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New Sales Formatting Puts Indie Games Near Top of Xbox.com

A new method of calculating sales data has had a profound effect on the placement of Xbox Indie Games in the “All Games” best-seller section of Xbox.com. The change was originally discovered by Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games and picked up by Armless Octopus.

The change makes it so that XBLIG game sales are compiled by their weekly numbers rather than the daily numbers they were previously reporting. The result is a fighting chance for the channel, allowing the top-selling games on XBLIG to crack into a list that features much more high-profile games. Currently, FortressCraft: Chapter 1 is sitting between Modern Warfare 2 and Dead Rising 2: Case West.

The question now is whether the change will stick. This alteration wasn't meant to give Indie Games more exposure, but simply to make for more accurate sales charts. The original reasoning was posted on Microsoft's AppHub:

“To improve this experience, we have changed the time interval from daily to rolling weekly. What this means is that the top downloads channel will show games based on the previous week’s data each day. Though it will be slightly more difficult to get on the list in the first place, the top downloads channel will be more reliable and less likely to be affected by daily delays or issues.

"We believe this change will make for a more stable and correct top downloads channel for Xbox LIVE Indie Games providing users with a better view of the top downloaded titles and developers with a better opportunity to maintain their spot on the top downloaded channel.”

It's unfortunate that this could all be an accident on Microsoft's part rather than a legitimate attempt to give XBLIG more exposure. Do you think they deserve it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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