It’s no secret: many developers who brought their games to Xbox Live Arcade last generation were put off by the process and Microsoft’s policies. Some even abandoned the platform as a result. It may have taken a few years and a lot of complaints, but word of the indie development community’s malcontent finally made it to Microsoft, and the platform holder decided to do something about it. That something is the ID@Xbox, for which 25 games were announced last week at GDC.
So what’s different this time around? Chris Charla, the program’s director, recently chatted with Digital Spy and answered that exact question. One of the biggest complaints about XBLA was its lack of visibility. Gamers who powered on their Xbox 360s and explored the dashboard weren’t finding most XBLA games. It wasn’t the gamers’ fault, though; Arcade games were buried deeper and deeper away in the increasingly convoluted Xbox 360 menu system nearly every time it was updated. Charla, reiterating previous statements Microsoft has made about ID@Xbox, explained how indie games are now easier to find on Xbox One.
“There’s not a separate section,” he told Digital Spy. “It’s just a game is a game is a game. Games that come through ID@Xbox will be right next to games from any other publisher.”
And since all games are just that, indie games will receive access to everything AAA games do on Xbox One: Kinect, SmartGlass, Upload, Twitch recording, achievements, etc. While Charla admitted that discoverability is a continuing problem for indie games on all distribution platforms, he believes that tearing down the walls that separated such games from big budget releases on Xbox 360 is paramount to solving the problem.
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