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How Microsoft is trying--but failing--to court indie game developers

Alex Wawro | April 3, 2013
The Windows team is trying to lure developers to the Windows Store with promises of cash and support, with mixed results.

And that means they'll need to double down on developer outreach.

Microsoft needs more-aggressive outreach

Scottish game developer Lucky Frame would be happy to bring its iOS game Bad Hotel to the Windows Store--if Microsoft would just drop it a line.

The game was nominated for a Best in Audio award this year as part of the Independent Games Festival, so developers from Lucky Frame were on the GDC floor all week, showcasing their game in a booth less than a thousand feet from Microsoft's GDC business suite. Yet according to Lucky Frame's Sean McIlroy, Microsoft never contacted his studio, or expressed interest in helping them bring Bad Hotel to Windows.

That Microsoft's vaunted developer outreach effort skipped over an award-nominated indie game like Bad Hotel is worrisome. Microsoft desperately needs to bolster its understocked app store, and that means it needs to court every talented developer it can lay its hands on. Especially if that developer is showing off an award-nominated indie game in the very same building.


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