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Xbox Live - MiniSquadron pulls an Amelia Earhart, disappears from the Marketplace

MiniSquadron Pulled from Marketplace

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.

MiniSquadronMore 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."

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Reader comments

Xbox Live - MiniSquadron pulls an Amelia Earhart, disappears from the Marketplace

46 Comments

has anyone checked to see if this is available via Reinstaller?  IGN disappeared to, but you can reinstall it if you have Reinstaller.

Hopefully one day it will re-appear with fixes! And then AT&T will release updates in a timely manner. And pigs will fly. And a cow will jump over the moon. And, and and...... T_T

@Accursed you got the hd7 but you forgot the Dell Venue Pro. Them 2 are legitimate 1st Gen phones. The Radar and 710 are both downgrades from the HD7 & Dell.
Since you can't figure it out. The 900 & Titan are legitimate top notch phones.

ohh man, I'm glad I got a backup .xap for this. Would have lost it like PES 2011 and TWIN BLADES. That's 3 of my games that I can no longer get from the marketplace... WTF Microsoft? At least give us a place to download them legitimately because we bought them legitimately.

I've lost two myself, the Star Wars game and Crackdown: Project Sunburst.  I have spent hard earned money on them, and with Crackdown, never received a fully working game.  They have no recourse to fix it and give it back though...they have my money and that is that.

Agreed Paul! I bought the game, and it is fun but broken achievements and no support is a surefire way to keep me from continuing to support the developer. I have ios and android devices and will make a point to not support them with my cash and support developers that continue to provide good customer service

@Daniel: oh god, that is so ridiculously unoriginal. I like Bing on my phone, but it still sounds stupid when you try and use it as a verb.

"Amelia Mary Earhart was a noted AMERICAN aviation pioneer and author"

I think that says it all. Americans have a tendency to forget that not everyone else is American.

Yeah, I study history but I never heard of her! Because Im from germany ... What do you know about german, french or british important persons? :p
As Racxie already mentioned, not everybody in the world is american.

Yea, she wasn't important because she flew across the Atlantic and landed in Southampton which is not in England?  But, us America's...we don't know anything and are selfcentered, so apparently flying across the Atlantic gets your from the USA to the USA now?

Off the top of my head:

  • Erich Hartmann
  • Hanna Reitsch
  • Louis Bleriot
  • Keith Park

Have to admit I struggled with being able to name a British aviator. Kind of annoyed with myself there.

But in the end...knowning her or not...it still takes more time to type up "Who is XYZ Person" than it does to type "XYZ Person" into your search bar.  That was the main point.

This is why I buy very few items on my phone, apps and games get removed and you lose what you paid for.

But in this case with a buggy game with no update and the dev ditching the platform probably because of low sales due to lack of said update, I say good riddance.

This is flippin ridiculous. I am tired of paying for games (mini squadron, doodle god, twin blades) having them pulled and no way to get them back when o want to play them. For Christ sake Microsoft...get your heads out of your arses and either let us back up our purchases or force immediate refunds for anyone dev that pulls their paid apps. I'm getting sick of this broken BS app structure.

I really liked this game. I hope with 7.8 & 8 there's a way to transfer your games & saves to a new phone

Don't you guys know how to reinstall apps you have purchased through windowsphone.com? Just login, click phone then click account and every app you ever installed is listed and you can send it to your phone over the air.

not if it has been pulled. That's what pisses people off with windows phones. If it gets pulled or removed and you reset your phone (or get a new a new phone) you can't get the game / app back. This isn't a problem for ios or android. I think windows phone 8 will fix this by allowing you to back up your phone.

Strange, I've reinstalled an app this way that I could no longer find in the marketplace and it worked

That only happens if the game or app has been hidden, not removed. If it's been removed them the only way of getting it back is by finding a xap and sideloading it.

Another question...why is the dev pulling it anyway? Fine it is plagued with issues. There should be a way of stopping further purchases for this reason but the broken product should be left for those that already purchased it.

And another 3€ wasted ... So I spend over 10 € (~12$) for a couple of Months of playing ...
I thought I buyed the games and did not rent

You hit the nail on the head. Microsoft claims we are being apps from the marketplace.... We are only renting them. Its bullshit.

Hey Daniel, What happens with the games you buy and get pulled out? Crackdown, twin blades, and now this one, I've lost around $10 in these games, and I'm missing one. is there a way to get a refund or to download any other game of the same price? We gotta fight for a refund,because if we don't, we are gonna keep losing and wasting $$$. let's make a petition to microsoft anyone?

What pisses me off the most is that there is no way to re-download this if I ever delete it off my phone now.  That is ridiculous.

It's worth pointing out that the iOS version of this game wasn't well-supported, either. Its last update occurred more than two years ago, and the game never received optimization for retina displays or the iPad.