Community games in "danger", warns ex-XNA man

Because Microsoft "deliberately" avoids regulating game quality, says ex-XNA community manager

Ex-XNA community manager David Weller thinks that Microsoft's upcoming Community Games channel is in danger of being overrun by poor quality titles, due to the company's "deliberate" steps to avoid regulating game quality.

Speaking on his blog, Weller said that failing to filter out rubbish community-built games on the Xbox Live download service could result in frustrated consumers.

"Being an ex-XNA member, I can still say, without a shadow of doubt, that Microsoft is offering a groundbreaking game channel, and that some people stand a chance to make great money from the system," he said.

"But the danger for consumers lies in Microsoft's deliberate steps to avoid discussions regarding game quality, even during peer review. I firmly believe that avoiding commentary/ratings on game quality will result in frustrated consumers, who will have no way to discern the quality of a game among (ultimately) thousands.

"Of course, the game creator has the option of offering a trial game, but it will be interesting to see how many developers take advantage of that path," he added.

Of course other than trials there's not much way to tell the quality of Xbox Live Arcade games either, but Weller says that XBLA has a "high standard for qulaity" than Community Games will and have a large number of technical conformances to adhere to.

"The Community Games has no such thing during the peer review (remember, peer review is a check on the content, not on technical quality or gameplay quality)," he said.

"I think the upcoming plethora of games on the Commuity Games pipeline will only create more consumer confusion without them having a reliable guide".