Free-to-play has been around for a while on PC and mobile, but it's still finding its feet on consoles.
To date, Sony is the one who has been making the greatest strides in this department, with titles such as Free Realms and DC Universe Online available for any PS3 owner to download and try for themselves whenever they like, with additional purchases available but by no means required.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has required an Xbox Live Gold subscription for the few free-to-play games that have been released on 360 to date -- somewhat defeating the object, some might argue.
It seems that the company is changing its ways, however, at least so far as the upcoming "game maker game" Project Spark is concerned. When it becomes available on Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows 8 PCs next year, Project Spark will not require a Gold subscription to Xbox Live.
The news was actually confirmed several days ago on Reddit, when Project Spark community manager Mike Lescault corrected a user who was under the impression the new game would follow the "Free-to-play with Gold" model of previous offerings such as Warface, Spartacus and World of Tanks.
"You do not need an Xbox Live Gold account to play Project Spark," he said. "You will not need a Gold subscription to play Project Spark for free on any platform," he later reiterated to clarify the fact that the game would be truly free-to-play on both Xbox platforms and Windows 8 PCs.
Siliconera confirmed back in July of this year that Project Spark's free download would include "hundreds" of parts and enemies plus the terrain builder tools; playing games made by other Project Spark players would also be free. It's not currently known whether the game will offer additional microtransactions for add-on content.
You can sign up for Project Spark's closed beta for Windows 8 right now at the official site; the game proper is set to launch a public beta on consoles in January of next year.
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