There have been various user-driven attempts to develop mobile versions of Xbox Live after Microsoft abandoned its lofty goals for the "Live Anywhere" initiative (at one point, Microsoft wanted users to edit Forza Motorsport cars on their cell phones). 360 Live for the iPhone, albeit a recent addition, has proven one of the most successful because it includes many features gamers have been demanding since day one, including the ability to add and remove friends on their gamertag list.
The problem? 360 Live deveoper Xavier Larrea has been charging $1.99 for the application on iTunes, which is against the terms of service for community applications. Many users on iTunes aren't reporting many issues with the price of of entry, but Microsoft says developers can't charge.
"It’s really [discouraging] when you put a lot of effort in a project," said Larrea in an e-mail to me, "[which] turns out to be the best of its kind, but people still DEMAND it to be free."
In this case, however, Microsoft is the one making the biggest demands.
"Believe it or not, some people like me earn their living developing software," he said.
Unless Larrea drops the price, Microsoft will most likely have the software removed from iTunes. So far, that hasn't happened, which means you can still grab it. Additionally, 360 Live would continue to work for users who already downloaded the application. Only with malicious software does Apple remotely remove applications from users' iPhones.
Larrea is considering making 360 Live an ad-supported application, which would allow him to generate revenue from the software and remain under Microsoft's "charge nothing" guidelines. He admits becoming familiar with the issue "a little too late," which explains the mild panic.
Regardless of what happens, Larrea claims he's satisfied with how it's all played out.
"I’m glad with what I was able to achieve," he said. "Right now 360 Live is listed #13 in the Entertainment category and within the Top 100 Paid Apps. Not bad for release that’s only been in the AppStore for 10 days."
For the moment, you can still download 360 Live.