ex-XNA member Weller about Xbox LIVE Community Games
Posted by XanTium | July 23 00:44 EST | News Category: Xbox360
David "LetsKillDave" Weller's Blog:
People are buzzing about today's announcement that developers can start making money soon off their Xbox LIVE Community Games built using XNA Game Studio. Being an ex-XNA member, I can still say, without a shadow of doubt, that Microsoft is offering a groundbreaking game channel, and that some people stand a chance to make great money from the system. It's an exciting opportunity, but the danger for consumers lies in Microsoft's deliberate steps to avoid discussions regarding game quality, even during peer review. I firmly believe that avoiding commentary/ratings on game quality will result in frustrated consumers, who will have no way to discern the quality of a game among (ultimately) thousands. Of course, the game creator has the option of offering a trial game, but it will be interesting to see how many developers take advantage of that path, (as it is not required) [Edit: Peter Hatch points to a Wired article where Chris Satnchell states that a timed trial will be enabled by default, but my concern about te lck of quality indicators still stands]. I doubt consumers will get a refund for buying a sucky game either.
Before anybody thinks I'm bashing the XNA team, please keep in mind that this is the same approach taken for Xbox LIVE Arcade games -- you're on your own to find genuine game reviews and ratings. The difference is that XBLA games have a higher standard for quality and consistency regarding the gaming experience. XBLA games have a large number of technical conformances to adhere to, which are tested by the XBLA team prior to its approval for release -- the Community Games has no such thing during the peer review (remembe, peer review is a check on the content, not on technical quality or gameplay quality). I think the upcoming plethora of games on the Commuity Games pipeline will only create more consumer confusion without them having a reliable guide