Browsing through the Marketplace today I noticed something strange. I was looking at some games trying to find something new to try. One way I like to do this is by finding good looking app and then checking out the related apps. The strange thing was that the related apps seemed to be the same for all the games I was looking at. So I just started bringing up any random game I could find and checking the related section. Check out my findings in the gallery below.
You can see the name of the app I was viewing in the top left. Notice how that’s the only thing that changes in the screenshots? 10 apps show up in the related section, and they were the same 10 apps no matter what game I was looking at. Not surprisingly all 10 are Xbox Live titles, and 7 of them are made by Microsoft. Obviously something is not right here.
What’s going on here? This is obviously unfair treatment towards game developers. Xbox Live games already get preferential treatment over the average game. Not only is this unfair, but it’s also annoying. I’m trying to find some new unknown games and the related apps just stays the same. As far as I’m concerned it might as well not even be there. If Microsoft wants to catch the eye of more 3rd party game developers they need to stop playing favorites and fix this.
UPDATE: So a lot of people are telling me that this “related” section is actually listing the top apps in the category. Apparently it does thisfor all the categories, not just games. This really doesn’t make the situation any better. There is already a section for top apps called “top” in every category. It is incredibly misleading to have a page titled “related” that can only be seen on individual app pages that is actually showing top apps. What’s the point?