New MS Policies Could Hamper Future Arcade Titles
Written Monday, August 11, 2008 By Dan Webb
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In an interview with Gamasutra, independent developer of Braid, Johnathan Blow stated that Microsoft's new policies regarding Xbox Live Arcade titles could affect whether he releases a game on that format in the future.

He says "...what would keep me from putting another game on Arcade again is just that they've changed the business deal -- at least as I've heard." indicates that the royalty level could drop from 75% to as little as 30% and Blow states that "If it's as I've heard that it is, I couldn't even necessarily break even."

This is an alarming piece of news for the Xbox Live Arcade. Braid is currently tipped as being one of the greatest titles ever to grace the service and if this new policy really is deterring new, talented developers from using it as their platform, the Live Arcade could float in to nothingness. Daunting... I know!

In other Braid news, Blow states that he doesn't plan on releasing any downloadable content for the title and the sequel is only a distant possibility as he indicates it might be possible "maybe in five years when I'm motivated".

Bad news all round then.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 92
Comment #1 by Gerror
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 11:20:44 AM
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I like the look of Braid sort of looks like Donkey kong

Forum Posts: 1006
Comment #2 by SegaSaturnSNK
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 11:24:08 AM
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Microsoft better not do this because it'll be a bone head move if they do. They need to worry about developers and etc. for their XBLA instead of making money.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #3 by Impey
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 11:24:12 AM
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first joke

come on microsoft dont be mean

Forum Posts: 105
Comment #4 by dragonboyandy
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 11:26:16 AM
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Microsoft have already acknowledged that a number of the CBLA titles are no longer making money and are to be removed from the service. So surely they can see that if some titles aren't making money as it is, reducing the royalties earned by developers is only going to put them off publishing on the XBLA format and Microsoft will make even less money.

This is a shot in their own foot with a bloody rocket launcher!

Forum Posts: 1579
Comment #5 by Ruthless
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 11:36:01 AM
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Impey i wouldnt even joke about it, you will steal get an infraction. But this is stupid idea, Microsoft are so greedy, dont they have enough money already?

I just want Resi Evil 1, Toe jam and Earl and Duke Nukem 3D. Get those games out !!!

Forum Posts: 30
Comment #6 by crunchb3rry
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 11:46:12 AM
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Developers already have to jump through enough hoops with Microsoft as it is. Pitching a game idea, getting put in the back of the line for release, having some "bigger" games cut in line and force yours to be delayed, absurdly long certification process, almost as long to test it, Microsoft forcing the price to be on their terms (typically 800 MSP). Getting less money after dealing with all that bullshit is a slap in the face AND a kick in the balls.

Microsoft should not even attempt this. If they do, Sony just says "we'll give you developers a bigger cut than you get on the 360" and Microsoft's long and unthreatened reign of online content sales goes right down the toilet and the currently miserable PSN quickly narrows the wide gap.

Forum Posts: 3613
Comment #7 by [Waggly Bean]
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 11:46:34 AM
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Yeah lets hope this is rumour and nothing more.

It does seem like something Microsoft would do though, which does worry me a bit.

I'm sure if they did that though, they'd soon realise nothing good was getting released and switch it back again!

@ Ruthless - all VERY good games, I'll second that and hope they all make it to XBLA too!

Forum Posts: 131
Comment #8 by Castrum
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 11:52:13 AM
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One of the stupidest decisions Microsoft could ever make.

I guarantee that 90% of Arcade development would shift over to PSN and WiiWare immediately.

Forum Posts: 44
Comment #9 by TyrantJester
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 12:06:38 PM
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Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't see good game or bad game, they only see $$. Hopefully games like Braid will show them that being a good, well made game can actually help drive sales, too. I doubt it, though.

Forum Posts: 251
Comment #10 by Yemeth
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 12:19:54 PM
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"Blow states that he doesn't plans on releasing..."

It should be 'plan' not 'plans'.

Forum Posts: 193
Comment #11 by The Dukenator
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 12:21:22 PM
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Duke Nukem 3D is coming to XBLA when the time comes.
I'm waiting for it, along with the release of Duke Nukem Forever, which isn't a joke.

Is it me or has Microsoft gotten greedier over time?

Forum Posts: 1283
Comment #12 by Santa
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 12:30:47 PM
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You'll still get the games, no doubt about that. It's only because people aren't buying the arcade games, i'd rather buy a disk game so i can take it round Bob or John's to play for instance.

Maybe they should release the disks.

Forum Posts: 244
Comment #13 by Nuffzx
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 12:35:19 PM
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MS= Greedy cunts

Forum Posts: 46
Comment #14 by JediZombie
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 12:39:03 PM
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I don't know how microsoft wanting more money would shock anyone. But I'd still pay 1600msp for "Toejam and Earl" i still got it for the SEGA 16 bit and its still AWESOME!

Forum Posts: 2099
Comment #15 by mjc0961
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 12:55:45 PM
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That sucks for the Arcade, but I won't be crying if this is the only guy who doesn't release more games on the service. Braid is easily one of the worst 2D platformers I've had displeasure of playing.

Forum Posts: 2099
Comment #16 by mjc0961
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 12:59:13 PM
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Also, they might make more money if they ditch the MS points system. It's annoying. I hate having to remember how many points equals how many dollars. At least Nintendo does 1 point = 1 cent on their points, but it's still annoying. I'd rather they all followed Sony's example and just charged dollars straight up.

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #17 by ForkThrower4414
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 01:19:45 PM
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MS has to do something since their not making enough money from arcade. Anyways maybe now hteir will be actually playable games coming out in arcade.

Forum Posts: 353
Comment #18 by darquesyde
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 01:24:01 PM
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Guess that means this is pretty much the end of the 400 point titles now. And I agree with #8 that Sony and Nintendo would be happy to pick up a few of those developers for their systems.

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #19 by Dead by Don
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 01:29:46 PM
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Wow, that's a huge jump in royalty rates. I really do hope that it's just a rumour and Microsoft doesn't go through with it because it just doesn't make any business sense. Let's make more money by having fewer and less competent developers? Gamasutra will not be the only one that bows out of the whole Live market.

@# 17. LoL, good luck with that idea. Now the only people who will want to develop games for Live are going to be inexperienced first timers who just want to see their work up on the 360. What's going to happen is exactly the opposite of what you're hoping for.

Forum Posts: 512
Comment #20 by ImmortalArbiter
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 02:02:43 PM
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Microsoft is killing itself, even though it's been so successful this generation. The instances of their stupidity and disregard to their fans, the overpricing on just about everything... It's going to be interesting to see how many people are going to keep all of this in consideration when the Xbox 720 comes out.

Forum Posts: 513
Comment #21 by Edable Giraffe
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 02:08:41 PM
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when will microsoft learn that they cant always be the gready bastards they are. who in their right mind will bother to develop an arcade game for 30%.

but this does say as far has he's heard, so there could be little to no truth in this

i hated braid so i dont care for a sequel

Forum Posts: 29
Comment #22 by BLK DEM0N
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 02:10:45 PM
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lol his name is blow..

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #23 by Froinator15
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 02:42:28 PM
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fuck microsoft

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #24 by spiderlillyx187
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 02:50:40 PM
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microsoft are fools.

xbla titles are already overpriced and the quality of late has been very poor.

I'm almst boycotting xbla as a number of titles have been released in the usa but not australia - asteroids etc.

also the help desk wernt helpful when mum bout 6000 points in the uk recently back to australia and there was no text saying it only worked in the uk.
i had to setup an account with a seperate uk address and have to login into it to play those games.

if they want ezy cash (listen up m$) why dont u make all the old games which dont sell 100 points and dont delist them.

a lot of ppl would dl em just for the achievement points.

also a lot of the 800 point games shud really be 400 and release extra packs free.

m$ shud realise that xbla helps make ppl buy the co

Forum Posts: 1579
Comment #25 by Ruthless
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 02:54:29 PM
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@ 14 - JediZombie, I have it on the MegaDrive also is so good and online co-op would be awesome.

MS if your reading this put the game out already!!! Oh and Resi Evil 1 (the directors cut, if possible) Lol ; )

Forum Posts: 119
Comment #26 by Pedro7_2000
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 03:01:55 PM
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There is NO WAY MS would do this to the XBL arcade deals. They know they need games on the service and they're not going to make the profit sharing unattractive to developers. BTW, Braid is awesome!

Forum Posts: 46
Comment #27 by SpookSh0w
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 03:06:09 PM
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Will an arcade game really make you buy a ps3?

Forum Posts: 388
Comment #28 by DLStChad II
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 03:47:50 PM
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Well either way I wont be buying the next xbox unless there is a big change in every catagory.

Forum Posts: 592
Comment #29 by Axe Argonian
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 04:37:58 PM
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Did I miss something? What MS policies? What's going on?

Forum Posts: 120
Comment #30 by Raesvelgr
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 05:03:54 PM
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Just a rumor. But Braid is such a rip off of Mario it's sad.

Forum Posts: 3985
Comment #31 by Sanction
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 05:16:01 PM
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Where is your God now Braid lovers?

Forum Posts: 157
Comment #32 by XPSblinx
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 05:25:30 PM
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If this accually becomes true this is one of the worst moves M$ could make. Maybe instead of cutting royalties maybe have some quality control . Also instead of reporting over games we already own make more games like braid, penny arcade game, ect . More orignial games for xboxlivearcade. Still this is just a rumor but if true it will scare the money printer away.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #33 by IllegalBLAZE
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 05:30:33 PM
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Well that obviously explains the difference in this games price point when compared to other titles. The developer must have asked to sell it for a high ammount since most of the revenue was going to M$ anyways.

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #34 by Kazoturkey
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 05:31:05 PM
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So long as Castle Crashers still gets released and the Behemoth get all the monies they deserve I don't care what MS does ^^

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #35 by dim2192
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 06:11:17 PM
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Yeah Microshit keep acting like greedy bitches, dont listen to us just keep releasing crap like New Rally X and we will stay loyal to you.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #36 by HAMSTERGRIND
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 06:14:42 PM
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i love how you all complain yet you still will be loyal to microsoft

Forum Posts: 23
Comment #37 by finative
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 06:52:34 PM
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Hopefully just a rumor. If not I have a feeling it may be cheap way to make more money off xna developers.

Forum Posts: 663
Comment #38 by Atarii
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 07:09:40 PM
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Microsoft would only be hurting themselves if this were true.

MS = emo now?

Forum Posts: 509
Comment #39 by Facial La Fleur
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 07:45:37 PM
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They make enough damn money as it is, why the hell do they need to ruin the Arcade for everyone. If they take games I've already paid for and make them have no live support then I will quit Xbox altogether cuz I have hundreds of dollars in arcade games.

Forum Posts: 2439
Comment #40 by kiwi18
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 07:50:05 PM
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Wow that guy woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. This news sucks. Braid is still awesome though.

Forum Posts: 29
Comment #41 by easybot
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 09:23:37 PM
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"Blow states that he doesn't plan on releasing"

Forum Posts: 23
Comment #42 by finative
Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 10:06:25 PM
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W3rd. If I didn't already spend $20 last month changing my damn gamertag I would probably buy braid. BRAID = WIN 90% OF XBLA = LOSE

Forum Posts: 36
Comment #43 by jabhwakins
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 @ 04:00:20 AM
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Someone can't get their numbers straight. The rumor on the royalties change is that it is going from 25% to MS (75% to developer) to 30% to MS (70% to developer).

Forum Posts: 358
Comment #44 by artvandel4y
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 @ 05:29:46 AM
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Even if it is just a 5% increase, that's a 7.5% decrease in developer profit margins. That is enough to scare the more independent developers off to Sony or Nintendo depending on circumstances. And if you've been paying attention to XBLA in the past year, the best games are not straight up ports. All of your assault heroes, geo wars, and of course braid require a substantial monetary investment from the developer. If Microsoft takes that 7.5% percent, it can tip the scales to cancelation or lack of polish in products.

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #45 by stonedpimpdaddy
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 @ 06:24:41 PM
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Well this is dumb! XBLA is gonna go to shit!

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #46 by spiderlillyx187
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 @ 07:26:57 PM
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yhe only good news is that msoft refunded all australians the 500 points from the gta 4 promotion.

remember how the points mysteriously expired with no notice on july 31 or so?

guess sum1 complained to the consumer there was no expiry date listed on the promotion.

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