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Anger as Microsoft moves its indie game store to the back

New UI has killed Xbox indies, angry devs say

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 UI update has angered some indie developers who find their games now tucked away at the back of the shop.

Of the numerous tweaks made by the dashboard update, one of the most significant is that Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) store has been split from the games section and moved into the Specialty Shops.

Facing a future threatened by obscurity, some XBLIG creators have written on a Microsoft developer forum to criticise the shuffle. Others posting on the App Hub Forum, meanwhile, believe the service is dying.

Indie developer Jason Deacon, said the switch was sad to see, “but not unexpected given the direction of the platform for the past several months.”

Deacon added: “I know the XNA dev team have worked hard on XNA 4.0 to standardise cross-platform features & compatibility etc, but it seems like it’s a waste of time and effort.

“Personally, I’ve stopped work on my two XBLIG projects until I see a clear and positive direction emerge for XBLIG, and so far it’s not looking good.”

Other developers joined in on criticising the move.

“I’d like to know the rationale behind it – at least then the community could try and come up with constructive alternatives, rather than being pushed further into obscurity," said user Deej, developer of Clover: A Curious Tale.

“I think this is really bad for the service,” added Kris Steele of FunInfusedGames. “I hope Microsoft changes this but I doubt they will. If the service was more profitable, none of us would develop for the phone like they want us too.”

Weapon of Choice developer Mommy’s Best Games, meanwhile, said Microsoft’s move was “a categorical failure”.

The group added: “I’m here to mourn Indie Games being known as ‘games’, which I suppose we must now rename Indie Specialties."

A UI modification has, meanwhile, meant that the top 50 indie titles are featured as opposed to the top twenty – a move which will likely improve the indie eco-system.

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