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XBLIG Program Announcement

Last post 10/10/2017 5:10 PM by Toolkitz. 63 replies.
  • 9/9/2015 9:22 PM
    • (0)
    • MVP XNA Team Windows Phone Team Moderator
    • Posts 91

    XBLIG Program Announcement

    From XNA Blog

    Any Questions - check for answers or ask in the FAQ post here

    Celebrating the past and embracing the future of indie gaming

    By: Chris Charla and Andy Dunn

    Post Time: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2:22 p.m. PT


    At Xbox, we have seen firsthand the magic that independent developers can bring to gamers worldwide. The reception to ID@Xbox on Xbox One has been fantastic, with more than 1,000 developers with kits in hand working on the next generation of games for Xbox One and Windows 10. As much as we are excited about what is ahead, it is important to us that we acknowledge and celebrate the path it took to get here – while taking the next step forward together with the community.

    Today we communicated to developers that we’re beginning the sunsetting process for the XNA Creator’s Club and Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) on Xbox 360.

    We’re working to ensure the process is as smooth as possible and to minimize any impact for developers who are still working on XBLIG games for Xbox 360.

    ·       As of today, we’ve stop taking new subscriptions or membership renewals, but we’ll ensure that current members who are still working on games have any memberships that expire “topped off” until September 9, 2016. After that date we’ll no longer allow new games to be published. All creators with a valid subscription as of today will receive a free lifetime Windows Developer account (normally $99).

    ·       In September 2017, we’ll stop selling XBLIG games, close the store and pay out all money earned by developers. Of course, players will still be able to re-download games they own and continue to play the games they own.

    ·       Longer term, over the next two years we’ll be working with game conservationists and creators to preserve the legacy of XBLIG content. We look forward to sharing more details in the future.

    XBLIG is where many great developers got their start, and “diversity” doesn’t even begin to describe the incredible variety of games that creators made on XBLIG. So seeing the end come into view is definitely bittersweet. But it’s also a great time to reflect on the legacy of XBLIG. Not just what it accomplished, but how far the game industry has come in the nine years since the first beta of XNA Game Studio was released in August 2006.


    In 2006, video games – especially console games – were a closed shop. You needed to work at a company and know someone to even have a chance of seeing a dev kit, never mind releasing a game. At Xbox, we started with the vision that anyone could create console games. XNA and XBLIG were our first attempts to open up the closed console world – to let students, hobbyists, and anyone with a great idea make games and publish them without needing a studio or even a business license. Over the last nine years, we have seen many great developers get their start in XBLIG and we are very proud of all that has been accomplished. Developers who came from all backgrounds and all walks of life and were able to make console video games.

    As I look back, I feel the vision of the original creators of the program has been completely proven out by subsequent events. Games are a hugely important art form and the torch of democratizing game development has been carried on with amazing tools such as Unity, GameMaker, and Unreal Engine.

    On Xbox and Windows 10, ID@Xbox is a spiritual successor of XBLIG, offering platform and Xbox Live access on console and Windows 10 to independent creators of all sizes and scale. Anyone today can sign up for a Windows Developer Account and start making games today using the tools I mentioned earlier and more. Creators have more platforms they can ship on today than ever before, and more and better tools to help them every day – and our priority is ensuring that we give independent developers the support they need to take the next step with us towards the future of gaming.

    The last word in this blog belongs to Andy Dunn of ZBuffer, who has done more for the XNA and XBLIG community than anyone on earth, from the earliest days to the present. He’s been a Microsoft MVP supporting XNA and XBLIG for years, wrote several of the early demos, a couple of indie games including “Kissy Poo” and just released what might be one of the final XNA XBLA games “Guncraft: Blocked and Loaded”:

    I remember being asked to come into Microsoft for a possible contract job. It was a C# gig for the Xbox team and I wasn’t really interested. I had recently quit Microsoft to make games and I knew that nobody used C# to make games on consoles. A friend told me he couldn’t say any more, but it would be worth my while, so I went along. I suspect I then sat with my mouth wide open when they told me that not only could I use C# to write Xbox 360 games, but there would be a storefront to sell your games. Remember this was 2006 – there was no concept of an open App Store and certainly nothing like it on a console. “Why yes of course I was interested in writing some demos and starter kits… of course I can keep it secret till August.”

    The last nine years of my career all started from that meeting. I’ve worked with lots of people besides Microsoft using XNA; and since then, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at conferences, teach at universities, make games and meet some (hopefully) lifelong friends. And tens of thousands of others had the same opportunities. Careers have been founded, millions have been made and in at least one case, a
    marriage occurred! The XNA/XBLIG community is easily the best set of people I’ve had the pleasure to be on the internet with. The forums were full of Microsoft employees and knowledgeable experts mixing with total n00bs wanting to write their own MMO. I know the mods were not always popular but we made sure they were a great place for almost everyone.

    We’ve known the end was coming for a while, and thankfully two years notice is plenty of time for those still in progress. Many of the XNA people have moved onto Unity, Unreal and other gaming tools. The XNA style of programming lives on cross platform with
    MonoGame for those who wish to continue, and the knowledge we all got is still a valuable skill.

    Thanks for the good times Microsoft - we may not all have an
    XNA tattoo, but XNA and Xbox Live Indie Games were a huge part of many people’s lives. 

  • 9/9/2015 9:32 PM In reply to
    • (0)
    • MVP XNA Team Windows Phone Team Moderator
    • Posts 91

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    Dear XBLIG Partners,

    Thank you so much for your partnership and interest in creating and releasing Independent Games onto the Xbox 360 platform.

    Making sure independent developers have a great way to get their content onto Microsoft platforms, and providing an easy way for new developers to get started was the core goal of the XNA Creators Club, the XNA Game Studio framework and Xbox Live Indie Games.

    Today, we are announcing that we are beginning to sunset the XNA Creators Club and Xbox Live Indie Games program on Xbox 360.

    Of course, enabling creators remains a core goal of Microsoft. As we move forward, we are excited to showcase the new Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform that enables independent developers to self-publish and release on multiple platforms such as PC, tablets, Xbox One and mobile devices. Third-party tools such as Unity, Unreal Engine, and GameMaker provide a great way for new developers to get started, and all are supported on Microsoft devices with Windows 10.

    We also have a great program for independent developers creating for the Xbox One platform via ID@Xbox. You can find more information for both programs following the links below.

    ID@Xbox Program

    Windows 10

    With these programs in place and offering a great way forward for development on Windows 10 and Xbox One, we are retiring Xbox Live Indie Games on Xbox 360 on the following schedule (the dates below are estimates and may change slightly):

    September 9th, 2015: Users will no longer be able to purchase an annual membership subscription. Any creators who would like to continue active development after September 9th can contact for free tokens to enable development until September 9th, 2016.
    Due to abuse by some members tokens will only be given to creators with an established reputation through forum posts or shipped games. 

    After September 9th, 2016: Creators will no longer be able to publish their titles to marketplace.

    Around September, 2017: The Xbox Live Indie Games marketplace will be closed.

    Around September, 2017: We will make a final payout to all partners regardless of whether or not they meet the $150 minimum threshold.

    We will have support in place for any questions that may arise until 12/31/2017. After that, the XNA Creators website will be taken down.

    If there are any questions or concerns about the XBLIG program end, please contact

    We want to thank our XBLIG Partners by offering a free token to redeem for a membership to the Windows 10 Developer program. Please email with your full name and XBLIG account ID and we’ll send you a token.

    Thank you,

    XBLIG Support Team

  • 9/9/2015 9:50 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement


    No new paid memberships from today (though this has been broken for a month anyway). If you want to continue selling games email them for a free code.

    You have 12 months to create and release any games - Sept 2016 

    You have a further 12 months to sell your game - Sept 2017

    Then everything comes down....
  • 9/9/2015 9:58 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    I am proud to have played any small part in all of this. This is a sad moment for me. Much love to XNA and XBLIG.
  • 9/9/2015 10:05 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    So many fantastic memories! Owe so much to this community. Thanks for everything! I guess I better get cracking. I've got one year to finally release my very own game on XBLIG. Email sent to get my code! I can do this!
  • 9/9/2015 10:25 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

  • 9/9/2015 10:40 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    Welcome Back George!

    Looking forward to it!

  • 9/9/2015 11:22 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    What a long strange trip it's been! Had a lot of fun getting to know all the developers and learning to code my first few games. Looking forward to the next chapter.
  • 9/9/2015 11:30 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    A sad day but inevitable I guess. Time to get cracking (Like George) and go out in a blaze of glory with one last title 😎

    will be an interesting transition over to ID and the win10 program for xbox (when it arrives), yet more interesting times ahead.

    a big thanks to Andy (theZman) Dunn (and everyone else) for all his efforts in keeping the community alive and fighting the good cause in any way possible 😉
    time for the big showdown free, one last gamejam to rule them all!!

  • 9/10/2015 12:05 AM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    Sad but inevitable I guess, I'm glad they've given a decent amount of advance warning.

    My question is, will people still be able to play the games they've bought, after September 2017?

    The announcement says the XBLIG marketplace will be closed, which I assume means you won't be able to buy the games any more - but presumably you'll still be able to play the ones you've bought, right?
  • 9/10/2015 12:09 AM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    It was great to be part of this community. XNA will be missed :)
  • 9/10/2015 12:12 AM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    Goodbye XBLIG. You were awesome. :)
  • 9/10/2015 2:46 AM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    It was a great place while it lasted, really enjoyed the ride.
  • 9/10/2015 3:30 AM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    Very proud to have been part of this adventure from day 1. Sad to see it end. Amazing games, amazing people! Thanks everyone.
  • 9/10/2015 7:27 AM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    Ive been living on this service the past three years, so the news hits me hard, but it is no surprise.

    Considering the XNA service has been down 90% of the time since December 2014, I hope it wont get even more chaotic now.
  • 9/10/2015 8:08 AM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    So sad. Loved working on this from early on 😞
  • 9/10/2015 8:48 AM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    A sad but not unexpected day.

    Better get that last game finished and released I guess!
  • 9/10/2015 10:37 AM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    I notice it says final payout will be made to all partners regardless of whether or not they meet the minimum threshold. Any idea what will happen with people who haven't submitted their W8 Form? 

    I'm guessing there are quite a few people who didn't quite meet the minimum threshold and didn't bother submitting the forms. Does this mean everyone has to get there forms in and accepted by Sept 2017 or will they find another way to pay us? Personally I would be happy for it to be added to my Xbox Live account if this was an option.
  • 9/10/2015 12:36 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    I was sad when I got the email, but I had been expecting it.

    As I read it, I looked back to see what I have gained due to Microsoft and the XBLIG program.  I made my first FPS Zombie shooter.  I had to learn how to created 3D models, animate them and import them into XNA.  I learned how to work with them in XNA.  I learned advanced game design concepts and the entire life cycle of a quality video game.  I thank Microsoft and the XBLIG team for this.

    I'm sure that I'm not the only one that XBLIG has opened doors for.  This fall, I began teaching courses part time in the Game Design program at my local college.  They have asked if I would consider going full time.  I owe this all to the XBLIG program because it allowed me to learn and implement everything needed to make this career move.

    I look forward to moving on to the Windows 10 and XBOX One platforms.

    Thank you XBLIG team,
    David Ghere

  • 9/10/2015 12:52 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    lolznoob, your answer is right here:

    ·       In September 2017, we’ll stop selling XBLIG games, close the store and pay out all money earned by developers. Of course, players will still be able to re-download games they own and continue to play the games they own.
  • 9/10/2015 2:17 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    Matthew Doucette:
    lolznoob, your answer is right here:

    ·       In September 2017, we’ll stop selling XBLIG games, close the store and pay out all money earned by developers. Of course, players will still be able to re-download games they own and continue to play the games they own.

    Several folk have asked me the same... I think that sentence could be taken both ways - that consumer downloads continue UNTIL 2017 or beyond 2017. So I will get clarification.

    I will also ask about the forms - since payment is made electronically and there are international tax implications I will guess that there will be no changes to the process. So yes you will have to get your forms in. Changing it to credit an XBLA account would probably take a bunch of time and testing for a few people.

    Watch the forums for answers

  • 9/10/2015 2:24 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    Ha!  I just re-subscribed three days ago for $99 plus tax.  I e-mailed asking for a refund but I'm not expecting one.  I guess I could very well be the last paying customer!

    I'm on the verge of releasing my latest (and either last, or next-to-last) game on the service.  I'm happy that our games will still be playable and re-downloadable in the future (unlike on PlayStation Mobile) and that they've given us a very generous 2-year notice.  I'm also very eagerly awaiting word on their ideas regarding game preservation.  I've built up quite a catalog of quality stuff, and it's daunting to think about how much effort it would take to port it all to modern platforms.

    Anyway, insert the usual stuff here, it was a great ride, everyone here is awesome, etc. =)
  • 9/10/2015 2:42 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    How very odd... everyone else has been complaining that the renewal process has not been working for the past month... I suspect it was something to do with preparations for this announcement. SO I'm unsure how that happened. You can always call Xbox support at any time and get a pro rated refund. I don't think that has access to be able to to refunds so you might have to call in and then get a code.

    For preservation - I dont know any details but my impression is that the plan is more than emulation. We'll have to wait and see.
  • 9/10/2015 3:04 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement, emulation or otherwise, the fact that they want to make any preservation effort at all is wonderful and unprecedented.

    Actually, you could describe what they did with XBLIG in general as wonderful and unprecedented.
  • 9/10/2015 3:12 PM In reply to

    Re: XBLIG Program Announcement

    Been an awesome experience,

    All the way from not being able to write a lick of code, or understanding 3D math or physics.....  studying all the 
    tutorials and suffering through the forums and the general beatings that come with learning :)

    Released 6+ games (last 4 years) including

    B&B Fatfree
    then DeadKings
    then Facebreaker
    final game L257

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