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Xbox Live Arcade a “slaughterhouse” for indie devs, says Joe Danger dev

Tuesday, 13 July 2010 15:01 GMT By Johnny Cullen

joedanger

Hello Games’ Sean Murray has told attendees at Develop that PSN was picked for the release of Joe Danger because Xbox Live Arcade is seen as a “slaughterhouse” to smaller independent studios.

In a session at the Brighton event earlier this morning, Murray pointed out that almost half of all self-published games released on the service sell under 25,000 units, with 17 percent of self-published games selling over 200k.

“Why choose PSN? It was the only way we could self-publish,” he said. “XBLA is kind of a slaughterhouse for smaller developers.

“There are games that do amazingly well. But there’s two titles released every week and a lot of those are falling in that 25,000 or less category.”

Murray also revealed that Hello Games made even with the release of Joe Danger on its first day on sale, before going on to sell 50,000 units in its first week.

There’s more at GI.

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26 Comments

  1. Blerk

    I can imagine people churning out shit having this problem but I can’t imagine they’d have have much issue given the quality of the game and the fact that Trials was so popular.

    Lots of smaller devs complaining about this of late, though – Microsoft need to pull their finger out. Again.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Aimless

    The key part of this talk, which a lot of internet know-it-alls seem to have missed — not directed at you, Blerk! — is that you can’t self-publish on XBLA. As publishers weren’t interested in Joe Danger it couldn’t launch on the 360; see also: Machinarium.

    Now the game has proven itself perhaps someone will be more willing to bring it to the Xbox. In either case I’m glad they’ve seen a decent return on their investment.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    It’s a cracking little game too. Similar to Trials but a lot more forgiving and a greater emphasis on goals/scoring.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Blerk

    Hey! I resent being left out of the internet know-it-alls list!

    Do we know why you can’t self-publish on XBLA? Is it a money thing or do Microsoft have a rod up their arse over that as well?

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Ge0force

    Most best-sellers on XBL are ports or remakes of existing IP’s. Small studios trying to sell games with innovation are better trying their luck on PSN imo.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. justiceblob

    For me… its something really simple that is holding this part of XBLA back. You cant see everything new to the store in one easy portal like PSN, you have to make the effort to look for it.

    This means that there are very few impressions on the game other than from people who wished to specifically buy it in the first place.

    It seems like buisness 101 to me that making your customers search for a product they dont necacerilly want.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Goliath

    @ Aimless

    You’re right. I wonder why Microsoft backed out of talks to publish Machinarium. It was first reported that they were in talks to publish the title but backed off after the XBLA version was almost complete.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    It’s fairly easy to see what’s new on XBLA. You just need to know which way you go through the options. Some people find the PSN Store difficult to navigate too. It’s more a matter of what you are used to. The one thing which annoys me with Live is the flooding of game add-ons by Rock Band/Guitar Hero/Lips. It’s all you see. On PSN these games get their own little sub-folders and other game DLC can be seen more clearly.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Blerk

    The most annoying thing is that they gave those music games their own section, and then they include them in the main section as well! The idiots.

    I still prefer the Live way of doing things to the PSN store, though. On the PSP that’s practically impossible to use.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Aimless

    @4 I’m not sure of the specifics, but I believe how it works is that to get on XBLA you either have to be fronted by a licensed publisher or be published by Microsoft themselves; Braid and Castle Crashers took the latter route, so it would appear that entails a 12 month exclusivity period. Presumably the system’s in place for quality control reasons.

    Someone’s transcribed the Develop talk here, by the way. It goes into a few more of the details and gives an idea why the traditional publishing model doesn’t really work for downloadable titles.

    @6 You can see what’s new on the Marketplace fairly easily, it just isn’t laid out in the best way. Both services could do with some improvement in that regard, hence the release of Destination Arcade in the US. Speaking of which, the US PS Store is inexplicably better laid out than the EU one.

    @7 Apparently Microsoft didn’t like that it wasn’t exclusive to the 360 so didn’t want to publish the game. As mentioned earlier you can’t self-publish on XBLA — not the case on PSN, WiiWare or Steam — so to get the game on the service the developer would have to court a publisher and then lose a chunk of revenue to the extra costs incurred by said deal.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Blerk

    Talking of Destination Arcade…. Microsoft appear to have gone nuts.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Blerk

    That seems terribly short-sighted of them, Aimless. It’s like they need an extra layer between the more commercial XBLA section and the practically-all-dismal Indie section (which appears to be far less ‘indie’ and far more ‘I made this game in five minutes using MS Paint and some sample code I found on the internet’).

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Boris Fett

    @11 They’re probably just testing the water. If its successful, they’ll probably bring it back on a more permanent basis later down the line.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Aimless

    Err, so they’re restricting their new solution to finding XBLA games to the one month where they actually promote all the games that are coming out anyway?

    Not that I feel a separate application is the way to go in the first place. They’re releasing an updated Kinect UI anyway, can’t they make its controller-bound cousin less cluttered at the same time?

    As for XBLIG, there are some great games on there it’s just fairly futile trying to discover them through the 360 itself. Better to rely on websites like this, or just go straight for Apple Jack as it’s pretty great.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Boris Fett

    @14 For all we know, they might relaunch “Destination Arcade” alongside the Kinect firmware update.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. GitForceGemini

    @2 You can self-publish on the Indie Games Channel, as happened in the case of Flotilla and Beat Hazard.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Aimless

    @15 I meant the UI in general, really. The NXE is way too busy, with multiple onion layers to peel back each with their own animation.

    @16 Yeah, but XBLIG is not XBLA. The former is something of a niche within a niche, Microsoft themselves seeing it as a proving grounds for ‘real’ games. Not to pooh-pooh the section as I think it’s a great addition.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Blerk

    The Indie games channel could be great but it isn’t because it’s absolutely flooded with shite. There needs to be more control over what can and can’t go into there because at the minute the decent stuff is just buried within seconds of arrival on the service. The smaller prices range means that they’re unlikely to attract any higher-level stuff now either.

    Ideally Microsoft should appoint someone to oversee that channel for ‘quality’ and reduce its throughput significantly. If they did that they could cherry-pick the best releases for proper marketing and offer them the chance to have achievements and a slightly higher price point, for instance.

    It feels like this is something Sony have gotten really right and Microsoft have gone to both extremes on without ever hitting that middle-ground ‘sweet spot’.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Aimless

    What you’re suggesting just turns XBLIG into XBLA, though. Microsoft are in a bit of a difficult situation as interfering with that section kind of goes against the point of it, but at the same time it’s in obvious need of more structure and presence.

    Perhaps indie developers simply need to adjust their expectations, see the channel for what it really is: a place to gain experience working on a console, not a place to make your fortune. It’s certainly good for CVs if nothing else; “I put out this game by myself, here’s a URL so you can download it.”

    The cherry picking is going on already, by the way. The annual Dream.Build.Play event is a good example of this.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. cookiejar

    Such a great game this. Well deserved to break even on the first day.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Dannybuoy

    Downloading as I type. Looks a lot of fun.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. Boris Fett

    One of biggest problems with XBLIG is the games themselves. It is chock full of trash. For every genuinely great game (Twin Blades, The Impossible Game, etc.) there are 20 pieces of utter tosh to navigate through.

    It really don’t know how you can give it more presence either. It has its own tab just alongside everything else. Although a weekly or even monthly segment on the Inside Xbox tab, to give the games some extra exposure, wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. onlineatron

    Very happy that Hello Games broke even +

    It’s a great game and the developers seem to have a fantastic work ethic and design.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Moonwalker1982

    Oooh for indie devs, ok. Cause i say XBLA >>>>>> PSN..BIGTIME!
    For one real good reason, for EVERY XBLA game we get a free demo to try out. I have yet to see this on PSN.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Kuwabara

    xbox arcade sucks. the real games are on psn

    #25 5 years ago
  26. iduk

    Are you kidding the best indie games are on wiiware if there was no file size limit there might be even more

    See:
    Cave Story
    Bit.Trip
    LIT
    And Yet It Moves
    World of Goo

    Yeah half of those are on OC but they’re just so much better on wiiware

    #26 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Heists aren’t the only thing coming to GTA Online next week: players can also expect Adversary Modes, new Daily Objectives and other Freemode activities. GTA Online’s Adversary Modes are new PvP modes which feature a range of competitive challenges and will unlock as players progress through Heists. Here’s a rundown straight from Rockstar: Come Out […]

  • Syndicate is the latest free game download on Origin

    The latest free title to be added to EA’s Origin service is 1993′s Syndicate. For a limited time, you can download the game for free and keep it, much like previous titles such as Theme Hospital. The isometric, real-time, tactical-action game was developed by Bullfrog Productions and released in June 1993. It is a favorite […]

  • Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen now available

    The Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It will run you $7.99 and builds upon the existing lore, characters, and storyline. Have a look at some new screenshots in the gallery below.

  • Shadowrun Online gets a name change and release date

    Shadowrun Online developer Cliffhanger Productions has announced the game’s name has been changed to Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown and a release date for April has been set. The new title was formed via the developer and its Kickstarter backers, with the goal being to let those unfamiliar with the game know by the title alone […]

  • Amazon hosting Rockstar and 2K Games sale

    Amazon is hosting a Rockstar Games and 2K Games sale with discounts Max Payne titles, Bully and more. Here’s just some of the offerings listed: Manhunt 2 PC Download $3.00 Max Payne 3 PC Download $4.00 Bully: Scholarship Edition PC Download $3.00 LA Noire Xbox 360 $2.95 L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition PC Download $6.00 […]

  • Destiny weekly reset video shows off Inferno Crucible gameplay

    We have a gameplay video featuring Inferno Crucible gameplay featured in the Destiny weekly reset for you. In it, Arekkz Gaming gives you a look at Inferno Crucible and goes over the various intricacies. You can read up on the weekly reset through the links.

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 2 available from today

    Episode 2 for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is now available. If you’ve purchased the Complete Season, you’ll be able to download Episode 2 on PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. Steam players should see the episode go live around 9-10pm PST, and Xbox 360 owners should be able to download very early tomorrow morning, per Capcom […]

  • Here’s a sneak peek video for Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide

    Fatshark Games has released a sneak peek video for its upcoming Games Workshop title, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide. Vermintide is a FPS, co-op action title coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and its set during the End Times of the Warhammer universe in the city of Ubersreik. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare video shows Ascendance DLC early access weapon

    As you know, Xbox Season Pass holders now have early access to the Ascendance DLC Pack bonus weapons for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Now you can watch a trailer for the weapon. The OHM directed energy hybrid weapon can switch between an LMG and Shotgun “on the fly,” and it also includes the OHM-Werewolf […]

  • March PS Plus games include OlliOlli 2, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, more

    March PlayStation Plus titles have popped up on the PS Plus page. Noticed by NeoGAF user skynidas, the titles include: OlliOlli2 (PS4/VITA) Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4) Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (PS4) Counterspy (PS4/PS3) Papo & Yo (PS3) Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment (PS3) A notice has also been posted on the EU PS […]

  • Sci-fi horror game Caffeine will release on Xbox One, PS4 alongside PC – new trailer

    Caffeine creator Dylan Browne has announced the Unreal Engine 4 game will be released on Xbox One. The game will be published through Microsoft’s Indie Program. As previously announced, it is also coming to PC and and now PlayStation 4. Caffeine is a sci-fi horror game which stars a young boy who has been abandoned […]

  • Xbox 360 Preview program invites going out this month

    Much like the Xbox One Preview program, starting early this month, invites for the Xbox 360 Preview program will start rolling out. Select invitees will be able to join program directly from their Xbox 360. A special Xbox Live message will be sent, directing users to head over to their Settings page. Further instructions are […]

  • Tron: Legacy director in negotiations for Gran Turismo film

    Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski is said to be in early negotiations to direct the Gran Turismo film. This is according to the Hollywood Reporter, which states Michael De Luca is still slated as one of the producers alongside Matt Milam, Dana Brunetti, Josh Bratman, DeVon Franklin and Elizabeth Cantillon. Plot details are still unknown […]

  • Fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation is available for download

    The Trigger, which is is the fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation, is available to download from today. In it, players will “compete against the clock” across three new maps in Survivor Mode. Set before the events of the main game, players step into the shoes of Sevastopol Station’s Ricardo who will do what he […]

  • HBO Go app now available on PlayStation 4

    Sony has announced the HBO Go app will be made available for download later today for PlayStation 4. The app works just like the PS version. Now you can watch True Detective, Game of Thrones, Veep and more through your console. Information on installation is available through the PS Blog.

  • Skyrim mods no longer restricted to 100MB in size

    Bethesda has announced a beta for Creation Kit update 1.9.33, lifts the 100MB size restriction for Skyrim mod makers. The beta is for both Skyrim’s PC launcher and the Creation Kit which will allow for unlimited file sizes. Here are the notes: Creation Kit 1.9.33 Update Creation Kit now supports unlimited file sizes for mods […]

  • Mad Max release date set for September, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions canned

    Mad Max from Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has been given a September release date, along with the new of a last-gen cancellation. The axing of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were announced via Game Informer. Mad Max is the magazine’s featured game for the April issue. Avalanche, according GI, nixed development on […]

  • MGS 5: The Phantom Pain out in September, Kojima “closing the loop” on saga

    Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will be released in September, according to an IGN Italy video, which also features Hideo Kojima discussing “With Metal Gear Solid 5, I’m finally “closing the loop” on the Metal Gear saga. The video has since been removed, but an image cap of the date is posted above. […]

  • Forza Horizon 2 Rockstar Energy Car Pack now available

    The Rockstar Energy Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox One is available now, alongside the free car for March. The free car is the Acura Integra Type-R, and the Rockstar pack included the following vehicles: 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GRC 2015 Subaru WRX STI 1996 BMW 850CSi 2015 Jaguar XFR-S 1970 Volkswagen #1107 Desert […]

  • 3DS firmware update kills web browser exploit

    Nintendo has issued a 3DS firmware update which fixes a web browser exploit that was being used to run pirated Game Boy Color ROMs since January as well as inject code within downloadable games. Another piece of code, per Eurogamer, changed the setting on the handheld to make it region-free. The exploit was only available […]

  • Unreal Tournament video shows updated textures on Outpost 23

    The latest footage from Epic’s new Unreal Tournament has surfaced, and it shows off the game’s first high-textured map which is called Outpost 23. As you can see from Zaccubus’ video, its the same are which Epic showed in the flythrough video from last year, only with updated textures and some new areas outside. The […]

  • Final add-on for Sunset Overdrive arrives in April

    The final add-on for Sunset Overdrive, Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines, will be released in April. On April 1 to be exact. No, that’s not an April Fool’s joke from Insomniac Games either. Below, you can watch a fist-look at the new story, area, and traversal mechanic.

  • Heroes of the Storm playable at EGX Rezzed

    Heroes of the Storm will be playable at EGX Rezzed. This will be the first UK public hands-on with the online team brawler. Blizzard will also host giveaways and friendly tournaments at its stand. Tickets for all three days of Rezzed are still available, and you can purchase a pass through the official website. EGX […]

  • PES 2015 Data Pack 4 coming next week with Winter Transfers, new faces

    Data Pack 4 for Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 has been dated, and it updates the game with Winter Transfers, new player faces, and additional stadiums. The latest free update contains real-time player transfers made within the January window, and player ratings have also been updated. Additionally, a number of improved likenesses to key players will […]

  • Here’s the changelog for Dragon Age: Inquisition Patch 5

    Notes for upcoming Patch 5 for Dragon Age: Inquisition have been posted, noting improvements to gameplay and stability, and the new features outlined back in early February. Along with the new party storage system added to the Undercroft at Skyhold, players also have the ability to adjust the size of subtitles. Below you will find […]

  • Game of Thrones, Mortal Kombat X, Batman mobile games on the way

    Warner Bros. has announced free-to-play mobile titles spanning its DC Comics, Mortal Kombat and Game of Thrones properties. The following five new games under development are: Mortal Kombat X from NetherRealm Studios: The game blends fighting and card collection with cinematic gameplay and Fatalities. Play as both classic and fighters, and if you own the […]

  • Win! Beta access to new MMORPG Skyforge and DLC worth $70

    We have ten Wrath of the Gods Founders Packs to giveaway for new RPG Skyforge, worth over $70. All you need to do to win a Wrath of the Gods pack is enter your details in the form below and we’ll pick 10 winners at random on Thursday, March 5, after 3pm GMT. Skyforge is […]

  • PC gaming expected to be worth $35 billion by 2018

    PC gaming is alive and well. In fact, it’s expected to be worth $35 billion by 2018. According to game-business group Open Gaming Alliance, the PC gaming industry is expected to grow beyond its current $26 billion worth and to a massive $35 billion by the year 2018. The information is based on data collected […]

  • Advanced Warfare: new patch adds new weapon, Master Prestige ranks, more

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has received a new patch that gives season pass holders early access to a new weapon and everyone else a myriad of fixes and additions. The patch went live today on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, without any official notes. CharlieIntel reports that among the new additions is the new […]

  • Destiny’s end game and raids explained

    Destiny’s end game can be a bit obtuse to those not used to MMO games. Fear not, we’ve got a few quick tips on how to crack it. Arekkz Gaming has a video for new players of Destiny or those who are looking to brush up on their knowledge of the game. Today’s theme is […]

  • Capcom adds local co-op to Resident Evil: Revelations 2 on PC

    Following fan outrage over lack of local co-op support for the PC version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Capcom has now added it. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 now officially supports split-screen local co-op in both campaign and raid mode. The update is currently in beta on Steam, but anyone can opt-in to try it. Capcom […]

  • New Destiny glitch spawns infinite Thralls on Earth

    Destiny’s latest glitch spawns infinite Thralls to help fuel your bounty hunting and loot lust. The glitch is simple to replicate. You’ll need to start The Dark Within mission on Earth, on any difficulty. Then follow the steps in the video below (Via DualShockers) to get to an area out of the map. You’ll then […]

  • Battlefield 4 Winter Patch is here with new game mode, netcode improvements and more

    DICE has released the Winter Patch for Battlefield 4. The patch brings an eSports focus with new game mode Squad Obliteration and plenty more. Battlefield 4 Winter Patch is now live on all platforms. It’s just over 400MB on PC and 1.34GB on consoles. The patch adds new game mode Squad Obliteration and more customisation […]