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wierd things happening in XBLA land
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK



PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:51 am    Post subject: wierd things happening in XBLA land Reply with quote

As usual it's all top secret and nobody really knows what's going on - closed platforms, aren't they great Wink However, there is a lot of talk/rumour that the XBLA honeymoon is over. Apparently Microsoft are getting tired of developers taking up too much time and resources getting through Quality Control (or certification testing as its known). This makes sense as Microsoft only have so many testers to go around and obviously would prefer to focus on the mainstream titles that generate more revenue. Remember that every game not only needs seriously intense testing by 10's of people for 100's of hours, but that testing needs duplicating in all the languages you have to support. Now, the developer does pay something towards this, but it still costs Microsoft a lot and splits their resources.

The upshot appears to be they'd much rather you work through a 3rd party publisher and if you do then they'll continue to pay the ~70% royalty (to the publisher). Microsoft only works with well established publishers with lots of cash so it knows they can afford to pay for proper testing and localisation of their own, relying far less on Microsoft's own test people.

If you insist on dealing with Microsoft then you move onto a sliding scale royalty that is rumoured to go as low as 35%. The justification being this allows Microsoft to spend the time getting it tested and localised properly without losing money. So the lone developer who doesn't want to give his IP and 70% of his money to a publisher can deal with Microsoft and avoid all the certification bills by giving ~65% of the sales away. Ouch. Allegedly.

Apparently Microsoft are pushing small developers towards XNA where they avoid certification and localisation testing completely (the community does it for free via ratings). They've also promised to let XNA developers charge for their games, but have hinted the allowed prices will be much lower than XBLA.


http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2008/02/xbla_royalty_rate_changes_clos.php

Sadly everyone is gagged by NDA's so the truth will never be known. The conclusion (if this is true) could be that the amateur-indies will all move into XNA and the pro-indies will look for first party status (sometimes sony/microsoft/nintendo are so impressed with a demo they publish it directly and waive all/some costs) by courting them at the IGF and then if they fail they'll fall into the welcoming arms of a friendly publisher. Of course it depends on Sony and Nintendo too, I don't know how much they charge for testing and localisation. The rumour is Sony is very expensive and Nintendo is quite cheap.

Is this the end of console indie joy? Is XNA the answer to an indie's prayers? Watch the skies!

p.s. I noticed the Eets people at GDC saying the absolute minimum cost to get an xbla game out is $125k.
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Lostlogic



Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 19
Location: United States



PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those that read this earlier when it was posted and have not been following up, guess what.....

Microsoft announced that you can sell your XNA based games on their Community XNA Store (coming in Christmas 2008) for up to $10 per game and KEEP 70% of the profits. That's right, no up-front fees other than being a $99/year member of XNA Creators Club, and you can sell any game you make (assuming people buy it.) You do have to pass through a community review process but so far most everything has passed, and quickly.

It's a good thing I've been working with XNA for 2 years now. Now it's time to get some games ready for sale. Smile

Poo Bear, if you guys are looking for a partner in XNA land shoot me a email. Wink
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SethP



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 302
Location: Connecticut, USA



PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, that's interesting... Do you have a link where we could go to learn more?
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Lostlogic



Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 19
Location: United States



PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SethP wrote:
Hmm, that's interesting... Do you have a link where we could go to learn more?

http://creators.xna.com/en-us/XboxLIVECommunityGames
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fredaberg102490



Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 4



PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:42 am    Post subject: Awesome Reply with quote

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