XNA Games Don't Sell, Don't Make Money [Update]

Illustration for article titled XNA Games Don't Sell, Don't Make Money [Update]

Much was made of Microsoft's attempt at gestating a user-created gaming platform on the 360 with their Community Games service. But six months on from launch, how well is it faring?

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Here's a hint: not very.

Statistics for the service's games have been made available (and then collected by GamerBytes), showing how many times a game has been trialled, how many times it's been bought, and how much money it's made, both as total revenue then as how much the developer earned after Microsoft took a cut.

And those statistics are none too healthy. The "conversion rate" (ie the ratio of demos to purchases) is low, revenues for low sales are low, and earnings for the developer are even lower. Only three games cleared $5000.

Sure, this isn't a business. It's not meant as a rival to Xbox Live Arcade, nor as a means for these developers to make a living. But still, $5000 (at most) for a game that would have taken months to put together is a pretty poor return. And not a single game breaking the 4000-sale barrier, even at discount prices, is pretty poor as well.

What do you think's wrong with it? Pointless service, or just a poorly advertised one?

GamerBytes Analysis: XNA Community Games Sales Data Revealed [GamerBytes]

UPDATE - The developers behind Word Soup - an XNA game not listed on Gamebyte's chart - have contacted us to let us know that not every game has been a dud. Their title, released not long after the Community Games service went live, has earned $45,765 ($32,035 for the developer), and has been downloaded 46,405 times.

DISCUSSION

Partially it's not advertised properly whatsoever. The other problem (for me anyways) is that the trial version of the games are 5 minute timelimits (even if you're just sitting at the menu or doing a tutorial). I mean, The Pit, seemed pretty cool. but then the first tutorial says that if the game jumps out because its a trial version that i can jump back in and be able to skip that tutorial. they had to add a bit into the game to allow for that retarded time limit. it's whats kept me from really trying anything else.