Portal Denied XBLA Release

Valve's attempts to sell the wit-driven puzzle effort Portal separately through the online Xbox Live Arcade were shot down by Microsoft, the studio has revealed.

Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi said that the critically acclaimed title—awarded 2007 Game of the Year by the Shacknews staff and our readers—was held up by restrictions such as Xbox Live's recently increased 150 megabyte file size limit.

"We'd love to do that. Right now it's something we'd love to do. I'd love to sell Portal on Xbox Live," Lombardi told GamesIndustry. "[But] the platform holders aren't doing that right now. There's a size limit and all kinds of other things.

"We've asked them, we said we were open to it. So it's a decision for the platform holder and how they want to make the games available and how much bandwidth they want to [allow]," he added.

Despite the rejection, Lombardi noted that a downloadable Portal on consoles may yet be possible.

"I think it's a trade-off, we'll see it one day," the developer said. "It always happens once it's been proven and I think it's been proven now on Steam, so I'm sure it'll migrate back to the consoles just like everything else does."

Portal is currently available as part of Valve's mega-compilation The Orange Box (PC, PS3, X360), and available as a standalone PC title both in retail outlets and on Steam.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 28, 2008 1:04 PM

    MS really needs to get rid of this arbitrary limit. I understand why they put it in at first, they don't want bloatware spamming xbox live and people having to waste hours downloading huge games that shouldn't be. But canning things like portal, or restricting the overall resolution of HD sprites for the SF2 HD remix (Although I know that wasnt the ONLY reason they reduced the quality of the sprites) is just stupid. Its really only hurting the gamers. Im sue people who want to play portal or other stuff like that have no problem downloading 500mb games (wtf, some demo's for games released are like 2 gigs, is 500megs really that huge of a deal).

    • reply
      April 28, 2008 1:06 PM

      yep, they're retarded with this stuff.

    • reply
      April 28, 2008 1:06 PM

      I thought XBL was going to eventually host movies? If so, surely they will be in the gigs of sizes - far more than 150mb. What difference does it make whether it's a game or a movie?

      • reply
        April 28, 2008 1:36 PM

        You can already download movies on XBL.

        I can understand that they don't want large XBL Arcade games, then just make a new category for "full games" like PSN.

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      April 28, 2008 1:08 PM

      The limit was imposed due to consoles without a HD, not download issues.

      And they are releasing Soul Caliber on XBLA, right?

      I'm pretty sure the size restriction won't be a problem with future titles. They're only hurting themselves with it.

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      April 28, 2008 1:09 PM

      It's not arbitrary though, it's how they keep the 20 GB drive viable.

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        April 28, 2008 1:14 PM

        It's pretty stupid though. They want the 360 to be more than a gaming system, but they keep selling the system with a 20GB hard drive and no hard drive. It makes no sense. They need to put the 20 in the Arcade model and put the 120GB in the Premium model. Just dump the Elite. There's no reason for it really (and I have an Elite).

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        April 28, 2008 1:25 PM

        it'd still be viable, just look at the xbox originals.

        but even if it wasn't, they'd sell more peripherals in the 120GB hard drive.
        that can't be the reason they are denying it. THEY LOVE SELLING PERIPHERALS.

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        April 28, 2008 1:40 PM

        I don't understand why they don't release a bigger one, one like 60 gig. Right now there is too big a discrpenacy between the 20gig and 120gig. A more middle ground HDD would help.

        The HDD-less Arcade version is an abortion of a console needs to be killed, too. It's hurting games.

        • reply
          April 28, 2008 4:51 PM

          I have two words:

          price points.

          Microsoft is trying to increase the numbers of consoles sold. Whereas a mid-point HD might appeal to all of us (meaning readers of this site), that doesn't mean that enough people will purchase it for it to be economically viable in Microsoft's eyes. I would think that one of the major selling points (especially in Microsoft's eyes) is that anyone who buys a 360 can play every arcade game available. This does one thing, surely.

          It makes XBLA more viable to a specific demographic (those who buy 360s but not a lot of major releases, don't use the console to store any data).

          You still have a good point though. I believe that as long as the no-HDD units are available, it is very unlikely that you will see large XBLA releases. I think it makes Microsoft a bit slower in adopting and implementing new ideas with the console. That's definitely a bad thing.

    • reply
      April 28, 2008 1:13 PM

      SF2 HD remix was not changed in any way due to the file limit, which was lifted anyhow. They changed the art style a little in favor of being able to release the game sometime this year, as it was taking entirely too long painting in the older HD style. It was a streamlining of the production process, not a file size restriction.

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