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Microsoft To Delist Low-Ranking XBLA Titles, Raise Size Limit
Microsoft To Delist Low-Ranking XBLA Titles, Raise Size Limit
May 22, 2008 | By Chris Remo

May 22, 2008 | By Chris Remo
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More: Console/PC



Microsoft representatives have confirmed to Gamasutra that the company plans to systematically delist underperforming Xbox Live Arcade titles, as well as to raise the size limit of Xbox Live Arcade games to 350 MB.

Microsoft also intends to open its own internal development team targeting downloadable comment, and along with those plans came news that Microsoft will not be releasing a spring dashboard update for the Xbox 360 console, as it has done in the past. Instead, the company says it will focus on improving backbone server issues.

Delisting of Xbox Live Arcade titles will be handled cautiously - only titles scoring below a 65 score average on Metacritic with a 6 percent or lower trial conversion rate will be delisted, and each will have a three month grace period.

According to a post at web forum NeoGAF, referencing an interview on business site Next-Gen.biz where the top-line information first appeared, some 45 Live Arcade titles currently score underneath 65 on Metacritic. Microsoft has never made per-title conversation rates public. It is also unclear whether users who have previously purchased delisted games will still have access to the games to re-download.

The game size limit adjustment marks the second such increase. Originally, Xbox Live Arcade launched with a 50 MB download limit; it eventually increased to 150 MB, first on a provisional basis then more broadly, after numerous developers expressed their frustration with the size constraints.


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Comments


Tadhg Kelly
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So, in the end of the day, Microsoft behaves like a limited-shelf-space shop and completely misses the point of digital distribution. There have been small incremental signs that this was happening all along, from the throttled release schedules to the royalty situation, but this confirms it really.



What an absolute tragedy.

Maurício Gomes
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In fact I believe that Microsoft is right, I think that removing low score titles will solve the problem of the "mass of shit" as people call when there are too much bad titles on a plataform, doing this will probably make people more happy to use XBLA, since currently I know people that are stopping to use it because they are tired of searching for hours for a good title and not finding because the mass of stupid games.

Aaron Murray
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While I agree that the digital shelf space is much less an issue compared to brick and mortar retailers, I am happy about this decision because it is getting tough for me to dig through that list of hundreds of games.



As a consumer, I'd rather have a chance at the game upon release, but if it isn't scoring well critically, *and* it isn't converting well, then I'm happy to have those titles fall of the list after a few months.

Tadhg Kelly
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@Helder



No offense, but you clearly have no idea how the entertainment industry works. While I think the idea itself probably sounds good on paper, all that will result from this is a lot of publisher or publisher-like behaviour to ensure those good review scores and so forth by whatever means necessary. MS have effectively created a situation where they are only guaranteed to see mediocre product from companies that know how to behave like sales teams and PR. Companies that have little resources but lots of talent are now closed out of that loop.



The problem with Xbox Live is not the amount of content: The problem is that the interface was clearly never designed to handle even a reasonable-sized catalogue. I would go so far as to say that the interface was incompetently designed if that was its purpose.



MS insist on making people buy games through the Xbox Live portal when they could just as easily (if not better) build a great service that sold games through the web and sync'd them to the owner's Xbox whenever they powered it up. This is one of 1,000 uses that they could be making of live.com, for example.



It's really sad because now they've enshrined PR-led mediocrity as their way forward, and so in the fullness of time someone else is going to simply take their online games business away from them. Nintendo, Sony, maybe even Apple (unlikely, but as a model they clearly understand digital distribution far better than Microsoft do).

Benjamin Quintero
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I think that they are going about this all wrong. Instead of de-listing why not just move them to their own sub-net, so to speak. Just like Xbox Originals have their own menu item, or Demos are separated from Live games, why not have a menu item for "Classic Live Arcade" games or some other name that doesn't scream "I've been de-listed, please buy me". Some games may find new steam and be re-listed into the main Live Arcade list. All it costs them is some hard drive space on their servers.

Anonymous
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A waste of cheap server hard drive space. If I was an Indie developer working with XNA for XBLA on speculation, this news would make me bail on my efforts.


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