Microsoft is closing its Xbox Live Indie Games program

After nine years, Microsoft has decided to call time on its Xbox Live Indie Games service. In an email to developers, the company says it has begun "the sunsetting process" for the program, which encourages anyone without a studio or dedicated business to create games for the Xbox 360, by locking down new signups ahead of a late-2017 shutdown. What does that mean for you? Well, developers have been told they have exactly a year to get their games ready for publishing. You'll then get an extra year after that to enjoy their projects (as well as the ones already published), before the indie store is closed forever. You will still be able to download and play the games you've bought in the past, though.

When Microsoft introduced the Xbox One and it didn't feature the Indie Games channel, the Xbox Live Indie Games' fate was effectively sealed. Xbox One developers are encouraged to sign up for the ID@Xbox program instead, which allows them to work directly with Microsoft to publish new titles to the console. While the Xbox 360 is now considered an old console, 84 million of them have been sold since 2005 and will still be present in living rooms and kids' bedrooms all over the world. Gamers can maybe find solace in the fact that the majority of blockbuster games for the platform will now cost a lot less.