Schafer: The Xbox LIVE Exodus

In 2011, World of Goo developer 2D Boy said that Xbox LIVE Arcade had "peaked", with its popularity among developers dropping due to the platform being "excruciating" to develop for. According to Double Fine Boss Tim Schafer, things have not changed.

Speaking to Industry Gamers, Schafer said that there continues to be a migration away from Xbox LIVE Arcade because the service is significantly more complicated to develop for than iOS and Steam

"I was hoping [2D Boy's blog post] would be a really, really eye-opening article for the console manufacturers... and I feel like it's been totally dismissed," Schafer said.

"I really think it's something they can't dismiss and they should really pay a lot more attention to because he's calling attention to a migration, an exodus of real creative talent away from those platforms to more open platforms, and I think they should do something quick to reverse that.

"Can you reverse an exodus? Is there a term for that? A redexus?"

Schafer said it's important for Xbox LIVE Arcade to heed the warning call because if developers leave the service in droves, so will gamers. He compared Xbox and PlayStation's services to Steam and iOS, saying that the latter services made it easy to distribute and update games whereas the former were much more difficult to work with.

"I like the Xbox and the PS3. I like Sony and Microsoft, but those systems are closed and curated very closely and it costs a lot more money to go through that system, to patch a game," he said.

"It makes me stressed out that if I put a game up there, I might not be able to patch it because it might cost too much money, whereas these more open platforms will let us manage our own price and our own updates. It's just a lot more appealing right now."

Schafer said that he wants services like Xbox LIVE to succeed because they offer developers and gamers with a fantastic creative outlet, but the service needs to act quick to address the concerns of developers.

"There are good games on both platforms. And that's the thing, is that I really believe in both those platforms, and I want them to succeed," Schafer said.

"So when you read an article about that, warning about the migration away from the platform, that's a shame and we want that not to be the case."

[Industry Gamers / Eurogamer]


    It always staggered me how little XBLA games outside of the big promotions ended up selling.

    I'm a self confessed 360 junkie - but it's becoming clearer to me that if I want to play some of the most innovative games coming onto the market then I need to spend more time on services like steam instead of Live. That's even more apparent in AU due to the missing indie games market.

    I wonder how many gamers really care about arcade and indie games being less available on XBL and PSN.

    A quick review of my friends on XBL and the games they have played shows that arcade and indie games make up a tiny proportion (not even 5%) of played titles.

    From a developers point of view I can understand there being concern about the way XBL and PSN operate. From a gamers perspective the lack of indie / arcade games on XBL and PSN will have no influence on the platforms appeal.

    After all who buys a PS3 to play indie games. You buy one to play Uncharted, Skytim, GTA 5 or any number of other "mainstream" games.

      I bought my 360 soley for the purpose of playing Castle Crashers and Geometry Wars, all the titles that I have bought (Gears franchise for example) are barely played

      Do love a bit of "Skytim". Though i prefer it on PC due to OMFG HD GFX DX11!

      That 5% isn't hat big, but is that cause or effect? I didn't even know that XBL had Indie games in the US til an article on it a few months back. Perhaps the reason it's only 5% is that there's only a rather small number of games on it, as opposed to say Steam.

      I just did an impromptu headcount on my console - I have 20 full XBLA games on there (ie: not trial version - but yes Trials HD) when Alan Wake and Trials Evo come out that'll be 22 - but I do note - unless you follow the gaming press it's very hard to know anything about XBLA - both my younger brothers had 360s years before I did (2010 onward) and yet neither knew about Trials HD! Imagine that for a second - that's because the only promotion of these games is basically preaching to the converted (ie: people who read things like this blog) whereas Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto is so well known they transcend into the casual space.

    This article seals the deal! Kotaku have a bias against Sony! Rabble rabble rabble!

    Honestly, this is can only be a good thing. I think Microsoft need a kick in the pants. They have the Indie Games channel thing and its on like the very last page or something. Deliberately hidden away where nobody could accidentally find it and spend money.

    That and of course, we Australians don't get it it all, but I think that's actually more the OFLC's fault (wait is that what the Australian rating dudes are called, or is that someone else?)

      The OFLC was dissolved in 2006, and became the Classification Board.

    It's unfortunate, Double Fine has said time and time again they've got patches made and ready to go for some of their older games that they can't release because of cost.

    only problem is that xbox live wants your money, good thing that eliminates that, worked with me!

    Have had PS3 since 2007... have not bought a single downloadable game.

    Have had 360 the same time - bought Fruit Ninja Kinect.

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