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Greenberg: XBLA cull will force quality

MS hopes devs will take more care.

Microsoft has said its decision to get rid of underperforming Live Arcade games will force developers to make better quality games, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Director of product management Aaron Greenberg also believes this will not stifle creativity as teams look for a safe return on their titles; quite the opposite, in fact.

"I really don't think we will see that at all, in fact many unique style games typically get stronger reviews because they stand out from the pack," Greenberg told GamesIndustry.biz.

"If anything you will see developers take more time, make use of the new additional storage space and focus on game quality now more than ever to ensure the title is well received."

Live Arcade has come under fire in the past for a glut of poor titles that clog up the service and make it hard to find the quality offerings.

So, starting this autumn, titles that have a Metacritic rating of less than 65 percent, have been around for six months or longer and have a trial to conversion rate of less than 6 percent will get the chop.

Microsoft plans to lead by example as it puts together its own in-house studio to make games for Live Arcade, whilst also upping the size limit for the download service from 150 MB to 350 MB.

"What we are saying is that our focus with Xbox Live Arcade is going to be on quality over quantity," added Greenberg.

"We are also thinking about the future of the service and want to ensure that new Xbox 360 owners that come into XBLA for the first time have a great experience. We believe that with this focus, the increased size limits and the investment in our first-party studio you will see XBLA games continue to improve throughout the year."

Microsoft is still quiet on just how many titles will be marched off the edge of a high ledge this year, but Greenberg is confident nothing will happen until after the summer, with you and developers promised at least three months notice.

The move will also have no effect on the Community Games project launching later this year, which will let you lot make and vote for the XNA-developed games you want on Live Arcade.

"This program only applies to Xbox Live Arcade; Community Games created with XNA do not go through the same submission and certification process and, since they are developed by community members, are less likely to have review scores assigned to them like Xbox Live Arcade titles," explained Greenberg.

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Robert Purchese

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Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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