Year Four of theXBLIG

Today marks four years(!) that theXBLIG has been online. Things have been slow, with gaps in-between posts (mostly my fault, partly due to a lack of releases), but the site is still going. That has to count for something, and I am damn proud to be able to say that much. Unfortunately, these ‘birthday’ celebrations have taken on an air of solemnity the past two years, as the Xbox Live Indie Games service has wound down and been given its official ‘sunsetting’ countdown (fast approaching its September 9th sell-by deadline, by the way).

It’s a sad event to have on your calendar, but as I’m often told by people with smiles too big to be natural, ‘all good things must come to an end’. Just as XBLIG will soon reach its conclusion, so too must ‘theXBLIG’. Time marches on. It’s a natural progression. It’s not all going to end in tears, of course. Indie developers have multiple avenues for publishing their games now, and the pastures beyond XBLIG are undeniably greener. If nothing else, XBLIG can stand proud knowing that it was the ‘starting off point’ for dozens of indie game careers, and maybe even the first time any of us had heard of or played ‘indie games’. Its place in history is secure.

As for theXBLIG, I will finish out reviewing new games as they come. I promised you that much, and I promised myself the same. After that, I have plans to do a limited run of must-play XBLIG games, probably starting at the end of the year and running through the first part of 2017. I’m not sure of the format, but with no new games to write about, that will probably be my personal ‘send off’ to the service, and the site. This should give anyone looking for a few good games to play before the final shutdown a short list to go by.

Regardless of the inexorable future, I want to once again thank each and every one of you for visiting this site. Whether you’ve been coming here for years, or just once in a great while to check for free codes, whether you’ve left a comment or just lurked in the shadows, it’s been an absolute pleasure for me to play these videogames and write about them for you. So, Thank You.

With much love and much(er) appreciation,


28 thoughts on “Year Four of theXBLIG”

  1. Thanks for giving us a great outlet to discuss our games (for the developers on here) and for hosting some amazing Block King weekends. Such a service can’t be understated because of the lack of publicity for xbligs.

    I hope that you take this opportunity as Xblig ends to expand your site to cover new indie games in general. Or start a new one. As a blogger I belive you have a real opportunity to build on what you’ve accomplished in four years.

    Oops I used the b word sorry!

    1. Me, host? Nah, that is all you, sir! I’m the guy that’s always showing up late, after you guys have had a few good rounds already. But I thank you for the kind words, and as always, I’m glad to have whatever kind of impact I can when it comes to XBLIGs. Still no idea what the future holds after the service is officially closed down, but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I reach it. Hard to see myself completely abandoning it and not doing some kind of review thing for indies, but we’ll see.

      And watch it with that B word! I’ll have to talk to WordPress first, and get them to drop this whole ‘blog’ thing and ‘blog post’ crap. This is a first-rate establishment here! We’re above that sort of thing! ๐Ÿ˜€

      In the meantime, I’m patiently waiting for LoD2… or LoDII… ahem, Loot or Die 2. Hopefully the review and launch goes smoothly for you, as MS just got the last few new releases fixed (and it only took them two weeks, I hear).

  2. A quick FYI, just in case anyone has been checking things out on the 360 store—- the new release downloads (the last three, to be exact) are busted again, so nothing happening on that end. Hopefully the issue is fixed by the start of next week, and I can get back to playing some new games!

    1. I did indeed! And they had Ziggurat before that. I actually saw this on Steam a few weeks back (one of those ‘start here and end up somewhere completely different’ internet exploration-type things), so it’s nice that I’ll be able to check it out now.

    2. A bit late to the party with this … but speaking of Milkstone Studios they have released Ziggurat (how to change font here I still don’t know!) for … the Wii U! Probably a small net to cast, but for those fellow Wii U players it is well worth picking up. Not an XBLIG, of course, but fun to keep supporting the devs regardless.

    3. Haha, okay, first things first; to italicize something, put an asterisk directly before the word / words / phrase you want to italicize, and then put an asterisk directly after the final word / words / phrase you want to italicize. No spaces, just directly before and after. If you want to make something BOLD, you put two asterisks before and after whatever you’re bold…en…ning? Emboldening. Bolding. Making bold. Whatever. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Second, they got that game onto the Wii U?!? Man, I mean, I say why not, go for it. The Wii U needs whatever it can get at this point, so all the more power to them. And I’m not intending that to diss Nintendo or anything. I love Nintendo. I just wish people had more reasons to talk about the Wii U than not. Here’s to hoping the NX will impress, what with all the talk about Xbox One.5 and PS4.5 and all that.

  3. Ahh, such a bittersweet occasion. On the one hand it’s really brought to mind the death clock ticking down on XBLIGs, yet on the other hand we get to celebrate 4 years of pure unadulterated awesomeness!
    I am incredibly grateful to you for having kept going with the XBLIG news and reviews, specially now that I don’t check the XBLIG section on my 360 anywhere near as regularly as I used to. And I’m glad that you’ll be sticking with it through to the end. I’ll still be here reading!

    1. Thank you, Edgar, for the very kind words! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s incredibly bittersweet, as you said, but it’s still an awesome feeling to look back at things in the XBLIG community and recognize how we’ve all gotten to this point. I mean, sure, it’s just videogames, some would say, but given the somewhat small size of that community, it’s all the more personal to every one of us. Thanks for sticking around, good sir, and I hope we can end this thing on a high note!

    2. @ImTheMetalLord & @Tim Hurley
      I’m glad to see Milkstone Studios are still going strong. They’re one of my favourites on XBLIG too (I still play Sushi Castle every few weeks!).
      Pharaonic looks like it could be really good fun, will have to give it a go sometime.
      Dang! I don’t have an XBOne!
      Double Dang! My crappy graphics card won’t run it on PC either!
      Oh well, on it goes to my list of games I’ll eventually get to play one day ๐Ÿ˜‰

    3. Ah, that’s a tough situation. The crappy PC I can relate to… well, I could have, until I finally replaced it late last year. Still nothing fancy, but I can actually run some indie-tier games now. And I’d say to jump on the Xbox One / PS4 bandwagon, but with both companies getting set to push their new half-next gen versions of their console (Scorpio, Neo, Scorpion, Sub Zero, whatever they end up calling them), you’re probably better off to wait and see what they offer and if it’s then worth it to invest and upgrade.

  4. RIP the Xblig.
    So many gems, the best one being Murder Miners with a ton of free content that even AAA wouldnt have done.
    You will be missed (xblig and the xblig:P)

    1. Thank you Derp! Don’t miss us yet, but you know, in the future, go ahead and do that. ๐Ÿ˜€

      You know, you bringing up Murder Miners reminds me of a handful of games I got a little bit ‘wrong’ at first glance. To be fair to myself, the solo game was in somewhat sad shape when I ‘reviewed’ it, but you (and the developer) definitely corrected me on that once they started in with the updates and new content. If more developers had gone to the lengths they did to create a better game and keep the community involved, there’s no telling how many other great multiplayer games might still be enjoying a following.

  5. You know Tim, some strippers when they got pregnant, they stop the pole business (although some keep dancing with four children, one of them still in their bellies, but lets forget about that part), but they should not be ashamed, because thx to that their children will have a better life. Same to you Timmy, you took to review games that nobody will touch, I wlam sure you inspired some people, including indie developers jumping platform and keep doing games, or maybe someone to write about indies. I had so much fun reading those reviews and comments (I still remember when One Finger Death Punch came out). Maybe the pole have oxidated and you cant dance anymore, but the memories of you dancing with those games will not be forgotten. Godspeed Timmy! And Run Timmy… run.

    Note: I tried my best to write a stripper comment with a little positivity, I hope it came all right xD.

    1. That is… a… well… a feel-good stripper story. I think we’ve all learned something important here today. Nice job!

      And I owe you just as many ‘thanks’ for these… enlightened comments. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Man, this place would never be the same without you guys. It’s going to be hard to leave it behind when XBLIG officially closes.

  6. It is a shame that these things must come to an end. We are grateful that you took the time to review our game which, in turn, allowed us to actually engage people who played it.
    As you suggested, we (as Indie Developers) are setting our sights on “bigger” (though not necessarily “better”) things – we are getting a new version of our game ready for release on Steam.
    Personally, I have always enjoyed reading your reviews. I like your review style. I do hope that you will be able to continue reviewing games. Perhaps you could start to cover Indie games on Steam? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Thank you for your words.

    1. Thank you for the nice words guys, and you are very welcome for the review! And congrats again on getting Greenlit! I’m digging the new look / powerups you’ve got going in the new version (that ‘first-person’ mode looks pretty trippy), so best of luck in getting everything polished up and finished. I still don’t have any concrete plans for what I might do after I shutter this site, but hey, you never know. Life has a funny way of deciding some things for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Oh, and if anyone’s interested in checking out a very stressful version of Pong with hundreds of balls in play, you can check out Impossiball here:

  7. Four years? Why does it feel like 40? My guess is all the good times and all the very well written journalistic stylings you brought to the Indie games on the 360.

    cough blog cough comment cough couldn’t cough be cough avoided cough

    But seriously, much thanks for all the free games, good times, discoveries, and just feeling free to say what in the fuck ever I wanted without reprise about anything at all.

    \m/ THE XBLIG FTW \m/

    1. Haha, I know, right? It feels longer to me too, and this good ole blog or website or fancy forum or whatever the hell it is has weathered the storm as best it could.

      And you’ve been a HUGE part of it just in your metallic and lordly presence alone, my good man, so yes, you have earned the right to say whatever the fuck you want, whenever the fuck you want. I’ll even concede to you and andregurov ONLY, the right to call this thing a blog without a single word of protest from me ever again. And ‘blog’ is a trigger word for me, so you know I’m not making that concession lightly! ๐Ÿ˜€

    2. Just like the Tin Man, eh? Haha, alright, alright. No more. Thanks for sticking around, though. I really do appreciate it.

    3. It sure hasn’t felt like that many years … time does indeed fly. I don’t know about other people here, but for those of us who rarely put on a headset and interact with other players in the online gaming world, this site has felt like more than merely a high-quality-review-site-that-is-not-a-blog (Tim has educated me well of the dismissive term, and I am not about to use it now), indeed rather a community. Whether it was the chaotic fun of Block King or getting wrecked by Chris in his newest game (yeah … sure it was “arranged” to test out the multiplayer. I believe that …) I think the gregarious and honest nature of both the site owner and its readers has always shined through. And that is INCREDIBLY rare in today’s gaming and online media world. I’ll certainly miss it. Perhaps even more than the games.

      I’m sure many of us plan to stick around all the way to the end. Especially if the final XBLIG waifu game finally stops just teasing us and drops that last shred of clothing covering her … uhh, I’ll stop now. : I

    4. Oh no, my friend, you and Metal both now have the exclusive right to call this place a ‘blog’ all you want; you’ve earned the right. WordPress hammers it home to me on a near-daily basis, so I suppose I should just give up the fight and accept it! My gregarious nature won’t allow me to hold a grudge anyway. ๐Ÿ˜€

      And thanks for all the kind words. Believe it or not, I’m not always the most sociable person myself, so getting involved with indie games and interacting with developers and all you guys took some getting used to. I think it helps that nearly every person I’ve ever met through doing this has turned out to be a fantastic human being, in sharp contrast to the types you usually run into online. That’s probably the part I’m going to miss the most after the XBLIG shutdown (oh, maybe all those gratuitous ‘skin’ games, too), but hey, that’s not going to stop us from organizing some game nights, I hope.

    1. ะดะฐ, Comrade! We have fought the good fight for Mother XBLIG! We’ll hold the line until the very last man standing! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. You have been doing a fantastic job with this site and i’m sad that the end is near. Thank you for all the great reviews for this often overlooked subset of games. You’ve helped me discover so many fantastic hidden gems that have given me hundreds of hours of gaming. Thank you so much!

    1. Your comment right there perfectly illustrates why I started this site to begin with; getting the word out about XBLIGs. Thank you for that. It means a lot to get that kind of feedback, and I’m glad to have been able to convince a few people to check out games they might not otherwise have known about. Thanks for reading!

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