Angry Birds and six other Xbox Live games on Windows Phone get permanent price drops

Remember that huge Easter sale on Xbox Live titles we were so enthusiastic about a short time ago? It took a little while to receive confirmation on this, but we’ve learned that the seven featured games have permanently dropped in price to 99 cents. That’s good news to Windows Phone gamers as it means we have a new (and more competitive) price point for games!

The seven games that dropped in price from $2.99 to 99 cents:

Wondering what prompted the change in prices? The obvious answer is that Microsoft timed the drops in accordance with the release of the Nokia Lumia 900 (review). With the much-vaunted handset producing a flood of new Windows Phone owners and potential gamers, the big MS probably thought it important for these new customers to be able to pick up a few Xbox Live games on the cheap. Angry Birds in particular really needed to come down in price due to it being offered for free on a few other platforms already. In case the hubbub over Rovio passing on bringing Angry Birds in Space to Windows Phone (and their subsequent one-eighty) didn’t cue you in, it’s very important that the masses have their Angry Birds.

In Angry Birds’ case, platform equity is most likely reason for a price drop. And certainly most of the seven games cost 99 cents on iPhone as well – but not all. De Blob Revolution actually sells for $2.99 on iTunes at present. Something tells me it simply wasn’t a hot seller on Windows Phone, perhaps due to the weakness of the De Blob brand or the game’s lack of post-release updates. As for Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp, why that’s a Windows Phone exclusive! But the game is a bit content-light, a factor that may have led to its price shedding a few dollars.

Wondering whether the game makers had any say in their titles’ new prices? “We had the opportunity to drop our existing games to the new price point, so we decided to do so and test the water, so to speak,” one Xbox Live developer told WPCentral. The same game maker expects to drop the price of another title in the future.

The new price offers advantages to everyone involved. Developers now have a little more control in the pricing of their games, and gamers can pick up titles more affordably. Of course, for a game to be more profitable in the 99 cent range than $2.99, it needs to sell over three times as many copies. Initially, the Windows Phone user base simply wasn’t large enough to sustain such low prices. Microsoft could have still launched with the sub-dollar price, but games would have been loss leaders until more people picked up handsets. Now that Nokia is fully onboard and actively advertising the Lumia 900, the user base has either grown enough or is expected to grow enough in short order to make lower game prices viable.

How many of these seven games have you picked up since they got cheaper, dear readers?

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • I applaud the move. Yet, and I say this not as a way to find some reason to complain, but fans of Angry Birds are in for a rude awakening with the lack of updates for the game.
  • I agree - that's one very good reason they shouldn't be charging more for the Windows Phone version.
  • It is pretty slack that we have about HALF the levels that iOS has. And yet we paid a lot more for the game..
  • Just curious...How many levels are on the WP version?  I have a N8, and there are 288 levels, for the price of $1.99; Nokia actually gave this as a free gift for Christmas, so I didn't have to pay for it.  But, if I had, I think I would have deemed it worth the price given the gameplay.
  • Unfortunately this applies to a lot of other XBL games.
  • At least we get achievements on the game, (something you don't get from other platforms).. I was very angry when they did give us new levels but no achievements.. Would've rather payed extra for the levels and have more achievements than get it for free with no point to play it at all
  • Well, the extra levels do help alleviate the tedium of that one horrible grinding Achievement.
  • What about those who don't care at all for this Xbox Live integration stuff? Honestly I don't own an xbox 360 for gaming so this Xbox Live for Windows Phone is pointless to me =/
  • Achievements and leaderboards still add a fun social element even for non-360 owners. You can choose to overlook them if you like, but Achievements in particular tend to add a lot of extra playtime to games, making them a better value for those who enjoy them.
  • It's really I shame I already own most of these games for their previous price. Oh well, it's good to support developers in any case.
  • I still haven't finished Angry Birds because I don't keep a phone long enough and lose my saves constantly. Here's hoping I keep this phone longer than normal.
  • I keep hearing everyone say stuff like this. How the hell is everyone affording 3 phones a year?!?!?
  • Agreed... Lucky :(
  • No..seriously. I do very well financially, but I don't know how people are dropping $1800 a year on phone hardware alone, let alone the monthly bills then. Is there a trick I don't know about to get the latest phones cheap (other than obviously waiting for your contract to end, but that is only happening once every two years)?
  • I manage the corporate cell phone account for a mid-sized company. We have so many lines that getting the upgrade price on a new device is done by using a line that has an upgrade available.
    Most employees don’t care about upgrading that often so we often have plenty of eligible lines.
  • Well, hook me the hell up!
  • My guess would be family plans. Everyone including the kids have a line and as upgrades become available, they take advantage. I only have the one line. I got an HTC Surround and would love a lumia 900. To get one, I would have to either pay the $450 for it or add a line I don't want or need. Guess I will wait for a price reduction.
  • 3 starred every level baby! Now we just need them to update the app with all the other levels we are missing that iOS has..
  • Its a little easier and necessary if you work for the cell phone company.. If I worked for at&t probably would've had hd7s, titan, and titan2 within a year.. But I work for tmobile so only have had the hd7 then the radar.. still hoping hoping for a new HTC when Apollo cones out
  • this is great news hope more apps go to this price range soon, much more likely to make inpulse buys at 79p than £2.29. if wp7 wants to justify the extra price why not include cloud saves for all xbox live titles so you don't lose your saves between phones.
    also a shame in the games i've bought the 'live' titles are relatively dead when it comes to updates. where are the extra levels in angry birds available on iOS and android? most live titles i've seen are at version 1 or 1.1 would be nice to get more updates
  • I should get a refund for Toy Soldiers. I was so hoping it was going to be a decent port of more of the game than it was. They clearly have the rendering engine working and the phone is definnitely capable of running the full game(on gen2 devices). It would be worth giving up the 1 GB of storage to have the full version of either the original or the sequel to take on the go and play multiplayer. MAKE IT HAPPEN MS!
  • I think there's a limit to how large a WP game can be. I know there is for regular XBLA games
  • If Rovio is aware of Windows Phone existence again... Then where is the update for their original Angry Birds? :/
  • They are probably waiting for WP8 for native access. Truth be told, no devs like rewriting.
  • The thing is that they don't care about WP platform. If they did they would have offered their library of Angry Birds (both paid versions and free versions just like the other platforms) plus the frequent updates they apparently do on other platforms too. It's a shame they don't care for it considering you would think they would want their apps on as many platforms as possible. If they, and other popular titles, went to the platform they win and windows phone will win because it provides incentives for consumers to choose WP. Their are good alternatives like like pandas vs. ninjas.
  • I think they farmed out the development to an outside firm. If so any additional work/updates would cost them money vs directing the internal development team to get on it. I imagine their internal developers have experience on iOS and Android but no WP. In order to get frequent updates they would have to hire or train…something they may not want to do for a platform that may not succeed and has a small market share.
  • 4...
  • its good to see price competing for xbox live windows phone games hopefully we see some more games at 99cents
  • Guys !!! You know what would be great? Having all the original old microsoft Xbox games ported over. ( project Gotham, Halo e.t.c)
  • How would this be possible... ?
  • If I knew that it was going to be a permanent decrease, I probably would've have bought them all at once, but still, it's a good deal for new users.
  • 3phomes a year ....ebay
  • Very popular games should be priced lower. There are other games that would need the 99c treatment. Namely:
    Fruit Ninja
    Flight Control
    Doodle Jump
    Parachute Panic
    Pac Man (original)
  • What about pacman championship???? Its never been deal of the week. This is great news but nothing should be over 3 bucks
  • Nothing should be over 5 bucks especially lol
  • Why not? As ling as it's good enough to deserve it. I mean, don't take me wring but mobile gaming kinda suck to an extent because ppl demand cheap not quality, ppl get anything as long as it's cheap, ppl play any crap as long as it's cheap... Why? Why buy a shit load of cheap games, waste precious time on that crap?
  • Aren't ppl bored with those angry chicken already?!
  • They probably lowered the price on de blob because they would get all the monies. What with the studio that made it shutting down and everything. . .
  • Excellent. One of my problems with the WP market place was how I noticed some of those more popular games costed more than the iOS etc. I'm very happy to see equality reaching our market place. There are still plenty of games that I think are overpriced however, so hopefully it doesn't stop here.
  • Picked up burn the rope and doodle god for 99 cents. I won't buy angry birds unless it gets better support as I already played it on other platforms. Another fun game is chicken can't fly for 2.99
  • Sent rovio an email regarding AB and its lack of updates. They said they thank me for the feedback on Windows Phone however they can't provide any release dates on developments on existing games or upcoming ones i.e; AB: Space.