Underperforming XBLA titles to be removed

mollipen

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Oct 7, 2005
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2 Minutes Turkish said:
While I don't think the idea of removing Arcade titles makes much sense, and correct me if I'm wrong here but....

Don't the Live arcade games take up server space? I'm not very technically minded when it comes to shit like this, but I can only assuem they don't want 'shit' games taking up what little space they take up no?

What other reason could there be?
Seeing that up until recently, the games had to be 50MB or under, uhm... I don't think that's a problem.

And, if it is, tell you what... I'll spring for a couple of Western Digital MyBooks for MS so that they don't have to get rid of under-performing XBLA games.
 

BlueTsunami

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Oct 10, 2005
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a Master Ninja said:
Big publishers don't want their games buried under lots of shit games when consumers scroll through the lists.
If thats the case, Microsoft could do something like link the games to Metacritic scores or something (exactly like Steam does).

Once again, Steam pwns everything
 
May 6, 2008
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shidoshi said:
Seeing that up until recently, the games had to be 50MB or under, uhm... I don't think that's a problem.

And, if it is, tell you what... I'll spring for a couple of Western Digital MyBooks for MS so that they don't have to get rid of under-performing XBLA games.
Believe me buddy, I'm not justifying. I think it's a pointless move also, I'm just saying, these games DO technically take up space, so I guess their rationale is..."Rather than have shit games no one buys taking up space(lol), let's get them off and have more room for good games".

Again, I'm not saying I agree, I'm just assuming that's the impetus behind it.
 

C4Lukins

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Feb 27, 2006
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I agree with others that say they should just put these games in a separate section from the main list. I understand why they want to do this. If you were to get a 360 today and check out the Live Arcade section, you have to look through a giant list of over a 100 games many of which are shit. It causes a lot of the better games to get lost in the shuffle.

Ideally they should make a top 25 reviewed list, a top 25 seller list, and then maybe a discount list and a new release list. Or just putting a user review rating beside the name of each game would be a good idea. It would promote better games and motivate companies to make better games. It is silly to just remove them totally though. Maybe there is a closet Bliss Island fan out there somewhere who will be left out in the cold.

Even looking at those 45 games at the bottom of the ratings list, I think very few of them probably would fit into this category to get axed. Many of the retro games in particular are among the best sellers on the service. Which only makes it seem even more crazy if you are only going to remove a dozen or so games, it is not going to suddenly make the service more navigable nor bring more attention towards the better games.
 

Mamesj

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Jul 30, 2007
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holy shit, MS can't spare 49 mb for a shit game? did someone just steal all the HDDs at MS headquarters or what?

The whole thing about digital distribution was that games wouldn't go away and become rare. Thanks for fucking that up MS.

The "clutter" argument sucks-- they need an overhaul of the search system on Live. Since XBL 360 went up, all they've done is add shitty categories rather than logical ones. They need an alphabetical option at the very least.
 

ATF487

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Dec 5, 2006
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Removing XBLA games is a terrible idea. It's already been explained why, but for fucks sake, sometimes I feel like I'd be a better fit for a job at microsoft than half the people there
 

Kandrick

GAF's Ed McMahon
Jul 18, 2007
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Overall I think you will find this will focus the catalogue more on larger, more immersive games and make it much easier to find the games you are looking for.
Ok now what the hell. The xbla part of the marketplace is really bad, they actually made it even more hidden/shitty in their latest update.

If you want us to find games easier, what about you do something about the xbla interface first ? I dont see why having lots of games would make it hard to find the one you want. But hey, lets delete half of the games!


/
/
"WHAT WERE THEY THINKING"
 

xbhaskarx

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-Space: Space is limited, maybe not on the XBL Marketplace itself, but it is on the calendar. The official XBLA thread is full of disappointment when we're waiting for one of the many highly-anticipated games to finally arrive and instead we get a mediocre game no one wants. The "just don't buy them" counterargument doesn't really work because XBLA is usually limited to just one game a week so the bad games actually are taking up valuable space by pushing back other games in the XBLA pipeline.

-Metascore: Unlike many here, I actually think Metascores are a fairly useful tool for consumers. Not when people argue over whether a 92 game is better or worse than a 88 game, but for the most part 80+ games are worth playing, and games below 70 are almost always not. But having said that, Metascores are least useful for XBLA and other small games, because most reviewers have no idea how to properly score them.

-Conversion rate: 6% seems like a low threshold, I'm sure all the popular games like Pac-Man will be safe.
Also, if I have friends who never play XBLA games and I set those 360s to automatically download them, I would be killing these games off? :lol

-I don't know how they did in terms of sales, but considering Microsoft was pushing the more kid-oriented games, would they really get rid of games like Boogie Bunnies, Shrek-N-Roll, Bliss Island, and Rocky and Bullwinkle?

-Not that I support this, but after looking at the list below, most of these are not games I would miss if they were removed from XBLA, and I buy a lot of XBLA games. Triggerheart Exelica is one, I think that sold poorly so it could be in trouble.


Some positives:
-Quality games will sell better if there is less junk to wade through (of course there are other ways to solve that problem).
-Broken games like Mr. Driller Online are more likely to get fixed in a timely manner.
-Games are more likely to get free content, as that would increase sales.
-It would reduce the number of crappy old games almost no one wants, like Tron.


10 games close to 65:
Galaga 2006 66
Wits & Wagers 2008 66
3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures 2007 66
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2007 66
Robotron: 2084 2006 65
Bankshot Billiards 2 2005 65
Feeding Frenzy 2006 65
Dig Dug 2006 65
Ms. Pac-Man 2007 65
Gauntlet 2005 65

55 games below 65:
Crystal Quest 2006 64
Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe 2007 64
Hardwood Hearts 2005 64
Texas Hold 'em 2006 63
Contra 2006 63
Marathon: Durandal 2007 63
Triggerheart Exelica 2008 63
Missile Command 2007 63
Time Pilot 2006 63
Track & Field 2007 63
Hardwood Backgammon 2005 62
Hardwood Spades 2005 62
Pac-Man 2006 62
Frogger 2006 62
Mad Tracks 2007 62
Root Beer Tapper 2007 61
Super Contra 2007 61
Geon: Emotions 2007 59
Soltrio Solitaire 2007 59
Arkadian Warriors 2007 59
TiQal 2008 58
Rush'n Attack 2007 58
Aegis Wing 2007 58
Defender 2006 58
Rocketmen: Axis of Evil 2008 57
Double Dragon 2007 57
Xevious 2007 56
Gyruss 2007 56
Asteroids / Asteroids Deluxe 2007 55
Battlestar Galactica 2007 55
Centipede & Millipede 2007 55
Boogie Bunnies 2008 54
Spyglass Board Games 2007 54
Brain Challenge 2008 54
Tetris Splash 2007 53
Ecco the Dolphin 2007 53
Battlezone 2008 52
Yie Ar Kung-Fu 2007 51
Wing Commander Arena 2007 51
Novadrome 2006 50
Shrek-N-Roll 2007 49
Mr. Driller Online 2008 48
Scramble 2006 47
Tempest 2007 47
Street Trace: NYC 2007 45
Discs of Tron 2008 44
TotemBall 2006 44
Word Puzzle 2007 44
New Rally-X 2006 43
Tron 2008 43
Bliss Island 2008 42
Cyberball 2072 2007 41
Screwjumper! 2007 40
Rocky and Bullwinkle 2008 37
Yaris 2007 17


Edit: removed non-XBLA games
TMNT 2007 58
Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 46
 

Ninja Scooter

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not to be an MS apologist, just throwing this out there, do publishers have to enter some sort of contract w/ MS to put their games on XBLA? Is it possible some of these games being removed is the result of licenses or contracts expiring and publishers not bother to renew them because the games sell like shit?
 

Pachinko

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It is awful stupid but it seems the wording of the quote would suggest that it's ultimatly up to the publisher of the game to decide weather it gets taken off or not.

Put me in the camp that says they need to make a dollar bin dumping ground. So you'd have standard marketplace where everything would come out brand new full price whatever it is (500 to 2000 points seems the average) then after 1 year those prices would be chopped in half regardless of their sales performance. If after 6 months it's sales are abysmal as described in the quote then it goes to 50% early. Finally If no one is buying it at half price or the game has been up for 24 months it goes into the 100 point grab bag. Once in the grab bag the games would stay there for 6 months until being removed for sale. They would then be transfered to the archive where if you'd purchased the games in question you could redownload them but they'd no longer be available for sale or listed anywhere else. MS could then pull a disney and occasionally open the vault to have "classic" games available for a limited time only before being sealed away again.
 

xbhaskarx

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BlueTsunami said:
If thats the case, Microsoft could do something like link the games to Metacritic scores or something (exactly like Steam does).
That's a good point, if Microsoft are going to rely on Metacritic scores, why not show the score next to a game so consumers can better make an informed decision?
 

jvm

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I was amused that this info came out the day that Gamasutra published my gedanken experiment on artificial scarcity for online game distribution. Basically, only give games a limited period at a higher price, and if they do well, bring them back periodically. (Think of how Disney handled their non-Pixar movies on VHS and later DVD.) If crap games don't sell, then cull them.

And then later in the day we find that Microsoft wants to cull crap games. Not quite the same as what I proposed, but the culling of crap games is amusingly similar.
 

Mario

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FFChris said:
But, is the $127K that taking into account that the $10 game gets a less than 6% demo to full game attach rate?
Yes.

That missing revenue would have been collected over the process of several years. Even crappy sales over the course of 2-3 years do add up to something meaningful. That is the beauty of the download model and what was previously consistent availability after all.
 

DuckRacer

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xbhaskarx, Sonic the Hedgehog on there is for the shitty 3D disc-based game. Sonic 1 arcade is at 77 or so.
 
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I just "upgraded" to the Elite, didn't bother with ordering a transfer cable and re-downloaded all of my content.

Obviously none of it works now offline, which doesn't bother me, but Sonic The Hedgehog(arcade) doesn't work even when I'm online. It just plays the trial version and no matter how much I delete and re-download or try to redownload it by unlocking the full game I can't get it to work.

So this DRM fix had better be applicable to non-service centre 360's, I imagine it would entail going through a website and adding you old Xbox's serial number and the new one, limiting the amount of times you could sign content from one 360 to another.

If I'd sent off for the transfer cable and used that, would the DRM be transferred to my Elite? Or would I be stuck in the same situation anyway?
 

TDG

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Feb 12, 2007
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I thought that one of the great advantages of DLC was that we could get unappreciated gems without searching through a bargain bin in a store for several hours. Not on XBLA I guess.

You know, as MS continues to cut corners with Xbox Live, and Xbox Live continues to die on a regular basis, I continue to wonder why I'm still paying $50 a year for it.
 

andthebeatgoeson

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Jun 7, 2004
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So, people (hardcore) will complain up a storm when their console dies and their arcade game is no longer available? Good job, MS. Find another reason for people to hate you. Hopefully, that's not how it'll work out.
 

Miniboss1232

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jvm said:
I was amused that this info came out the day that Gamasutra published my gedanken experiment on artificial scarcity for online game distribution. Basically, only give games a limited period at a higher price, and if they do well, bring them back periodically. (Think of how Disney handled their non-Pixar movies on VHS and later DVD.) If crap games don't sell, then cull them.

And then later in the day we find that Microsoft wants to cull crap games. Not quite the same as what I proposed, but the culling of crap games is amusingly similar.
Hey, that's a really interesting theory you've got there. I like it.

harSon said:
The overwhelming majority of games 'eligible' for removal seem to be half-assed old school remakes.
If we could be assured that it stops there, then that would be fine. But as you can see, they've already changed their policies once...
 
Feb 7, 2008
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Maybe they felt that crap XBLA games that they try to get you to pay for, would clash with the good community developed games that are going to be available for free?

I've got a feeling that the community content has a lot to do with this decision to slim down the arcade.
 

xbhaskarx

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A question for those who buy a fair number of XBLA games, which sub-65 games are you actually going to miss if they are removed?

(excluding relatively popular games that will not be taken away, like Texas Hold 'em, Contra, Pac-Man, Frogger)
 

Rorschach

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Butane123 said:
I just went to check to see if this was true or not (not that I don't believe you, but I was interested), but yeah, when I pushed delete, I got a blade that reads "GALAGA is not available from Xbox LIVE Marketplace. If you delete it, you will not be able to download it again."

Makes me sad for the future of digital distribution.
Wow...that's some bullshit... I wonder how many games have that already.
 

cheekymunky

Banned
Apr 5, 2006
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This is a fucking stupide move MS!!!



...all the shit my wife will actually play is on this list. Please don't discourage devs from making more puzzle games that are wife/gf friendly.
 

DCharlie

And even i am moderately surprised
Jun 7, 2004
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A question for those who buy a fair number of XBLA games, which sub-65 games are you actually going to miss if they are removed?
well, we'd only lose them if our X360 dies and we need to redownload.

But regardless, if i PAY for something then there are two things that should be possible :

1) i should be able to redownload it
2) i shouldn't have to log on to play what i've purchased

Also, why should the proles opinion of games affect what *I* choose to play or pay for? I can guarantee that there will be games i enjoy that will have poor metacritic scores : remakes of old european games for instance (i notice Speedball 2 on the sub 65 list).

If we lose these games, and i've paid for them, then I've basically lost a bunch of games from my collection. And i'm sure that the official stance will be "well, you only bought a license to play the game, we made no guarantees etc etc..."

I can't believe that MS are going to address the "having to be online" gripe (a MAJOR girpe of mine) and then combine it with something like removing games.

As someone says, just create a "pocket money games" category, or a Hyper Bargain category and just put them all at 100 points or something. If you are going to straight up remove them, surely getting SOME revenue is better than zero?

this would put them alomst at Itunes level pricing - i'm pretty sure you'd see a huge uptake on the old classics for a start.

E3 2008 Announcement

MS: "We have the best average on Metacritic among all consoles "
i was just thinking the exact same thing... :/
 

Z_Y

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Nov 15, 2006
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sneaky77 said:
While I agree that they should just make some separate bin for these titles, I am sure they have analized plenty of data to realize that there is no tail for some of these.

People are going crazy over it, and we don't know what titles are the ones that would get delisted, or if that means that if you bought it you won't be able to redownload it.

So I think people should chill instead of jumping to every conclusion possible..

I lol'd
 

Kafel

Banned
Dec 5, 2005
12,212
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What about the "we'll have more than 1000 games out at the end of 2008" if they start to remove them ?


XBLA is synonym of diversity for me. Also I want my 360 to be a jukebox of games : let me download shitty games if I want to try them.
 

bill0527

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Jul 21, 2004
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Has anyone answered what happens if my 360 hard drive blows up, or I upgrade to a larger hard drive, and I can't download my XBLA games that have been discontinued?
 

bigswords

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Nov 2, 2006
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bill0527 said:
Has anyone answered what happens if my 360 hard drive blows up, or I upgrade to a larger hard drive, and I can't download my XBLA games that have been discontinued?
Shit...you have a point.
 

Jonnyram

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Jun 8, 2004
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Their criteria for removing these games is fundamentally broken.

Metacritic scores below 65%:
1. A lot of these games are arcade classics which will naturally not fare well against newer games, but still have fans.
2. Games like Mr.Driller Online which were reviewed with borked online and got a bad review, but later online is fixed and the game is actually playable (hopefully).

Low conversion rate:
1. Games which are not available globally are often downloaded by free accounts and will NEVER be converted to the full version. Classic examples: Sensi Soccer, Tetris.

Also, I notice an awful lot of the existing 400pt titles would be affected by this move. I'm getting the feeling MS is getting pressure from developers to raise prices, and since the cheap classics are cockblocking the newer, fresh IP, this is their answer.

But there NEEDS to be a way for existing owners to redownload their games. Remove them for new users if that's what you please, but existing owners should never, ever lose the rights to the software they've bought. I'm already angry enough because my UK account expired and I can't play anything I bought with that any more (on my new console).
 

CrapSandwich

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Sep 10, 2006
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65 is an awfully high threshold as well considering these smaller downloadable games almost never score as well as retail releases. And when something brilliant like Space Giraffe is just a whisper away from being eligible for delisting, you know that this is a horrible, horrible idea.
 
Apr 12, 2007
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I'm not surprised that Microsoft might be talking about removing under-performing games. I just figured that the issue would first come up when the next XBox is about to be launched. This just re-enforces the fact that none of you have purchased a game from XBLA. You're simply renting it until Microsoft decides to pull the plug.

Some of you might argue that consumer backlash will encourage companies to keep games available. I think that companies will spend a lot of resources to set new gamers expectations so that the only people that will be bitching about losing access to purchased games are the same niche crowd that populates NeoGAF.

I have a bad feeling that the voices of hardcore gamers will be drowned out by the bahhing of all the mass market casual sheep.
 

Vyer

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May 21, 2006
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I wonder, if they had not announced this, and just started removing these really crap games slowly, how long it would have been before anyone noticed.
 

DCharlie

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Jun 7, 2004
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um, it looks like Nintendo have the casual market sewn up, so i'd think if they proceed to disengage the hardcore then they are -really- asking for trouble.
 

Z_Y

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bill0527 said:
Has anyone answered what happens if my 360 hard drive blows up, or I upgrade to a larger hard drive, and I can't download my XBLA games that have been discontinued?
That's the $64,000 question.