May 27th, 2008


Why XBLA Is Sucking

Hello, rant-flag. XBLA De-Listing.

Uh, what? Let me get this straight - you are saying that because the Marketplace navigation sucks, you're going to stop making money on XBLA games? That's what it sounds like to me.

If Marketplace is too confusing to navigate, then fix Marketplace. This de-listing stuff seems like both a bad move and a cop out. The games are there, if they are accessible then they will have purchases - making money. Who cares if it is only one purchase for 400 points every few months - last I checked, 10-250MB of storage was cheap. The whole point to XBLA was to have these games around and available for people to purchase whenever they felt like it.

Even discounting the games, having some sort of fire sale, would be a better idea than having them not available. In fact, I would purchase crappy games I didn't much enjoy if they were cheap enough. For some of these games, the price point is too high for the entertainment they provide - fixing that would spur more purchases. As an example, RocketMen is a crappy game (Even though I love the CSG and universe). For 800 points, I'll never get it. For 400 points, I'll think seriously about it. For 200 points, I'll get it if I have the points. For 80 points, I'll go out and buy 1600 points just to get it.

Another idea, as previously mentioned, would be to bundle games and DLC together. Say, RocketMen + DLC + Themes + GamerPics + Joust for 800 points, and I'll be tempted. 400 points, and I'm sold. Even mix it up a bit, Rez + Band of Bugs DLC + Themes + Gamerpics for 800 points and I start to see value. 400 points, and I'm there. This would allow all underperforming Games/Themes/GamerPics/DLC to be bundled and MAKE MONEY rather than sitting there unotuched. And, better than delisting, it's all still there ready to make money 24/7/365.

One of the big PR points is the sheer number of XBLA games available, and now you're saying you want to reduce that number? This makes no sense at all. Sure, there are crap games. There are always crap games. The thing is, they have already been made. They are out there. People will wander buy and buy them on occasion. I find it very hard to believe that removing them is cheaper than discounting them, bundling them, separating them, or otherwise having them available in some form. That whole "Long Tail" thing needs to be kept in mind. You still have new users coming onto the platform, ready to buy games.

Goodbye, rant-flag.


In other news, TMBG was pretty good. I was hoping for more, but that many years of expectation builds things up very high. We sat up above on the side and parked right across the street, so it was good to get there so early. Opening act was boring, everyone I saw was pretty restless during it. Everything was a bit late getting started. The way the setlist was constructed was confusing to me, it started ok with Dr Worm, then completely lost momentum for me. It kept doing that - up and down, up and down. The end was definitely an up, though. I can't believe they played Figertips - it was a trip to hear/see it live. The only song I really wanted to hear that I didn't was Anna Ng. Overall, good show.

Target has 1600 MS Points cards for $15 ($5 off). So we went and got some. I also picked up 3 new 360 games, $10, $10, and $12. I forget the titles offhand.

I watched the How It's Made marathon yesterday. I won the GamerScore challenge Sun. Blazing Angels is fun. Shrek is glitchy as hell. NBA 2K6 was a one-game Achievement Unlocked 5 for 1000g.

Bah, work.