Andre Vrignaud, Director Games Platform Strategy at Microsoft, has made it clear on his blog that only some titles will receive the honour of XBox Live Integration on Windows phone 7. Ostensible a move to maintain quality and provide a differentiator that will prevent the â€œrace to zeroâ€ that has seen many quality titles prices at only $1.99 on the iPhone, he said:
To answer, itâ€™s important to understand that we have a managed portfolio for Xbox LIVE titles on Windows Phone 7. As we looked at how the mobile gaming industry was evolving, it was obvious that thereâ€™s a significant problem with the â€œrace to zeroâ€ â€“ or having too many, mixed quality titles available on a marketplace. Too many offerings makes it very hard for any specific title to stand out (no matter how high-quality), and negatively impacts the overall business ecosystem by making it almost impossible for developers to earn a fair return on their work. Our goal with the Windows Phone 7 games that utilize Xbox LIVE services is to cultivate a portfolio of high-quality titles that are regularly released â€“ this is very similar to the portfolio management we do for Xbox LIVE Arcade titles.
Of course developers are still free to create games without achievements and other Xbox Live paraphernalia, but if you think your idea is Live Worthy you can try your luck by applying at [email protected].
Do our readers think this strategy, which will likely see only tens of games versus thousands featuring the integration, will be successful in the face of Appleâ€™s most likely more democratic and open service? Let us know your thoughts below.