Novaleaf Game Studio has become the first Thai game developer to launch a game on Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace, at http://marketplace.xbox.com.
Chief operations officer Tidarat Thanapakpawin said Novaleaf"s business direction was mainly the development of games for Xbox, because this was a market with huge potential. About 28 million Xbox devices have been sold, and Novaleaf's marketing strategy is to sell games online via the Xbox Live community, which currently has 17 million members.
Another reason that the company chose to develop a game on the Xbox platform was Microsoft's provision of a free game engine called XNA to help local firms develop games for Xbox easier, faster, and cheaper. Then it allows game studios to publish games to the huge Xbox worldwide community.
Tidarat said the model was very helpful because investment costs and time spent on Xbox game development were less than developing "box-packaged" games, and the latter were more vulnerable to intellectual property violence.
She said the company's first Xbox release was called "Biology Battle". It took 11 months to develop and was released on Xbox Live Marketplace last November. To play "Biology Battle", gamers need to sign up as Xbox Live Marketplace members and then buy "Microsoft points", or virtual money for buying online games via the marketplace. "Biology Battle" sells for 800 Microsoft points, or about US$10 (Bt360) per download.
"By the end of March, we will know how many downloads of 'Biology Battle' have been made from Xbox Live Marketplace," Tidarat said.
The company has developed a second online game for the Xbox community called "Jason Bomb" - a casual game similar to "Mario". It will be released before the end of this month.
Novaleaf also has three other games in its pipeline that are scheduled for release in the Xbox Live Marketplace this year.
Novaleaf Game Studio is a member of the Thai Game Association and is founder of the Bangkok chapter of the International Game Developers Association.