You like Braid? We like Braid. Loads of people like Braid, in fact, as it's doing all kinds of excellent things to the Xbox Live Arcade sales charts at the moment. Yet creator Jonathan Blow isn't busting out the high-fives and popped corks just yet: he said earlier in the week the game still had some selling to do to get him out of the red. Seemed an odd thing to say at the time, but now we know why: Braid's told the Wall Street Journal that he sunk an estimated $180,000 of his own money - over a three year period - into the project, which if true makes it surely not just one of the most expensive indie projects of all time, but one of the ballsiest. Time Out of Mind [WSJ, via GameSetWatch]
Btw, 70/30 number is for publisher only! lets say you distribute your XBLA game through EA, then EA got 70% and MS got 30%... You get whatever deal you've got with EA.. But in this case, the ratings, localization, etc will be handled by EA..
If you distribute your game independently, MS will give you 35% to 45% royalty based probably on sales. The rate is lower because MS would handle the ratings, etc..
If you act like a publisher and want to take that 70% royalty, then you must be able to handle all the 'grunt work' yourself.. which aren't easy to do.
So no... MS don't take 70%. The article at gamesetwatch doesn't mention it anywhere. Just click on the Jake Simpson link on the gamesetwatch article to get a better explanation.