Winter Uprising Organiser Admits “Mixed” Success
Problems with submission system hampers XBL Indie Games campaign; Epic Dungeon sells well regardless.
The organiser of the Indie Games Winter Uprising, a campaign to promote quality on the Xbox Live Indie Games service, has admitted that it has only enjoyed mixed success.
The Uprising was billed as “fighting back against mediocrity and lameness by releasing amazing games” on a service it feared many thought was “filled with massage apps, clones and garbage”. It featured 14 games, by seasoned developers Ska Studios and Radiangames as well as newcomers, which were all to be released in the first week of December.
Unfortunately at the time of writing only eight of those games are available. Robert Boyd, the Uprising’s organiser, tells us: “Several of the big hitters in the promotion haven’t been released yet for a number of reasons – a bug found at the last minute, an incorrectly checked feature on the game description, or just plain not being finished yet.
“The way Xbox Live Indie Games are set up, it’s difficult to release on a specific day,” he continues. “You can’t get your game approved and have it come out later at a day of your choosing – once a game is approved it goes up automatically within 48 hours. Likewise, if you submit a game for approval and then find that you have to pull it for whatever reason, however small, you have to wait a minimum of 7 days before resubmitting.”
Of the games to have gone up in time, Epic Dungeon has fared best, with Boyd telling us Eyehook’s dungeon crawler is one of the top 10 rated games in Japan, Europe and the US after shifting over 6,000 copies in ten days. “I wouldn't be surprised if the game ends up selling 50-100,000 copies over its lifetime,” says Boyd. “Not bad for a game that was basically made by one person without any previous hits to his name.”
No other Uprising game has come close to Epic Dungeon’s sales, Boyd claiming Break Limit has sold about 400 copies with Asteroids Do Concern Me and Ubergridder faring even worse. He estimates the remaining games will go up over the next few weeks.
But Boyd has no regrets. While admitting it wasn’t the huge success he had hoped, he thinks “it’s already done good work towards drawing positive attention to the service”. While refusing to confirm or deny if he will launch a second Uprising, Boyd has said he would do things differently, with games only being accepted if they are nearly finished, and the promotion running for a whole month to allow for submission hiccups.