“Top Downloads” List Change Has Unexpected Advantage

Yesterday Microsoft announced that due to problems caused with the Top Downloads list not updating and appearing “frozen” sometimes, they were changing the list to take a week of sales into account instead of just the previous day.

In a statement, they wrote:

We have recently made changes to the way games are chosen and sorted in the Xbox LIVE Indie Games top downloads channel on the Xbox 360 Dashboard.

Previously games were selected and ordered based on the previous day’s sales information. This caused an illusion of the channel being frozen if sales data was delayed as well as exposing an instability in the channel due to occasional daily spikes.

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.

Initially there were complaints from developers who would rather see less delays in sales data, claiming that this was just hiding the problem and not fixing it.

However, although the Indie Games section now takes into account a week of sales, all other sections on the dashboard such as Arcade Games and DLC are still charted based on a single day.

As a result, the overall Top Downloads list on the Marketplace is dominated by Xbox LIVE Indie Games. They’ve never been so visible to people browsing for new games.

Achievement Locked wonders how long this will be allowed to stand.

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