Do Xbox Live Marketplace Games have Problems?

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I came across an article the other day on Wired, titled “Microsoft: Don’t Cut Off the Long Tail”. In the article, Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten said that Microsoft will soon begin to delete some Xbox Live Arcade games from the service. Says the article:

The rationale is, to put it nicely, paper-thin: To “focus on quality over quantity” and “make it easier to find the games you are looking for. Unless, of course, the game you’re looking for is the one that’s been deleted.

I’d argue they need to make it easier to find the games that you’re looking for. They also need to make it easier to find the games you’ve already purchased should you change machines you are using. The author is also noting that Microsoft has no plans to continue to support games that are being shut out from the Xbox Live marketplace. I think this is a really bad move. Even if they refunded my money… it still kinda sucks.

One of the games they are considering dropping is Asteroids Deluxe. Just because it’s not as popular as a game on the Marketplace like Zuma, doesn’t mean they should get rid of it. There are some die-hard Asteroids fans. If I want to play Asteroids, I just go to it. What are they going to do when they pull it? Will they let me download it to play indefinitely? Are they just going to cut it off and make all of us fans of the game suffer without it? Microsoft hasn’t made it clear yet what is actually going to happen.

It’s a good idea for them to focus on quality. They need to focus on more high-quality content, yes. But, that said, it’s all about creating choice as well as quality. Even if only 500 people pay for a particular game… why would you get rid of it? It’s still something that there is a demand for, and money is being made for, no matter how small. I just don’t understand not allowing us access to games we may love. I like having the games I’ve bought, or I wouldn’t have bought them. To take that away casts a shroud of doubt about downloading games as a whole.

It’s a big black eye, in my opinion. If anything, leave us our old games that we love… and focus more on quality of games for future releases. What are your thoughts, everyone? What will you do if one of the games you’ve paid for and love is one that may be yanked?

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7 thoughts on “Do Xbox Live Marketplace Games have Problems?”

  1. I’m here just shaking my head, thinking how can they do that. It’s just not fair. When I buy a bit of software, I should be able to use it for how long I want, no matter if I’m the only person still using it. I paid for it, I should be able to determine when it is on no use to _me_, not Microsoft dictating when. I am customer not a sheep.

    How can Microsoft do this you ask. Well, have a look at the recent phase out of Windows XP, Doc formats, and a whole lot other stuff. They have done this so many times that this story doesn’t surprise me at all.

  2. They’re just removing them from the marketplace. If you already purchased it you can still play it/re-download it (in previous downloads). You can also recommend it to a friend who can download it. All Microsoft is doing is removing it from list and putting it behind the scenes, it will still be on the server to download. I’m pretty sure that’s what ‘e’ and ‘major nelson’ said a couple of weeks back on Major Nelsons podcast.

    -Noel

  3. Well, I’m personally don’t play much console games anymore, I pretty much play only guild wars and world of warcraft.
    I sometimes do get really interested on getting some of them, but I just don’t have time to play them or even the money to buy them xD.

    Anyway, yeah, guess that was kinda of a bad move from xbox live, hm..about quality… I don’t actually think removing games from arcade increases quality, they can just add ratings (if they don’t alrready have, I’ve never used xbox live at all).

  4. I really dont think they are out of line. The games both have to have a less than 6% of people getting it or less than 6% score on metacritic

  5. Removing games doesn’t “increase quality”, but it lets the other games Microsoft considers (and of course they are judging by users who play it or user ratings) “quality”.

    Apparently they are not just taking it out of the store; removing choices does not help them at all. I assume they have categories of games (I have never touched an Xbox), so maybe these games would just show up in searches and perhaps in some categories.

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