XBOX Live Indie Games (XBLIG) launched in January 2012 and many believed it would usher in a golden age for independent development as it was the first time since Sony’s Net Yaroze (which launched in 1997) to allow garage developers to publish directly to a video game console. The only requirement to joining this marketplace was knowledge of XNA and an annual licensing fee of $100.00. What made this prospect even more enticing for developers was that there would be a dedicated area for their indie games to be showcased. This area is titled the Indie Channel and is available to be viewed by the entire XBOX Live audience.
But ultimately this experiment failed as the Indie Channel was quickly flooded with low quality games; clones, barely functional prototypes and numerous games that transformed the controller into a vibrator. These games turned the XBOX Live audience away from exploring the games XBLIG had to offer. Each iteration of Microsoft’s Dashboard led the Indie Channel to being pushed further into the background. When the Indie Channel was launched navigating to the channel was only three screens from the home screen, and each following update made it more difficult to find, even if you knew what you were looking for. Currently the Indie Channel is buried, and it appears Microsoft is attempting for this experiment to be forgotten.