In a move to trim down the “growing — and even intimidating — list of XBLA titles” Microsoft has announced that they plan to start pulling titles from the service that score a Metacritic rating of less than 65 and have a conversion rate of less than 6% (That is, less than 6% of players who downloaded the trial versions converted to the full version).
At first glance this seems like a good idea. There are currently 130 arcade games available on the XBox Live Marketplace and I’ve found less than half of the demos I’ve downloaded to be worth purchasing. However, this presents a problem for the Cult Hit. 6% may seem like a small number, but with the XBox 360 approaching 20 million units sold, the number starts to get a little more daunting.
I think the idea has more flaws than merits. Being a digital distribution service, combined with the fact that Microsoft puts file size limitations on these games, it’s hard to make an argument that they might need the space. They’re certainly not taking up any shelf room. Instead of blaming a cluttered game list on copious amounts of arcade games Microsoft should instead think about redesigning their XBox Live Marketplace to accommodate for higher quantities of products. Perhaps the thought of a “Search” option never occurred to them.
See Also: Long Tail Economics
[ Wired ]
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