Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, July 25, 2011

Steam Kicks Xbox Live Butt

He may save the world, but not with his Xbox 360.
Developers have to pick their targets for development. Sometimes their target choice is dictated by what they know or love, but ultimately it's a business decision: Which platform will make us the best return on our investment of time and money?

Here's an interesting data point: Independent developer Zeboyd Games had put out a couple of titles on Xbox Live's Indie Games services, Cthulhu Saves The World and Breath of Death VII. After some 18 months on XBLA, Zeboyd Games ported those games to PC and put them up on Steam. The result? In less than a week on Steam Zeboyd had more revenue from those games than after 18 months on XBLA.

Gee, I wonder where their next game will appear first.

If Microsoft has visions of catching up to Steam with their Windows Live service, they might have to rethink their plans. Apparently Microsoft is planning to integrate Xbox Live with Windows Phone 7 and the upcoming Windows 8, to make one big happy gaming community across platforms. Seems to me it won't matter much if they can't figure out how to sell games. Of course, indie games on XBLA don't get any achievements or promotion, and most Xbox Live customers probably aren't even aware they exist.

Sometimes, though, those little developers become big publishers. And they remember how they were treated. And they often tell other developers, too.

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