Microsoft cutting XBLA royalties in half?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by fathamburger, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Maybe we have different opinions on what 'being screwed' means. If someone makes me an offer and I accept it then I don't consider that as being screwed.
     
  2. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I'm never into this "the big nasty corporation is out to make money" arguments as I find them ridiculous. Of course they are. As am I and everyone else here.

    But...

    If you accept that deal because you're genuinely happy with it, that's fair enough. If however you accept a crap deal because you've been bullied into a situation where it's all you'll get anyway, then you're being screwed imo, regardless of whatever personal choices you think you may have.

    Having said that, I don't think MS dropping from a whopping 70% down to something more normal is screwing anybody, especially as they're giving other stuff with the other hand. Look at it as "it was a nice gravy train for a while", and no more.

    I still see XBLA as the only way a small studio can make real money, even with the ludicrous amount of overhead in getting a game integrated into the guide and past their TRC list, which grows weekly. :(
     
  3. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Really? Remember the Mac market in the downloadable space?

    This year, with blueray emerging as the winner in the HD movie space, the PS3 will be the cheapest HD Movie player on the market. They'll move a bunch of consoles and likely have a low attach rate for retail game titles, but there will be a lot of people poking around the PSN menus and downloadable games there might just be the things that trigger an impulse buy.

    If anything with the reduced royalties from XBLA I'd say their about an equal opportunity with PSN.
     
  4. Jesse Hopkins

    Jesse Hopkins New Member

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    ---------------
     
    #24 Jesse Hopkins, Feb 24, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  5. tagged

    Original Member

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    I agree that nobody should touch Silverlight, but C#? It isn't a closed platform and can be (and is on) many other OS'. I'm still deciding on C# myself, but from my reading it's impossible for MS to reclaim C# as windows only or prevent it from being released on any OS out there. Am I missing something?
     
  6. OremLK

    Indie Author

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    C#, .NET, and XNA have all been a giant pain in my rectum. Nice to develop with, terrible for distributing the things you develop. I'm currently repeatedly beating my head into a brick wall trying to make my XNA game distribute properly to other PCs, and it just isn't happening. I doubt I'll make a single sale the way it is now.

    I'll be the first to admit C# is a great language to work with, but I may never develop a PC game with it again (this new Xbox Live community thing, I don't know).
     
  7. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I'm not ball gazing though. I agree that whilst Sony are miles behind, they're catching up fast. They just haven't yet, and building mass sales takes time.

    This time next year the picture may look different, but you also have to factor in that the PS3 is a pig to program where the 360 is a dream. Lets also not overlook the fact that Sony is also a massive corp and if they overpay their royalties vs MS, it won't be by much. Whatever they're doing now can just as easily change as it did with MS.
     
  8. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    lol. I'm sure most megacorp "greed" is based on the desire by shareholders to maximise profits above all else...
     
  9. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I actually havn't herd of any of the devs I know complaining about the PS3 technically, in fact most have had pretty nice things to say about the cell processor.

    When you're considering doing a downloadable game for console, you kind of have to do a little ball gazing. With a small team it's going to take you about a year to get your game done and out there, or like Castle Crashers.. it can take you three. If you already have an XBLA game in development it's not so much an issue, but then you're not really evaluating opportunity at that point because you've already seized it. :)
     
  10. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Heh, you need to talk to more developers :) The cell is fine, its the cripplingly naff video hardware that gets you. Most AAA devs do their transform and other vertex stuff on the CPU coz it's so bad. Plus Sony tools suck whilst MS tools are always at the top of the tree. This is not to be overlooked for smaller firms who don't have spare people to write better tools.

    I'm doing DS dev right now, and comparing codewarrior to msdev is like comparing notepade to word. Sony's stuff has always been even worse - they just don't finish stuff off and often don't start it. I have heard that Jap developers do actually use command line tools and notepad! It took me 3 days to get a PS3 devkit running a sample. On 360 it was one button click to install the kit, one drag and one button click to build and run the sample.

    I'd say a tear from now, Sony will still be behind. Maybe in two years not, but we'll look again in a years time. Right now I'm preferring DS dev anyways as you can make good money without all the TRC and guide crap to worry about.
     
  11. electronicStar

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    It was obvious that this would happen sooner or later
    http://forums.indiegamer.com/showpost.php?p=131957&postcount=6

    Nevertheless, 70% for the develloper did look like a correct deal to me when microsoft does nothing more than hosting the game on its captive audience network.
    Not couting the audit costs the devs reportedly have to pay to enter a game on XBLA.
     
  12. arcadetown

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    Does it really even matter? How many downloadable games are even on XBLA? I found the XBLA hype to be a complete and utter joke after turning on my 360 (which btw haven't turned on since). Dominated by classic emulator games and a handful of older downloadables.

    Should've got a WII!
     
  13. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    See, it's that sort of thing that destroys your credibility. You clearly have no idea just how much MS does during the development of a title.

    And doesn't building the consumer base counter for anything? That captive audience didn't spring up out of nowhere.

    The other thing you'll need to realise before you get anywhere, is that the developer is not actually the king of the hill. I've heard about "if no developers, then no industry" but it's a badly irrelevant argument. Devs are two a penny - its platform holders and distribution networks which are king, and they want their rightly fat piece of the pie.

    Sell a game on XBLA, then sell a game over ur own website, then can come and tell me which made you more money.

    After that, try to sell a game on your own website, then try to launch a global captive audience sales channel, then tell me which of those cost you the most money.

    Beating up on sales channel providers is getting really old. I'm not surprised I see it so much given what this board is about, but you guys seriously need to get some ego's reigned in. We are at the absolute rock bottom of the food chain and the faster you accept it and deal with it, the more money you'll make.
     
  14. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    You may feel like you are at the bottom of the food chain but I don't choose to believe that I am. It got old twenty years ago when I dealt with a fat cat sitting behind a desk trying to get my game at a discount and hasn't gotten any more fresh in the interim. I know what value I bring to the table and I know what putting a bunch of people like me in a building for a year or two costs a big company. By building my products on my own dime I'm assuming the risk and, if a company is going to get what I produce then they are going to pay me a fair price. End of story.

    Also, this is where we, the dev's, congregate. We compare notes and I know that I, for one, get useful info. here - Cas & Cliffski said a few things a couple of years ago that changed my mind about the value and validity of making a living selling directly from my own site. I'm going to bitch about companies that are taking unfair advantage and I'm going to weigh the opinions of others when I make decisions about who to do business with.
     
  15. OremLK

    Indie Author

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    When was the last time you checked out XBLA? It does have a lot of really fantastic games, and I haven't seen a remake of anything released in quite awhile.
     
  16. moose6912

    moose6912 New Member

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    Codewarrior = Notepad that is slow and hogs memory
    Visual Studio = MS Word

    When I was doing DS development, I kept wondering why didn't they use Visual Studio instead of that godawful Codewarrior.
     
  17. voxel

    voxel New Member

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    I know the real numbers... I can not confirm or deny, but only that rumours are based on some truth and some lies. :)

    If you can get onto XBLA, sales are still very very good no matter what the royalty is.
     
  18. Obscure

    Indie Author

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    But that isn't all they do at all.
     
  19. arcadetown

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    Can see list here. See a few new retail games (perhaps converted to "smaller" download format?) and handful of casual titles mostly from Popcap and a handful of indies.

    http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/livearcadexbox360/?WT.svl=nav

    XBLA is virtually irrelevent to casual games developers IMO.
     
  20. OremLK

    Indie Author

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    Well, that's true, but that's not really the point of Live Arcade. Xbox 360 owners aren't by and large casual gamers. Already plenty of portals in the PC space that market to the casual demographic, anyway.
     

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