Microsoft have announced that they plan to phase out their Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) program, which allowed Indie developers to develop self publish Indie titles on Xbox 360, before inevitably shutting it down in the near future. Focus instead will be turned to the ID@Xbox program on the Xbox One, the spiritual successor of XBLIG.
This is just a classic example of “moving with the times”. The Xbox One has been around for almost two years now, and it seems Microsoft want to start shifting their focus away from the older generation system. Since the launch of ID@Xbox on Xbox One, XBLIG has seen a drop in momentum, and it’s now time for the company and their Indie developers to move on. Thankfully, this is going to be a gradual transition and Microsoft have stated that they will continue to support existing projects for the next year, after that the Indie Game Store on Xbox 360 will be closed down for good. However as of now, Microsoft will no longer be accepting subscriptions or membership renewals.
So what about the developers who made it what it was, well they haven’t been forgotten about, all creators with a
valid subscription will receive a lifetime Windows Developer account completely free of charge and after September 9th, Microsoft will pay out all money earned by developers. They also added that owners of pre-existing Indie games will be able to re-download and continue to play any games they own.
Chris Charla, head of the ID@Xbox program had this to say: “XBLIG is where many great developers got their start, and “diversity” doesn’t even begin to describe the incredible variety of games that creators made on XBLIG. SO seeing the end come into view is definitely bittersweet. As I look back, I feel the vision of the original creators of the program has been completely proven out by subsequent events. Games are a hugely important art form and the torch of democratizing game development has been carried on with amazing tools such as Unity, GameMaker and Unreal Engine.”
Nowadays, Indie developers have more support than ever before and it’s great to see big companies like Microsoft and Sony providing them with the tools and support they need to self publish their creations, Indie games represent the very essence of a persons raw passion for video games that you just don’t get from some of the big name developers or publishers. With that in mind we’d just like to invite you, the 4-One Gaming community to share some of your experiences of Indie games back on the last-generation of consoles.