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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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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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