I haven’t posted an angry blog in a while. What can I say, life has been good, relatively speaking. Though my next collection of words will likely not be as fever pitched as some that I’ve used in the past, I can only hope that my words reach the right ears. I’ve made this rant in the past, but I guess they haven’t heard me yet. Maybe I need to scream louder, or WRITE IN CAPS. =)
I recently read a post that detailed the sales of XBox Live games. It was written proof of what we all knew; the service is cluttered with titles that are failing to produce meaningful sales figures. Microsoft has taken a stance, threatening to remove titles that are not performing. Who is at fault in a situation like this? If the game was always bad then we can’t expect it to get better with time, but what about the good games that have simply lost a bit of luster over time? What about the games that have fallen off of the limited exclusive “top” lists that exist on the XBox Live service? Not being on that list doesn’t make them any lesser of a game.
Older titles simply need more exposure. This is made abundantly clear when any Live promotion appears to double or triple purchases of a game that has fallen off of the radar. As powerful as XBox Live is, it’s falling behind when Steam is showing weekly deals, promotions that change daily, and a constant cycle of bundle sales.
XBLA and XBLIG both suffer from the same neglect. I don’t understand why they can’t pay an engineer for 40 hours to add alternate queries:
- top rated
- top selling
- new releases
- picks of the day (random picks)
- oldie but goodie
- greatest hits (top of all time)
- what people are playing (based on leader boards)
- recent price drop
- recently updated
Unless someone forgot to put the raw numbers into a database, and they are parsing these by hand, in notepad, I am having trouble understanding the reason behind not having these alternate lists. Someone, enlighten me… Is it really just neglect, or conspiracy? I prefer the latter, it sounds more devious than plain stupidity.
Seriously… Why am I paying $60 for XBL if I can’t even use it to find the content I want? Netflix? Twitter? Zune(haha) Marketplace? News flash, these services work 10x better on my PC or even the phone in my pocket. Don’t even get me started on the superficial line in the sand that prevents Silver members from purchasing games. It is easily one of the biggest hurdles that is keeping most casual gamers from spending their hard earned dollars on digital goods. Microsoft needs to take a clue from free-to-play games, allowing users to purchase additional goods once they’ve entered the service. That $60 bouncer at the front gate is killing any hope of breaking out into larger markets.