Indie games to be part of single marketplace, says Harrison

Microsoft abolishes XBLA for Xbox One

Microsoft is abolishing the Xbox Live Arcade and Indie game sections for the Xbox One’s new marketplace, Phil Harrison has revealed.

Speaking to Eurogamer, the Microsoft EMEA corporate VP said that the Xbox Live Arcade and indie channels were being ditched in favour of a marketplace that did not discriminate against game type.

Harrison referred to the previous method of using specific indie game sections as using “discrete silos”. Discoverability of these games will now be centred around other features such as friend recommendations.

“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,” said Harrison.

“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.”

On whether getting rid of a tailored indie section on the Xbox marketplace to help promote games created on a lower budget would hinder discoverability, Harrison claimed that Microsoft was not giving up the ability to put a an indie title in the spotlight on the store, despite having to face competition from triple-A titles.

“No, no, not at all. We don’t give that up – 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.

Harrison also told indie developers that yesterday’s Xbox One reveal, which showed a number of triple-a games by EA, Remedy Entertainment and Infinity Ward, shouldn’t be seen as an indication that it will be favouring big studios and ignoring the indie development scene.

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