Zeboyd Games recently generated quite a bit of revenue with the release of Cthulu Saves The World and Breath of Death VII on Steam, so much so that it made more money in its first week of release on the popular online distributor platform than it did over a year and a half on Xbox Live Indie. Co-founder Robert Boyd believes that XBLI is a good stepping stone, but unless Microsoft does more to promote quality games, indie devs are more likely to jump ship to something more profitable.
"XBLIG is a great solution for new developers. It's cheap, easy to learn, and has a great community of people that are willing to help each other, " Boyd said to Edge. "However, from a perspective of actually making good money, I do not believe it is a viable platform. The greatest strength and greatest weakness of the service is that it's the most open platform we've ever seen on any home console. Just about anyone can release an XBLIG title, and just about anyone does. As a result, the service has got a reputation for being full of garbage."
"XBLIG basically has the low price expectations and flood of product that the Apple App Store has, combined with the low visibility of Nintendo's digital stores - it's no wonder most titles sell poorly. Greater visibility for the high-quality titles on the service would be a great help."
"I believe Microsoft always intended for XBLIG to be a stepping stone for new developers: prove yourself on XBLIG and then find real success on XBLA," he explains. "The problem is that right now it is more of a stepping stone to finding success on other platforms like the PC and mobile markets, and not on the Xbox 360 itself. Microsoft should be doing more towards making Indie Games a scouting ground for future talent."
However, regardless of Boyd's concerns for XBLI, he believes that without the reputation they earned from releasing their games on the service, it would've been a lot more difficult to get approval on Steam.
"Without the experience and positive reputation that we gained from making XBLIG titles I believe it would have been much more difficult to get approved for Steam."
He adds that while he has no plans to stop releasing titles on XBLI, the success seen on Steam has made the PC platform a much higher priority for the indie dev: "the PC has definitely become a priority for us"¦I would not be surprised if we ended up as a PC-only developer at some point in the future."