Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Killing XBox Indie Games, Slowly…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 5, 2010

Some alarming articles about Microsoft’s landmark indie games offering for its console:

Microsoft Slowly Euthanizes XBox Indie Games

Commentary by former XNA / XBLIG developer

Well, I say “alarming” but I can’t really say “surprising.” It does illustrate why my preference is for truly open platforms, but the crappy state of downloadable indie games on those platforms kinda underscores a problem of conflicting issues:

#1 – Gatekeepers help maintain the quality and security that customers demand

#2 – Inevitably gatekeepers make decisions that are (apparently) not in the best best interest of customers OR developers.

In this case, what really seems to be happening to my eyes with Microsoft tightening the leash on indie developers is that they are trying to keep it a hobbyist venue, as opposed to a truly viable, sustainable commercial one.  If you want to make REAL money as a REAL business making XBox games, you need to jump that giant barrier (to a very small indie) to becoming a true XBLA developer. That’s the feeling I got from the get-go, and these latest developments and “evolution” of the platform only seem to confirm it.

Filed Under: Biz, Indie Evangelism - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • Calibrator said,

    Hardly surprising as the big console manufacturers want the utmost level of control over content to get their revenues and hosting a myriad of small indie games is not without its problems for a company that operates this way.
    While these games may lure “stingy gamers” into their net to bombard them with advertising that may result in them buying a full-price game (remember the fee a manufacturer get for every such game!) the negative aspects (for them) can’t be entirely ignored.
    Ignoring bandwith and server maintenance for a moment hosting many small may fragment the market similarily to the big video game crash in ’83 and nobody wants that. They will therefore always limit the amount of available and supported games.

    The next question is what happens when the next generation of consoles is launched. My guess is that Microsoft will pull the plug of the X360 as fast as they did with the first Xbox, while Sony will keep their PS3 as a low cost system similarily to what they did with the PS1 and especially PS2 (music games etc.).
    However, both will shut down the online capabilities of older games/consoles faster than you can blink as they want “dedicated gamers” to switch to the next machines quickly – in order to recover R&D costs (similarily to removing PS2 compatibility in the PS3: They wanted not only to cut costs but also prevent people buying cheap PS2 games instead of the more expensive PS3 games. Most people have only one active console, after all…).

    So what is the consequence? Enjoy it while you can.