A developer that regularly publishes titles through Xbox Live Indie Games has criticized Microsoft’s upkeep of the platform.
Mommy’s Best Games is a small outfit known for developing Xbox Live Indie titles such as Weapon of Choice and Shoot 1up, and when I say small outfit, I mean it’s basically one guy named Nathan Fouts. He’s trying to put out more inexpensive goodness to the audience that enjoys his games, but says the storefront is buggy at times and not always an ideal platform for releasing new titles.
Fouts currently has a new game ready to go called Explosionade (it’s like lemonade but with a spoonful of death) and really wants to set it free. However, he calls the Xbox Marketplace “broken” and refuses to release it until Microsoft gets things working again.
It all comes down to how the Xbox Live Indie Games storefront puts new titles in categories like “Top Downloads” and “New Arrivals.” These are often the first stop for indie game shoppers because they show up right on the Xbox 360 dashboard, so they’re an easy way to look at new or popular games. Fouts points out that the Top Downloads list gets stuck from time to time, which could cost him valuable sales. That list is stuck right now, so he’s holding onto Explosionade.
For an Xbox Live Indie title to not be able to take advantage of being placed on this list as a new release could potentially cost many, many sales. Fouts isn’t being greedy, and he isn’t being arrogant: He’s just making a smart business move.
As I said, Mommy’s Best Games is basically one guy trying to make a living off of his games, and needs all the sales he can get. A lot of indie titles have the largest spikes of sales when they’re first released, so this is the time they want to be seen by as many people as possible. This situation can be compared to one where a website’s newest updates aren’t shown on the front page for a few days or longer. Fewer people would click on them, if anybody even bothered to at all, when they eventually did show up. Microsoft should definitely do its developers a solid and get the Xbox Live Indie storefront working properly, because it’s independent developers that seem to need even smaller increments of sales the most.
Source: Mommy’s Best Blog