After years of speculation and rumor, Microsoft has finally made an official decision on the fate of Xbox Live Indie Games.
In a post on the service’s forums, Microsoft said that both Xbox Live Indie Games and the XNA Creators Club will be shutting down. As of September 9, 2016, creators will no longer be able to publish games through the XBLIG marketplace. At some point in September 2017, the marketplace will be closed to consumers.
The XNA Creators Club website will close at the end of 2017. As of today, Microsoft is no longer allowing developers to purchase a membership in the programs. However, support for continuing development of games will continue until September 2016.
Among this news lies a silver lining. Current Xbox Live Indie Games developers have been offered free membership into Microsoft’s Windows 10 developer program. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent for ID@Xbox, the indie publishing scheme for the Xbox One.
What’s going to happen to the enormous library of Xbox Live Indie Games? Players will be still be able to download and play any games that they’ve already purchased.
“Over the next two years we’ll be working with game conservationists and creators to preserve the legacy of XBLIG content. We look forward to sharing more details in the future,” Microsoft said.
Microsoft had previously stated that it was looking to close Xbox Live Indie Games. With ID@Xbox being curated and not allowing self-publishing, we have probably seen the last of the ridiculous and crazy games that people created and shared with Xbox gamers.