Microsoft’s Halo 4 Marathon Promotions – Are They Irresponsible?

As pointed out in our news round up earlier today, Xbox LIVE Rewards is offering free Microsoft Points to dedicated Halo 4 players, but with the top tier reward requiring six hours of gameplay a day for the remainder of November, is the promotion irresponsible?


Microsoft has already endured some heat from certain sections of the American media this week, after deciding to drop one of the year’s biggest games on the day of the US presidential election.

Now just a day after its rather controversial release date, Halo 4 is once again coming in for criticism due to another surprising decision from Microsoft. As part of the Xbox LIVE Rewards program that offers prizes and most prominently Microsoft Points for fulfilling certain criteria, such as completing a survey or renewing Gold membership, now gamers can earn up to 600msp if they spend 140 hours in Halo 4’s multiplayer over the course of November.

That’s nearly six days in total, if you start today it equates to an average of 6 hours every single day until November 30th. Now videogames are fantastic, wonderful things as we all know, but everything has its limit. Games are a form of entertainment and it seems extremely inappropriate of a massive company to encourage such crazy usage. Not to mention the hot water Microsoft could find themselves in if a child, or anyone else for that matter, ends up in hospital after another infamous gaming binge.

What do you think, are Microsoft doing anything wrong by offering such a promotion?



  1. in theory, it’s a neat idea, it’s just when you realise how much time would actually have to be spent to make up those numbers, then you realise, it’s just a ridiculous amount of time.

    do we really need a story about some baby that died while the parent/s tried to get a five dollar reward before ms see the problem with this

    a reasonable amount of time and i wouldn’t see a problem, but six hours a day, and not just for a few days, because i’ve had a few gaming binges that have lasted two or three days, but for weeks.

    i can only imagine they didn’t realise just how much time it would take each day to achieve this.

    and just imagine the rage from the people that attempt this and then miss by the tiniest of margins and get squat.
    assuming they still have the energy left to type.

  2. I think asking for 6 hours of somebody’s time a day is extremely excessive! By using this sort of promotion they are trying to get people addicted to their game, which is wrong on so many levels.

  3. Is this irresponsible? Simple answer? Yes. Have they not heard of the deaths related to constant mmorpg addiction? Appreciate I’m being a little melodramatic here but we know what some people are like? Can just see the Daily Mail headlines now: (insert witty play on Halo / Marathon words here). Lets fast forward to mid / end of November when journos are reporting MS and Halo are to blame for Halo induced fits and headaches and worse. It’ll happen. Trust me. Like we need to give ill informed ‘journalists’ more ammunition to hate on video games. (Climbs off high horse)

    • Agree with you on this, its ridiculous.

      • Same again. Ill-thought through and irresponsible. Silly buggers.

  4. They just trying advertise their best only exclusive, so why not go all out & do what it takes to become the best selling exclusive :)

  5. If these people have any sense they will just leave the game running while they sleep. Problem solved, no epilepsy or starving babies.

    • i expect it’ll be 140 hours of gameplay, otherwise everyone would get it easily by your method.

    • ooh, I might be able to beat those people in the Deathmatch multiplayer!

    • It’s how I used to get high score on scooby do on the spectrum. Hide at the end of a corridor with book placed on joystick fire button and watch the scores crank up with endless baddie respawns. Oh great days! Only cheating myself though:(

    • i used that tactic in fable 3, you have to make money to save enough people but it only give you money for time spent in game, not like fable 2 where it’d add money for the time you spent away from the game as well.

      i just left it on overnight one time and had plenty of money.

  6. I should hit the 70 hours, so that is good enough for me.

  7. To be honest thats a ridiculous amount time and you know people work. So top tip if desperate.. leave the 360 on and make it add up to the hours it demands. That’ll do.

    • Wouldn’t trust my 360 not to burn out and hardware fail if it was on for that length of time over the month! You can keep your £5.10 MS.

  8. This is irresponsible, but I don’t think they’d set such a specific threshold for the reward without some research. I imagine they’ve worked out a percentage who are likely to play that many hours anyway then added on those who are close and will put in a few extra hours here and there, plus the nutters who will do it for a freebie and budgeted their rewards for that estimation. So my point is their stats probably show a number of very keen Halo players that already play close to 140 hours in 3 weeks.

  9. This is no more irresponsible than polyphony putting 24 hour endurance races in gt5, remembering that on release and for months after you couldnt save progress. But neither polyphony nor Sony got bad press for that.

    • That is just for idiots in my opinion, if you have the balls and time to do that, then you just need your brain checked.

      Infact most games should restrict people from playing them over a certain period anyway, with an hour time out or something. It’s dangerous sitting there staring at a tv for longer than an hour.

      • admittedly i still haven’t got round to doing the 24 hour races but it was always possible to pause the game as many times as you like so you could in theory just play a hour a day for 3 weeks. of course you couldn’t play anything else so that was more the reason why everyone got annoyed about the whole thing rather then it being irresponsible.

        also does the fact that i try to watch the le mans and nurbugring 24h’s if i can’t be there in person make me a “idiot”?

    • but one 24 hour stint is a bit different to spending most of your waking, now school/work hours playing that one game for weeks on end.

      and most people that attempted that did it as a team thing didn’t they? much like the real race.

  10. This is ridiculous in my opinion, its promoting kids to sit indoors playing this until their eyes bleed each day until the end of the month.

    Microsoft should take this down immediately. Its irresponsible and on the verge of madness. I would go bananas if I saw this on my childs console store.

    Fair enough doing it over a few months or something, but to the end of the month is ridiculous.

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