Xbox One: indie devs can’t self-publish through XBLA, XBLIG channel being done away with

Wednesday, 22nd May 2013 15:58 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Like Xbox 360 before it, independent developers won’t be able to self-publish titles through Xbox Live on Xbox One, Microsoft has confirmed. In fact, the marketplace on Xbox One will no longer contain separate channels for Xbox Live Arcade and XBL Indie Games.

Indies will need to have a publisher

Micorsoft will still allow indie devs the opportunity to publish titles on the Xbox One platform, but the XBLIG sector on the Xbox 360 system isn’t as large of a financial boon to developers as the Xbox Live Arcade section.

In order to release games through XBL Arcade, the developers must use a third-party publisher or get a publishing deal through Microsoft Game Studios.

“As of right now, we intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have,” Matt Booty, general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, told Shacknews.

“I would also expect that for this new generation, that we’re going to continue to explore new business models and new ways of surfacing content. But Microsoft Studios is a publisher that works with a wide range of partners, as do a lot of other people, to bring digital content to the box.”

Sony and Nintendo currently allow developers to self-publish through PSN and eShop, and both – especially Sony with PS4 – have been supportive of indie developers, especially of late.

Games will no longer carry distinctions on the Marketplace

With Xbox One, there will no longer be separate sections such as Xbox Live Indie Games and Xbox Live Arcade, so this could be a boon to indie developers in the long run.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison said that the days of “discrete channels or discrete silos,” are over with the release of Xbox One.

“In the past we had retail games which came on disc, we had Xbox Live Arcade and we had Indie Games, and they had their own discrete channels or discrete silos,” Harrison said. “With Xbox One and the new marketplace, they’re games. We don’t make a distinction between whether a game is a 50-hour RPG epic or whether it is a puzzle game or whether it is something that fits halfway between the two.”

Harrison said that by combining all offerings available on the marketplace, Microsoft can help draw better attention to titles it thinks will be “exciting” to its user base.

“We don’t give up the ability to put a spotlight on the products that we think are going to be exciting to our user base, but in addition to that, what your friends are playing, what other people think is hot in your area, your country, your continent, will propagate up the most interesting and exciting games,” he said.

While this is good news for indies wanting the same attention brought to their products as triple-A gets, having space next to everything available could possibly cause the titles to lost among the content available for core games.

Hopefully, that won’t be the case though.



  1. SlayerGT

    The new generation huh?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. naffgeek

    Sony are making all the right noises and I really hope they see it through.

    I have been Xbox360 mainly this gen (but Uncharted still ranks as my fave exclusive franchise) but after seeing them confirm that they are going media hub centric I am going to go PS4 next gen if I do get a console.

    The Indie side of it was quite a big factor, most interesting stuff I have played has been from that side of the industry.

    Be interesting to know how many people feel the same.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Hvitdverg


    If you want the best gaming console, you go with PS4.

    If you want the all in one machine for the casual marked, and you love playing fifa and COD. Then Xbox One is for you.

    Simple as that

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Beta

    And the good news floweth on..

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Ge0force

    This is how Microsoft gets exclusives. They know that small indies have no chance with large publishers, so they have to choose MS as publisher and agree with a (timed) exclusivity deal. This is really lame, and I hope this descision makes indies prefer Sony/PC/Nintendo for their games.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. The_Red

    Do Sony and Nintendo allow self-publish on PSN and eShop? Because if they do, then FUCK Microsoft.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ps3fanboy

    i thought ms couldn’t get lamer and they just did…

    #7 2 years ago
  8. MadFlavour


    #8 2 years ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    @6 Sony will allow self publishing on PSN:
    Self publishing, on an open console.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. The_Red

    Thanks. I don’t know much about Nintendo but they’ve allow some really small indie games on eShop so, I hope they are being more open to indies.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. OnionPowder

    @10 Nintendo allows self-publishing on the 3DS eShop and Wii U eShop. They also got rid of their requirement for indies needing a traditional office not in a home and will let you run sales whenever you wish. They’re running a similar game to Sony, just not pushing it as much.

    Microsoft is the lone wolf in the closed marketplace this generation, which is reason enough for me to focus on PS4 over Xbox One.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Holesome

    Is this not the same as it has always been on the 360? You can’t self publish an XBL Live Arcade game as these have strict guidelines set out and enforced by MS. I don’t believe they said that indie games can’t be published at all.

    Am I missing something or is this just another “bitch about everything XBOX just because it’s the in thing to do right now”?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. SplatteredHouse

    @12 In your view, at the start a new generation is a reassessment/realigning of policies unfeasible – we ought to just instantly accept and assume more of the same?
    If the point in question is can you self-publish and on the other mentioned platforms that is supported, yet with Microsoft’s machine you cannot, then that’s a statement of fact before anything else.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OnionPowder

    @12 it’s an archaic system that benefits only 3rd party publishers and Microsoft. It hinders independent developers and it’s why they’ve been flocking to Steam and mobile to make much more money. That’s why Ninty and Sony have integrated a more open approach for the next gen, but Microsoft has refused to change.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. mkotechno

    Well, Sony can win before the war starts if they just keep the ps3 game policy in ps4 and the console price is reasonable.

    Microsoft is actively fucking itself with tons of stupid decisions.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. ridethewavecali

    I’m getting the new box. I always preferred their line up over sonys. Besides people this was just a showing of the power and capabilities of the Xbox. E3 is the showcase of games. Micro has already came out and said its all about games at E3.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. ridethewavecali

    Rare has a game to announce.. Crossing fingers that it’s killer instinct!

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Diingo

    Is Microsoft retarded? Do they not realize the future of gaming rests in the hands of indie developers? Some of the most innovative games being made are by those with small budgets and small teams.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. The_Red

    Thanks. I also saw an article on Gamasutra about this and how MS is going the exact opposite way of Sony and Nintendo.

    Well, there is just on difference here: There is NO MORE Live Arcade Place or Xbox Indie place. Now those smaller games have to contend with AAA, 60 dollar games in the unified Online Story for Xbone.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. DigivancePro

    Please get your facts straight before posting misleading articles. Here is a snippit from the original article that all of these BS articles have derived from.

    When asked if developers will still need a publisher to get content onto Xbox Live, Matt Booty, general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, told us that “as of right now, yes. We intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have.”


    Basically it’s a big game of “Telephone”, where everyone is reposting this article and what we are starting to read does not accurately represent the true message that was originally said. Moral of the story, what was REALLY said is that microsoft continues to support Indie developers the same as they always have (which means a dedicated Indie marketplace section)

    #20 2 years ago

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