Japanese game developers have purposely avoided crafting games for the Xbox LIVE Arcade due to the weak US dollar.
Whenever Microsoft issues payments for titles purchased through its online service, the company cuts checks based on the dollar instead of the actual value of the game. According to Cinema Blend, Japanese developers say they don’t get nearly as much money as they should for these transactions.
As a result, a number of top-tier creators have stayed away from the LIVE Arcade. G.Rev president Hiroyuki Maruyama recently took to Twitter to explain why his company hasn’t made any games for Microsoft. Judging from his comments, it all has to do with how the company pays the developers who create content for the service.
XBLA Fans translated:
“A strong yen and a weak dollar is very damaging to us because XBLA and DLC are ‘export products.’ That’s why Japanese developers avoid making games for Xbox 360. When we released Strania on XBLA, the rate was 80 yen per dollar. If Japanese people buy our game in MSP, we receive in dollars!”
As of this writing, 1600 Microsoft Points runs around $24.99 in Japan after conversion. Although the yen is currently worth more than the dollar, Japanese developers are still being paid based on US currency. In short, studios feel they lose money with Xbox LIVE Arcade.
Maruyama isn’t the only game developer who has expressed displeasure with the way Microsoft does business. According to Develop Online, Fez creator Phil Fish was forced to leave a busted patch for his title on the service since he was unable to afford the fees Microsoft imposes on creators.
Fish said that patching a game on XBLA can cost a developer “tens of thousands” of dollars. For independent game studios, this figure could essentially break the bank.
What do you think about Japanese developers being unhappy with the way Microsoft does business?