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Community Games not doing enough to ensure quality, says former XNA manager

Fri 25 Jul 2008 9:30am GMT / 5:30am EDT / 2:30am PDT
Development

Ex-community manager says customers will be frustrated by poorly made titles due to lax MS policy

Microsoft's former XNA community manager, David Weller, has expressed dismay over the lack of quality control for user-generated content in Microsoft's forthcoming Community Games service.

Commenting on his blog, Weller fretted over the possibility that good games could be lost in a deluge of low quality titles. He said Microsoft isn't doing enough to filter the submissions and worried that consumers will be frustrated by paying for poor games.

"Being an ex-XNA member, I can still say, without a shadow of doubt, that Microsoft is offering a groundbreaking game channel, and that some people stand a chance to make great money from the system," he explained.

"But the danger for consumers lies in Microsoft's deliberate steps to avoid discussions regarding game quality, even during peer review. I firmly believe that avoiding commentary/ratings on game quality will result in frustrated consumers, who will have no way to discern the quality of a game among (ultimately) thousands."

In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, the then XNA community manager, Chris Satchell, defended the quality assurance measures already in place.

"I really believe that, given the right tools, the community will step up and police itself. When you look at strong communities there is always a core that will work really hard to make sure community standards are maintained," he explained.

"What we are doing in XNA is giving the community a powerful set of distribution tools to allow them to do just that. Already from the beta we are seeing the positive effects of forming this partnership with the community; a lot of submitted games do get rejected at first, due to either bugs or rating descriptors being inaccurate."

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