World of Goo developer Ron Carmel recently claimed that developers were losing interest in Xbox Live Arcade, citing difficulties working with Microsoft and its digital platform. Rudolf Kremers, designer of Eufloria, agrees, saying it would be "impossible" to publish on Xbox Live. "For Microsoft the cost would be prohibitive, as they had all sorts of mandatory features. Multiplayer and the like," Kremers explained. "And of course you have to use their QA..."
"The cost picture would be so prohibitive that self publishing would be impossible."
Kremers was contacted by all of the platform holders, after finding initial success with the Dyson prototype. However, publishers were seeking to buy the IP, something Kramers would never agree to do. The only option was to self-publish, something that Sony would help make possible due to its Pub Fund program. "One of the qualities of the pub fund is that it’s a viable avenue for micro teams like ourselves," Kremers told PSNStores. "Microsoft don’t have that anymore."
Sony recently announced a commitment of $20 million to secure PlayStation Network exclusives, like Eufloria, through its Pub Fund program. This will allow developers to self-publish, without having to give up their IP.
Kremers would have loved to put the game on Xbox, of course. But the options were limited. "They have XBLIG, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish when it comes to revenue." Cthulu Saves the World developer Zeboyd Games recently lamented the fact, noting that one week of sales on Steam exceeded an entire year on Microsoft's indie platform.
Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Eufloria dev says self-publishing on Xbox Live is 'prohibitive'.
Yet another indie developer talks about the difficulties of working with Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade platform, and explains how Eufloria ended up on PSN.
Microsoft is milking the cow so hard that it will probably end killing it. :/
I used to defend them.. but I seem to be hearing stuff like this more and more. I guess if these cool indie games continue to skip the 360 for the PS3 I will have to speak with my dollars and finally buy a PS3 and start playing on that instead.
I can't help but think a little more QA would have helped Eufloria. It was a fun game, but not up to the standards of an XBLA title. On Steam two subsequent patches had the horrible side effect of wiping out all player progress in the game. Granted, this is an indie dev, but Microsoft doesn't want gamers on their system to have to deal with this type of mistake.
People lost hours and hours of progress... twice. THIS is the reason that Microsoft requires a more rigorous QA process than Valve/Steam.
Eufloria is a great game, truly. However, myself and many other would have appreciated an outside QA team taking a look at this before the patch was uploaded to Steam.
See this if you don't believe me: (http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1621591)