Indie developer lashes out at XBLIG

By Brenna Hillier
7 July 2011 01:06 GMT

Shield the Beat developer Mathieu Briau has criticised Xbox Live Indie Games for failing to follow through on its potential to promote independent games.

“It is one of the worst markets you can use to publish your game. It is very, very bad,” the former Behaviour Interactive staffer said of XBLIG, speaking to GamesIndustry.

“The problem is when you put it on the market, where there are two other games going out every day.

“The only way of getting noticed is to be on the ‘most recent games’ or the ‘top-sellers’. After two weeks you’re out of the Most Recent, so if you’re not among the top-sellers after that, you’re just out.

Briau argued that word-of-mouth is vital to the success of indie games, and by dropping titles out of the featured lists so quickly, XBLIG does them a disservice.

“That’s why it’s such a bad marketplace, because you aren’t given that time. The word of mouth has to be faster than two weeks,” he said.

Briau’s comments have remarkable resonance with those of Team Meat, who claim to have suffered similar treatment over Super Meat Boy.

The angry developer did take the time to praise Microsoft’s XNA toolset.

“Creating the game isn’t bad. Actually, [Microsoft] has created a very good engine,” he said.

Shield the Beat is available now via Xbox Live Indie Games in those territories where the service is available, and features a mash up of shoot-’em-up and rhythm gameplay. It’s not on Steam, which Briau also criticised for failing to provide reasons for rejection.

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