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The Financials of Xbox Live 35

Posted by Zonk
from the bucks-from-points dept.
Via GameSetWatch, a post exploring the cost and payoff from an Xbox Live game. From the article: "Let's say you are a publisher or a developer that is able to fund your own development, so, a $10 game (800 Gamer Points) would net you $6.50, or 120,000 units * $6.50 per unit = $780,000. Again, if you are a starving Indie developer this sounds like an infinite amount of money. But, in the world of publishers, this is not considered a big hit."
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The Financials of Xbox Live

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  • by MBraynard (653724) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @06:48PM (#16141884) Journal
    Want to eventually be a super dev but don't have the budget to fund your dream project?

    Sell your car and raise some money from friends and make a cell phone game. Or a portal game. Or now an XBL game. Make enough money from that to make another two causal games. Next you can do maybe a budget title with a respectable publisher.

    Do a good job, you have self-generated the capital to do the blockbuster.

    Yeah yeah, money isn't everything in making a great game, but it sure helps a lot when you have an expansive vision that requires artists, writers, programmers, etc.

  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @06:57PM (#16141947)
    This article refers to a Xbox Live Arcade game. Not a regular game that happens to support Xbox Live.
    • by MeanMF (631837)
      Not pointless at all...there's a HUGE difference between an Xbox Live Arcade game and a standard Xbox 360 title. The headline should be changed.
  • Just got done shelling out $10USD for Defcon [everybody-dies.com] on the PC. I would not have paid $50-30 for it, which is usually what the going rate is for shelf space. Also an indie as far as I know. If it goes well, may buy more games that way.
    • by snuf23 (182335)
      It's listed as $17.50USD - how did you get it for $10?
      • by (H)elix1 (231155)
        Look for it on Steam. Logging in for a quick game of CS:Source, and they listed it for 9.95USD if you buy it before they release it (end of this month).
    • by MarkAD88 (971843)
      That game looks pretty nice. I couldn't find a demo, only a "demo coming soon" announcement. Do you have any idea when the demo is supposed to be released?
    • "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?"
  • Will Nintendo release a (free?) devkit to make Nintendo Wi-Fi games (for the Wii and/or the DS)?

    Since they'll already have the setup in place to sell games for console emulators, why not indie games too?
    • Will Nintendo release a (free?) devkit to make Nintendo Wi-Fi games (for the Wii and/or the DS)?

      Since they'll already have the setup in place to sell games for console emulators, why not indie games too?

      I agree. The concept of the virtual console just begs for low-cost development of more casual games, which is precisely the crowd Nintendo is going for. Alas, I don't think they've announced anything like that yet, focusing more on the retro titles that many fans are looking for first (old NES, SNES, N64 gam

      • by steveo777 (183629)
        I've been thirsting to play or develop some SNES or better sprite-based games. My brother and I used to dream of making them, but then harsh reality kicked in and we both worked in a warehouse/retail/office grunting stuff for the last 7 years. I went to college for a couple years for computer science, but frankly, I sucked at it.
      • by Flame0001 (818040)
        I don't have a link, but Nintendo _has_ said that they are supporting indie developers with the Virtual Console. And the devkit costs MUCH less than a Sony/Microsoft devkit. You know, cheap enough to where an indie would buy it, but keep those that truly don't have the desire to make games out.
    • by grumbel (592662)

      Will Nintendo release a (free?) devkit to make Nintendo Wi-Fi games (for the Wii and/or the DS)?

      We have to wait and see, so far there hasn't been any indication that they will, beside of course their talk on E3 2005 (on Wii big idea will triumph over big money, or something like that), that however might just be natural, since the Wii isn't released and final devkits havn't been around for long. Things might change if the Wii actually got released.

      On the plus side however the Wii will come with Opera b

  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @08:41PM (#16142662)
    The way I see it, development costs work out this way by console from most expensive to least expensive:
    1. PS3, Cell Processor and 25 GBs of space on a disc. PS3 owners are going to expect a lot of pre-rendered high definition content for the $599 they are shelling out.
    2. Xbox 360, high defintion console with DVD-ROM
    3. Wii, standard definition console
    4. Xbox 360 Arcade, games are less than 64 MB each

    I think Microsoft should allow games that are as large as 512 MB. The larger games could cost $15 to $25. This would fill out the spectrum between 30 MB fun Arcade games all the way up to multi-DVD RPGs. You would need a hard drive for the larger games which most Xbox 360s have and the Core Xbox 360 owners can always add one if they want to purchase the intermediate games. There are a lot of games that really need to be a few hundred megabytes to be worthwhile, but would have a hard time fighting it out on store shelves. Niche games such as adventure games would be pretty cool.

    I think a lot of developers will want to produce Arcade titles. Low cost development, no need to deal with retailers other than Microsoft, no advertising costs and everyone with a Xbox 360 can see your title available for purchase. There is also the advantage that Xbox 360 owners don't even have to go to the store to buy your title on a whim.
    • by ddt (14627) <ddt@davetaylor.name> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:41PM (#16143295) Homepage
      Actually, 50Mb is plenty because of ProFX (http://www.profxengine.com).

      Check out RoboBlitz (http://www.roboblitz.com).

      It's the first Unreal Engine 3 game coming for Xbox Live Arcade.

      Procedural textures are your friend. :)
      • Impressive visuals for something about 50 MB. I still think that there may be reasons to lift the 64 MB cap, but you do make a good point. The bigger implication: why does the PS3 need a Blu Ray drive again? I guess if you insist on pre-rendering everything or you are trying to piggyback a Blue Ray install base on the PS3.
        • by cthellis (733202)
          I guess if you insist on pre-rendering everything or you are trying to piggyback a Blue Ray install base on the PS3.

          A) Procedurally generating everything is about as common as... oh... something extremely uncommon among developers right now.

          B) They are. 8-P
          • Here's a good example [theprodukkt.com] of procedurally-generated content. A basic fps in 96k.
          • by unDiWahn (599102)
            I'm guessing that the grandparent meant pre-rendering as in FMV clips, rather than using the in-game rendering engine for cutscenes. It is pretty common to use the engine for movies. Only games like Final Fantasy still use pre-rendered content, although I'm not really complaining -- they're a lot prettier.
      • by wedgewu (701989)
        Oh wow, Roboblitz is coming to the arcade? Time to drop some pianos on some people... :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by trdrstv (986999)
      I think Microsoft should allow games that are as large as 512 MB.

      The reason MS put a cap at 50 MB per live game is they sell a 64 meg memory card. They want all users to be able to buy at least 1 game, and have room for save files. It also doens't hurt that with a 50 meg cap you can buy/store a crap load on the 20 gig Hard drive.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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