N+ is an awesome hardcore platform game developed by Metanet Software, released for Xbox Live Arcade, DS and PSP. Robert Seddon linked us to an interview that Game Developer magazine had with the developers of the Xbox Live Arcade version and the problems that they had to include the level editor in the final game.
“Microsoft supported the idea but expressed a very reasonable need to limit users from creating offensive content such as hate speech, representations of male genitalia, offensive language, and so on. The problem was that severe limitations would cripple the user’s ability to create interesting content, negating the editor’s reason for being. […]
Because of limitations of the leaderboard system, Microsoft was unable to delete the specific offensive content uploaded by a user of Forza, which could also not be flagged by other users, and was resolvable only by the deletion of the entire user account.
Near the end of N+ development, we were told to disable the content-sharing features for launch, with the suggestion that they could be re-enabled when and if the leaderboard back-end was altered to allow effective user-created-content control.
We complied, regretting the backlash that would surely occur, but were optimistic for the future when we could re-enable. Unfortunately, this last-minute change caused a certification failure, and a lengthy launch delay for N+, but we worked to get through the new issues.
We pushed to keep developing content creation and sharing in because we knew it would benefit everyone: the game would be more popular because players would appreciate the creative possibilities, and it would add a lot of value to N+ as available levels would become essentially infinite.
Perhaps, though, we should have just cut it when Microsoft initially started expressing reservations. It was a lot of work for everyone, and since there was a chance that it would be cut, it’s possible this was a case of poor risk management on our part. As it stands, this feature is not likely to be allowed any time soon, if ever.”
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