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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 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Neverwinter MMO can now be pre-downloaded on Xbox One

    You can now pre-download the free-to-play Neverwinter MMO on Xbox One. The game launches on March 31, but you will still need an Xbox Live Gold account to play it. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the game can be downloaded from the Xbox Store.

  • Destiny of Spirits will go offline starting next month

    Sony will be ending service for Destiny of Spirits starting next month, Sony has announced. The free-to-play Destiny of Spirits was released in late March 2014 on Vita, and tasked players with collecting supernatural forces appropriate to their geographical location, and then trading them with others online. Gravity Rush spirits were added to the game […]

  • MotoGP 15 is out this spring on PC, last and current-gen consoles

    MotoGP 15 will be released in June on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Milestone has announced. Bike, rider and team customization are part of the latest release in the franchise, along with time-trials and enhanced career options. The game features over 20 bike models divided into three classes: MotoGP, Moto 2 […]

  • Cities: Skylines players should check out Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises

    Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises can now be yours in Cities: Skylines. Die Hard fans will be familiar with Nakatomi Plaza. Those who have never watched the first film and live in Los Angeles know it by its real-life name, FOX Plaza. It was created by Enos Shenk and is available through Steamworks. Those who […]

  • Call of Duty franchise has sold 175M copies, players have thrown 300B grenades

    With the Call of Duty Championship kicking off tomorrow, Activision has sent over a series infographic full of interesting figures such as the number of copies sold over 10 years and how many grenades players have tossed. According to the stats below, the Call of Duty franchise has sold 175 million copies across all platforms […]

  • Save up to 75% on select SEGA games on Steam this weekend

    SEGA has put many of its games on sale through Steam this weekend and the firm has also announced Eastside Hockey Manager is now available through Early Access. The sale runs through March 30. The entire Total War, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War back catalogs are discounted 75% and all associated DLC is […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight PC confirmed as digital download-only in UK

    Batman: Arkham Knight will indeed be a download-only title on PC in the UK, Warner Bros. has confirmed to VG247. Batman: Arkham Knight will be available as both a physical and digital release for PS4, Xbox One and PC in North America and Europe. Again, in the UK, the PC version will be “available as […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege release date set for October per GameStop Italy – report

    GameStop Italy may have let the release date for Rainbow Six Siege slip if a recent listing is accurate. According to the listing, the game will release on October 16. While this could be a placeholder date, October 16 is a Friday in the UK, the usual day new releases land at retail. The release […]

  • Watch the $1 million Call of Duty Championship right here

    The The Call of Duty Championship takes place this weekend, and you can watch all the action as it unfolds right here. The event takes place in Los Angeles tomorrow March 27 and runs through March 29, and the livestreams are below. 32 teams from five continents and 11 countries will be competing in Call […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: Battlefest kicks off this weekend with Double XP

    A new season of Battlefest kicks off this weekend, and starting today, you will earn Double XP in Battlefield Hardline. Battlefest for Hardline is similar to the event held for Battlefield 4 last year. For the entire month of April and into May, in-game events and competitions will be held by the developers and player […]

  • Don’t forget: the GTA 5 PC pre-order bonus cutoff is March 31

    Just a friendly reminder to those planning on purchasing GTA 5 for PC: you have until March 31 to pre-order if you want all the bonuses on offer. Those who pre-order will be handed $1 million in-game cash plus a bonus $300,000. It is split between GTA 5 and GTA Online: $500,000 for Grand Theft […]

  • Games with Gold offers doubled for April – six games instead of three

    Microsoft’s April Games with Gold collection is being doubled. For the month Xbox Live Gold members will receive six instead of three games free. Here’s what’s on offer: Pool Nation FX: Available all month on Xbox One Child of Light: Available all month on Xbox One Gears of War: Judgment: Available from April 1-15 on […]

  • Pokemon players can grab a code for Shiny Charizard at GAME in April

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire players along with Pokemon X and Y owners can grab a free, rare Shiny Charizard from April 3 at one of GAME’s 320 stores in the UK. The redeemable codes for the character will be made available upon request and no purchase is necessary. Those who pop into one […]

  • F1 2015 will arrive on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June, includes Mexico circuit

    Codemasters has announced its F1 franchise will make its series debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this June with the release of F1 2015. The game was developed using a new engine and contains improved handling and physics for all vehicles and parts attached. This includes: engine, transmission, aerodynamics, fuel tank, force feedback, suspension […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video confirms Liu Kang as playable character

    Liu Kang has been confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat X in the latest video. You’ll also notice Bo’ Rai Cho in there as well. In the Shaolin trailer above you also get a look at Kung Lao and Kung Jin who is new to the series. Apparently, Raiden’s past champions of the […]

  • Short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront shows the Battle of Hoth

    A short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront has been posted by EA on Twitter. Well, that speeder isn't going anywhere. Can someone give us a lift to @SW_Celebration http://t.co/srEVrAA0zl #SWCA https://t.co/4W4LG8myke — EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) March 25, 2015 The teaser shows vehicles which we could be using in the game, but it mainly shows the snowy landscape […]

  • Pillars of Eternity releases today – get all the review scores here

    Pillars of Eternity, which still stands as the second most-funded video game on Kickstarter, finally releases today. It’s also getting some rather positive reviews scores, which we’ve rounded up for you. The isometric, party-based RPG from Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first video game projects to take to Kickstarter, and hit its $1.1 million […]

  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]