Carmel on XBLA

Ron Carmel of 2D Boy has an article about XBLA up. As usual when it comes to Carmel, it is a well-researched article putting hard and sometimes unexpected facts in context for an immensely interesting read. I would recommend everyone to read it.

Carmel points out that while XBLA has been instrumental in the rise of the independent games of recent years, a decline has already started and is looking to be more serious in the next few years. He argues that this is mostly due to Microsoft being unreasonably hard to work with and gives a few suggestions as to how they might change this. Again, read the article – it is great.

I am hesitant about one of his suggestions though, that Microsoft should establish their own rating system and ditch the ESRB – considering their console represents a good chunk of all the biggest budget titles in the games industry, them giving up support for the ESRB even in an unrelated way is a political issue as well. It is a hard problem to tackle – small developers do not necessarily have the means to secure a rating in all territories, but allowing more leeway would call into question the integrity of the rating system itself. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if XBLA as a service is actually right for this – maybe making these changes to XBLIG and promoting that service more would be a better idea. A small change, but an important distinction.

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Posted on Oct 04/11 by Saint and filed under General game development | No Comments »