Microsoft began selling Age of Empires III yesterday for only 10 cents but quickly ran out of product keys as the sale price for the game proved extremely popular.
For just one day only, the software giant offered the popular real-time strategy game online for only 10 cents. The game was available on Microsoft’s Games for Windows site all day on Sunday November 21. According to a Microsoft Games for Windows spokesperson, workers were surprised at the large amount of keys allocated to the sale beforehand. “When keys were propped, they gave a rather large buffer. In fact, people were joking in the hallway on Friday about the unnecessarily large number of keys that were prepared for this sale. Then we ran out.” Another member of the Windows Live team confirmed “We knew the sale would be popular and added extra keys to accommodate before the sale started, but it exceeded even our own expectations.”
Microsoft spokespeople confirmed the key problem and issued the following statement:
“Due to the overwhelming success of the Age of Empires III sale, we have temporarily run out of keys to unlock the game. You can still buy the game at this amazing price and you will get/see a key in the next week. When new keys are added to the system you will be auto-assigned a key, there is no need to call support or take any other action from your end. We will post here on the forums when the keys are available and the next time you click ‘View Game Keys’ for the game you should be assigned one.
Thank you for your patience and we hope you enjoy the game.”
Age of Empires III was available on Microsoft’s recently overhauled Games for Windows Marketplace. The new marketplace negates the requirement of using the client to browse the marketplace and buy or download games. The client has been updated too and acts as a download manager for purchased games and game content. LIVE-enabled games still require the use of the Games for Windows client.
Microsoft says it has over 100 titles in the Marketplace including those from Capcom, 2K games and more. Activision has also signed up to Games for Windows Marketplace and is offering Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Consumers no longer need to use Microsoft or Zune points to purchase content. Microsoft has kept both payments as options but users can now purchase content directly.
Games for Windows Marketplace is Microsoft’s stab at an app-store platform to purchase PC games online. The software giant also displays content available for each title in the Marketplace and utilises RSS feeds from developers to display recent news and updates about titles.
Thanks to Cr0bar for the news tip