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XBLIG makes XBLA look bad?
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: XBLIG makes XBLA look bad? Reply with quote

In the recent update to the X360 dashboard the indie games channel has been moved from its already well hidden location to an even darker recess of the dashboard, alongside the avatar area in the new 'speciality shops' bit.

Apparently this is having a very negative affect on sales and people are up in arms and think the end is nigh!
http://devlicio.us/blogs/vinull/archive/2010/11/03/microsoft-slowly-euthanizes-xbox-indie-games.aspx

Some are speculating the new windows phones app store will similarly begin to down play the indie game channel.

Some are saying the popularity of the channel is swamping the device with poor homemade games and causing headaches and expense for Microsoft in managing it all.

I wonder if there is a darker reason, maybe the indie channel is starting to make the Arcade channel look bad? These last few months have seen some great and shockingly cheap indie games Fluid, Inferno, Explosionade, Apple Jack, Ancient Trader, etc. When a game for 99c provides as much fun as one for $10 or even $60! then maybe the platform holder begins to worry?
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standard complaint: I wouldn't know. Australian Xbox Live accounts can't access any XNA content (that includes Rock Band Network tracks... which is stupid).
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know some countries freak out because the XBLIG content is not ESRB rated and then refuse to allow it. Only problem is an ESRB rating costs about $3000 !!!!

I assume that is the issue here, which is a shame.
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's probably the problem. I still don't understand WHY it's a problem.

Little history: the ACB (Australian Classification Board) is government-run (unlike the ESRB which is independent, unless I'm mistaken). Formerly known as the OFLC (Office of Film and Literature Classification), it's been around since 1970, and part of the problem with how they review games is that they're subject to most of the same rules as films (which is a problem, since they're fundamentally different). It can cost up to $2,040 to get your game classified by them.

Here's the thing, though: other than things which are illegal to possess (such as child pornography), the ACB's restrictions only applies to sales in stores - any online content doesn't have to be classified. If it did, there'd be thousands of flash games sites that would be in trouble - of course they could be blocked by the filter that Stephen Conroy still wants). It would also affect iPhone games (of which by my latest count there are several million... admittedly that could be good at thinning out the crud... or at $2,000 a pop it'd be quite the windfall for the government).

But here's the point: any content which is delivered digitally doesn't apply. Hell, as long as it's not sold in a store here, it doesn't matter (case in point: I've imported several copies of the uncensored version of L4D2 for friends).

So yes, it probably is because the XNA content hasn't been rated by the ACB, but as far as I'm aware (I'm not fully acquainted with the law word for word) it's not a legal obligation, they're just covering their arses. Steam has a much better way of covering their arse though - anything that's RC (refused classification - can't be sold in stores here) isn't available on Steam, but there's plenty of indie games on Steam which have never been submitted to the ACB for sale.
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colinvella



Joined: 15 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:11 am    Post subject: XBLIG Category Restored Reply with quote

Apparently after much complaints from indies (and presumably indie game players), the IG category has been restored to its former location. I've yet to log in and check it out myself, but the details are here:

http://www.neoseeker.com/news/15239-xbox-live-indie-games-restored-to-prominence-on-xbl-marketplace/
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Microsoft for listening Smile

I really wish they'd implement an Amazon like system for X360. Amazon email me pretty good recommendations fairly regularly, I love the way you can go and flag items as not interested too. Doesn't take long to get a well refined set of recommendations. It would be nice to opt-in for something like that so once a week I get a list of new and old XBLIG titles I might like. It's really hard to know what to try currently as there is just so much!

I'm slightly embarrassed to recommend this XBLIG title:




Embarassed It got a lot of laughs for a couple of hours Smile
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