Ars Technica’s Kyle Orland:
Not only does going through Microsoft Studios mean keeping your game exclusive to Xbox Live Arcade for a certain period of time after launch, but the outfit also takes an additional percentage of a game’s revenues on top of the standard cut taken for all Xbox Live Arcade titles, Carmel said. “That’s why we see savvy console developers like Supergiant [Bastion] and Klei [Shank] go through third-party publishers—those publishers get better terms from XBLA (directly) than a small developer could get from Microsoft Studios, and they can launch the game simultaneously on multiple platforms.”
Steam and iOS are clearly leading the pack here. Will the traditional consoles have a better solution for more open game distribution when the PS4/Xbox 720 are released next year? I hope so, but I have my doubts.