Jeff Tunnel, a game maker from Garage Games, discussed the rising costs of developing Live Arcade titles and what independent studios can expect to spend on game development.
"Creating an XBLA game is taking most studios 6-12 months. Costs are currently ranging from $100,000 to $300,000," said Jeff Tunnel in a recent blog update. According to Tunnel, $300,000 is not going to seem like much as the "arms race" for Xbox Live Arcade development continues. "Right now, I wouldn't consider attempting to make an XBLA game with a $100,000 budget. Development kits and Certification (QA testing) would eat up half of that, not leaving much for the actual game development," he said.
Garage Games recently partnered with Microsoft on the XNA Game Studio Express system, which is supposed to allow anyone to create games for the console and potentially reach an audience through Xbox Live. "It's our first step of creating a YouTube for video games," Peter Moore said during the announcement. "It will give you everything you need to bring your game to life on Xbox 360."
Tunnel completes his article with a comment about the odds of getting your game onto Xbox Live. "Like I explained in my earlier article about the bar raising in the XBLA360 arena, slot approvals are getting hard to get. In fact, I liken XBLA360 slots to the "Golden Ticket" in Willy Wonka. If you get one, you are set!"