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August 23, 2011

Minesweeper launching worldwide

We heard you.

Minesweeper, the ad-supported Xbox LIVE game we debuted in the U.S. Marketplace recently, is launching as a free download around the world (except Brazil and Korea). The title, which for now is English only, should be available by early tomorrow morning in your local Marketplace.

It’s no secret that two weeks ago when we announced Minesweeper and another free ad-supported game, Sudoku, many of you who live elsewhere were disappointed to learn they were U.S. only titles. A few folks were downright mad, and questioned our international aspirations and commitment.

We took notice. You see, a lot of time is spent here working on ways to get our phone and apps in the hands of more people around the world (for evidence, see here and here), so your reaction struck a chord.

“It’s not that we don’t want to have worldwide consumer releases,” John Dongelmans, a director of Xbox LIVE games marketing and one of the early responders, told me. “But in some cases we face challenges due to feature availability and licensing restrictions.”

Dongelmans said the team is working hard to ensure more Xbox LIVE titles for Windows Phone are available more broadly in the future—including, by the way, Sudoku.

“We are serious about resolving this.”