Why the Local Xbox Marketplace is Empty

2 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

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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