Microsoft is concerned about the current state of marketplaces. We all hear about the ridiculous number of apps for each platform and the real problem is that good apps can’t get recognition this way. In a blog post they summed up the problem as follows:
As we looked at how the mobile gaming industry was evolving, it was obvious that there’s a significant problem with the “race to zero” – 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 – this is very similar to the portfolio management we do for Xbox LIVE Arcade titles.
The solution? Any game that uses Xbox Live services must come from a vendor that has a relationship with Microsoft. So you need to be invited to the party. Anyone can make games, but not everyone can hook into the Live services and those that do will gain extra recognition and you’ll be able to identify these games. I applaud this effort because I think they’re spot on. There’s a real problem with markets just getting filled with apps and there’s a ‘quality’ issue. On the gaming front, it’s good to see MS is addressing this issue now.