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XBLA dropped for Xbox One, all games lumped together
XBLA dropped for Xbox One, all games lumped together
May 22, 2013 | By Mike Rose

With the Xbox One, the Xbox Marketplace will no longer offer a distinction between retail, Arcade and Xbox Live Indie Games -- instead, all titles will be available under the same banner.

Talking to Eurogamer, Microsoft's Phil Harrison explained that where the Xbox 360 offers separate channels for the different types of games on offer for the console, the Xbox One will instead bring them all together.

"In the past we had retail games which came on disc, we had Xbox Live Arcade and we had Indie Games, and they had their own discrete channels or discrete silos," he noted. "With Xbox One and the new marketplace, they're games. We don't make a distinction between whether a game is a 50-hour RPG epic or whether it is a puzzle game or whether it is something that fits halfway between the two."

Essentially, users will be able to search through all the available games for the Xbox One together rather than sifting through individual channels.

Through this move, Harrison believes that Microsoft will "solve fantastically some of the challenges that independent developers face, particularly around discovery and connecting their game to an audience, by some of the platform features we have in the machine itself."

When asked whether removing separate channels for indie titles will mean that some games won't be featured in the same way that they were on Xbox 360, Harrison answered that this would not be the case.

"No, no, not at all. We don't give that up - we don't give up the ability to put a spotlight on the products that we think are going to be exciting to our user base," he said. "But in addition to that, what your friends are playing, what other people think is hot in your area, your country, your continent, will propagate up the most interesting and exciting games."

He later reiterated that the Arcade and Indie tabs on the current Xbox Dashboard will not be part of the Xbox One Dashboard.

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John Woznack
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I would like to see the submission requirements & fees, and the monetization plan for this new "Xbox Marketplace". Also, how do indies develop games for this new box without leasing an expensive devkit?

Lihim Sidhe
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You'll sooner see Howard Stern reveal how much he makes.

Camilo R
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Do we know these things about any console maker with the new systems?

Thomas Happ
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They announced this morning that indie developers won't be able to self publish, so it's really just disc based games and XBLA that are being lumped:

If any publishers out there want Axiom Verge on Xbox One, you know how to reach me...

Josh Griffiths
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This is not good for indie devs. It seems like a lot of great indie games will be buried under bigger name games and studios. That was one of the big things for XBLA, it had a strong indie market that the PS3 is only just now getting. Another questionable move in a long line for Microsoft and the Xbox One.

Kyle McBain
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I hate to admit to it because I am unimpressed with Xbox One so far, but part of me likes this idea. Anyone with half a brain who is involved with gaming can see that indie games are a whole other league and I don't see them as getting buried. I see it as diversification. Now it will be easier for me to access all titles at once and I will be more apt to buying some of the indie based games. (That is if I own an Xbox One which is probably not going to happen.)

Simon Ludgate
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"a 50-hour RPG epic"

Yeah, right, like we'll ever see one of THOSE on the Xbox One...

Rick Kolesar
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But, isn't this what indies wanted long time ago? They were upset because navigating the dashboard was hard and people couldn't find the indie games because they were buried in menus.

This puts all games on the same digital shelf (like Steam). They said they will have some categories like Most Popular, What's New, and Trending to make it easier for people to find games. Personally, I don't use storefronts like Steam or the Xbox dashboard to buy games; I find links in news stories/facebook/twitter posts about new games and download from the web to my system or just search for them by name.

Now I'm not defending Microsoft and choices they have made about indie development, but this seems like a good thing in my opinion. This also means any game title will work with Kinect so I can (hopefully) just say "Search GameNameHere" and be able to find it quickly.

Llaura Mcgee
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The equivalent of XBLIG won't find their way onto Xbox One, this is just spin. I'd love to be proven wrong, but if indies can't publish on the platform without being published by someone else, then it's not very likely Microsoft are going to publish dozens of games a day themselves. Nor would they want as Chad points out below the larger titles being drowned out by a sea of smaller games. The XBLIG's low barrier to entry had so much potential, I hope someone is going to get it right (although maybe that's just iOS).

Chad Wagner
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Historically, Indie Games come out much faster than XBLA games - so what's more likely is that top quality games will get lost in a wash of Indie titles... Now this can't happen, or Microsoft and its partners will be upset (as will the general consumer).

So they will probably put some kind of throttling system in place - reducing the influx of games. Especially since the quality is skewed quite a bit lower, and the revenue that comes in from Indie Games is almost negligible.

Diego Leao
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It is good news, but if Indies cannot self publish on Xbox One (not even after curation), the excitement is almost mute... It will benefit the very few "XBLA" games on the system, which is good for those "15 companies" that managed to launch their games on it yearly.

Kyle McBain
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Paragraphs 1-4:

Games will be in same place.

Games will be in same place.

Games will be in same place.

Games will be in same place.

The rest:

Harrison: Generic comment about spotlights and Games will be in the same place.

Amir Barak
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But wait, where are the games going to be???