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Microsoft To Begin Delisting Underperforming XBLA Games

| 23 May 2008 14:15
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Microsoft is going to begin removing underperforming titles from Xbox Live Arcade in order to increase its focus on "quality over quantity."

Speaking in an interview with Next-Gen, Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten said that Xbox Live Arcade game size limits are going to be increased from 150 megabytes to 350 in order to build upon the service's success. But in order to accommodate the increased game sizes, Whitten said Microsoft will be "delisting" unpopular games.

"The way it will work is that the title will need to be at least six months old and have a Metacritic score below 65 and a conversion rate below six percent on the service," he said. "This way titles are not just considered if they are not selling well or not getting good reviews, but actually a combination of both. We will also give a three-month notice before delisting any title. Overall I think you will find this will focus the catalog more on larger, more immersive games and make it much easier to find the games you are looking for."

"We have heard from some of our developers that if they had as much as 350 mb of space they could create some really amazing games," Whitten said. "So we don't want anything to hold these guys back."

Along with increasing the game size limits, Whitten said developers would also be given increased flexibility in pricing their games, and that a new 1600 Microsoft Points price level will also be implemented for some of the heftier new games. "This week we already have seen a title that is taking advantage of this and getting great response, Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One," he said. Whitten added that while Microsoft is not planning a spring dashboard update comparable to the one released in May last year, there are plans to release a new digital rights management tool which he said "will allow you to better consolidate your licenses for downloaded content into a single Xbox and allow you the freedom to be able to play your content both online and offline."

Next-Gen's complete interview with Marc Whitten is available here.

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