gamers and the power of community

Seems the big game console makers have woken up to the $ potential of the vast gaming communities. Microsoft is launching a service called XNA Marketplace, as noted by Wired.

The basic idea is to let home-based, non-pro's create and then sell those games to the huge xbox 360 LIVE community. The pricing scheme seems a little weird, based on "size" of the game in MB. Microsoft will reportedly give up to 70% of the profits to the game developers, with some catches of course. I won't dwell to much on the pricing stuff, as that's not really my interest here. What is very interesting is the notion of using a wider, much larger set of development talent, scattered anywhere in the world, to make revenue, based on providing an interesting product.

Sound familiar? Most open source companies have been using this model, out of necessity really, for a long time now. At JBoss, we had development teams scattered form Asia, the EU, US, Canada, well, everywhere really. At WSO2 we have on-staff developers in the US, UK, Sri Lanka, and Apache commiters to our projects from all over the place. Talent lives, where talent lives. Microsoft is even touting it as a way for budding developers to "get noticed" and the assumption is, lead to paid jobs in the development industry. That's just how most open source developers get hired - through their contributions to the projects they work on.

It's interesting how the console makers are starting to harness the power of the "community" to deliver an even richer experience for gamers, while driving more profits to themselves.


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