Where’d that gravy train go?

I was somewhat expecting this, but if you’ve been on XBLCG recently, you may have noticed that Tank Strike has fallen in popularity. Sad but true, it just couldn’t stay grasped onto it’s spot in the top 10! After about 2 weeks of decent sales, things are starting to slow down. I’m now going at about 20-25 purchases for the past few days as Tank Strike falls lower on the popular games list. Once it’s off that list, it probably will get little to no sales because it’s too hard to find games on XBLCG that aren’t featured in some way or another.

XBLCG definitely wasn’t a bad experience, it’s just… difficult. The top of the service is controlled by applications because of their uniqueness to the service. Even if an application isn’t necessarily selling well (low conversion rate) they tend to get a high download rate for trials for people who want to see something weird/different on their machines. More eyeballs, even with a low conversion rate, means more sales and more trials, which keeps these unique applications at the top.

In the end I suppose that these apps if they can stay at the top deserve their position, but it has had a polarizing effect on people. Some see XBLCG not as a place for new and innovative games, but a place where people put non-game applications, which may scare away people looking FOR games. It’s hard for a gamer to find something “good” in a game because the popular list doesn’t hold many games usually. There are some cheap gems in the mix of XBLCG, but they don’t tend to sit at the top of the service’s popularity charts, and thus are hard to find amongst a lot of less than stellar titles. At the same time, these apps offer something unique to XBox, because there are no disc-based games or xbox Live arcade games that replicate similar functionality, and their popularity may attract more people to XBLCG as a whole. Apps do well in part because they don’t NEED to compete with high-quality games from big studios. They have found a nieche that they fit into quite nicely,  and finding that unique nieche is part of being a good businessman. As I’ve said before, you can’t compete with the AAA’s head on pound for pound, because they outweigh you and you’ll lose. Apps are here to stay on XBLCG and making the right one can be profitable. Game makers on XBLCG will just need to deal with that, one way or another.

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