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Are developers growing unhappy with Xbox Live Arcade?

Posted on October 3, 2011 AT 01:21pm

THE BUZZ: 2D Boy, the developer behind indie hit World of Goo, put up a fascinating look at the world of Xbox Live Arcade development today.

The blog post deals with the unhappiness going around for many developers due to how frustrating and time-consuming creating new games has become for Microsoft’s download service. In their unofficial “indie census” among development groups who have or are working on both Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network games, the trend shows more and more developers moving their efforts over to PSN in exchange for less work being put into XBLA titles.

Part of the reason for this is shown in this next image from 2D Boy’s blog post: a survey of how easy it is to work with companies on their digital download services. For PSN, 24% of those asked said that Sony is “difficult” to work with, and 14% claimed them “excruciating”. Meanwhile, those saying Microsoft are “difficult” was a much higher 36%, and the worst choice—”excruciating”—was also the most-chosen at 48%

EGM’s TAKE: Microsoft’s effort in the early days of Xbox Live Arcade were truly commendable, but unfortunately the company seems to have fallen into the trap so many game hardware producers do—they’ve gotten spoiled by success. For me, this was especially evident in the company’s recent announcement that games either have to hit the Xbox 360 at the same time and with the same features as versions for other platforms, or risk being refused for publishing (while, at the same time, the company continues its own efforts to get time- and feature-exclusive games).

With digital distribution being the future of video gaming, for the sake of developers as well as consumers, I hope the folks at Microsoft can see the missteps they’ve taken, and work hard to correct them as soon as possible.

Either way, 2D Boy’s full blog post is a great read and absolutely worth your time, so I encourage you to go check it out via the link below.

Source: 2D Boy Official Blog

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got started via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as can realistically be crammed in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk Eric on Twitter: @Eric_EGM. Meet the rest of the crew.

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