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Microsoft must improve indie promotion says developer

Robert Boyd says service at risk of losing talent to rival services

Xbox Live Indie Games Developer Robert Boyd has said that Microsoft must do more to promote games on the service, or risk seeing talented developers alienated and moving to rival services.

The head of Zeboyd's comments come after two of his games, Cthulhu Saves The World and Breath Of Death VII, made more money in a week on Steam than they had in 18 months combined presence on Microsoft's service.

Speaking to Next-gen.biz this week, Boyd expressed his feelings about the reputation of the service, which he feels is unduly negative. What's on offer there, Boyd argues, is much more than the massage 'apps' and poorly implemented knock-offs which are seen by some as the service's mainstay.

"XBLIG is a great solution for new developers," Boyd told Edge. "It's cheap, easy to learn, and has a great community of people that are willing to help each other.

"However, from a perspective of actually making good money, I do not believe it is a viable platform. The greatest strength and greatest weakness of the service is that it's the most open platform we've ever seen on any home console. Just about anyone can release an XBLIG title, and just about anyone does. As a result, the service has got a reputation for being full of garbage."

The issue, says Boyd, is an amalgamation of the problems faced by many similar services with a low barrier to entry.

"XBLIG basically has the low price expectations and flood of product that the Apple App Store has, combined with the low visibility of Nintendo's digital stores - it's no wonder most titles sell poorly. Greater visibility for the high-quality titles on the service would be a great help."

However, Boyd does acknowledge that the experience he gained from XBLIG was an important step in the continuing journey to success, seeing it as a stepping stone to Steam validation.

"I believe that starting out with XBLIG was the correct choice for us," Boyd continued. "Without the experience and positive reputation that we gained from making XBLIG titles I believe it would have been much more difficult to get approved for Steam."

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