Indie Dev Delays 'Explosionade' Release on XBLIG Due to 'Broken' Marketplace

All is not well, it would seem, on the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace. Despite having its next title, Explosionade, ready to go, Indie developer Mommy's Best Games (Shoot 1UP) has elected to hold the game's release because it feels that the 'Top Downloads' list for XBLIG isn't accurate on a consistent basis.


The 'Top Downloads' section of the XBLIG Marketplace is meant to serve as a "Most Popular" list that reflects the twenty XBLIG titles that are currently the most-downloaded. Game sales and trial download data from the previous day is compiled by Microsoft to determine which games will appear in that list.

On the Mommy's Best Games development blog, Nathan Fouts points out that in recent months, the 'Top Downloads' list has become "stuck," on occasion. When the list isn't updated correctly, games that might have otherwise received more exposure due to good performance in the 'New Releases' list can miss their time in the 'Top Downloads' spotlight. This mishap usually translates into both fewer trial downloads and sales. With over 1,300 Xbox Live Indie Games available (and more every week), it's easy for a game to slip off of these lists and into the sea of oft-ignored titles.

During the times when the 'Top Downloads' section is "broken," Fouts notes that it's easy to confirm based on the sales data furnished by Microsoft. "The sales data drives the Top Downloads list," he writes. "If sales data is late, the list is not updating."

Fouts continues:

Sales data has been spotty since September 28th, which means the Top Downloads list has been spotty in terms of reflecting gamers interests. In months past, the Top Downloads list has stayed stuck for days, sometimes over a week.

I really want to release Explosionade, as I publicly announced we could release by October 4th (Monday). It was ready in time for review earlier this weekend, but I've been waiting till Top Downloads is functioning properly.

Explosionade is a 2D shooter-platformer with destructible environments, 2-player co-op, challenge-room style gameplay, and online leaderboards. Players will need to "infiltrate subterranean strongholds manned by cunning bipedal aliens and their mind-blasting hellions!"

BOOM video 6686

Provided that the 'Top Downloads' section of the XBLIG Marketplace is fixed soon, Explosionade will be submitted again for review. According to Mommy's Best Games, the earliest it's expected to be ready for download is Thursday, October 7.