When you’re looking at the Xbox 360′s title list, you can probably recite the big names by heart.
Gears of War, Halo, Dance Central… these are the titles that the system is known for and receive tons of media attention and critical acclaim, but have you heard of Bitstream? No? How about ‘Protect Me Knight!’? That’s probably because these titles didn’t receive a single bit of advertising, well no official advertising at least.
The Xbox Live Marketplace is a fantastic place for Indie game developers to flex their skills and produce some really great games for an audience they might normally have a lot of trouble reaching. What does this mean for you? Well in general, it means a lot of things.
If you like great games from talented new minds, this means that you’re getting just that. Independent game designers are working hard to put out original content and unique games all the time. These aren’t just big-budget million dollar releases, these are titles that small groups or even individuals are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into to release to a huge audience.
The indie game marketplace is a literal breeding ground for the next big thing to come along and shake up the gaming world, providing us with quality entertainment at a fraction of the price of a regular game. In fact, most indie games cost 80-240 MS points, the highest costs capping out at 400 points.
If you’re on the developer’s side of the equation this means that you have an amazing platform to produce your games for. If you’ve been working on a personal project or have always dreamed of doing so, the Xbox Live marketplace is the perfect place for you to release your creation.
On top of being able to release your game to one the largest online gaming network around, you have the opportunity to make a few bucks for your work. That’s right, Microsoft makes quarterly payments to their indie game developers based on the amount of points the game costs and how many sales it makes. So if you’re a developer looking to release their gem of an idea to the world, this might be the right time and place for you!
One thing to watch for as you browse the indie game market, however, is dud games. For every truly amazing indie game that gets released, you’re bound to find a dozen terrible games. Much like any major release, there are games that the developers put their heart and soul into and there are titles that get made with a minimum amount of effort in a hope to make a quick buck.
When you’re thinking about purchasing an indie game from the marketplace, be sure to follow a few simple rules to keep yourself from getting burned. First, make sure you check the star rating, number of reviews on the game, or even Google the title to see what other people are saying about it.
Second, a picture is a thousand words and the screenshots of the game on its page will give you an idea of what it’s like. Finally, always download the demo before you commit, even if some of the game’s features are locked in the demo you can generally get an idea of whether or not you’ll enjoy it. The Xbox Live indie game market is a revolutionary place to find great, cheap games that you’ll likely never see in a store.