Home Gaming Why the Local Xbox Marketplace is Empty

Why the Local Xbox Marketplace is Empty

1 min read


Today is the first day that Xbox Live is officially available from South Africa. The migration process has been pretty smooth for most – except for the jarring realisation that beyond a handful of arcade titles and add-ons, the ZA store is pretty barren.

Yesterday, we had a brief chat with Head of Product Marketing for Xbox Live in the EMEA regions, Robin Burrowes who explained why.

The South African Xbox live marketplace is essentially a brand new store – and it’s starting out by stocking just a few items. It’s intended – for the moment – to cater to all of those unfortunate locals who’ve never used Xbox Live before, not those of us who’ve been using a more mature service for years. Realise that the US and UK Xbox Live services we’ve been piggybacking on have been around for years.

We also sent off an email to one of Microsoft’s local PR representatives Hollie Hepburn, regarding the lack of content and specifically, the lack of Indie Games. This was her reply :

To answer your questions, Indie games are not available at launch in South Africa. Xbox is working on bringing these to more countries. With regards to the other games they are busy being populated to the local LIVE service, each game needs to be moved over individually so keep checking they will all be there soon.

The local Xbox Live is a fledgling service, and its marketplace is a new service that will – eventually – populate. It may take some time, as there are all sorts of licencing issues (especially when it comes to music services like the Rock Band and guitar Hero stores), but it’ll get there.

Last Updated: November 10, 2010


  1. Uberutang

    November 10, 2010 at 12:04

    So… another 4 years at full price to get less, but pay more…

    Nice one MS. Nice one.


  2. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 10, 2010 at 12:07

    I will counter that pile of bullcrap by saying, since Xbox live has been around for years, there’s no reason for a local version to run bare.

    I don’t accept this half-baked nonexcuse, and to be honest, I find it insulting to my intelligence.


  3. batman

    November 10, 2010 at 12:09

    So why didn’t they mention this before the suckers migrated?


  4. Werner

    November 10, 2010 at 12:12

    Well, you’re not really paying for games in the marketplace as the free account see them as well (maybe a bit delayed but it’s there).

    However, why they didn’t start moving content over earlier is anyone’s guess.


  5. Gavin Mannion

    November 10, 2010 at 12:17

    That header image reminds me of Pick ‘n Pay during the 94 elections :angel:


  6. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 10, 2010 at 12:19

    @Uberutang That’s basically it.

    Side note: Man I hate it when companies and individuals help foster my cynical opinion of them. It’s frighting because with each passing day, I’m becoming more like my grandfather… 🙁

    “Gaarr!! When I was your age…”


  7. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 10, 2010 at 12:20

    Lol, Any supermarket in Harare, Zimbabwe.

    Good Times!


  8. Uberutang

    November 10, 2010 at 12:21

    I hear you dude.


  9. Miklós Szecsei

    November 10, 2010 at 12:26

    Booo! Worst. News. Ever. So NOT migrating… yet. :ninja:


  10. eXp

    November 10, 2010 at 12:27

    ‘so keep checking they will all be there soon’

    That’s a hellofa-tall promise. Hopefully it becomes reality. :za:


  11. Nick de Bruyne

    November 10, 2010 at 12:32

    Dude, Harare has it easy, I’m from Bulawayo… you think they have shelves and trolleys??


  12. Nick de Bruyne

    November 10, 2010 at 12:33

    Microsoft also promised us Xbox Live not too long after the Xbox 360’s launch. 4 years… take their promises with a bucket of salt


  13. Noodle

    November 10, 2010 at 12:35

    This is pretty much my thoughts, you have this whole basket of products on offer but you choose to offer only a few, of which most are kak anyway?

    Fair enough I can understand the Music games DLC issues, but the rest? Really, I mean we have the game in the country why not offer the DLC for it?


  14. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 10, 2010 at 12:39

    I knew it! GO BACK TO ZIMBABWE! You’re steal’n ma jubz! 😆



  15. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 10, 2010 at 12:40

    Because you want them to buy kinect.. uh xbox live.


  16. pantsula

    November 10, 2010 at 12:47

    The biggest WTF is the Deathspank DLC is up, but not the game.


  17. Ezee-T

    November 10, 2010 at 12:48

    How about we make our own content? I’m gonna gather a few programmers and design our own game.


  18. Ezee-T

    November 10, 2010 at 12:50

    The amount of bitching on this site is unbelievable.


  19. Jason Keays

    November 10, 2010 at 12:50

    so lame…
    won’t be migrating any time soon. Typical… I expected this nonsense.


  20. Dave

    November 10, 2010 at 12:54

    Stupid question, but will we receive local servers to play games on? 😀

    I.E Black ops


  21. Ezee-T

    November 10, 2010 at 12:56

    Seriously. So yall think that they deliberately withheld their stuff to f*ck with us? Really? They have their reasons so be patient and stop moaning.


  22. Geoffrey Tim

    November 10, 2010 at 12:58

    Nope. Xbox Live runs on peer-to-peer networking. Very few XB games actually use dedicated servers.


  23. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 10, 2010 at 13:03



  24. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 10, 2010 at 13:04

    Patient you say? Like it took 4 years for xbox live to finally arrive on our shores? *Here have a cookie* #feed_the_troll


  25. PaxRon

    November 10, 2010 at 13:15

    @Batman…ditto man, I watched on the internet and twitter how there was a launch party and everybody counting down to 12pm like it was christmas. This morning when I migrated I nearly had a heart attack. Received no MS points either for migrating as promised.


  26. AC!D

    November 10, 2010 at 13:26

    What i want to know is where the hell are my free MS points they promised??? 😆


  27. FreeStanler

    November 10, 2010 at 13:38



  28. FreeStanler

    November 10, 2010 at 13:42

    so network performance and lag-wise, there is no reason to migrate? I need to upgrade to Gold again, so I could just as well stick with the UK or International code?


  29. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 10, 2010 at 13:42

    lol, Glenn was very excited.


  30. ManesanZA

    November 10, 2010 at 17:33

    Absolutely no point in migrating at the moment.


  31. Ezee-T

    November 10, 2010 at 19:02

    Well whether you like it or not South Africa isn’t a major market when it comes to the gaming industry. And in fact it didn’t take 4 years for us to get Xbox-Live it took more like 18 months.


  32. James

    November 11, 2010 at 10:24

    So let me get this straight: everyone only has ONE account? If you buy something from Live, it activates for all the accounts on the Xbox (since the content is bound to that specific machine). I don’t know if that also applies to DLC, but I would imagine so.

    So, are you all telling me you don’t keep a spare UK or US account on the side so you can get your hands on the good stuff?

    That said, this is certainly not going to impact positively on local point card sales.


  33. Geoffrey Tim

    November 11, 2010 at 10:27

    Like you, I have various accounts on my Xbox and PS3. Yeah, DLc gets tied to the gamertag AND the console as well. My main account is UK based, and for now that’s where it’ll stay.

    I do have a shiny new SA account though, which i’ll use to download restricted content – so VPN’s are no longer necessary. Provided that content is on the ZA store, of course.


  34. James

    November 11, 2010 at 10:30

    Fair enough. At least this doesn’t affect Live Arcade, so I’m not complaining too much.

    Besides, I see that Doom, which I paid for, is no longer on Live at all. So basically we’re just renting all this stuff anyway.


  35. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 11, 2010 at 11:00

    That’s such a cop-out Mr Troll.

    First you tell us to shut the fuck up and be grateful, rather than make as much noise as possible so that we can potentially get a better deal (and be treated the same as other customers in other parts of the world, instead of merely another territory to exploit), and when I point out that we have been more than patient, you throw the “Lulz butz youz in Africa and like Africaz not a major market” shit.

    We know this already Einstein, we live here, but the fact that consoles are sold in our dusty little country means that there’s a demand for it, and if you read comments online that there was/is a demand for xbox live.

    Why don’t you just go and suck on that corporate teat like a good little child, while the adults try to push for a better deal for all of us (by pointing out the limitations of the product to fellow gamers and Microsoft itself).

    Run along!


  36. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    November 11, 2010 at 11:03

    @James, Even when you buy a game, you never actually own it, since the EULA agreement states that they’re merely licensing the use of the game to you. It might sound like wordplay, but it has serious implications when you deal with DLC.

    If you really think about it, they have us by the short and curlies.


  37. TheDammit

    November 12, 2010 at 14:27

    The points might take some time to show up. Remember they have to travel all the way from the US or UK to get here. 🙂


  38. W0lver1n3

    November 14, 2010 at 20:24

    I just signed up for the SA live account and man, is it empty. 3 arcade games, downloadable content etc, but 3 arcade games is ridiculous, no battefield, no mgt, no marvel vs capcom,no trials HD, its not right…ill be patient but for now will run 2 accounts until it makes any sense other than multi player gaming to migrate.

    Otherwise, happi its here…xbox live, hope it improves…as for MS / xbox south africa…if u reading these posts…make items available, worthwhile arcade games etc and i will spend monies there for gold subscription and arcade games, avatar items etc, for now…watching this space… happy :alien:


  39. Hisdukesome

    November 29, 2010 at 22:29

    Like a c@#t I migrated, forgetting the painful lessons taught by iTunes, amazon, kobo, borders, and F@$&ing Barnes and Noble.

    Regional restrictions limit us because the copyright laws vary per region. We all know this. We all know that the technology has moved faster than the intellectual property rights.

    Fact is. I don’t give a fuck and now that I have migrated the box says you can only migrate once a year. I am eligible for parole from exile next year!

    Don’t migrate. Listen to the stupid and unhappy. Don’t do it. They are a bunch of $&@8).:) @&$


  40. Rockncyber

    January 11, 2011 at 09:55

    Ye i Think Ezee-TeeeeeTeeeeee Need to do proper research on the South African Market Place Demand. We are more than you think we are, I come from Old School You know (the beeeg black box) All this crap about Region blocks and yada yada yada is all bells and whistles….These guys are still learning How to run a Xbox live server, let alone how to run the market place, oh and lets not forget about money situation where it costs them to get the licencing for the games, DO YOU REALLY THINK OUR MARKET PLACE LIVE HAS ALOT OF MONEY……HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Mass rapage…… Get from the little guy until they can afford the realease of games, its is soooo Obvious and thus is why All This wonderful country allows us to play with is sooooo Damn expensive…


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