The Splatters developer speaks on the difficulties of the XBLA marketplace
Speaking to VentureBeat, SpikySnail Games Studio founder, Niv Fisher, has commented about the struggles that indie developers encounter when marketing their games on XBLA.
In particular, the developer of XBLA game The Splatters claims that the marketplace has gotten “tougher in the last couple of years, with a few titles getting lots of promotion, exposure and sales, and the rest are getting hit pretty hard.”
Fisher argues that Microsoft can do much to address the issue, particularly with regard to the current dashboard. “I feel the current dashboard just doesn’t work well as a storefront, especially if you want to encourage discovery or diversity,” explains Fisher.
“Games are hard to find, there’s no friend-recommendation system, and lots of the store promotional space goes toward non-game applications – and now, also downloadable retail games. Sales are usually poorly promoted, and dashboard placement is sold and bartered with. Small developers like us have very little to offer here and are often left on their own.”
Although The Splatters reviewed fairly well, Fisher believes its moderate sales were reasonable “considering the circumstances.” Its inclusion in the 12 Days of Xbox sale saw The Splatters‘ best-selling day since its release, which Fisher says, “just goes to show the power in-dashboard promotion has over everything else, including reviews or media coverage.”