Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows Phone 8 will come to Verizon first in the US
Halo: Spartan Assault will be a landmark game when it launches on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 later this month. It marks the first mobile entry in Microsoft’s Halo franchise, something fans have been clamoring for ever since Windows Phone 7 debuted back in 2010. While it took a long time for the game to actually be revealed to the world, the wait between the June announcement and Spartan Assault’s undisclosed July release date will be relatively short.
It turns out that some Windows Phone 8 users will need to wait a bit longer for the new Halo game than others, however. Today Microsoft and Verizon revealed that the Windows Phone 8 version of Spartan Assault will launch first on Verizon phones in the US before eventually becoming available to all domestic customers. This timed exclusivity does not affect countries outside of the US, nor does it affect the Windows 8 version of the game.
The official announcement came through Verizon’s website (opens in new tab). In a story titled “Halo: Spartan Assault coming to Windows Phone 8,” the subtitle clearly reads “First to Verizon Wireless.” In the body of the article itself, the exclusivity bombshell is almost casually mentioned:
The story goes on to mention which Verizon phones will be compatible with Spartan Assault:
All of those devices have 1 GB of RAM, because that’s all Verizon carries. But we have confirmed with Microsoft that Spartan Assault will also be compatible with 512 MB Windows Phone 8 devices as well.
Patience is a virtue
So what does this all mean? Well, for one thing it shows Verizon’s support of their Windows Phone 8 devices and how much they want those phones to succeed. The US carrier’s lineup of devices is second only to AT&T’s. Verizon customers who play games will be happy (or at least not disappointed) by the announcement.
As for non-Verizon users who live in the US, the timed exclusivity IS sort of bad news. Microsoft would not confirm the duration of Spartan Assault’s exclusivity: it could be as little as a week or as long as a couple of months. I’m placing my bet on 3-4 weeks. International Windows Phone 8 users will not be affected by the Verizon exclusivity.
However, this announcement doesn’t mean that no Americans without a Verizon phone will be able to play Spartan Assault when it launches. Windows Phone Central has confirmed with Microsoft that the Windows 8 version will launch simultaneously with the Verizon and international Windows Phone 8 versions of the game. So if you don’t have a Verizon phone but do have a Surface or other Windows 8 device, you can still get the tablet or PC version right away.
The US hasn’t seen a carrier-specific Xbox Windows Phone game since ilomilo debuted for free to AT&T users back in holiday 2010. ilomilo later became available to everybody in January 2011. Halo: Spartan Assault will definitely not be free for Verizon users: they’ll pay $6.99, just like everybody else.
Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 (amusingly enough, a clone based on the Halo console games) launched for free in India but at a price of $6.99 in the rest of the world. The Indian version was extremely buggy, however, and quickly got pulled from the Store. It’s a safe bet that Verizon’s US exclusive offering of the Windows Phone 8 version of Halo: Spartan Assault will not be plagued by similar problems.
via Phone Arena
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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!
ilomilo doesnt really count because in 2010 ATT was pretty much the ONLY carrier at launch (T-mo was and is a joke).
It's 5 for Tmobile.
That's impossible idea in continental Europe.
All MS is accomplishing here is screwing their early adopters.
World wide statistics are terrible when you start looking at the details. Sadly, the countries where you can have skewed stats world wide by dominating are also two of the less wealthy in the world (India and China). The significance to this fact is that you better have a bunch of light weight free apps because (a) the main phones sold aren't exactly killing the spec sheet and (b) the average person in those countries don't have the disposable income to be buying apps left and right. WMPoweruser just made a post about WP marketshare by phone in the UK.... top is 800. Next two are 8S and 520. It took Android how long to finally have Gingerbread or whatever lose its lead? Well, use that as a scale for how long it will take for Windows Phone to catch on after it reaches ~13-16% (look up the law of diffusion of innovation for the significance).
You're just pissed cause you are quite used to being the spoiled ATT/Nokia customer getting everything first. I'm right there with you. But lets let them get a little love and it will make our entire chosen mobile platform that much stronger!
Yes, I am a spoiled Nokia customer. But I also do not agree with their exclusive policies, either. You take a 3% market share for WP8, and then you carve it up into even smaller segments. Does nothing to help the platform grow whatsoever.
Ya, its going to be annoying that you cannot play a stupid game for who knows how long. But so what?
Also, I don't understand the whole "carve it up into smaller segments" bit. Do you think people would be so shallow over a timed exclusive, that will eventually everyone on WP8 will get, that they would feel slighted and jump ship to another mobile OS?
If someone is going to leave WP8 for another mobile OS, they've already been thinking about it. I cannot fathom a simple game making that much of a difference...much less one that they'll NEVER get on a different OS.
It doesn't hurt and can only help the overall WP OS ecosystem.
And, like you said, go play it on Windows 8. Probably be better there with a larger screen and you can plug in an Xbox controller as well. But don't get a heart attack over something so...so...infantile.
We don't work for Microsoft or Nokia. But hey, if Ballmer or Elop want to start sending me a weekly check (*) in order for me to regurgitate happy-talk, I'm game.
(*) Checking account provided to interested Microsoft HR personnel, upon request.
Sounds like another one of those situations where stupid marketing managers think eroding long term good will is worth some short-term marketing campaign. It's not like we're experiencing a deluge of new games or anything.
Right now I'm trying to decide whether, for Assassin's Creed IV, I want GameStop's Cpt Morgan costume, ship, and missions, or Amazon's Stede Bonnet costume, ship, and missions.
1 exclusive for Verizon (the nations largest carrier) and AT&T customers forget every exclusive they've gotten.
Halo is a MICROSOFT product. They SHOULD be looking out for their brand.
All the fault of those sh*t US carriers! We do not have more frequent updates because of them too! And because of them the rest of the world is affected!
I hate you American carriers!
2. Nokia takes care of THEIR customers with apps that they either make or are instrumential in getting made.
3. Halo is a big deal for XBOX on WINDOWS PHONE and thus should be leveraged as a carrot to get more users on the platform. OEMs do the exclusive thing to retain and attract customers to their specific brand. Microsoft isn't an OEM and should be agnostic in supporting and promoting the Windows Phone brand. This seems silly and I hope they have some really smart people who know what they're doing, because it doesn't make sense to me.
Lumia 1020 is a different case as far as exclusive. Lumia 925 is still weeks away from release. The reason I move to AT&T was Lumia 920. To me those exclusivity is worth paying.
MS FINALLY makes the Halo game we've been wanting to pull more people to WP8, and then they completely blow the opportunity in the US?????
Being on T-Mobile with a Rogers 920 I say all this exclusive crap is BS
I have the lumia 920 so i'm pretty much always in the loop for exclusives but carrier exclusives are just plain silly.
Consider that you'll never be able to play it if you switch back to Android. Consider that you'll go back to mobile OS that you left for whatever reason it was and is still going to be that way.
Seriously, if a single timed exclusive is going to make you switch to a completely different mobile OS, time to rethink whats most important.
the limited app selection i can deal with, the apps being there but not being available to most WP users because of exclusivity contracts is a bit more concerning...
really i guess it's just microsofts pattern of meddling too much, i had to wait 5 months to get the 920 because of the exclusivity contract with at&t, theres a ton of apps that can only be used by nokia users/certain carriers, and there's so many annoying bugs/limited functionalities with the interface which all seems to lead to microsofts developing restrictions.
If not that then there's really no way they could restrict it and it would like just be as easy as changing the region.
Perhaps people just need a better paying job? Who knows.
Anyhow, it's about time for good god damn news. Now give me my Nokia Drive, GDR2 and get back to work.
man im pissed.
ms, i'm right here and ready to fork over 7 bucks for hsa and you're giving verizon users first hands??! ugh..
I've experimented with T-Mobile and AT&T sims in my phone (L928) and every time i do the other store pops up. Now, you're going to probably need to unlock your phone first, but that shouldn't be a big deal if you have AT&T now that exclusivity on the 920 is up, and may be more of a problem for T-Mobile.
Also, everyone at AT&T, quit whining. I don't have a choice and am stuck on Verizon, and AT&T had high end Lumia exclusivity for 6+ months. I bought the 8x at launch, but it pales in comparison to a Lumia
2. 2 wrongs don't make a right. Exclusives from AT&T doesn't defend exclusives for Verizon, it just means that both are being jerks.
But again, there are feasiable alternatives to the 1020 as it stands. The 928 has almost the same internals as the 1020, except the camera and RAM (same CPU/GPU and storage). With Halo, there's not "we have another Halo game that is comparable while you wait."
Honestly, if they take 2 months to put this out on AT&T, and I cannot get it through unlocking my phone (or something like that) beforehand, I won't buy it. This crap of defending poor treatment of customers for short-terms, monetary gain is dumb, in my opinion. As it stands, Verizon can brag that they are the only mobile Halo source. That takes potential customers from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, all of whom could have had the game as a selling point. However, having the game exclusive to Verizon doesn't sell customers on the OS (I get that Verizon can claim that they'll push the OS more with this exclusivity, but look at what they did with the Kin...not trustworthy at all).
I would argue that Microsoft hurts itself more here. In my opinion, Microsoft (in ints Surface/tablet commercials especially) and AT&T (with that guy and the kids) make better commercials that make you notice the product better than Verizon. Having no exclusivity and having a Microsoft-made commercial run on TV for this game would likely top ANYTHING that Verizon comes up with as a weak ad campaign. On top of that, said weak ad campaign (which will liekly exist in-store only) coudl still have existed in Verizon stores without exclusivity agreements.
Now, what we have is Microsoft hurting arguably their best mobile partner in AT&T, as the lack of Halo is a BIG point to be lacking when AT&T's customers are deciding between the (relatively-) underpowered MSM8690 Windows Phone devices and the Snapdragon 600-packing Galaxy S4 or HTC One.
my name is Urbangentlemann (byw, this comment was not about recently added games)
Also, I download demos for most of the games I mention I am interested in. However, in most cases, they end up not being very good. As I mentioned, I didn't like the way that Doodle God's developers refused to fix bugs. I tried out Order & Chaos earlier (got to level 3 or do), and I'm just not sure it's for me. I played and liked WoW, but it's a bit on the cumbersome side to play that game on a smartphone (might work on a tablet).
A lot of times, it ends up that I like a game, but it doesn't work for me on a smartphone. I wanted to check out Modern Combat 4 and N.O.V.A. 3, and I did, but I didn't like playing with the touch input. If they got controller support, and I got a controller, I'd buy more games. I'm just not one to play smartphone games for long stretches, so Order & Chaos doesn't work all that well, at least for me.
As much as I want to get more games, there just aren't a whole lot that are worth it. I mean, I DID get Asphalt 7, and I finished it. I also got NBA Jam, which I'm still only in the second iteration of the campaign in (going for all of the Achievements). I got Skulls of the Shogun, but I've only finished 3 or 4 levels (I'm one to play my games one at a time). I got Tiki Towers as a Red Stripe deal probably a month or so back (forgot I got that after NBA Jam). That ignores the free Xbox games I've gotten and played (Wordament, Gun. Bros., Jetpack Joyride, and Shuffle Party) and not yet played (Angry Birds, the 4 free Miniclip titles).
But I mean if I REALLY started doing the whole "buy all of the games I might like" thing, it'd get expensive. If I swallowed all of those pills, I'd be spending probably $50/month for 3-6 months. It'd also help if we got more dedication from big developers, though. I'd LOVE to get those board games published by EA/Nokia, but when they have no online play...what's the point?
or did i miss something?
I think it is one thing where nokia gets app exclusively on their phoens vs HTC and Samsung since Nokia invest in them while HTC/Samsung sits on their asses
This halo game is a 1st party IP from microsoft, they must be delusional to think this game will move phones, this will not at a level that it will make an impact. Why MS would even consider this is beyond me to fragment your own game, this is pretty absurd.
They are doing this for a carrier that was hesistant on going wp8 and to make a game exclusive to a carrier when it is developed by your 1st party studio? Logic is clearly missing in this decision.
Just make no sense...
When did Gameloft make NOVA3 free for India? It has been Rs. 360 for the game since launch, and its still available.
You had Windows Phone 6-8 MONTHS before us. Never mind other Exclusive apps over the time with BETTER phone choices all the time. Even the 928 is a sort of hand-me-down...
Sorry, I dont feel bad for you at all, Get the F over it and move on...