There is growing unrest amongst developers of Windows Phone 7 games about perceived unfair treatment by Microsoft due to the two class system for Windows Phone 7 games.
The issue is due to some games, usually existing franchises or successful iPhone games, receiving Xbox Live certification and then automatically becoming a lot more desirable and profitable, and even top rated games in the top 10 of Marketplace for downloads having much less downloads and purchases due to not being Xbox Live certified.
In Jabberworx case he notes an XBL game released in any given week will have more exposure to market than a game that is #1 on a popular list.
He complained of poor income even when ranked number 1 for games for over a week. He initially suspected this was due to the small installed base of Windows Phone 7 handsets, but discovered from the sales figures of a few Xbox Live games that they were doing 10 times better from the same installed base.
He had previously applied for his game to receive Xbox Live certification, but has been turned down, likely due to the close similarity of his game to Angry Birds. He notes this system impeded the ability for developers of sophisticated and big budget games to make money, meaning developers will perforce have to make cross-platform games or otherwise extremely simple and cheap games.
Read his full post with more detail here.
If true I certainly have sympathy for the plight of non-Xbox Live developers, not just because I would like developers delivering polished products like Chicks and Vixen to do well, but also because the Xbox Live titles we have been delivered recently have been, to put it mildly, crap, and they do not deserve to do better than much better games which have not been certified.
Do our readers agree Microsoft need to incentivise Windows Phone 7 developers more by either picking more home grown games for certification or alternatively open up the Xbox Live system in such a way that all games can enjoy one of the main selling points of the platform? Let us know below.