While some XNA Community Games developers are experiencing financial strain from releasing games on the service, others are walking away with a much more satisfactory experience.
"It's not all doom and gloom in XNA land," said Scott Newby, head of development at Fuzzy Bug, in reference to Mommy's Best Games president Nathan Fouts' recent suggestion that there were hidden costs in releasing titles on Microsoft's Xbox service.
Fuzzy Bug's Word Soup held the top spot on the Community Games channel for a number of weeks, and with a conversion rate of downloads to sales of around 20 per cent, managed to pull in USD 32,000 for the three man team.
"We’re pretty happy with the sales for Word Soup and we got a much higher conversion rate than we thought we would," commented Newby to GamesIndustry.biz.
"We did keep our development costs down by converting an already existing game and giving it a new set of graphics which has helped a lot."
Microsoft splits revenues generated by Community Games 70/30 in favour of developers, but there has been some confusion over the additional 10 – 30 per cent taken by Microsoft for extra marketing as a featured game.
"The reason it was so vague apparently was because they were unsure on what affect being featured would have on sales and wanted to make sure the developer wouldn’t lose out," suggested Newby.
However, the featured fee has now been dropped leaving the developer of a Community Game with the lion's share of revenues.
Fuzzy Bug is currently working on an iPhone version of Word Soup and another casual title.