Indie games have been sold through Xbox Live to the Xbox 360 since they opened up XBLIG (Xbox Live Indie Games) marketplace in 2006. Following through the promised to end this feature come September 2017, the entire XBLIG marketplace is going to be shut down!
What does this mean for players?
While you will be about to re-download any title you have purchased already at any time, the games that you don't own now have a removal date! With the indie game marketplace being removed officially on September 29th, you have just over a week to purchase any game from XBLIG before it is permanently removed from the Xbox 360 marketplace.
There will also be more big name titles coming to the Xbox marketplace. Phil Spencer, director of the Xbox branch at Microsoft, stated on this:
"The company is currently contracting with top developers and best publishers to release the most beautiful titles on their new device,"
Which was in reference to the soon to launch Xbox One X on November 7th for $500.
What does this mean for indie developers?
All games currently on the system will have a final payout to each development team that has a game on there, but your game will no longer be available for players to purchase after September 29th.
Xbox Live doesn't intend to leave the entire indie community hanging and to find other platforms to publish their games on however! After opening the ID@Xbox for Xbox One option for indie developers to sign up to get their games published on their current platforms, Microsoft stated,
"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."
The way that Xbox handled the closing of XBLIG was fair to developers, giving plenty of notice that a two year plan, but is a bit short notice for the dedicated players. I'm sure there are many out there that were waiting to buy a game for various reasons and now have to pick one or two now before the option is removed from them! It also would of been great if they set up a closing sale to allow players to get as many as they can before officially closing up shop.
Do you think this announcement was released too late? What titles are you going to lock down in your games library before the XBLIG marketplace is removed?