Indie Devs Not Happy With New Xbox 360 Dashboard

The new Xbox 360 dashboard is clean. It's very white. It's also got a lot of indie developers for the platform upset with Microsoft, accusing the platform holder of putting their baby in the corner.

Xbox Live Indie Games used to be somewhat easily found in the "Games Marketplace" section of the dashboard. Now? They've been removed from the Games Marketplace, and shunted into an area called "specialty shops", which includes...the Avatar Marketplace and the Game Room.

That's certainly not an area you'd visit looking for games, and the developers who have provided games for the service are justifiably miffed.

Here's a selection of quotes from the indie developers forum:

"Sad to see, but not unexpected given the direction of the platform for the past several months"

"So pretty much all the worst suppositions since AppHub came in to being have turned out to be right. The XBLA studios wouldn't put up with XBLIG on the same screenspace, MS want us all to swallow their **** and move over to get ****ed as WP7 developers - who will updoubtably be treated in the same shoddy, half-baked way as we have when the project fails - which MS mobile offerings always, ALWAYS do."

"I'm actually surprised we didn't end up worse than we did. At least we are 2nd on specialties and next to the Avatar store and not the the 12th tab on the specialty shop behind the various music shops (although that may change in a month when the music shops complain)."

"Looks like all the Devs who made XBLIG apps had it right all the time, and we "Game" developers were the ones who had it wrong. As the new dashboard clearly shows, Microsoft does no longer consider XBLIGs to be "Games" (at least not "Games" enough to merit a place in the "Games & Demos" section).

So please stand with me in a minute of silence to mourn the passing away of Xbox LIVE Indie Games."

I'd take some video or screens of my own, but you know, Xbox Live Indie Games isn't available in Australia, which gives you yet another indication of how seriously Microsoft takes this venture.

Mourning Thread: XBLIGs are not "Games" any longer...[App Hub, via Gamasutra]


    The placement of things is such a mess. Like, you go to "My Community", it has Facebook and Twitter, that's fine. But before those... Star Wars avatar goods? Really? wtf?

      My first impressions were that it was way too stripped back.

        Stripped back, in what way? I think there's way too much. Like, you have to scroll through... spotlight, community, my xbox, game marketplace, video marketplace, music marketplace, kitchen sink, etc. I just want to play my damn game!

        And in my xbox you have to skip past account settings AND security settings to get to your achievements aaaargh! It's so... the exact opposite of what I want to see!

        And the video playing is just as awful as before. You have to load up that stupid zune program to watch your videos. Why does it take half a freakin' minute before I can watch a single downloaded video clip?!

          I agree with you, the xbox user interface is cluttered with things i care nothing about. I find myself just using the pop up menu when you hold down the xbox button.

          That menu is easier to navigate, has text only and provides everything i need to play the games i own.

    I found it a little hit and miss, some things made more sense and others less.

    Did the indie developers give a shit when people in Aus can't buy there games?


    Do I give a shit now?


      It's a pity too.

      I really wanted to buy one of the thousands of "massage" games.

      The fact htat we can't buy indie games in Aus has zero to do with the developers and everything to do with the ratings board. Just what do you expect the indie developers to do? Do you think they like the fact we are a market they can't reach?

      Maybe give a shit about finding out why the indie games channel isn't available in australia.

        XBLIG aren't for sale in Australia because the classifications board refuse to allow the sale of "non-classified" games. Other countries which allow the sale of unclassified games do so supported by conditions such as Microsoft's Peer Review guidelines on acceptable game content.

        Until the Australian classifications board relaxes, XBLIG will not be available. And as a developer in Australia able to sell my games on XBLIG, it's annoying that no-one in the country will ever be able to play them.

          Whilst that is the correct legal reason, it's also showing that Microsoft has no backbone at all in regards to this. Legally you can't sell games on any computer platform without them being classified, one example of such a platform is the iPhone. Yet none (or very very few) of the apps in the iStore are classified by the Classification Board here in Australia.

          You could argue that MS is actually breaking the law by allowing indie games to be developed and sold unclassified on their Windows Phone marketplace. Considering that program is now merged with the XBL Indie program I'm surprised MS hasn't grown a spine already and actually done something about it.

          It would be nice to hear some kind of comment from MS about all this, I mean it is their decision and all, to date all we get is cryptic messages on MSDN forums saying either "soon", or "when possible", or "they're working on it", to "Please stop asking".

      To answer your question, yes devs within Australia are frustrated that their games are not for sale in the country that they're developed in.

      There are routinely threads started on the forums of devs asking why they are unable to sell to certain countries. But I guess you would need to actually be part of the XBLIG community to see that.

      It doesn't help that 95% of Australian Xbox users don't even know what XBLIG is since all mentions are removed for Australian Xbox live accounts. It's possible if they knew it existed, that they'd want access to it. Maybe.

    Well, to be fair (and if I recall correctly) we don't get the Indie channel because of - surprise, surprise - our classification system: the peer review MS uses isn't good enough.

    That being said, I also don't have much of a problem with this. I doubt many are using it as a primary source of income and it's a pretty niche section, it doesn't need to be alongside your avatar when the dashboard launches - they're pretty fortunate for even having such a service available.

    Would be nice to be able to customise those tabs, all the same.

    Anyone else find everything takes longer to load now?
    Every selection seemed to require that loading circle thing and the confirmation screen for a small download took about a minute.

      Deffo takes longer to load... longer to wait while tile content loads and the system hangs quite often before going back to a previous section. Also the guide seems slower.

      Yeah I've noticed that too. I hate how they're trying to be all kid-friendly now. If I wanted kiddie stuff I would have bought a Wii :\

    I can't even find it under specialty shops now. bad show microsoft!

    Everything is white? Oh great... That completely ruins my purpose for buying the LIMBO theme, thanks Microsoft! How about letting us choose the colour like Sony does...well at least with backgrounds. White is such an Apple/2005 thing.

    Wait what? Windows Mobile failed?? only 6 editions with sub editions and now a 7th?? Hardly a failure.. Might not HAVE been as "ground breaking" as the iOS or Android market was, but then again its never had the same hardware to back it up..

    While I agree its not a pleasant space to put the indie games, what indie games are we talking about? Shovelware I wouldnt buy in the first place or honest to go indie games that make me want to wet my pants in excitement?

    From the sound of it, im going to point at shovelware..

    It hurts my damn eyes, it's so incredibly WHITE. And it's so bland and square. What exactly is the demographic here, Mac users?

    My 360 crashed during the update, and it doesn't even look any better. Can they get anything right? I'm glad my PS3 is my main gaming console.

    Bah. It broke my Xbox Live connection, for starters. I'm also seeing massive loading times for everything.

      Same here, brother. My Live connection won't stay up for anymore than a few minutes at a time. This 'update' is causing me to look around for a cheap PS3, and I'm not even kidding.

    1. Most of the indie games are terrible
    2. I live in Australia, so why should I give a shit about this article?

      because you had some reason to click on the link to open it up and spend 30 seconds to make a response, if you didnt care about it, why did you even bother to open it up and comment?

      Indie devs, like any devs need an opportunity to show off their work, look 10 years in the future, we cant have the same franchises being dragged out for that long can we??

    while this indie devs thing seems a bummer, i don't mind the new update. I like the quieter confirmation sounds, and scrolling around and logging in/out of profiles seems much faster.

    Even my little brother says the new dashboard looks weird.

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