Gaming company bashes Windows Store, Microsoft takes notice

A UK gaming company called Rubicon has bashed Microsoft on their lack of promotional features in the Windows Store. Rubicon says it invested £10,000 into porting one of its games, “Great Big War Game,” to Windows RT and that the return has been trivial.

The company claims it has made only £52 ($83) on its game in the Windows Store. Of course this was only a week after release, and the app is exclusive to Windows RT which has yet to see real distribution or adoption. But they blame Microsoft’s lack of promotional features that would help an app’s visibility within the store. The blog post ended with the developer noting it won’t work with Microsoft again.

However, Microsoft was paying attention and it seems as soon as the post went up, they contacted the developer to smooth things out. The author has now deleted the original post and replaced it with this: “If anyone already read this post, it has had a very positive effect and Microsoft have graciously decided work with us to iron out the problems and get us past this incident.”

Even though Microsoft makes mistakes, it is really encouraging to see such swift actions being taken to remedy the situation and we wish all the best to Rubicon as well as to the Windows Store.

Via: Engadget Source: Rubicon Blog | Image via Popscreen

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Hadn't even heard of this game on Steam to be honest.

I remember back in the old days when a game didn't sell it's because it was ****, or not marketed correctly which was the fault of the publisher not the distributor/retailer.

Their game has one rating (5 star and probably from themselves) and they want to complain because it is not selling like their iOS version while there was a PC version on Steam and maybe other PC online stores before Windows 8 was even out.

Edited by Doli, Dec 7 2012, 5:44pm :

Doli said,
Their game has one rating (5 star and probably from themselves) and they want to complain because it is not selling like their iOS version while there was a PC version on Steam and maybe other PC online stores before Windows 8 was even out.
Exactly if I own it on Steam (a pc store) why would I buy it on the windows store (another pc store)?

wow these arrogant pricks feel entitled to have their ****ty game the front and center of the windows store, are you kidding me? maybe your game is crap that's why its not selling. So you've spent 10 grand porting this game and you now you're whining? without the windows store you would have to spend way more than 10 grand just to promote it to get people to download it. make sure you give these guys a **** rating in the windows store.

Whats wong with the store? Well, ALL newest releases should push first. I have checked the store everyday and the ESPN app is the first or second app down and I know there have been many newer releases everyday. It sucks to see a post that announces a new windows app then go to the store and I have to search for it...that is lame. The store should constantly be updating those titles. In fact the new releases should dominate the store front. Move the categories to a single tile. Do I have to do every thing?

mrdeezus said,
Whats wong with the store? Well, ALL newest releases should push first. I have checked the store everyday and the ESPN app is the first or second app down and I know there have been many newer releases everyday. It sucks to see a post that announces a new windows app then go to the store and I have to search for it...that is lame. The store should constantly be updating those titles. In fact the new releases should dominate the store front. Move the categories to a single tile. Do I have to do every thing?

dont click new releases,that just shows you what they want to show you, in no specific order.

click the category that you want ,like games, then sort by newest. this will show you apps based on when they are published.

vcfan said,

dont click new releases,that just shows you what they want to show you, in no specific order.

click the category that you want ,like games, then sort by newest. this will show you apps based on when they are published.


Or use the Great Windows App app, it sorts all the crap out for you and separates new and top rated. It isn't perfect, but much better than the Store.

Sekyal said,

Or use the Great Windows App app, it sorts all the crap out for you and separates new and top rated. It isn't perfect, but much better than the Store.

I get what you guys are saying but don't you agree that we need to dumb it down a little? They have the screen space make the tiles smaller to show more on first screen.

I like Windows 8 but I have to say that the Marketplace needs improvements, I simply don't like how the interface works like it's right now

After finding out that 25 companies make 50% of the money from iOS appstore I find it slightly amusing that this company is up in arms now about MS. I wonder what they are making in the other stores.

I usually find apps by searching for them. The store's UI isn't suited for its function. It is too spread out, it should be more packed with content. When you launch the store it should immediatly provide new and best entries in all of the categories with the ability to open up each category and see/do more.

Now it is too much scrolling through apps few people care for. These apps get a lot of room but checking out an app store isn't the same as reading news articles or checking weather updates. People aren't interested in full sized impressions of a few apps. They want to browse to selections filled with apps: new, old, highly rated, most downloaded, etc. This is one of those things that Windows Phone does much better. It is suprising how much rookie mistake the Windows 8 team made that could have been avoided if they had communicated more with the Windows Phone team. I love Windows 8 but the store needs a serious update. Adding a few new categories wont help, they need to re-do the whole UI.

Having said that, I think the reason why this game failed to sell in the first week has much more to do with being exclusive to RT. IMO Windows RT is the future of Windows. It's lighter and lasts longer. But Windows carries with it a legacy and x86 will be necessary for business for decades to come and consumers won't massively switch right away either. First there need to be a modern app to replace everything they currently do on the desktop. So for now Windows 8 is the sweetspot between the old and the new. Making something exclusive for RT isn't smart. Why even do it? Most modern apps work on both ARM, X86 and X64.

I have to call BS at times on crap like this though.. I'm just some scrub who does hobby stuff on the side yet I have basic connections to MS people on email, twitter, phone, facebook and Skype to get things done. If my business / life depending on it, I wouldn't write a post complaining about this - i'd hitup my connections and see what we can do to push things forward. Why isn't this developer in Bizspark or one of the launch programs? why aren't they working with a MS partner? Why don't they have a marketing plan instead of a marketing wish?

I'm glad MS is working for them, but man, MS shouldn't have to go out looking for ****ed off developers, Developers should use the contacts and resources that are abundantly available or else their not doing their own due diligence to be successful on their own rights.

spudtrooper said,
I have to call BS at times on crap like this though.. I'm just some scrub who does hobby stuff on the side yet I have basic connections to MS people on email, twitter, phone, facebook and Skype to get things done. If my business / life depending on it, I wouldn't write a post complaining about this - i'd hitup my connections and see what we can do to push things forward. Why isn't this developer in Bizspark or one of the launch programs? why aren't they working with a MS partner? Why don't they have a marketing plan instead of a marketing wish?

I'm glad MS is working for them, but man, MS shouldn't have to go out looking for ****ed off developers, Developers should use the contacts and resources that are abundantly available or else their not doing their own due diligence to be successful on their own rights.

Couldn't agree more.

I agree also. The Windows Store isn't perfect, but its purpose is to allow users to find apps and download them. It's *not* there to help a few developers market their apps. If Microsoft were to curate and sell app (Ad) placement on the Windows Store they would have whole lot more ****ed off developers on their hands.

spudtrooper said,
I have to call BS at times on crap like this though.. I'm just some scrub who does hobby stuff on the side yet I have basic connections to MS people on email, twitter, phone, facebook and Skype to get things done. If my business / life depending on it, I wouldn't write a post complaining about this - i'd hitup my connections and see what we can do to push things forward. Why isn't this developer in Bizspark or one of the launch programs? why aren't they working with a MS partner? Why don't they have a marketing plan instead of a marketing wish?

I'm glad MS is working for them, but man, MS shouldn't have to go out looking for ****ed off developers, Developers should use the contacts and resources that are abundantly available or else their not doing their own due diligence to be successful on their own rights.

When the quickest way to publicity is to bitch and complain, I find all news stories about companies like this highly suspect. Do you think they would have gotten more press from average channels or the complaining they did?

neonspark said,
I don't understand how you can possibly make an RT only app and think that is a good idea.

They didn't, the games available on IOS and sold well.

Surface / Windows tablets are a flop.

neonspark said,
I don't understand how you can possibly make an RT only app and think that is a good idea.

Probably just a port of their Android/iOS version.
The marketplace does suck for finding stuff but maybe the game sucks too?

the better twin said,

Probably just a port of their Android/iOS version.
The marketplace does suck for finding stuff but maybe the game sucks too?

doesn't matter.. once you write a game for WinRT api you can distribute it on X86 and ARM

the better twin said,

Probably just a port of their Android/iOS version.
The marketplace does suck for finding stuff but maybe the game sucks too?

Game is good if you like that kind of game

neonspark said,
I don't understand how you can possibly make an RT only app and think that is a good idea.
From their blog, they said that's contractual as their game is published by someone else on "PC" so they can't sell it on Windows 8 without the permission of their publisher:
"The pure PC version is being sold by our publisher, and they assure me it's coming to the store soon (no date though unfortunately). In the meantime it's available on Steam for PC."

TheLegendOfMart said,

Surface / Windows tablets are a flop.

Because you say so? Get over yourself already.

Surface has been out for just over a month, and was sold out for a lot of that time. I'd hardly call that a flop. Present some verified numbers of sales and then we'll talk.

TheLegendOfMart said,

They didn't, the games available on IOS and sold well.

Surface / Windows tablets are a flop.

You have no idea about Surface/Windows tablets sales, so saying it's a flop is just banter.

What the OP was saying is if you didn't release it for x86/x64 through the Windows Store IN ADDITION to RT, then that's just an asinine move from the dev company.

hicario said,

"The pure PC version is being sold by our publisher, and they assure me it's coming to the store soon (no date though unfortunately).

Great... so they're going to make you pay a separate time if you want it on Windows 8 too so you can get the "pure PC version." Damn, with logic like that, it's completely shocking they're not selling tons of copies.

There's more involved in this not selling besides just Microsoft not promoting them. I mean, has the company tried any promotion on their own until now? No. Have they thought about updating their website to have more than just a small icon at the top about Windows RT? (Hint, it might be a good idea to update "Available now for iPad, iPhone (HD and SD), and Android. Coming soon to Windows PC, Mac, and Blackberry playbook.")

But of course, the post did exactly what the developer was hoping for… free publicity on lots of gaming websites, and their blog about it has now been pulled because they got Microsoft to contact them.

However, they have a point. Windows Store is non-encouraging to browse. I usually find out about important app additions from Neowin.net itself first. Microsoft should revamp the store considerably.

Microsoft had several examples of applications marketplaces to learn from yet the Windows RT/8 marketplace is the dullest I have ever seen, it barely has categories. It's like they gave up without even trying.

francescob said,
Microsoft had several examples of applications marketplaces to learn from yet the Windows RT/8 marketplace is the dullest I have ever seen, it barely has categories. It's like they gave up without even trying.

I like the look of the Store. But agree it needs many many more features so that people can actually discover new apps.

You submit an app and then it just gets lost forever in a list. They need developer advertising options, and stuff like suggestions of similar apps you've downloaded, or related apps, or being able to see all the apps from a developer. Theres no discoverability at all for such an important thing.