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Dev: XBLA no longer king as developers abandon platform

8:40 AM on 10.04.2011 // Jim Sterling

Xbox Live Arcade was once the place to be for new digital titles hoping to get noticed. However, as Microsoft's allegedly poor treatment and exclusivity requirements continue in the face of stiff competition, World of Goo developer 2D Boy believes the platform's dominance is over. 

2D Boy polled over 200 indie developers and discovered that people just aren't as enamored with XBLA as they used to be. While only half of the studios responded, they were companies said to hold higher Metacritic scores and superior sales than average companies -- in other words, some of the XBLA's heaviest hitters provided their thoughts, and the results seem to show that devs are moving away from Microsoft and embracing rival platforms on PS3 and PC.

"XBLA played a pivotal role in the popularisation of independent games," said 2D Boy's Ron Carmel. "Microsoft proved that indie games can be million-sellers on consoles, and then sat on its laurels for half a decade as more nimble and innovative companies like Valve and Apple took the lead ... XBLA is no longer the king it used to be. Microsoft is no longer in a position to demand exclusivity now that PSN has more developers and is growing, while XBLA is losing developers."

Sounds about right. The likes of Team Meat have already embraced PC as their platform of choice, and the PS3 has had some impressive digital efforts with games like Flower and the upcoming Journey. XBLA was once the place to be seen, but the indie set don't find it quite so trendy anymore. 

Is XBLA Past Its Prime? [2D Boy]

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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