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GameSetWatch breaks down XBLA royalties cut

So, one of the big stories from earlier this week was Kotaku's one on Microsoft apparently 'cutting XBLA royalties in half', and it's one that has caused a lot of controversy, with plenty of predictable name-calling and insistence on the death of XBLA as a viable platform.

One of the problems here, of course, is that Kotaku's report only had one side of the story - and Microsoft isn't really in a position to refute the reports, because it will not discuss original or current royalty rates in public. Which leads GameSetWatch to a problem to be resolved - did Microsoft really cut its XBLA royalty rates in half without ANY changes to the developer package?

The answer is no, of course.

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The Closing3500d ago (Edited 3500d ago )

and what can be saved on the front end doesn't equate to what can be gained on the back end then first party indie devs are most likely going to develop their games for psn instead. In reality the bigger indie production houses might not care for the less risk less gain option being handed to them then have fun with those joe blow flash games. XNA sounds worse as the days goes on, but only time will tell really.

wow4u3500d ago

"first party indie devs are most likely going to develop their games for psn instead."

Why? XNA is a channel for smaller games, of the "indy scale" to earn income on Xbox 360, Zune and PC. Larger Xbox LIVE Arcade titles, will be priced relative to their production cost.

As the console install base increases, so does the over-all market. There is plenty of opportunity for everyone. Now that there are more than 18 Million Xbox 360s, and MANY Million Windows boxes, and millions of Zunes.

I think the these Devs are going to see a low-barrier to entry, minimal fuss (no dealing with publishers, a marketing channel pre-built) and are going to flock to XNA.

"In reality the bigger indie production houses might not care for the less risk less gain option"

Maybe. Maybe not. Why would they stop making Xbox LIVE Aracde titles? It seems to have been a pretty clear success for all parties.

"have fun with those joe blow flash games"

Flash, as a development environment for games, isnt as powerful as XNA (you can use any C# language). Further, Flash is vector based. And, the reality is that there is no method (other than the advertising sold on a website) means to gain revenue for these small devs.

I think the smaller devs are going to see the XNA Community as an opportunity to FINALLY earn some royalties for their production where they hadn't previously been able.

"XNA sounds..."
Here, I'll fix it for you:
"XNA sounds like a staggeringly ground breaking innovation in bringing producers and gamers together in a way that has never been done before. And a disruptive change in the game industry".

Dareaver13500d ago

some people are looking or trying to spin this article saying the M$ is trying to take advantage of these indie game developers, when they are clearly not. But a lot of people on this site don't really know economics or how hard developing a game can be.

You can tell by comments like flash based games, that's pure ignorance (dictionary form of the word, if you don't know look it up). But the funny/not so funny thing is that i'm hearing the whole "flash based games" cop-out comment more now than ever since the whole announcement of XNA at GDC on this site in particular.

Fanboys aren't gamers, they can't appreciate a game for being what it is, an entertainment medium. And the level of creativity some of these XNA game makers are showing is great. and i'm enjoying every bit of it, Dishwasher rules. Now is the best time to be a gamer, and if you have creativity and a lil ingenuity, you can live your dream and create a game.

XNA is only the start, the competitors will make their own competitive game development tools and then things will really get interesting. As soon as the ps3 comes bundled with the DualShock 3 controllers and they still have BC, i'll get to enjoy the best of both worlds. So game on people, game on....!

zag3500d ago

Why? XNA is a channel for smaller games, of the "indy scale" to earn income on Xbox 360, Zune and PC. Larger Xbox LIVE Arcade titles, will be priced relative to their production cost.

XNA is only a 360 dev box on a PC, a programming tool only to make 360 games, I haven't seen anything about anyone being about to use XNA for making PC or Zune games.

Not that I think PC users wouldn't be rushing to make use of Live LoL, I know I don't what with it's constant harping on and on about not being on live in games it destroys the game really.

360 games to PC game ports is a prime example of how poor these ports are on the PC , poor GFX, whinging about how they arn't connected to live every 5 mins,who really wants this crap in their game after your've paid $60 to $100 for it.

I think the these Devs are going to see a low-barrier to entry, minimal fuss (no dealing with publishers, a marketing channel pre-built) and are going to flock to XNA.

Um, I take you havn't read the link page?

It says that MS have first line pubs and thrid party pubs, an indie dev has to go through these pubs to get their game on to Live.

My personnal thought was that XNA gave a Lic to allow people to produce a 360 game on the cheap, and then be allow to distro it via Live via their own means no need for Pubs at all, so this would really mean you'd get 100's of pac-man space invaders type games rather than quake 9 type games for example.

Maybe. Maybe not. Why would they stop making Xbox LIVE Aracde titles? It seems to have been a pretty clear success for all parties.

Because people have to be paid, have a friend who does art and has to pay his rent he's not going to do said art for a game for free, the same goes for everyone else in the team.

If there's less money to be made via Live why bother to keep making games for less money, if you can get more money else where.

Flash, as a development environment for games, isnt as powerful as XNA (you can use any C# language). Further, Flash is vector based. And, the reality is that there is no method (other than the advertising sold on a website) means to gain revenue for these small devs.

Flash is more powerful than you could think of I've seen stuff done in Flash V3 that I barely see much of on the net.

Flash also has it's own programing language but can also use 3rd party programs made with perl or python in the background as well.

I don't get what you point is about vector GFX, those vector GFX will scale to any size andstill keep the exact shape, if your thinking that flash can't do 3d GFX LoL think again, because you'd be majorly behind the times that was done years ago in flash.

I think the smaller devs are going to see the XNA Community as an opportunity to FINALLY earn some royalties for their production where they hadn't previously been able.

Correct, though for some they will give XNA a miss due to the lack of money.

"XNA sounds like a staggeringly ground breaking innovation in bringing producers and gamers together in a way that has never been done before. And a disruptive change in the game industry"

Not really, as it's basicly MS forcing Devs into only making 360 games,it's not exactly going to expand your money streams really after all if XNA only makes Live games and the 360 being 99% of the Live consumer base well that's the only consumer base you'll ever have.

Live on PC is pretty poor, and is more of a hassle than it helping anything on PC not to mention the only games that Live PC work with are 360 ports which arepretty damn poor games in a lot of ways compared to the poor PC games you can get.

They really show how lacking the 360 is with handling GFX etc.

Bzone243499d ago

"XNA is only a 360 dev box on a PC, a programming tool only to make 360 games, I haven't seen anything about anyone being about to use XNA for making PC or Zune games."

Have you even looked?
http://www.joystiq.com/2008...

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3499d ago
gambare3500d ago

can someone explain this? as far I understand, XBLA will give half of the money obtained in XBL for the games sold there instead a full share.

LastDance3500d ago (Edited 3500d ago )

Nah something like.

For instance. If microsoft made $100 off a certain game they would give $20 to the Dev team.

But now instead of giving them $20 they are going to only give them $10.

Thats as far as i understand but im not sure how microsoft work out the revenue for XBLA.

Dareaver13500d ago

your math is way off, if M$ was giving the dev team 70% wouldn't' that mean $70 out of $100.

And as the author of this news stated, they thought that 70% was rather high in the first place, but they weren't going to refuse the money.

What M$ is doing is; all that upfront spending that might prevent indie developers from even getting the foot in the door, M$ will give that to them for free for a lil bit better return on their percentage. And publisher fees, certifications, ratings approvals, regionalization and localization fees, can get pretty steep; so M$ is going to take care of that for them.

In my opinion, that is a better deal, and will get more indie developers on board. The price of admission is what prevents a lot of people from developing their own games, if you decrease that and are eventually able to get your game out, who knows it can be a hit, and you'll see a bigger return, and you'll have to worry about less.

Sounds like win win to me, but then again, that's just my opinion. The funny thing though is that none of you know how PSN is handling their royalties, so how do you know that that's better?

Will the wonders ever cease. (rhetorical question)

LastDance3500d ago (Edited 3500d ago )

Omg get over yourselves i was being hypothetical. I have no friggin idea how much money microsoft gave people nor cared. i was telling this gentleman how i thought the situation worked with royalties.The numbers i used were off the top of my head. fanboys. Get over yourselves and learn how to read.

I clearly said FOR INSTANCE.

Da360sucks3500d ago

psn will welcome all new developer
if you want you full cut

Mu5afir3500d ago

Wow, just wow.. it's brilliant in Microsoft behalf.. they figure these people with the XNA are going to create games, and we are going to get a tone of royalties form them... so why bother with indie games? Well, if you toke a look at Youtube and realized 90% of the videos are either copyrighted, or not worth watching.. maybe that's why you should be worried Microsoft.

Good luck,

wow4u3500d ago

The indie games *are* the very same producers who are making XNA games. One in-the-same.

With XNA, and publishing through the XNA Community, FINALLY those indies will have a way to earn royalties.

MS just gave the indy game developer an opportunity to do his work and earn a living.

You're way off base here. MS just created a channel of Direct-to-Gamers revenue system for Indy developers.

This is a disruptive business model for the whole industry.

wowsauce3500d ago

First off, 70% is rediculously good for first party developers anyway. Considering the ammount of work that M$ has to go through for certification and other stuff to get the game up on XBLA, AND the fact that the indy devs have a huge user base (over 10 million users with access to their game for purchase) to sell their games to, 70% was a huge bargain at the time. Developers that make M$'s job easy will still get a huge chunk of money, and, like the article said, it's very possible M$ is trying to push developers to other publishers so they don't have to do so much busywork (other publishers still get 70%).

Also, this is not the same deal that's going to be given to XNA creator's club people (read: super small indy devs with low funding), who won't have to pay much of anything aside from I think $100 bucks to liscense XNA. That's an amazing deal.

wow4u3500d ago

This should come as no surpise to anyone.

Kotaku is a rabid-anti-anything Microsoft site; a totally worthless blog, who is always trolling for traffic.

It should be banned from the site.

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