We now have the first tangible evidence of whether Community Games, Microsoft’s independent-centric downloadable games service powered by their freely available XNA Game Studio toolset, has been a success or not.
The first set of sales data arrived to developers last week, in the midst of the Game Developers Conference (more on that soon, by the way). It’s up to developers to share their successes and failures. Mommy’s Best Games, the studio behind the well-received Weapon of Choice, isn’t sharing specifics, but have clearly stated disappointment on their development blog.
Weapon of Choice has so far sold less than 10,000 copies, falling into a sales category Mommy’s Best Games describes as “that hurts.”
“We want to make kick ass games, full-time. I left one of the best video game employers to strike out and make my own games,” explained co-founder and ex-Insomniac Games developer Nathan Fouts on his blog. “This is my full time job, I am not a hobbyist and Weapon of Choice shows that. It is a full-fledged game, which took a full year to make. Not only did we hope sales would recoup the savings we spent during the year of development, we hoped it would provide enough financing to support the development of our next game.”
It’s currently unknown what impact this will have on the future direction of small companies like Mommy’s Best Games, or if they’ll try to “ride it out” with another game and see if the market for independent games over Xbox Live expands.
Others will likely share their sales data in the coming days. I’m already in contact with several developers to talk about their responses to the sales so far — that article will appear somewhere that isn’t here. 🙂