This week we got a surprise double release on Xbox Live, with not only Contract Killer but also Lode Runner Classic launching simultaneously. Still, the overall number o Xbox Live games only increased by one. Why? MiniSquadron from Supermono and Fat Pebble Games was pulled from the Marketplace.
MiniSquadron looked like a very promising Xbox Live title – we were super excited about it prior to its release last year. Once the game finally came out, things looked a bit different. It suffered from numerous bugs, including a weapon that consistently crashed the game and a broken Achievement worth a whopping 50 GamerScore. The virtual d-pad and buttons were also tiny and awkwardly positioned. We still gave it a positive review overall, but with the assumption that original developer Supermono would do the right thing and commission an update from Fat Pebble, the porting team.
More than half a year later, MiniSquadron never received an update to add Fast App Switching or fix its numerous bugs. Now it’s gone – but why? For starters, the folks at Supermono made a conscious decision to cease their Windows Phone support and focus solely on iOS and Android.
If poor sales were a factor in that decision, I must point out that failing to update a buggy game is a sure-fire way to keep a game from selling. We told the developers as much when the problems first cropped up. Still, even Fat Pebble sounded surprised when we mentioned the game got pulled. Microsoft may have removed MiniSquadron on their own as a response to customer complaints about its bugginess.
It’s always sad to see a game removed from the Marketplace. More sad is when a developer releases a game with major bugs and broken Achievements and then does nothing to fix it. There is such a thing as responsibility to your customers, you know?
Update: Supermono has issued this statement which echoes our original assertion:
"While we continue to support MiniSquadron on iOS, Android and PSP, the small number of WP7 players combined with the high cost of supporting the wide variety of WP7 devices means it just doesn't make business sense to keep supporting it.
In addition to this, we simply do not have the resources available to fix a certain Achievement bug within the game, so Microsoft have decided they have no option but to pull the game from the store."