A Fitting Tribute to XBLIG

Earlier this month, Microsoft quietly announced the end date for XNA and Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG). Starting from September 9 of this year, no new XNA memberships are being sold or renewed. Developers with current subscriptions now have exactly one year to create and release games on the service. After September 9, 2016, no new games will be allowed to release on XBLIG. At this point, you better start buying whatever games you may have missed out on. One year after that, in September 2017, the marketplace will be closed forever, with developers being given final payouts soon after. It’s important to note that you will be able to re-download any XBLIGs you’ve bought before that date, and continue to play them.

For anyone that follows XBLIG in any form, be it player and / or developer, the news was difficult to hear, albeit wholly expected. The indie service, the first to offer literally anyone the ability to create and publish a game on a major home console, has admittedly been winding down for the past year. Fewer and fewer titles are being released under the XBLIG banner, and the service itself has been plagued by a series of extended, damaging outages, resulting in a number of delays and issues for developers. As a result, most developers have written off XBLIG entirely, moving their projects over to PC and / or other avenues, or canceling them outright.

While there will undoubtedly be plenty of time later to debate what went right and what went wrong with XBLIG, the good folks behind Indie Games Uprising, a once-annual promotion of new XBLIG games, have just unveiled a tribute to the service. This tribute highlights developers that got their start with XNA and XBLIG, showcasing their newest (or forthcoming) games while offering a nostalgic glimpse back at some of their earlier projects on the Xbox indie channel. The full list of games and developers can be found at the link above, but the tribute page itself is a fitting monument to the oft-overlooked successes and good times that XNA / XBLIG helped foster. Whether you are a grizzled veteran or a casual observer, you owe it to yourself to play these great games before they’re gone and remember what XBLIG has meant to you.

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25 thoughts on “A Fitting Tribute to XBLIG”

  1. Been a month. You need to check out Hartacon Tactics. I only gave it a short try and I like it. Turned base RPG for a buck. Nicely done as far as I’m concerned. Local multiplayer as well if you have some buddies to play with locally.

    1. I saw it, gents. It’s been on PC, I see, and yeah, definitely a good-looking game that reminds me a bit of Fire Emblem or even FF Tactics.

      Still working on the APOC TOWN review, and yes, I’ve been slacking, generally. 😦 I could give the excuse that work has been keeping me busy, but that’s not good enough. Once I finish with the review, I’ll decide which one to move on to next, but Hartacon Tactics is intriguing, if not exactly the type of game I usually go for.

      Actually, I see that Block King 2 is already in review (according to a tweet), so Chris has been busy. We may have to get the band back together (yes, that’s a Blues Brothers reference) pretty soon… 🙂

  2. Guys… guuuys… there’s new games on the marketplace!!! 😮

    Well, if you will excuse me for now, have to play APOC TOWN. [takes a bow and leaves room]

    1. Haha, guys…. guuuyyyys 🙂

      Yeah, figures they fix XBLIG, and now I’m leaving out of town on Friday again…. Oh well… It’s good to see Chris could finally release APOC TOWN though. Guess they were working on things ‘behind the scenes’. At least I’ve got some new stuff to play! 😀

    2. The single player is perfect ( and when hosting games) but there are seemingly random bugs joining games. I have patches ready, and the first will likely release this weekend to fix most of the bugs. Working on next patch to get things squeaky clean. So far people really like all the little details and complications to the game.

    3. Need. More. Materials. Got some medical supplies, plenty of food, but those damn materials. Can’t really build or improve anything at the moment. 😀

      I’m on Day 4, so there’s literally zombies everywhere now. And my de facto leader got infected last night (my original leader died on Day 2).

      In short, not enough materials, leader dead, second in command infected, three casualties so far, melee weapons falling apart, low on ammo, gazillions of zombies.

      So yeah, everything’s fine. 🙂

    4. One question about Apoc Town: why, when you can jump like 15 feet in the air, do you run out of stamina so quickly? ; )

      Seriously: the game is tough. Those zombies are like the Walls in Air War: OP!

    5. @Chris: Sounds good, sir. Odds are you’ll have the first patch up and running and the multiplayer stuff sorted by the time I get to the game, so I’m not too worried. Best of luck!

      @Soosh: So… things are working out quite well, then? 😀 Hey, it’s the apocalypse! Nothing goes according to plan. But I empathize, because I know I will be in exactly the same spot once I start playing. The whole ‘end of the world’ scenario doesn’t work as well with me either.

      @andregurov: Air War had your number, for sure. I mean, as far as inanimate objects were concerned…. Zombies are a step above walls on the clever scale, so I can see how this presents a problem. 😉

    6. My strategy for Apoc town is spam missions to get materials from bonuses. Once I max out my buildings, I create pipe bombs. I will most likely increase their cost or decrease am mmo cost.

      First patch fixed most bugs, but I left some test 0’s on the screen. Second patch coming soon.

      Also, block king 2 is in the works!

      Thanks for playing everyone!!!

    7. Oh snap!!! Block King 2!!!! I foresee many, many, MANY classic matches that will eventually be played with the fine folks of the XBLIG community! 😀

  3. I really like the tribute page. It’s sad yet uplifting at the same time. Plus, I’ve recently started looking into what the devs of some of my favourite XBLIGS have moved on to (can’t wait for Last Stitch Goodnight), so the tribute page will probably turn out to be a good resource as well.

    Speaking of which, I found out today that Concrete Jungle has been released on Steam. It’s made by Cole Powered Games, who made an XBLIG game called MegaCity. It looks like the dev has taken the concept of MegaCity and expanded it into a fully featured title, and it’s been getting some good coverage and positive reviews too. Hopefully it will turn into another XBLIG success story!

    1. Yes indeed, it doubles as an excellent look back and an even better look forward, and I’m definitely excited to see where the developers go from here. Good on the Uprising crew to spotlight the good aspects of XBLIG in light of all the usual negativity. Also, I’m with you on Last Stitch Goodnight! All The Bad Parts was an underrated gem of a game, and it’s good to see Ben continuing in that style of game with the new project. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the information Tim. I’ll have to check that page out after work. Seems like a lot of good information about games there as well as some awesome quotes. I only had time to skim it.

    1. A lot of good stuff there, and a few things that surprised me as well! Nice to have everything in one spot, as you know how getting information about XBLIG out is not an easy thing to do.

    2. Very good on them!! Going through it now. Read through (skimmed mainly) the first link to verify the information you provided was accurate. (don’t blame me since so many people don’t double check anything and just post stuff I’ve gotten in the habit of double checking everything)

      Tim I posted a pseud link to your site on Major Nelsons blog to this important posting of informational site. (can’t use actual link like here) There has been many talks over there regarding when support will for the 360 Xbox Live may end and actually with a date of September 2017 of XBLIG ending it gives home for support to last till at least then.

      http://majornelson.com/2015/09/28/this-weeks-deals-with-gold-and-spotlight-sale-22/#comments

    3. Wait… you didn’t trust me with what I wrote?…. sad face…. 😦

      Although I am going to go back and add on to the first paragraph, to let everyone know that you will still be able to re-download games you buy and play them. Seems a little unclear the way I have it currently.

      And thanks for the link! I’m sure Live support for 360 is going to last quite a bit longer than XBLIG’s lifespan, but yeah, it should be of some comfort to people to know that they have at least until September 2017… and probably much, much longer. 🙂

    4. I think I feel the need to clarify something. It’s not that I don’t trust you Tim But when you see something like this posted on the internet you better double check facts for everything.

    5. Well, okay, I guess I feel a little better about things now that you’ve clarified what you…. OH MY GOD YOU POSTED A PICTURE OF HITLER!? YOU’RE COMPARING ME TO HITLER I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU… oh, ohhhhhhhh, okay, I get what you mean. 🙂

      True, you can’t trust everything you see on the internet. Which is, well, yeah, a basic truth of the internet, so… no harm no foul. Better that somebody does the fact-checking around here, because I’m not always good with those sorts of things…. 😀

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