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Shank Dev Takes A Swing At Xbox LIVE's Summer Of Arcade

Matt Gardner
GDC 2011, Klei Entertainment, Microsoft, News, Summer of Arcade, Xbox Live

Shank Dev Takes A Swing At Xbox LIVE's Summer Of Arcade

Following on from Team Meat's words decrying Microsoft's lack of support and capability as a download publisher, Klei Entertainment, the developer behind last year's side-scrolling action-fest Shank, have stepped into the ring to take a swing at box LIVE's Summer of Arcade, suggesting that the two week promotion is actually somewhat detrimental to wider developmental success on the platform.

Klei's Jamie Cheng criticised the intensive 'king-making' aspects of the current system at a GDC presentation yesterday:

One of the flaws [on Xbox LIVE] is the king making – the Summer of Arcade frenzy. [...] If I got on it it – great, I'm not going to complain, but... it's king making, that's what it is. It's a huge boost but everything around it falls to the side and you have to do whatever you can to pull yourself back up.

I think it's a double-edged sword. It's a dangerous thing to rely so much on king making - all these promotions where it's focussed on this two week period. You really need to spread it out so everyone can win.

During the presentation, Cheng went on to call for a reformation of 'recommendation systems' on both MS and Sony's platforms, charging the marketplace curators with a responsibility towards providing the tools to allow for more games to be 'organically found'.

This week in no way marks the first time Microsoft has come under fire for their marketing practices, or lack thereof; and, with more and more studios turning towards smaller arcade releases in between larger projects - Double Fine being a perfect example of this - and an increase in independent development, it's certainly not the last we'll hear on the matter.

Last year's Summer of Arcade promotion featured Limbo, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Monday Night Combat and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.

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