newly relocated Xbox Live Indie Games channel -- now somewhat buried in the "Specialty Shops" section of the Game Marketplace (seen above) -- has negatively impacted visibility and sales of the already-struggling platform. Speaking to Eurogamer, a spokesperson for the company said that the intent of the move was to give Xbox Live Indie Games a "full marketplace experience," one that offered "unique ways of sorting through that content." The update does seemingly improve browsing the Indie Games, including a bump up in the Top Rated and Top Downloaded lists from 20 to 50 titles.
In fact, Microsoft expects Indie Games exposure to increase following the Dashboard redesign, thanks to the popularity of other types of content in the Specialty Shops, specifically the Avatar Marketplace. "Xbox Live members have made more than 290 million customizations to their Avatars' clothing, so we expect many people to regularly visit the Specialty Shops section," the spokesperson said.
Microsoft's response drew heat from apparent Xbox Live users and Indie Games developers in the Eurogamer post's comments section. The counterargument is "a load of PR bollocks," said one commenter; while a self-identified Indie Games creator argued, "Users looking for a shirt for their Avatar aren't the same as users looking for a game."
"We'd like to be considered games, thank you very much," the same commenter added. "This explanation is a joke."