Indie Games are the biggest losers in new XBLA update

This week's new Xbox Live dashboard goes a little too far in its efforts to streamline your access to XBLA content – at least, if you're an indie games fan. The update doesn't list Indie Games in the Genre section of the Marketplace. Instead, the sizable section's relegated to a single, separate list, organized by neither genre nor title. As GameMarx shows, browsing the whole thing (which you may have to, if you're looking for a particular game) is liable to cause hiccups across the board.

Above: At least Indie fans have plenty to choose from

Indie games also can't access new features such as Cloud Saves, Beacons or presence on the XBLA iOS app. This isn't the first time indies have felt slanted by Microsoft's service: for a long time now, XBLIG titles have had to make do without features such as Achievements, Leaderboards or the ability to launch without an XBLA connection.

The new update comes alongside a revision of Microsoft's Terms of Service, which must be approved before players can access XBLA. The new TOS severely limits Microsoft's liability and restricts subscribers' options in the event of a dispute, forcing XBLA users to submit to binding arbitration and forbidding participation in class-action legal proceedings against Microsoft. This is in line with the revisions by Sony to the PSN's TOS earlier this year.

If all this trampling of indie devs and legal rights has you steamed, you could consider blocking advertising in protest. For now, anyway – we've a hunch advertisers' concerns may be addressed more promptly than those of bedroom coders. Then again, perhaps you should be grateful: in territories such as the Pacific, ratings hassles prevent XBLIG titles from showing up on the dashboard at all...


  • Japanaman - December 10, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    In other words, Microsoft thinks Indie Gamers are the biggest losers.
  • Japanaman - December 10, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    Yeah, this stinks. I love Indie games. Echoes is better than Geometry Wars, Shoot 1-Up is full of pure awesomeness, Twin Blades is a great game for 360 or PSP, and that one photographic beat-em up game is tight.
  • jmcgrotty - December 10, 2011 4:25 a.m.

    The headline for this article is a bit misleading. What you obviously meant to say was that "Indie Games are the biggest losers"...
  • JMAN1156 - December 9, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    I hope the indies sue Microsoft, indie games have to little money, and Microsoft has way too much.
  • MidianGTX - December 9, 2011 4:11 p.m.

    I'm usually in support of indie devs, but MS went too far the other way and allowed the service to get flooded with so much crap nobody should ever play. I'm glad it's hidden.
  • ScrEAMaPiLLar - December 9, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Machiavelli's Ascent. Castle Crashers was sort of indie like. Anything small scale, like say I don't know Mine Craft! Yeah sure keep not caring and pay for over priced triple A crap.
  • Dolphinradar - December 9, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    Clearly this person who took the picture didn't clarify anything..The Indie games have their own section and then at the top you can sort by title, user ratings, and 2 others I can't think to name. It's not hard to find the indie game section. Though you may not be able to sort by genre but really? Is that such a terrible thing?
  • Scoob - December 9, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    The problem isn't that you can sort how you want. It's that there are no categories. And considering that in the screen shot it shows 2189 titles to choose from, not being able to drill down further and sort by genre or any other useful order, it is a terrible thing. That being said, the only game I really bothered to get off the indie service is Super Dodge Ball. And if I was an indie dev, I would choose better platforms than a home console anyway. Steam comes to mind, or even Android or iOS, though the competition is much more fierce in the mobile space. Although a lot of people pirate indie games on PC, there seems to be a large enough audience that is willing to pay to make it worth it.
  • bigwill1221 - December 9, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    Still feel "forbidding participation in class-action legal proceedings against Microsoft" is illegal... or that they would use that loophole on any microsoft product
  • radiodeaf - December 9, 2011 2:21 p.m.

    With this in mind, I'll crack my xbox and do what I want with it... steal their damn games, and play to my hearts content... they can obviously take privileges away from the customer, (though supposedly we shouldn't agree, which in turn means we can't participate... sad way to play with the law) so I'll happily join the pirate ranks and keep my hard earned money I once gave willingly to you.
  • Fiirestorm21 - December 9, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    Or you can not be an entitled thief and not buy anything if you don't want to spend your money. Just saying.
  • MidianGTX - December 9, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    Nice retarded logic.
  • jmcgrotty - December 10, 2011 4:27 a.m.

    So what you're saying is that you would crack your xbox just to be able to play a bunch of games that are so horrible that no sane person would play them in the first place? I always love the "It's the principle of the matter, dammit!" people.
  • HankVenture - December 9, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    I never have really cared about the Indie games..

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