So, another week of absolutely nothing on XBLA. The complete mess of this “department” is becoming more and more obvious as the days go on… with the departure/firing of it’s head a few weeks ago and another exec leaving today.
So, what is the new PR spin that is coming out of the XBLA department? Why, it’s this wonderful video:
The two guys in the video are Tony Hynes and (my buddy) Chris Paladino. Their job is simply to deliver the news, good or bad – clearly bad news in this case.
They’re “community managers”, not XBLA folk, which means they post blog entries, interact with the podcasting/blog/general communities, etc… So it’s not like the people who made the video are in any way directly responsible for the news itself – only delivering it.
That said, I am very disappointed that there’s no release this week. I think what the XBLA team needs right now is to offer a little transparency into why exactly this happens, not to mention setting better expectations ahead of time.
In this case, they clearly asked for some backlash by giving the impression (implicitly, because they never said every week) that they’d be rolling out those recently-announced 10 titles in a consecutive barrage.
Of course MS wants to put these games out ASAP, so there’s obviously good reasons for the delays, probably related to the 3rd-party developers working on the titles or QA issues. They just need to shed some light on it, because otherwise you get the kind of “OMG WTF THEYR N00BS! I CUUD DO BETTER” nonsense found all over the net.
Oh, and if you read the text right above the video, they make very clear they’re just being silly with the video as a way to break the bad news. It also says they (the community managers) are trying to get more info, and that everyone involved is taking the situation seriously.
That’s what I’ve always heard. I guess that’s just more evidence, if you needed any, that MS isn’t making XBLA a priority. Which is just a huge mistake, because with more content on the order of Worms, SotN, and Settlers, XBLA could be a license to print money if managed properly.
I believe MS gets more along the lines of 30% of a XBLA games, for what it’s worth.
I’ve also heard that the XBLA team is really feeling the pressure from the gaming community right now, and it’s my understanding that they understand next week will be very important in the eyes of their audience. Let’s home that means we finally get one of the good games on the list.