XBLA critical to indie console community, says Castle Crashers dev

The Behemoth dev says indie scene "would not exist as it does today" without Microsoft's digital marketplace.

Sony and Nintendo's digital marketplaces are no match for Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade in terms of volume of product and benefit to developers. That's according to Castle Crashers developer The Behemoth's John Baez, who sung the platform's praises in a new Official Xbox Magazine interview.

"I think without a doubt the indie console community would not exist as it does today if Xbox Live Arcade had been dropped after the original Xbox iteration," Baez said. "No other console hardware manufacturer has had the success of downloadable games that XBLA has had. And many smaller developers have shared in that success."

The Behemoth most definitely is counted in the latter, as Castle Crashers has sold over 2 million copies on Xbox Live alone, the report states.

Co-organizer of the annual Xbox Live Indie Games Uprising Dave Voyles also had kind words to share concerning Microsoft's digital platform.

"I don't believe Microsoft was prepared for the success that it would see, both in terms of the number of devs who were on board, and the volume of people who would browse the marketplace," Voyles said. "Before XBLIG, and even after, there has yet to be an easy avenue for independent devs to get work released without going through a closed platform or dealing with a publisher."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

0 comments
MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

As an indie game developer myself, I have to agree, really. XBLI and XBLA games are the best hope for somebody like me to really push forward and reach a wider audience with simple console-style video games.

 

Sure I could make apps for phones, but I just don't like apps for phones. Sure I could make simple PC games, and I do that too (I make simple roleplay MMOs), but I feel like XBLA and XBLI has an untapped market and potential.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

XBLA is awesome i love it. Great games from indie devs and big devs/publishers like sega, capcom, konami EA and more.

tgwolf
tgwolf

That can't be true, I for one will never get an XBox and I am a consumer of indie games.

Paulf001
Paulf001

MS charges an arm and a leg to get anything on their market place so its really not all that great for independents. 

steelmouth
steelmouth

I always thought indie was a stepping stone to AAA games but non of this guys ever seem to graduate to AAA status

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

THE PC, Steam, Mobile.... none of those mean anything to any other developer?  Its only because of XBLA that indie developers can survive?  Really??

 

I think he should shower after sticking his nose so far up Microsoft @$$, and make sure to rest those lips after kissing so much 

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

Now please MS,allow indiegames to have real achievements!How about 100 GS? That would raise the interest astronomically.

Jebril
Jebril

XBLA was a great place to start and still is, I think Steam is now even better though for indie developers.

xSagez
xSagez

I'm actually considering making something for XBLIG. I think it would be awesome fun.

SolidTy
SolidTy

I'm glad that these devs still have a voice.

 

I have plenty of amazing games I bought for WiiWare, PSN, XBLA, and Steam.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Unfortunately there isn't a single decent indie game on consoles.

ziproy
ziproy

There is no console indie community...

walders
walders

So now the question is, why haven't you created another indie title for the XBLA if it is so great?

nate1222
nate1222

I've been wracking up indie goodies off GOG and Gamersgate mostly. Simply for the DRM-free options. But Steam has some good indie stuff as well. Castle Crashers, Cave Story and Super Meat Boy have my attention.

 

My brother is much more of a console person. So XBLA and Virtual Console get a few bucks out of him for indie and retro stuff.

RiKanKiDD
RiKanKiDD

Im glad there are places to find indie games now. I don't care where you fine them. If its, XBLA, STEAM, PS STORE, etc. We should all just appreciate the life these companies have given these games.

Bane_09
Bane_09

Pffffffft.... XBLA is nothing compared to Steam. I get all my Indie games there

JJames3dCG
JJames3dCG

I think this is a "paid for" ploy by Microsoft to get attention back on XBLA. Given what's happening with Sony and Playstation Plus, I can understand the worry that Microsoft would have here. The value you get from PS+ is so far beyond anything that Xbox offers.

UncleAnesthesia
UncleAnesthesia

 @tgwolf Cool story. XBLA has helped a lot of indie developers sell cool little games and put money in both company's pockets, get over it.

UncleAnesthesia
UncleAnesthesia

 @Paulf001 You can get games for as low as 80 MS points ($1) on the IG marketplace. The give the dev console to indie studios upfront and recoup the cost through sales. The commission they take is also lower than most distribution services.

96augment
96augment

 @gatsbythepig  There are plenty of decent indie games. Mark of the Ninja, Limbo, Super Meat Boy, Braid, Castle Crashers, and a bunch of other games I can't even remember.

yostryk
yostryk

 @gatsbythepig What do you think qualifies a console game to be labeled "indie" ? (there are a lot of varying opinions on that) To me, in the console market, when I hear "indie," I think of a relatively small team creating a game without the money/marketing/backing of a publisher (other than Microsoft eventually publishing it onto XBLA). Within that pretext I hope we could all agree that there have been many good "indie" console games. My 2 favorite examples of this are Bastion and Mark of the Ninja, but there are many more. [those 2 wound up on other platforms, but originated on consoles]

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

 @gatsbythepig 

Are you kidding me? There are great games on XBLA like Perfect Dark, Trials HD/Revolution, and Banjo Kazooie/Tooie. And then there are the underrated ones like 3D Ultra Minigolf 1/2, A World of Keflings/Kingdom for Keflings, Beyond Good and Evil HD, Costume Quest, Hydro Thunder, ilomilo, Marble Blast Ultra (although it isn't for sale anymore and was one of the earlier games), Monkey Island 1/2, N+, Quake Arena Arcade (although no one is online, they need more gamers!), SONIC ADVENTURE, and The Fancy Pants Adventures.

RogerioFM
RogerioFM

You either have a crappy taste or an unreachable taste. Either way, you're wrong. There are countless decent games on XBLA alone. Some of which I had more fun than many AAA games.

SPuDl
SPuDl

 @walders They are its called Battleblock Theater and its looking good! Don't you think to search before making yourself look stupid?

Volgin_2
Volgin_2

 @Bane_09 

I know Steam is best, but he is talking about indie console devs, not PC.

TheArcade
TheArcade

 @JJames3dCG What in the blue hell are you talking about? I don't know anyone who owns a PS3 who's got PS+.

Vickman178
Vickman178

 @JJames3dCG Not to mention what Nintendo is doing with the Wii U eShop. Its pretty much the best place for indies right now.

 

For example if you release a game on XBLA or PSN and you want to patch/release DLC for it later on you have to pay a pretty large fee especially on XBLA. Dev's also aren't allowed to set the prices they want on XBLA and PSN.

 

And Nintendo has pretty much gotten rid of all of these restrictions which have become standard.They also decreased how much of a cut they make per digital download sold.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

 @96augment TBH, when I responded to the article, I was referring to Xbox's "Indie Games".  I should have been more succinct.  

Braid is an incredible game, Castle Crashers was fun for a month, Limbo is impressive however short and Super Meat boy has excellent controls and a hilariously simple story. I haven't played Mark of the Ninja yet but that's just because I am waiting for it to go on sale.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

@yostryk

 "I think of a relatively small team creating a game without the money/marketing/backing of a publisher"

 

You summed it up very well.

 

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

 @JDWolfie I am not trying to be offensive but...

 

Are you sure you know what an indie game is?

 

More than half of the games you mentioned are in no way indie games.

 

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

@RogerioFM

"Either way, you're wrong"

 

Why do you feel your opinion trumps mine?  

 

You're entitled to your own beliefs but to tell someone that doesn't agree with you, about a subjective matter, is irretrievably stupid.

 

Your response makes you seem like you have a low level of intelligence.  Maybe it isn't the lack of intellect, just the lack of schooling.  You decide- Are you retarded or simply uneducated?

 

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

 @TheArcade  @JJames3dCG me neither i have both xbox and ps 3 but i have gold on xbox but i don't have ps+. Ps plus is like paying for an illusion. an illusion of free games that you only have on the basis of a subcription to the service so they are not really free.

alenth
alenth

 @Vickman178  @JJames3dCG Not bad but in the other side Nintendo is really restrictive with other things such as annoying payment methods and expensive digital games in other countries outside the US and UK, no free bandwidth, no quality tests on games and patches, etc. 

 

Is just another different method with a different approach.

TheArcade
TheArcade

 @Vickman178 You're kidding... the Wii U can't even do party chat let alone a conference chat within the game channel. The most Wii U got is 1-on-1 private chat. MS & Sony Does charge devs to put crap on their networks but at least Microsoft gives away free bandwidth. I'm under the impression it's the reason why XBLA garners so much recognition from developers to begin with!

larkin-54
larkin-54

 @Vickman178  @JJames3dCG if anything nintendo will have restrictions, also seeing as it has yet to prove itself the XBLA is probably the place for established indie studios 

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

 @SomeOddGuy  @96augment Good point.  It is usually not a good idea to use superlatives, ie. best, worst, always, never.  I didn't find any Indie games that I liked.  I shouldn't have said there aren't any.

96augment
96augment

 @gatsbythepig  I still haven't finished Limbo. Just too lazy. Braid was mostly good. A couple of puzzles annoyed me. Castle Crashers was fun. I got to play it again. I must have put over a hundred hours in Super Meat Boy and I haven't even finished the game. It's so much fun. Mark of the Ninja looks good. I'm just too lazy to get it.

SomeOddGuy
SomeOddGuy

 @gatsbythepig  @96augment Even if you wanted to mention the "Indie Games" section of XBL's service alone, there has been a couple of gems inside there, as well as the only location to purchase popular PC indie titles like Beat Hazard(now outdated by the Ultra expansion found anywhere but on Xbox) and Dark Precipice 3.  Won't deny there aren't as many gems in this sand pile, but that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any decent ones.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

 @VALikimlav  @RogerioFM It makes perfect sense.  Reread the comment a few times and you may eventually understand.  

 

You are entitled to your opinion.  I am entitled to my opinion.  You can't be wrong about your own opinion.  I am sorry that I have failed you in explaining a very simple construct.

VALikimlav
VALikimlav

 @gatsbythepig  @RogerioFM 

"You're entitled to your own beliefs but to tell someone that doesn't agree with you, about a subjective matter, is irretrievably stupid."

 

For one thing, that makes no sense. Get off your high horse.

 

An opinion or commentary on your own opinion have no correlation with intelligence. If you believe that, you are committed to the view that any argument (which are more often than not based on different opinions or commentaries on others' opinions in subjective matters) are the bickerings between people of "low levels of intelligence." You attempt to sound sophisticated, but fail at it greatly. So please, shut up.

JJames3dCG
JJames3dCG

 @jtthegame316 Well it's pretty clear from your response, that your defending xbox subs, not looking for the positive in PSN subs. If you were, you would be able to acknowledge, that for your money, the subscription that provides more, is PSN. Throwing in argumentative statements like "The ps3 don't have that at all" refereing to the cross chat, is just petty jabbing.

 

Bottom line, if you pay for a subscription, from either xbox or PSN, you get more for your money from PS+ than Live, even thought the games are essentially on a "rental-like" basis. You still have access to FULL AAA games to the tune of 12+ games. That's not something you can say of xbox live.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

 @JJames3dCG That is my point its NOT FREE its on the basis of your subcribtion. if you decided against subcribing one year then decided to play one of these games you would not be able to inless you subcribed again. which begs the question other than an illusion of FREE games what does PS + give you. not online play because you have that anyway. not use of certain apps because you  have that anyway but its lucky you don't have to pay for the use of apps on ps 3 because they don't work very well from the experiance i have had with them. not cross game chat thats for sure because ps 3 don't have that at all. So when it comes to psn there not actually offering much more with there paid subcription to what they are with there free one oh and i go back to games quite a bit actually.

JJames3dCG
JJames3dCG

 @jtthegame316  You're so stupid. You would look at it that way if you're not a subscriber. I've been a member of Plus for about 6 months....While not every game that's free is to my liking, I can honestly say, that during the summer (and now winter) dry spell, I've had non-stop free games to play. On the Vita. On the PS3. On PS2, PS1, and PSP. I can't begin to tell you how much you are missing out if you're not taking advantage of this service. No you don't own it, but how often do you really go back and play games after you've beat them? Rarely. There's always something new to play, so it's rare to play an older game. Suit yourselves if you're happy with xbox live. PS+ has kept me playing AAA games FOR FREE for the last 4months without the need to pay a single dollar since subscribing.