Posted on May 22, 2008, Chris Xbox Live Arcade Games Could Potentially be Delisted — Why?
Okay, we’ve already received the bad news that there won’t be any spring dashboard update this year. To make matters worse, Xbox Live GM Marc Whitten also revealed a new policy to Next-Gen that would allow Xbox Live Arcade games to be delisted from the service if they fail to meet certain criteria.
Whitten confirmed that the XBLA size limit has been increased to 350 MB and that the 1600 Microsoft Points price point has been opened (which we saw this week with the Penny Arcade game‘s release), but also explained that Xbox Live Arcade games that have an average Metacritic score of 65 and a conversion rate (which indicates users decided to purchase the game) below 6% after six months on the service would be removed.
Yes, that’s two pieces of criteria that need to be met, but several things immediately come to mind, regardless. Number one: including Metacritic is a horrible, horrible idea. Not all reviewers conform to the “7 is average” scale, which means that reviews that give a score saying it’s an above-average “6″ could potentially be dragging the game below the 65 average threshold. (Yes, I know I recently pointed you to Metacritic in regards to Haze, but that was so you could be linked to a number of reviews, not see what the aggregate score was.)
Next, why is this even necessary? Whitten said, “While the service has had a lot of success and now boasts over 130 titles, we think it is time to continue our focus on quality over quantity.” But why do these games even need to be removed from the Xbox Live Marketplace? I can understand their motivation for wanting to focus the spotlight on better selling games, but why can’t these games somehow be archived? What happens if I’m the owner of one of these games and I have to delete it for some reason?
“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,” Whitten explained. But why should some developers and gamers essentially be punished because others might not find a game entertaining or worth purchasing?