Indie Devs Unhappy with New Xbox Dashboard Update, Comments

Update: Tutorial video added showing how you can access the Indie Games section on the new Xbox Marketplace.

Original Story: The latest Xbox 360 dashboard update went live recently and it has affected one particular section of the game developing community immensely. We’re talking about Indie game developers.

The new update has changed the layout of the Xbox Marketplace in such a manner that it requires 17 button presses from the home screen to the INDIE game top downloads section. A navigational nightmare come true.

Some indie developers have taken note of this situation and have offered their inputs. One of the indie devs forums has several indie game developers discussing this move by Microsoft:

The developers feel that it might have a negative impact on sales of their games, and don’t appreciate the fact that they’re hidden well behind other gaming categories like arcade games and games on demand. Both of these require 8 button presses compared to the 17 required to access Indie games section on the marketplace.

Its going to be very interesting to see how the new dashboard effects sales. We are hidden compared to arcade and games on demand ( 8 button presses to get to these both compared to the 17 for indie games).

I hope this is not going to be a repeat of what happened with the last dashboard update, if it does there is a serious reason for concern.
Would be great if people who are holding the top 10 positions could give us a indication if they see a drop off in sales/ trails or an increase.

Another indie developer went a step ahead and actually put up a discussion on the official Xbox forums complaining about the few big problems which have cropped out of the new Dashboard update for Indie developers.

He has listed a solid list of the most serious problems as a result of the update

  1. Indie games do not show up in the New Releases or Most Popular lists on the “Games Marketplace -> Featured” or “Games Marketplace -> Games” pages. All other types of content do. In the dashboard video, Major Nelson says “all” games marketplace content can be found here. This is currently not true.
  2. Indie games do not show up in the “Genre” or “Titles A-Z” lists on the “Games Marketplace -> Games” page.
  3. It is no longer possible to browse indie games by genre at all.
  4. There are two indie game “sections”. One is only visible when you let the ad cycle on “Games Marketplace -> Games”. This one contains the Kotaku’s Favorites list, the Contest Finalists list, a New Releases-style list with 100 entries and a link to the entire indie catalog sorted by Top Downloaded. The other section, accessible through “Games Marketplace -> Games -> Game type” just has the entire catalog in one list, sorted by release date. This is confusing.

The forum posts also offers some possible solutions for these:

  1. Include indie games in all the lists that include all the other games/game content. New Releases, Most Popular, Genres, Title A-Z
  2. Give the indie section “tabs” with Kotaku’s list, top downloaded, etc., rather than just one big list.
  3. Allow the indie game section to be filtered by genre.
  4. Have the cycling “Indie Games” tile and the “Game Type -> Indie Games” tile lead to the same place (with Kotaku/Contest/etc)

The new Dashboard update sure has got the indie game developer community talking and it’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft decides to handle the situation.

It is worth noting that some thing similar happened after the last Dashboard update had gone live as well but Microsoft was quick to resolve the issues. Would this be a recap of that episode or Microsoft will be taking a more firmer stance this time around? We’ll keep you updated.

We’ve also reached out to Microsoft for a comment regarding this matter.