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Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine's XBLA delay 'unquestionably hurt' sales

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine's delayed Xbox Live Arcade release "unquestionably hurt" its sales, founder of Pocketwatch Games, Andy Schatz, wrote on a Reddit post, saying he was disappointed by sales on the console.

"I was never depending on the Xbox being our primary revenue generator, but I was very disappointed in Xbox sales nonetheless," Schatz wrote. "We put a ton of effort porting the game, and to have that effort be largely wasted was really disappointing. OTOH, I don't think the demo was particularly strong... so it could be that the game wouldn't have done better on Xbox even if it had a simultaneous launch (though IMO it would have performed at least twice as well). We had to submit two patches, and luckily they had already relaxed the charges for that process about a month prior."

According to Schatz, the game's publisher Majesco "buffered" Pocketwatch from Microsoft during the game's patching process, writing that whatever complaints he has is best kept between himself, Majesco and Microsoft and that he doesn't "feel like it's a good idea to piss in the pool."

The Xbox Live Arcade version of Monaco was due alongside the Steam release on April 24. Unfortunately, the console version was delayed a day before its launch when Pocketwatch discovered a bug that disconnected four-player matches. Schatz delayed the game's release on the console stating that he'd "rather have disappointed fans than upset fans." A second fix was required before it was released on Xbox Live Arcade on May 10.

Regarding Microsoft's Xbox One, the developer said it felt like Microsoft was at first trying to "force ‘the future' on us, with all the up and downsides of digital distribution."

"That may be the path we're going down, but for the moment, consumers like options, and hate always-on DRM," he wrote. "Monaco has no real DRM (except that it uses steamworks to power the online multiplayer, so you have to have an account to play... but you don't even have to actually own it in your steam library to play... so yeah, no drm).

"While I understand wanting to protect against the potential for massive piracy, but for someone selling relatively cheaply (15$) and for someone at my scale, DRM can really only do harm (so long as people continue to value the idea of rewarding developers for games they like)."

Pocketwatch released the Mac version of Monaco on Steam earlier this month, alongside Steam Workshop and level editor support dubbed "The Mole's Workshop," which allows gamers to create custom Monaco missions and maps and share them with friends. For more information about Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine, be sure to read our review and our feature on Pocketwatch Games.

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