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Sony Attacks Microsoft's Publishing Policies

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  • Xbox Live (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bonch (38532) * on Saturday September 03, 2011 @05:29PM (#37298390)

    A lot of developers have been publicly complaining about Xbox Live, calling it too closed [mcvuk.com]. Even Gabe Newell of Valve--who used to work at Microsoft--criticized Live for being too restrictive because Microsoft wouldn't allow Valve to use Steam. Meanwhile, Sony not only allows Steam but lets Valve offer a free copy of the PC and Mac version to buyers of the PS3 version of Portal 2.

    Microsoft has ridden the success of Halo and Gears of War, and the 360 was easier to develop for when people were learning how to work with the PS3, but sales of the PS3 are surpassing the 360 this year, and PS3 developers have caught up. In addition, the poor reception to Microsoft's focus on motion gaming as well as a lack of an answer to mobile gaming signals a diminishing of the their position to third place.

  • by DJHeRobotExVV (2402664) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @06:59PM (#37298958)
    I'll explain the title of my post towards the end. Regarding the two digital-distribution marketplaces that Microsoft maintain, however, Microsoft are so schizophrenic with regard to how they operate both XBLA and XBLIG that it's rather stomach-churning.

    The fact of the matter is that when the Xbox 360 originally came out, you would see maybe 1 to 2 titles every 1 to 2 weeks released on XBLA. XBLA was touted as the way for smaller, more "indie" development houses to develop games on the X360 platform without having to deal with all of the ins and outs of manufacturing, distribution, and more restrictive technical certification requirements that come with a disc-based game. Microsoft were highly selective over the titles that would be released on XBLA, and for good reason - they needed an online marketplace with many "strong" titles and few "weak" ones.

    After so many "indie" development houses complained that they were not being allowed to market such obvious smash hits as "Try Not To Fart" or "Controller Vibrator 2000" - note the intended sarcasm - Microsoft created the XBLIG marketplace, touting that as the new place for smaller, more "indie" development houses to put games onto the X360 platform.

    This went well for perhaps 6 to 12 months, with a few particularly good indie games making their way to the top of the XBLIG charts, and all of the undeserving fluff and blatant cash grabs fell to the bottom of the pile, at which point the wheels fell off. Microsoft felt the need to take things in a third direction, now choosing to "upgrade" specific XBLIG dev houses to XBLA contracts.

    In doing so, they signed the death warrant for both XBLA and XBLIG. Removing the more polished indie dev houses from the XBLIG marketplace ensured that XBLIG continues to play second fiddle to XBLA, but more importantly, it means that the XBLA marketplace is now flooded with "lesser" games that would otherwise have remained on the XBLIG marketplace (and for good reason). Now, it is much more difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff on the XBLA marketplace, and there is no wheat on the XBLIG marketplace.

    Despite all of this, Microsoft insist that they are "top dog" regarding their digital marketplaces, to the point of taking blatant advantage over dev houses they perceive as "smaller" when those dev houses come a-knocking to try to get their games released on XBLA. In the case of Minecraft, the sad fact is that the Xbox 360 is the only console (handhelds excluded) on which it will be released, specifically because Microsoft forced Mojang into an exclusive contract. The entire matter is sickening.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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