Xbox Live’s Flaws: Tomb Raider Anniversary

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We all love Xbox Live (when its not down) and for me personally the experience is a joy.  The service is simple to use and well organized, however this leads to restrictions on developers.  Its regulations and structure keep developers from doing some of the things they want to do with their games.  Riley Cooper of Crystal Dynamics, the developer of Tomb Raider Anniversary, gave his take on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network at GDC, unfortunately its all but comforting for the 360 side:

We made an in-road with Anniversary on 360, and it was a full game essentially, but Microsoft is only slowly increasing requirements and opening up the constraints of Xbox Live. It’s been a slow process, whereas PSN hasn’t been restricted by size, they’ve just done Warhawk for example.

For Xbox Live to be successful, Microsoft needs to be flexible.  The service has to change and allow developers to be creative without breaking some unwritten law of Live.  Every time a developer wants to do something different on Live there seems to be a huge mess of regulation problems.  Unreal Tournament 3 would be out right now if Microsoft would have allowed user generated mods.  PSN may not be close to the community or infrastructure of Xbox Live, though Sony seems to understand the separation of developer and console manufacturer.  This is something the Xbox Live division needs to learn before another influential game like UT3 gets pushed out a quarter or two from release.

Come on Microsoft, we want full downloadable games like the PS3 gamers and not just old last gen Xbox stuff.  Why couldn’t Tomb Raider have a download only version?  My question may seem out of place but considering that Tekken, Grand Turismo and Warhawk have all hit the PS3 without a disc this is a cause for concern.  How much longer is Live going to be a walled garden without a web browser, true downloadable games, and dedicated servers?

[Via Game Industry Biz]

-Matthew “Webnet” Moore-

2 Responses

  1. I’m kind of surprised it’s really even an issue considering how huge some of the demos on Live are… It’s not like this was a XBLA title. Weird.

  2. I was feeling you Webnet, right up until the web browser mention. 😉 Other then that I’m feeling you.

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