Dev Explains Why There Aren’t Many Japanese Devs for Xbox Live
Microsoft seems to be ripping Japanese developers off, intentional or otherwise
Under Defeat HD developer G.Rev's president Hiroyuki Maruyama publically took the chance to say what no doubt has been clear to Japanese developers for quite some time: it doesn't pay enough.
Specifically, as Maruyama explained on Twitter in Japanese, the problem lies in Microsoft's Microsoft Points conversion policy.
"A strong yen and a weak dollar is very damaging to us because XBLA and DLC are 'export products.' That's why Japanese developers avoid making games for Xbox 360. When we released Strania on XBLA, the rate was 80 yen per dollar. (wry smile) If Japanese people buy our game in MSP, we receive in dollars!"
The yen is still on top and will likely be for quite some time. According to XBLA fans, Microsoft Points work in the following way for Japanese developers:
“Put in Xbox LIVE terms, 1600msp ($19.99 US) retails at a rate of ¥2,240 ($24.94 when converted). When the percentage of the sales owed to content creators on a 1600 MSP game is disbursed, Microsoft calculates based on $19.99 per copy (the US cost of the points), regardless of how much a consumer paid for the 1600 MSP that enabled the purchase.”
Other Japanese developers echoed Maruyama's sentiment, but chose to remain anonymous.
Microsoft seems to be the only one winning in such a scenario. There are no doubt numerous problems with Microsoft's closed-system approach to Xbox Live, but few are willing to speak out about it.