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Microsoft Addresses Indie Concerns, XBL Indie Games Back In The Games Section
Microsoft Addresses Indie Concerns, XBL Indie Games Back In The Games Section
November 9, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

November 9, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC, Indie

Xbox Live's Indie Games have been moved back into the "Games & Demos" section of the console's Marketplace, after a brief period sequestered in a "Specialty" section. Responding to developer outcry after a recent Dashboard update, Microsoft has brought the indies back among the other games.

Developers had argued that placing the indie games in the Specialty section beside the Game Room and Avatar Marketplace would accord XBLIG titles less visibility, thereby making sales more challenging.

In a statement, Microsoft asserted that the move was intended to benefit indie developers, but few seemed satisfied.

Users of Microsoft's App Hub developer forum wanted more clarity on the rationale behind the move, and some, like Weapon of Choice developer Mommy's Best Games, called the decision a "categorical failure" that treated XBLIG titles as somehow different from "real" games.

But without fanfare or further discussion, Microsoft simply reversed the move. "The new placement isn't perfect -- but its a huge step in the right direction," said one dev on the forum, celebrating the news.

"As an added plus - each time I back out of the game market place and then go back in to access Games and Demos, it shows the indie tab first before flipping back to Arcade games."

Developers also said that they would still like to see indie games appear as results in general search, but largely the climate was one of surprise that massive Microsoft heard and responded to their concerns.

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Owen McNamara
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Thank you, Microsoft, for listening to your community! Indie games are games, and deserve to be available among their mainstream counterparts.

Ujn Hunter
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I approve this decision! Games in the Games section is always a good idea.

Samuel Batista
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This is quite a surprise... Although I don't think this is going to solve the biggest problem with Indie games (exposure), it is definitely encouraging that there are people at Microsoft listening to the Indie development community and actively seeking to "keep the peace".

We can only hope that Microsoft find it in their best interest to promote some of the best XBLIG games, so that more talented and experienced developers invest in the space and make it big.

Peter Kojesta
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We appreciate the move. Thank you for listening to and subsequently addressing the development communities concerns.

Please be fully aware that your community looks at this as "Being mature and attending to developer's needs" and we applaud it.

Benjamin Quintero
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Wow, I would not have expected a retraction this soon. Apparently it reached the right people in less time than I thought. go team indie! =) Does this mean I have to stop calling indie games "specialty items"?

Brandon Sheffield
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Goooood call.

Adam Miller
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Microsoft was getting an uncalled for amount of flack on this one. While they relocated the indie section, they added a slew of new sorting features that made it infinitely easier to find titles (category listings, contest winners, etc.). Given how little the indie games section has to offer, I was impressed they bothered to do even this.

Ujn Hunter
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I find the amount of flack totally called for. They may have added better sorting features but they did bury the section away behind avatars and other garbage. They didn't need to move it out of the "Games" section just to add sorting features.

Jamie Mann
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Blimey. The numbers must have dropped like a rock off the edge of the grand canyon...

Seriously though, this is good news. Admittedly, it'd be nice if Microsoft would now throw some marketing money behind XBLIG (or more specifically: XNA and it's cross-platform capabilities), but I'm happy with one miracle per day ;)

Erik Yuzwa
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Good stuff Microsoft! I was just about to update my email tagline to "specialty developer". ;)


Diego Leao
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Yes! Thank you Microsoft! The MOST amazing part of this change is that MS placed Indie games at "Games & Demos". Now the section is organized like this: "Arcade Games", "Games on Demand", "Demos", "Indie Games". Notice that "Demos" is almost the last option. That is a great strategy to have people looking into other stuff other than demos. And Indie games maintained a very flashy image.

I forgive you Microsoft! But let's talk more often, I feel like you have been passive-agressive with me. I would be most interested in moving/copying things around if it means more income, if you want to test some things out, let's do that, but don't leave me in the dark! Anyway, you spoke with actions this time, you got that right. Thank you!

Vicente Cartas Espinel
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There's a very healthy talk happening right now in the App Hub forums about XBLIG between Dave Mitchell (Microsoft) and the Indie Creators:

This post was released more or less at the same time the channel was moved back (a little later, but well :)).