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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