In recent interviews with Edge and Eurogamer, the makers of Braid and Super Meat Boy expressed their frustration with developing for Xbox Live Arcade. As independent developers, taking on the heated business of console development on top of development costs is more stress than its worth, say the developers.
“The overhead cost of just developing for those consoles is insane,” explained Tommy Refenes from Team Meat. “It costs zero dollars to develop on Steam if you already have a computer. When you look at PlayStation and Xbox and Nintendo, you have to buy thousand dollar dev kits and pay for certification and pay for testing and pay for localisation – you have to do all these things and at the end of the day it’s like, ‘I could have developed for other platforms and it would’ve been easier.'”
On top of development costs, there are lawyers, fees and ambiguity to sort through that cause an equally overwhelming headache. Ed McMillen from Team Meat said that to bring his studio’s games to consoles, his team would need “some magical middleman who would just appear and do all of our business for us… We went in and found out what it was like to develop for a console and the reality is there’s no loyalty on either side and it’s a business. And when you step in to that business arena it goes from us making art and it turns into business.”
Brian Provinciano, the developer of Retro City Rampage, made an interesting revelation on Twitter recently: the PlayStation Vita version of his game sold more copies than its XBLA and PSN counterparts.
Indies should definitely jump onto the PS Vita. RCR's sold much more on PSN than XBLA and more on PS Vita than even PS3.
— Brian Provinciano (@BriProv) February 26, 2013
In surprisingly singing the praises of the struggling handheld as a viable platform for indie developers, he also took the opportunity to fire a few passive-aggressive potshots at XBLA.
Much has been made over the last seven years about the high cost of publishing, promoting and patching on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Arcade platform. Last week, G.Rev president Hiroyuki Maruyama (Strania: The Stellar Machine, Under Defeat HD) shared his own thoughts on the platform.
— ???? ???? (@hiro_maruyama) January 18, 2013
“A strong yen and a weak dollar is very damaging to us because XBLA and DLC are ‘export products.’ That’s why Japanese developers avoid making games for Xbox 360. When we released Strania on XBLA, the rate was 80 yen per dollar. (wry smile) If Japanese people buy our game in MSP, we receive in dollars!”
The dollar has strengthened since then, but the yen still has it beat, with the exchange rate currently sitting at 88.62 yen per dollar. Put in Xbox LIVE terms, 1600MSP ($19.99 US) retails at a rate of ¥2,240 ($24.94 when converted). When the percentage of the sales owed to content creators on a 1600 msp game is disbursed, Microsoft calculates based on $19.99 per copy (the US cost of the points), regardless of how much a consumer paid for the 1600MSP that enabled the purchase.
Update: According to Polytron, the update has been pulled by Microsoft.
The long awaited Fez update has finally surfaced but with a huge caveat that’ll spur people away. …
Welcome to our gigantic Fez completion guide! This guide will take you from no achievements to 12, zero g to 200g and we’ll take you there… delicately. Thanks to community member MRX93 for helping us ever so slightly here and there. Without further ado… we have to explain some things.
[Editors Note: We highly recommend not using this guide until you can’t go any further on your own. Fez is about exploring and getting lost. Polytron put it best when they said “play like the internet doesn’t exist”. That being said, we know many people will become frustrated and want help. This guide is written for them. Please use it only as an emergency cheat-sheet.]
There are two ways to complete Fez. Complete it like you’re playing it, and to complete it for the sake of completion. We here at XBLA Fans are aware of this and have set up our guide in accordance with the different types of Fez players.
We have taken great care to separate anything and everything that would be considered a spoiler. Our policy follows that any puzzle that requires knowledge acquired outside of the area to which the puzzle belongs (barring basic knowledge and specific sections) will be posted in the SPOILER ZONE. Each area has one, and each zone is marked very clearly in text and with pictures. Each picture hints at what the spoiler covers. Once you’re done with many areas and have accrued much knowledge you’ll want to come back and check each spoiler tag to see if you can now complete that puzzle.