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February 10, 2009 // 8:41 pm - Microsoft has announced that is will offer free access to Live Gold functionality for players of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV in February. Starting on February 17, anybody playing either Grand Theft Auto IV or its upcoming expansion, The Lost and Damned, will be able to play free of charge. The offer will expire on February 22.

The move is set to coincide with the release of the new DLC episode The Lost and Damned, which Rockstar hopes will revive interest in its open-world shooter. Hopefully they have also made some tweaks to the multiplayer modes in this new game. Heck, if it is free to go online and check them out, we will definitely give it a go.

This is the first time that Microsoft has extended such an offer. We can see this move potentially backfiring for the Redmond company, however. Like the days of Perestroika, once gamers get a taste of the good life, they might not be so eager to go back to the old gulag of paid online service.

Hopefully this opens the door for future online demo offers to coincide with the release of new titles, leading to the eventual liberation of Xbox live for all. Microsoft, tear down that wall!

Microsoft Plans Free XBox Live Gold Functionality for GTA IV

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