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.
The curation is very important here, but Microsoft needs to make sure the process does not make it impossible for legitimate developers to get on this program in the future, and make sure that these games are able to be visible for purchase, not buried under the Call of Duty’s and the Doritos ads that normally take up much of an Xbox interface. However, if the list of developers on the initial list are any indication, Microsoft seems to be taking this program pretty seriously, and genuinely wants a good cross-section of what the Indie development scene has to offer. So far 50 studios have been accepted, with some personal favorites like Zeboyd Games and Drinkbox Studios. Iron Galaxy is also in there, as is the very talented The Men Who Wear Many Hats, makers of the great Organ Trail. Hit the link at the bottom here to see some of the great teams on board, and see what they have to say.
Source: Xbox Wire