Fun Infused Games' Kris Steele, the man behind the acclaimed Hypership Out Of Control, has slammed Microsoft's recent Metro dashboard update, criticising the difficulty in even finding the Xbox LIVE Indie Games tab and suggesting that the update is responsible for leading to a perceived stagnancy in XBLIG market growth.
"Ultimately I do not believe the XBLIG market is growing," he said on his blog, before presenting a graph showing the first day and first week trial downloads for six games since late 2009. It's replicated below, but the point is clear.
"I believe these numbers show that [there's not growth]. I believe the biggest factor is Microsoft's burying of XBLIG."
"I would expect similar or slightly better sales numbers if all other factors were equal. The original game was downloaded 374 more times the first day of release and 1506 more times over the first full week. The first full week of Hypership Still Out of Control trial downloads was barely as much as the first day of Hypership Out of Control downloads."
It's not a perfect science, of course, but the figures back up what a number of developers have been complaining about regarding Metro, parodied superbly in Nathan Fouts' Game Type. We had trouble finding the Indie Games tab the first time we fired up and can sympathise. The lack of promotion (considering it's still a USP for the service), the poor signposting and the fact that the actual 'Games' tab itself is several clicks away, none help matters particularly. [Kris Steele]