Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

December 7, 2012 -

Paul Johnson from UK-based developer Rubicon has deleted a scathing rant posted earlier today aimed at Windows RT and Microsoft claiming that his game Great Big War Game made just £52 from the Windows RT marketplace in its first week on sale. Johnson claims that the Windows RT port cost his company an estimated £10,000.

In a post on the company's official blog (which has been deleted and replaced with kinder words for Microsoft) Johnson slams Microsoft for burying his game within the marketplace and for the lack of support:

"A week after release we have made the princely sum of £52 in sales," he writes. "That's not a typo. And despite this, and the fact that GBWG is one of only several halfway decent launch titles, Microsoft have confirmed they will not give us any promotional features or help us with visibility in any way.

"If you're familiar with their new store, this means our app is forever consigned to the garbage bin, presumably earning us less than £52 a week in future. Even if that rate is sustained, it will take just under two years before we recoup the salary paid to the guy who did the port."

"We have wasted a lot of time, resources and money on supporting this platform and all that happened was we got spat on."

"Apple regularly promote our apps," he continued. "Android regularly promote our apps. Even RIM (Blackberry) regularly promote our apps. We enjoy working with those companies and it's nice to see them acknowledge that we bring them some small amount of additional value to their setup. Firms our size need a bit of a leg up, and we go out of our way to show our gratitude to the above for helping us out in this way from time to time.

"Microsoft on the other hand clearly do not value us at all. Even whilst there's almost nothing to promote, they will not feature our title for bizarre admin reasons. And this is whilst their store is empty and they need developers like us to fill their store far more than developers like us need them to pay us £50 a week."

Apparently the rant was read by someone at Microsoft who is now working with Johnson to make everything better. The comment above have been replaced with the following:

"If anyone already read this post, it has had a very positive effect and Microsoft have graciously decided work with us to iron out the problems and get us past this incident," said Johnson. "With a sense of fair play, I’m putting my grumpiness on hiatus and deleting the juicy bits. Which was all of it, sorry."

Source: GII


Comments

Re: Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

helping MS support a new platform... first mistake.

expecting MS to help support them.. second mistake.

 

tbh i'm moreso surprised MS have tried to help at all, but look what it took, public outlash.. go figure... dunno what RT is, and hopefully will never need to touch it. given their lack of ads that i even remotely care for on the xbox that i'm already pissing money on just to be advertised too, i'm not sure i'd even consider expecting them to advertise anything worth my time elsewhere.

Re: Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

Windows RT is Windows 8, but specialized to run on tablets. What makes it different from what is apparently an already heavily tabletized interface is a mystery to me.

Re: Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

The difference is that you can ONLY install from the windows store. That's it. It's an inferior version, end of story (and Win 8 is already terrible.)

Re: Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

ahh the next flop in MS's lineup. do they even really try anymore? or is this all some sort of joke to waste money on?

Re: Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

Nah, it's just part of the pattern. Windows 98 was good, ME was dogshit, XP was good, Vista was a pile of vomit, 7 was excellent, so basically everybody knew that 8 would cause rectal bleeding. I bet the OS after this knocks your socks off, though.

Re: Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

yeah i've noticed the pattern, and glad i wasn't the only one to see it.

but if they try to keep the stuff thats in Win 8 in whatever they call the next one.. well.. not sure how well anyone is going to take it.

i want my PC to be a PC, not a touchless tablet with crappy icons and a terrible star trek like knockoff theme to its design with "pinning" as the only way to truly customize my desktop.

granted i know 8 can sorta go regular desktop, but like with media centers quarky design that MS was trying to push before.. well... i'll pass...

Re: Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

So he's complaining that either

A. He isn't getting special treatment from Microsoft

or B. He didn't do any market research to realize that his game wouldn't sell much, which is something you should be doing if you're spending 10,000 pounds on a project.

Re: Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

Given their stats, i don't think they have trouble selling their game, and that their complaint is that it cost them 10,000 pounds to port and publish a game into a market that doesn't seem to sell many games.

Now if you meant market research into that specific marketplace, there doesn't seem to be any. You could read microsofts reasons why they think you should port your games there, but why would you trust that.

I read his complaint that he took a chance with porting to metro, failed, then realized there aren't any promotional tools to try to fix the problem after the fact.

 

Re: Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

Given their stats? Keep in mind I don't own any iOS devices, an Android phone/tablet, or have a Kindle Fire, but I've never heard of Great Big War Game before this article, nor Rubicon or any of their other games. On Windows 8 (not RT), the game doesn't even show up in the store. They didn't take a chance on porting to the Windows Store, they took a chance specifically and solely on Windows RT. You know, the version that no current Windows customer can upgrade their existing system to.

I finally got to Great Big War Game's entry in the Windows Sotre via the web version of the Windows Store via the developer's site. I saw a review in the full-screen store that pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter:

1 Star review: "Great Port of Great Game - Developers out of touch"
"No x86 version. The point of Windows 8 is to bring your apps and games to all the devices you have. Rubicon is missing the point. Having the ability to buy your game once (even at a higher price-point) and run it on any device has value to me as a customer."

There was a little more to the review, but the point is that Rubicon could have probably spent just as much in development (or who knows, maybe less) on a version that would have been compatible with ARM systems, x86 and 64-bit systems. Sort of like every other non-Desktop App game I've ever seen in the Windows Store.

tl;dr: I'm glad they're getting somewhere with Microsoft after publicly complaining, but they had it coming from the get-go.

 
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