What we heard: Lots of gamers are upset with the way Lumines Live! has been released on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Gamers who download the Q Entertainment puzzle game for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) are finding that it isn't exactly a full-featured version of the game.
The game includes a dozen "skins" (graphic and audio overhauls that don't change the underlying gameplay), a time attack mode, and an online multiplayer mode. In order to expand the game to include more skins, skins with music videos playing in the background (a feature touted when the game was originally announced), and multiple opponents for the player-versus-CPU mode, players will have to purchase a series of additional content packs.
The Xboxic article points to a posting by an xbox.com forum-goer who claimed to receive a message from Microsoft's customer service about Lumines Live! The supposed message follows, typos, tortured grammar, and all:
Thanks for contacting XBOX Customer Support,
Luminous(sic) Live is known to have some issues regarding unsatisfactory in it's (sic) download. Please wait until Monday to see wether (sic) we have any updates regarding this issue. Do not download or purchase anything else that has to be dealt with Luminous (sic) Live. Until then, feel free to contact us via telephone for any updates of this issue and what we can offer you.
For any questions regarding this issue, please contact Xbox customer support on http://www.xbox.com/support/contact/
Thanks for time and support,
XBOX customer service team.
A post last week on Gamerscore Blog, a site run by Microsoft's global marketing team, acknowledged that some of the company's communications about the game's downloadable content haven't been detailed enough, saying, "Believe me, the message is being heard." So obviously Microsoft has noticed some unhappy gamers in relation to its handling of Lumines Live. The question is whether or not the angry voices out there are enough to pressure a pricing change on a just-released game.
The legitimacy of the customer service note is clearly in question. Aside from the writer's inability to spell the name of the game properly and his or her multiple grammatical errors, he or she actually suggests that the recipient not buy something. If Microsoft didn't want people buying and downloading the game, it would be a simple matter to pull it from the Xbox Live service temporarily, as it did with Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 last weekend. It also suggests that the person contact customer service by telephone, but then fails to give a phone number.
The official story: Microsoft had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus?: Even without word from MS, all signs point to bogus.