Since 2006, Microsoft has supported indie developers with the Xbox Live Indie Games service. By providing them with the XNA framework and a dedicated section on the Xbox 360, many developers were able to publish their own games directly onto the console and reach a large audience.
The Xbox Live Indie Games program is now in its final days. New developers cannot enter the program, and in one year new games cannot be added to the Indie Games marketplace.
In the XNA Game Studio blog, the exact details of the program’s end are posted. The store won’t be officially closed until Sept. 2017, but don’t expect to see many new games added in the meantime.
- As of today, we’ve stop taking new subscriptions or membership renewals, but we’ll ensure that current members who are still working on games have any memberships that expire “topped off” until September 9, 2016. After that date we’ll no longer allow new games to be published. All creators with a valid subscription as of today will receive a free lifetime Windows Developer account (normally $99).
- In September 2017, we’ll stop selling XBLIG games, close the store and pay out all money earned by developers. Of course, players will still be able to re-download games they own and continue to play the games they own.
- Longer term, over the next two years we’ll be working with game conservationists and creators to preserve the legacy of XBLIG content. We look forward to sharing more details in the future.
As Microsoft gradually shifts focus to the Xbox One, they are encouraging developers to use the ID @ Xbox program that allows them to self-publish on that console and many other Windows 10 enabled devices. Some XBLIG developers are even being sent free tokens for the Windows 10 Developer progam, according to Dave Voyles.
There’s still plenty of time to explore Xbox Live Indie Games and download the games you want for the future. Which games did you spend the most time on? Let us know in the comments.