Microsoft has promoted the Xbox Live Indie Games section of its Xbox 360 business as a way for the independent game developer to get noticed by a wide audience. However, the reality is that the platform is not a good way for indie game developers to make money. That point was proven earlier this month when developer Zeboyd Games revealed that its two RPG titles, Cthulhu Saves The World and Breath Of Death VII, had made more money in its first week as a PC game via Steam than the game's first 18 months as Xbox Live Indie Games.
In an interview at the Edge web site, Zeboyd Games's founder Robert Boyd actually praised Xbox Live Indie Games in terms of a game development tool for new developers. He states, "It's cheap, easy to learn, and has a great community of people that are willing to help each other." On the other hand, as he found out himself, developers who release games on the platform should not expect to rake in the money. He states, " ... from a perspective of actually making good money, I do not believe it is a viable platform. The greatest strength and greatest weakness of the service is that it's the most open platform we've ever seen on any home console. Just about anyone can release an XBLIG title, and just about anyone does. As a result, the service has got a reputation for being full of garbage."
As a result, Boyd believes that instead of moving from Xbox Live Indie Games to the much more visible Xbox Live Arcade platform, game developers may decide to make their next project outside the Xbox 360 console on other platforms such as mobile devices and the PC. Boyd states, "Microsoft should be doing more towards making Indie Games a scouting ground for future talent." So far Microsoft has yet to respond to Boyd's statements.
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