Allegiance Goes Free in July

Microsoft promotes its critically acclaimed online space-combat simulation with a month of free premium-service play.

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Although Microsoft's online space-combat simulation Allegiance is fully playable online on any number of independent servers, Microsoft also offers a premium service - the Allegiance Zone - that costs around US$10 a month for membership after an initial month of free play. The Allegiance Zone offers additional playable factions, persistent player rankings, special events, and more - it's a focal point for Allegiance's more dedicated players. Microsoft is making the Allegiance Zone free of charge through the month of July, which will let non-subscribers participate through the duration of the month, and will credit existing Allegiance Zone members with an additional free month of play.

The decision to offer Allegiance players a month of free time on the premium service may be partly in response to past technical issues. The message on the Allegiance Zone web site admits that, "We...had our moments in the beginning where we stumbled and want players to know that we have felt their pain and continually work hard to make the Allegiance Zone experience better day by day." GameSpot experienced some difficulty accessing Microsoft's game servers around the time when the game was released in stores in April of this year.

The free offer also gives Microsoft the opportunity to host a series of unique events on the Allegiance Zone for a larger audience. The web site mentions that, "All through the month of July, you'll find new and exciting Allegiance Zone events happening." Details of the events are still forthcoming. Allegiance has received highly favorable reviews from most gaming publications. It retails for under $40.

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