Microsoft’s new dashboard update for the Xbox 360 introduced some new ways of doing things this week. Some vocal indie developers do not seem to be big fans at least one of those changes, however, as the indie games section has been moved away from “Games & Demos” and into a “Specialty Shops” section along with avatar items, classic arcade games and music game downloads.
“The intent of the Specialty Shops section was to provide access to marketplaces that focus on a specific type of content, with unique ways of sorting through that content,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Eurogamer. “We wanted to give Xbox Live Indie Games that full marketplace experience and felt this was the best place to do it, alongside other popular channels like the Avatar Marketplace.”
Responding to criticism that indie games are now more difficult to find, the company representative suggested that the new setup would actually help indie games.
“In fact, since the launch of Avatars, Xbox Live members have made more than 290 million customizations to their Avatar’s clothing, so we expect many people to regularly visit the Specialty Shops section,” the spokesperson said.
Thematically, it does look a little odd that indie games don’t fall under the “Games” category anymore, though after you find the tab via some unintuitive poking around, it is set up in a useful way. I guess the proof will be in the sales numbers six months from now; hopefully the indie devs turn out to be wrong.
What do you think of indie games’ new place in the Xbox Live Marketplace? Do you agree with Microsoft or the critics? Share your opinions with us in the comment section below.