Free XBLA game for everyone

Following Christmas problems.

Following a number of connectivity issues with the Xbox Live service over the Christmas period, Microsoft is to offer all its subscribers globally a free Xbox Live Arcade game as a "token of appreciation", GamesIndustry.biz reports.

The announcement was made by Xbox Live's general manager Marc Whitten on the Major Nelson blog - Whitten explained that while the service was never completely offline, the team was "disappointed in our performance".

The statement went on to explain that the issues were caused by the "largest sign-up of new members to Xbox Live" in the service's five-year history, and while the game is not offered as compensation for the problems, it's instead being billed as a "thank you for your loyalty during this holiday period".

Details on the offer will be made available in the coming weeks, and at this point it's not clear if users will be offered a free choice of game, or whether a specific title or selection of titles will be pinpointed by Microsoft.

The statement also noted that the holiday period also saw the largest ever number of concurrent users to the Xbox Live service, something which - when coupled with the latest Xbox 360 console sales numbers - make it a promising start to 2008 for the company.

GamesIndustry.biz can kill two stones with one bird.

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