Microsoft’s Xbox Live Indie Games initiative hasn’t been the smoothest ride since its inception. Launched in 2008 as Xbox Live Community Games, the selection of independently created games saw few quality releases beyond the color matching and “massage” variety. Times, as well as the name, have changed since launch and the system continues to evolve to meet the independent developers’ requests. Most recently, indie studios can now choose their game’s exact release date.
Previously, all indie games were automatically published to the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace once peer review had satisfactorily completed. With the recent change the process becomes more like the system used by the Windows Phone Marketplace, where developers can select to hold their game back from immediate release once it has passed the mandatory peer review process. Once through review, developers simply push a “Publish Now” button and their game will appear in the XBLIG Marketplace within 24 hours.
The change still doesn’t allow indie publishers to provide pre-release review codes, something that developers have asked for which would generate publicity for the game and the service. It does, however, allow for scheduling of updates to a previously published game.
There’s always that, I suppose.