The Xbox Live Indie Abounds with Innovation


So after all the whinging and gnashing of teeth over the positioning of the Indie channel on Xbox live, this is what we can expect when searching for the most popular indie games on xbox today. Seriously? Mining games only? This is my reward for drilling down three levels of menus? Look, I get that XBLIG can fall prey to trends, just like any gaming ecosystem. Before these mining games we had a litany of FPS’s with Quake, a glut of RTS’s with Command and Conquer, and a torrent of Platformers with Mario. But wasn’t Minecraft and its attendant mods enough? We can only hope that Minecraft releases mod and multiplayer capability for its Xbox release and puts a stop to all this.


Microsoft to End Xbox Live Arcade in the Future

It turns out that after all the kerfuffle over the placement of Indie games on XBLA, Microsoft may be getting ready to ditch XBLA entirely. Microsoft’s digital distribution strategy has been so focused that the line between XBLA games and traditional disc retail games is becoming blurred. Michael Wolf, the Global Marketing Manager for XBLA had this to say on whether XBLA would disappear,

“Personally, I’d say absolutely, yes,” Wolf says. “I think digital distribution has to be like that. I don’t think XBLA will be leaving soon. It is an incredible platform. We have XBLA fans, I don’t think it’s going to be announced anytime soon. One thing Microsoft has proven is that we continue to try and adapt and innovate in experiences.”

If we take into account this revelation with how XBLA indie games have been handled, Microsoft either wants to make it easier for indie developers to release retail quality games, or they want to abandon indie games entirely and make xbox a more AAA focused console. If it’s the latter, then it’s just going to leave more market room for Valve’s rumoured Steam console to take hold.

Source: WebProNews

Xbox Live Indie Games Coming to Windows Phone, Sort of.

To promote Indie games on Xbox Live Arcade, a group of independent game developers have taken matters into their own hands. They’re releasing an app called XBLIG Companion, which scours the RSS feed from Users can then use the phone’s integration with Xbox 360 to buy and download the games to their console. Kudos to the developers for showing initiative, but with the way Microsoft has been treating the indie channel, it might be a better idea just to develop for Windows phone 7 directly.


Source: SlashGear.

Microsoft is Metacritic’s Best Game Publisher 2011

According the Critic Aggregator Metacritic, Microsoft was the highest rated video game publisher in 2011, beating out Nintendo and Sony respectively. The software giant had 90+ critic scores of Forza 4 and Gears of War. However, most of their lead comes from XBLA games such as Iron Brigade and Joe Danger: Special Edition. Rounding out the top five were Nintendo, Sony Entertainment, Electronic Arts, and Square Enix. You can check out the full report here.


Source LazyGamer.

Xbox Indie Developer Blames New Dashboard For Low Downloads

The latest Xbox live Update has done more than put more Axe ads on your Xbox 360. Kris Steele, creator of Hypership: Out of Control has discovered that the new interface has reduced the first day trial downloads of the Hypership sequel fall by over 50%. Anyone who goes on the new dashboard will only find indie games stashed under a tile called “game type” and new indie titles are not being shown in the same category as the official XBLA games or games on demand. Microsoft claims that the indie games section is still profitable, but with this kind of treatment, one has to wonder if their faith is waning.

Source: Gamasutra