Indie anger at new Xbox dash

Indie anger at new Xbox dash
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

December 9th 2011 at 1:43PM

Developers share their concern as software update throws all XBLIG games into single list

A number of independent developers have responded angrily to the latest Xbox 360 dashboard update.

Many are angry over what they see as the indie marketplace being “hidden away” again.

Discussing the issue on a Microsoft developer forum, one of the main gripes is that it apparently takes 17 button presses from the home page to access the top indie downloads – a section seen by some as a vital source of revenue and publicity for devs.

“Everyone knows the top downloads list is where the good money was made, if you landed high enough you could have sales for a few weeks if not months,” said Monster Talk creator Neil Jones.

“If people can’t get to this list easily then things don't look good. Even if your game gets top rated it won’t help that much if it takes the user 16 plus button presses to find the indie game top rated list.”

Despite these frustrations, Microsoft XNA/XBLIG team member Nick Gravelyn said that an Indie tile on the game marketplace’s rotating carousel was added to boost exposure for developers, and would be kept for the foreseeable future.

Indies are also concerned however that their games can not be found under any genre other than ‘indie’, with titles hidden amongst a sea of over 2,000 other games.

A Pouncing Kitten Games dev stated “This is just a giant F-U to all of us. There is simply no other way to put it.

“Put 2000 plus games in a single list and give less than a half dozen filtering options, not including genre? Good call. Whoever made that decision should be fired immediately.”

A Factory Eight dev went as far to say: “I think that we can all agree that the new dash does nothing good for the platform.”

Some developers defended the update however, stating it was not as bad as they had feared and comes with advantages, such as an improved rating system and an indie games tile for easier accessibility.

Yet Another Zombie Defense outfit Awesome Games added: “Overall I think it's good - there are much more ways to reach Indie games than before the update, and there are two significant improvements to ratings usability.”

Xbox indie developers now face an anxious wait to see how the latest changes to the dashboard will affect sales results.