The Xbox 360’s first free-to-play game Happy Wars hits XBLA

Developer Toylogic’s Happy Wars, which quietly hit Xbox 360’s digital store Xbox Live Arcade Oct. 12, is the home console’s first free-to-play game.

Happy Wars is multiplayer action game with a cartoon style in which two teams battle across variety of combat arenas. As many as 30 players can play the same match and choose from three character types — Warrior, Mage and Cleric, each with unique set of abilities.

As is the norm with many of the free-to-play games we cover here at Inside Social Games, Happy Wars monetizes by selling vanity items (outfits, skins and gear) and a special in-game currency (Happy Tickets) that can only be obtained by spending Microsoft Points, which cost real money.

At the moment it seems as if there is no way to spend real money to directly purchase items that will give users an advantage in the game, but players can spend Happy Tickets to enter raffles in order to have a chance at winning items with improved stats.

Inside Social Games usually doesn’t cover home console titles because those are traditionally closed platforms, but we will cover free-to-play games that employ the same monetization methods that are the standard on Facebook and other social, open platforms. With free-to-play games like DC Universe already up and running on Sony’s PlayStation 3 and more free-to-play titles like Ascend: New Gods coming to 360 in the future, we think releases like Happy Wars is part of an upcoming trend that is worth keeping an eye on.

You can look forward to our review of Happy Wars later in the week.