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Mizuguchi defends Lumines 360

As pricing comes under fire.

Lumines creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi has defended the decision to offer a lot of the Xbox Live Arcade version's content as downloadable extras rather than including them in the full game.

Lumines Live launched yesterday, and is the joint most expensive game on the service at 1200 Microsoft points (GBP 10.20 / EUR 13.96), but it's the manner in which Q Entertainment asks users for extra investment to customise the game that's drawn early criticism.

An "Advance Pack" (as-yet unreleased) will cost 600 Microsoft points (GBP 5.10 / EUR 6.98) while other game modes feature only a handful of levels, and prompt the gamer to watch out for further downloadable add-ons in future.

Mizuguchi told IGN that one reason for the download/pricing strategy was technical ("We have to include everything in 50MB") but that the other reason was the desire to let people customise Lumines. "We want people to look at Lumines and, depending on the artist, or the season, or the music, we want to give them different reasons to consider buying the game," he explained.

Future updates may add additional features as well as skins (which add new music and backgrounds, and also vary gameplay conditions), he said. "Maybe there will be new ways that we erase the blocks in the future. Maybe we add different shapes or forms or colors; right now there are no limits or boundaries. Maybe users might give us new ideas. We're hoping to hear from users what they would like to see in future updates, in fact. They will help guide us to create new updates," he added.

The veteran designer also said that it might be possible in future to support more than two people in the game's online multiplayer mode. "Maybe in the future four players will work," he told IGN. "We even tested with six to eight players, and we didn't accomplish the ideal scenario with that many players, so at this point we just aren't satisfied with what we came up with. So for now it's a two-player game."

Look out for our review of Lumines Live in the very near future.