Took a small vacation of being an adult. Didn't work.

Cajun Chicken

CRank: 6Score: 0

Something is wrong with XBLIG

Recently I've started looking up a few games on Xbox Live Indie Games. It's a much ignored part of XBLM, I find.

There is admittedly a lot of awful, terrible games on XBLIG, in fact the amount of horribly designed games clearly outrank the good games in number. But hey, it's always the case with anything, there's some great games up there. Especially addictive twinstick shooters I own about 5 games from the service.
This isn't the problem. The problem is XBLIG doesn't ACTUALLY work like normal indie games. You find a good indie game on PC, you buy and download that indie game, you OWN that indie game, play it whenever you want on the machine you got it on.

For some completely obscure reason, Microsoft don't seem to want you to own the game. XBLIG has terrible DRM and DRM that isn't seen on any other part of XBLM. I'm not sure if all that many people have noticed, but try booting up an XBLIG game when not signed in on XBL, or for example when you don't have your wireless adapter plugged in.
The game isn't playable. It does not load. You NEED to be connected onto XBL in ORDER to PLAY THE GAME, that you have BOUGHT and OWN and is taking up precious hard drive space.

There is completely NO REASON for a person to sign in online to play an offline game of which they've bought taking up precious harddrive space. This also crops up in the case games on the PS3 being unable to access the splitscreen mode of Warhawk offline and have a 2 player deathmatch and the recent Double Impact Capcom beat em up anthology, which Capcom decided to sneakily put stupid DRM in. It's also noticeable that Steam had this problem too at the start, but you can choose to boot up in offline mode these days. Ubisoft has a horrible DRM scheme these days on PC too.

Now, back to the subject; these are indie games on XBLIG and to be quite frank, MS is lessening the impact of these games being 'full games' and ironically taking away independence by having to sign on to XBL in order to use the product. These aren't indie games, because you need to be ONLINE on XBL in order to play a simple little offline arcade game.
It's incredibly frustrating to play a great little game suitable for coffee break sized gaps which is all the time, taking up room and without being signed in, you can't use it. Surely this is an annoyance to XBLIG developers too, MS isn't a publisher, MS is an constant agent which everyone has to seek permission to play the product. That isn't independent, that's like you knocking at someone's door when you were ten years old and asking if *insert name* can come out to play to their mum. That's how it feels to me and I have some stunning little games, some of Geometry Wars 2 quality taking up space which I can't always play if I take my console around to other people's houses if they don't have the internet. This is an honestly stupid situation for a game you have rightfully bought and rightfully paid the author for and unlike the big wig publishers I spoke of before, it's not the developers fault.

Seeking out further information about WHY exactly this happens on XBLIG, I found this page in the XBLIG FAQ;

Let's breakdown thanks to quotation marks, folks.

You must be connected to Xbox LIVE to start an Xbox LIVE Indie Games title as part of our continued effort to provide family-safe content through the Indie Games site. When the game starts, the Xbox LIVE service determines whether content was removed and blocked from play because it was determined to be inappropriate. If a title is removed and blocked from play because of offensive content, Microsoft will contact users who purchased the content, and will issue these users a refund for the purchase."

My thoughts about this; Why? People bought the game. If the game was deemed inappropriate, well, MS should of never let it gone up. I haven't seen any worse violent or rude content on XBLIG than the game demos on XBLM which are blocked when the user who has signed on is under a certain age. Why is an indie game considered more dangerous?

This message is by design. There is no workaround for this issue. To play Xbox LIVE Indie Games titles, you must be connected to Xbox LIVE to start the game title. After the game starts and loads, you can disconnect from Xbox LIVE if you want to." can connect to XBL one day for you to suddenly get a game you bought and possibly liked removed from your list of games, because the public may vote it deemed inappropriate and get the points back, brilliant. Where's the independence in that? This game isn't a rental that the game could be removed from the shelves any time because of being banned, it's a real game that you've bought to reward the author for making a good game that you enjoyed.

XBLIG and MS really needs to sort itself out. Because I'm pretty sure people like me buying games, not being online all the time and using up money and limited harddrive space, unable to play a game I rightfully own surely MUST be affecting sales.

Opinions below people!

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Gawdl3y2749d ago

I could never adapt to America's prudishness, as most of what Americans deem "inappropriate" include nudity or "bad" language. Anywhere else in the world (except extremist nations like Saudi Arabia), neither of these things are seen as bad things. Violence, however is cracked down upon more so than in America.

I strongly dislike the fact that so many of these companies are American. They basically impose their restrictions on us Europeans, and think nothing of it except that they're doing the right thing. Boy, are they wrong. America's morals = not right, not right at all.

So, a game deemed inappropriate by Americans would be removed from our's as well, most likely.
And yes, terrible scheme in the first place. If people think it is inappropriate, just have it say "hey, yeah, this game may be considered inappropriate for some people" instead of removing it entirely.


Then you must go to the Halls of Rohan in Edoras. Perhaps King Theoden will hear your pleas. Alternatively, you could ditch the Xbox 360 and Play B3yond with the new and improved PS3 Slim. No DRM whatsoever. Men's Wearhouse guarantees it.

GAM3R7l2746d ago

Sony/PS3 doesn't HAVE anything like XBLIG. PERIOD. So how is switching from 360 to PS3 an option/solution exactly??

Simple...IT ISN'T.


Well, that's just like, your opinion dude.

DvsDevise2746d ago (Edited 2746d ago )

I asked the same question to XNA/XBLIG moderators about a year ago. They told me it's there for parent controls. However, a connection to Xbox Live wasn't required to enable parental controls. Xbox Indie games are unrated, so just have a yes/no option in the parental controls settings would do the trick!?!. It seems so simple. Obviously that's not the full reason.

I'm pretty sure I understand why Microsoft are doing this. If a game passes the peer review process and it contains very explicit content, Microsoft wants to be able to wipe that not only from their service, but from every console that downloaded it. Of course the user would get a refund, but MS would corrupt the game when the user tried to play it with an internet connection. This is all theory, but MS have banned 2 games to date (that I know of) from the XBLIG service. And I'm pretty sure they would of made them unplayable via the Live connection requirement.

Xbox Indie Games is a f'ing awesome service. There are so many great games on the service. Most titles are only 1 or 3 dollars and deserve the support from gamers. I love hitting the purchase button on a choice 80 point indie game.

Articles about banned indie games:

Cajun Chicken2746d ago

I can understand this. But in theory, you never actually own the games. You have to be online to do so.
Honestly, it just sounds like MS started this service halfassed.

Maybe great listed games on game media lists like 'I made a game with Zombies in it!!!' could be "upgraded?" I mean, if they're wellknown enough and acclaimed by the media such as IGN, Kotaku, Indie Gamer Blog and fansites, why still hook the game up to XBL connection to run it? Could the game not just be patched to run without a connection after a certain point of critical acclaim?

That's my solution anyway. I can tell you Echoes+ and Pew Pew Pod have certainly not offended me in any single way.

DvsDevise2746d ago

Yes I agree to an extent. I don't think MS have been halfassed with regards to the service. It's the legal departments that force these decisions. Pew Pew Pod might contain some hardcore sex mini game that opens up on Christmas day 2010. Legal departments get over cautious over these possible circumstances. MS would need to certify the title, get it rated, then they could remove the Live connection requirement on the game. Would you buy Pew Pew Pod for $5 instead of $1?

The connection requirement does devalue the games a little, but I think that fact is pretty much factored into the price of the indie games anyway. You can get 3 great indie games for less than the price of an avatar prop.

Cajun Chicken2746d ago

Hmm, I didn't think that way of 'upgrading' it to XBLA status as that would involve the indie games getting a publisher and make it hard for the indie developer again.
I was more thinking of a giving the game a proper offline license patch once it gains media respect, probably IGN since they are on the dashboard.

Those two indie games I mentioned above, I believe actually cost me 400MSP each and they're on par with Geometry Wars 2. Try them, they're awesome if you want some alternative retro themed twinstick action, they play totally different though.

I also refuse to buy avatar props. I'm currently happy with my Doom 2 T-Shirt.

DvsDevise2745d ago (Edited 2745d ago )

IGN can barely manage to pick 10 games a month and update their list on time. This job is probably given to an intern that spends 1/2 day hunting out a few titles to be featured. Last month they featured some crappy massage app. Boo @ them.

Pew Pew Pod (80 points)

Echoes+ (240 points)

I've bought Pew Pew Pod, excellent game. Try out JoyJoy, that is an incredible twin stick shooter. Only 80 points as well.

radiangames JoyJoy (80 points)

the_zman2739d ago

(more details in some links in this FAQ

Yes it sucks for some end users (mostly the ones who are not always online), but since indie games don't go through the expensive and time consuming ratings boards there has to be some plug to pull.

Games can be pulled from the service for various offenses. Most minor offenses will only remove the game for new buyers. Existing customers will still see their copy. Usually the developer is given the chance to update and if they choose to do so it will reappear.

There's been 2 games pulled for sexual content - the Japanese one reappeared after updates the other did not. I honestly don't know if purchased licenses were pulled for those or not but I wouldn't be surprised.

However considering that in almost 2 years there's been 2 incidents out over 1000+ games (both of which were very valid one of which was fixed) consumers really have very little to worry about.

Just because Microsoft could doesn't mean they will. They already have the ability to disable xboxes from live but they 99.99% of consumers never need to worry about that.