After the botched launch and continued struggles of Halo: The Master Chief Collection it's fair to say that Microsoft should tread lightly. And that's even after they've made up some significant ground by slashing the Xbox One's price for the holidays.
However, a seemingly innocent sale by the publisher has drawn some harsh criticism from gamers. Where Microsoft had hoped to reward fans for continued investment in the Halo franchise, they actually further shunned those who have been having problems with The Master Chief Collection.
The sale itself is innocent enough, offering a 15,000 Rewards Credit (roughly $15) to any Xbox Live Gold members who purchase $60 dollars worth of Halo content (games, add-ons, videos, etc.). But it becomes a little devious when one considers that The Master Chief Collection is still not delivering its promised multiplayer experience. In fact, 343 Industries just detailed yet another patch for the game that is supposed to fix matchmaking problems.
Understandably, gamers have met the sale with a fair bit of skepticism, most especially because Microsoft is trying to push sales of an admittedly broken game. Not to mention they are rewarding those who purchase Master Chief Collection in December, all the while those who bought it on Day 1 are left with little more than disappointment.
The smart play for Microsoft is to offer the same 15,000 Rewards Credit to everyone who purchased Halo: The Master Chief Collection as a goodwill gesture. Ubisoft admitted fault with Assassin's Creed Unity and offered DLC owners a free game, but Microsoft seems satisfied with apologies and commitments to fix the problem.
Some, not all, Master Chief Collection owners have been able to get compensation either by contacting Microsoft support or posting in the forums, but they are in the minority right now. That's why it's important to make sure to voice your displeasure regarding The Master Chief Collection.
That being said, Microsoft and 343 have not turned their back on fans either. 343 has said that their main focus is on fixing Master Chief Collection's matchmaking problems first, and then they will figure out "how we will make this right with our fans." So there may yet be a goodwill gesture in gamers' future.
How do you feel about Microsoft encouraging Halo: The Master Chief Collection sales while the game is still having problems? Should they gift every Master Chief Collection owner the same $15 credit?
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina