Saturday, March 8, 2008

N+ Interview: MS hates User-generated content?

Having recently hit the tubes to critical and consumer praise, it seems that the side-scrolling ninja platformer N+ isn't even all the game that it was originally intended to be. In an article over at MTV's Multiplayer blog, N+'s developers go in depth on the game's history concerning the plans for inclusion of an open download/upload space for level sharing (similar to Halo 3's system, which makes one wonder why that was a-okay). In fact, that very feature was implemented in the version of the game that was released onto PartnerNet for testing. However, in the game's last final months of development Microsoft shut the feature down, demanding that it be stripped back to the condition it's in today (with the ability to share user-generated content only available from the folks on your friends list.) With games being handicapped or delayed due to Microsoft's draconian ideas about sharing things, what is the future for the content of XBLM?

The interview mentions that there have been other developers (Turn 10, etc) who have had trouble regarding user-generated content, but is there any indication at all that things will get better for those 360 gamers who have creative streaks? Sadly no, as the only beacon of hope in the interview is the parting shot, in which we find out that the N+ devs were informed that "Microsoft does have a team actively working on a toolset that would allow games - down the line, anyway - to incorporate more user generated content." What does that mean exactly? Nothing. It's a marketing promise. It's too bad really, with PSN embracing user-generated content, Microsoft is losing what could potentially be a huge bullet (and selling) point.

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