, it does make for a much better deal. However, if someone refers a friend to the service, chances are this will be one of the people they most frequently play with, so, rewarding this partnership with a single copy of the game will mean that the other half will probably end up having to go and buy another one. That is, unless they can refer the next memberů(and so on and so forth).
There have been no announcements regarding plans to introduce a similar scheme elsewhere, although if it produces successful results, other regions may well follow suit.