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Sponsored Feature: Xbox Live Community Games

November 5, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 6 Next

Review A Game

Peer review has been expanded from the beta to include additional metadata and language support. As in the beta, you can go to the Games Catalog and choose review game to see what games are in review

Games catalog

As in the beta, the games catalog is your view of the submitted games. We added the ability to filter for games in Playtest as well as the ability to filter games by country and language.

When in doubt, you can always use the find a game control to override the default view settings. One minor point is that to find games in Playtest, you must use the find control in the catalog. There is no direct link to games in Playtest like there is for Approved or In Review. Of course, non-premium members cannot view any unapproved games in the catalog.


You can filter on Game State (In Review) or go directly to reviewed games from the menu. Note that there is no "review game" for games in the Playtest state. They are not yet in peer review.

However, you can see which games are in Playtest, go to the game details page, download the game, and test it. You are encouraged to provide feedback to the creator on the forum thread created for the game as described above.

To review a game, click the cleverly named review this game link as shown below:

Peer reviewers are asked to look at three main areas when reviewing a game: game information, prohibited content, and classification.

First, does the game information accurately represent the submission? The game information will be shown in Xbox LIVE Marketplace on both the console and to anyone viewing the catalog. Therefore, it is important that this information is accurate and appropriate for all ages.

Is the box art and the thumbnail appropriate for all ages? Is the genre correct? Does the language supported by the binary match the creator's description?

Important: The purpose of the peer review process is to weed out inappropriate content and ensure that the creator's statements about the game (information and classification) are accurate. Judgments about a game's quality, price point, or fun factor should be left to the consumers of the game.

Game information also includes the description and game media as shown below:

Do the screenshots represent the gameplay? Is the description accurate? Does the game actually have the capabilities listed?

Note that you need to download the game and play it before you answer these questions. Be sure to acknowledge that you have done so before you start answering questions.

The next section of peer review deals with game defects and prohibited content.

Here is where you would flag a game for having inaccurate information or information that is not appropriate for Xbox LIVE Marketplace in terms of the game information itself.

Also, if the game is simply not playable (for example, it crashes or hangs), report such information here as well. You may have encountered an untested game play scenario or have a different configuration than expected.

The next section deals with prohibited content. This is the same list that applies to all countries. If the game contains any of the following, you need to flag it.

Because we have a "one-world" review system, you'll notice that the list has been expanded from the beta.

You'll notice at the bottom of the Web form there is a comment section. We encourage you to send notes back to the creator explaining why the game failed. These comments will be sent anonymously.

The last part of the review is to confirm the creator's classification of the game. Remember that the creator owns the classification.

The game will be rejected if enough reviewers disagree with the classification. The creator must change either the classification or the game so that they accurately reflect each other.

The final step is to ensure the review summary is correct and to choose the language in which you reviewed the game. A reviewer only needs to review a game in one language.

However, for a game to pass the peer review process, there must be a language-proficient reviewer for each language exposed.

If the summary is accurate, go ahead and submit your review.

Peer review fine print

In order to ensure that we continue to have a safe experience for creators and consumers across the countries we support, the peer review process needs to take into account the language exposed by the game and the language understood by the reviewer.

Language is exposed in two places: the game descriptions provided in the game information and the languages supported by the game binary. A game does not pass peer review until each language version of the game is reviewed by a reviewer who speaks that language.

Therefore, you should expect that the more languages you expose, the longer it takes the game to get through the peer review process. For example, if you assume it takes two reviews per language to get through peer review. The following table shows the number of reviewers required:

# of reviewers required

Game descriptions provided

Languages supported in game binary




Up to 4

English, French

English, French

Up to 8

English, Italian, French


Why do I have "Up to" in the table above? A creator may speak more than one language, of course! However, you probably shouldn't bet on each reviewer speaking all the languages exposed by your game.

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 6 Next

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