Xbox Live Arcade lags behind other digital distribution services like Steam, according to the developer of Braid, Jonathan Blow. Speaking to The Penny Arcade Report, Blow said that pricing was among the things making XBLA difficult to work with.
"If I go to Steam I can sell a game for $25, but if I go to Xbox Live Arcade I can’t,” Blow said in an interview with The PA Report.
“In fact, the contract says I can’t control the price at all. That artificial channeling is sort of making their platform inhospitable for certain kinds of games.”
Blow also highlighted issues with XBLA's user interface, pointing out that Steam is miles ahead compared to the Live Arcade platform.
“Steam already has a good interface," he said.
"You can find games, there’s community stuff on there, it has recommendations… you compare that to Live Arcade, which is the best console digital experience by a wide margin, and Steam is still way better, which is crazy."
“The other thing is Valve is not stopping. Microsoft mostly stopped, and now they’re f*cking around with the Kinect UI. Who cares about that? Does anyone use that?”
Blow explained that on a recent tour of Valve 's studio, he met with the studio's engineers. When he asked if it was possible for them to do certain things to Steam, the engineers put it on a to-do list.
"It's the complete opposite of Microsoft bureaucracy, which is 'we can't do that, it's not how the Xbox works'," he said.
Blow believes that XBLA will not be able to compete with Steam even if they implement the features that Steam current has.
"Even if Live Arcade targets Steam’s current features, which are way better than what they have, they’re still aiming for where Steam was, they’re not skating to where the puck is going to be," he said.
What do you think of what Jonathan Blow has to say about XBLA? Does it fall short compared to Steam? What digital distribution services do you believe to be superior? let us know!