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Fun Infused Games: Xbox Live dash burying indie

Kris Steele criticises latest dashboard update, reveals XBLIG game sales decline

Fun Infused Games developer Kris Steele has criticised the Xbox Live Indie Game market, and suggested that the new dashboard has buried independent games.

"Ultimately I do not believe the XBLIG market is growing," he said on his blog.

"I believe these numbers show that. I believe the biggest factor is Microsoft's burying of XBLIG."

He showed numbers for a selection of his titles released through the XBLIG service, including Hypership Out of Control, which he sees as being released through the service's "peak," and Hypership Still Out of Control, released after the latest big dashboard update.

"I would expect similar or slightly better sales numbers if all other factors were equal. The original game was downloaded 374 more times the first day of release and 1506 more times over the first full week. The first full week of Hypership Still Out of Control trial downloads was barely as much as the first day of Hypership Out of Control downloads."

While indie games do appear in Bing search results on the new dashboard, they do not appear in the New Arrivals category, and are not listed in the Genre sections.

"Indie games on Xbox 360 are generating a growing revenue stream for developers," Microsoft told Eurogamer in response.

"In fact, the average revenue for the top 50 indie games is now well over $100,000 per title. When you consider the increasing install base of Xbox 360 consoles (over 960,000 consoles were sold in the US during the week of Black Friday 2011), it's clear that Xbox Live Indie Games is a great opportunity for developers."

It also highlighted the new voice search function and promotions like Shocktober and Summer Uprising.

"Indie developers have told us they are looking for an easy route to market, which is the biggest hurdle to overcome, and we've provided that for them with Xbox Live Indie Games," it added.

"But they've got to take that next step and do marketing after the launch. We encourage indie developers to work together and support each other in marketing efforts, like the Indie Games Winter and Summer Uprising promotions."

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Latest comments (6)

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 9 years ago
Well, perhaps we'll see more developers releasing 360 versions to cover the costs of production, and then a speedy PC port to actually make money. Given the success of indie titles on Steam, it would make most sense.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises9 years ago
Based on his blog post there, and an older one comparing sales across all platforms. He should either market his XBLIG games more, or focus exclusively on iOS.
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Patrick Day-Childs Features Writer, Pixel Enemy9 years ago
This may be the case however there is an uprising on the W7P, which is a great platform for indie developers, I think Microsoft need to bite the bullet and add achievements to these games, work with the developers not against them,
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Show all comments (6)
Liam Farrell9 years ago
he has a point. The new dash is quite cumbersome if you don't use voice or kinect. i used to look at the indie section every day. Now, it's maybe once a week. The low price of indie title is to encourage people to impulse buy. But there's not much implulse when you have to trudge through sub-menues
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Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University9 years ago
I could not find the indie section my self.
any tips for finding it?
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John Pile Asst Professor of Game Programming, Champlain College9 years ago
I have an XBLIG title under development. With the recent dashboard changes, we have shifted our efforts to focus on other platforms, with the XBLIG build pushed onto the back burner. Its just not worth the time and effort to develop for a platform knowing users have to search to find it, especially now that there are so many other direct-to-consumer channels available for games (apple marketplace, android marketplace, wp7 marketplace, steam, indie portals).

Microsoft lead the way with 'indie development'. Now the industry has changed, consumer expectations have changed, but MS's XBOX team has not kept pace. They should look to their own WP7 team which took the the original xbox indie based to build the 'AppHub' and then took it a step farther to build an integrated consumer experience on the Windows Phone that does not play favorites to 'publishers'. Instead, it lets the consumers decide what bubbles to the surface.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Pile on 7th February 2012 1:59pm

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