One of the bigger issues of the Xbox 360′s climate, especially as the generation went on and came to a close was Microsoft’s seeming indifference to the growing Indie-games scene. Titles that were not developed and/or published by the Activisions and the EA’s were getting more and more attention on things like Steam and PSN, and Microsoft never really seemed to care. Sure, they had that Xbox Live Indie Channel, but let’s be honest; that channel was (and still is) a god damn cesspool of Minecraft clones and other garbage. Very few quality games came out of that thing, and even fewer got any acclaim in their own right. It’s also damn near impossible to find, buried under tons of crap and button presses on the 360 interface.
However, while this was going on, the PC was chugging along with new, and inventive games coming to it via Steam and other sites, PSN allowed Indies to start self-publishing their own wares, and hell, even Nintendo dipped a toe into the Indie waters, allowing the developers freedoms on their own digital storefronts. While Xbox Live makes money hand over fist year after year due to a robust multiplayer environment, the time has finally come where they cannot ignore the rise of self-publishing Indies any longer. When the details of the now released Xbox One were surfacing, Microsoft announced a new policy when it comes to Indie games. The ID program is a new system to allow Indie developers to get their games out into the wild, without having to submit to the archaic and unfair to non-AAA developer slot system the Xbox 360 used. This is a big step forward for Microsoft, especially in the face of Sony sending roses and chocolates to every Indie developer they can think of. Luckily this seems to be the best of both worlds for Microsoft: embracing Indies self-publishing, but it will not be the wild west of trash the 360 Indie channel was. Continue Reading