How Xbox Continues to Help Independent Developers Reach More Players

Greetings from the Game Developers Conference 2024

Every year, the Game Developers Conference serves as a platform for us to connect with numerous developers and discuss the latest happenings at ID@Xbox.

2024 kicked off with a bang for players this year — Xbox witnessed its biggest month ever on console in January, measured by play time. This milestone includes the success of ID@Xbox program member Pocket Pair, whose Xbox Game Preview title, Palworld, has amassed over 10,000,000 players on Xbox so far!

Empowering Independent Developers

With over 3500 titles from independent developers in active development for Xbox and Windows through the ID@Xbox program across more than 100 countries, our focus is on assisting independent developers in reaching a wider audience and aiding players in discovering the best new games available. Our new open pitch portal and the Indie Selects program are two initiatives that have opened up new opportunities for creators and gamers alike.

Since the launch of the open pitch portal in August last year, hundreds of studios have utilized the portal to submit their games for potential deals. While we cannot disclose deals prior to their announcement, the transparent and public nature of this process has been pivotal in providing Xbox curators access to a diverse range of games for consideration. This ensures that players continue to enjoy a vast selection of top-quality games. The requirement to physically meet Xbox staff in San Francisco or elsewhere as a prerequisite for deal consideration is a thing of the past.

Introducing Indie Selects

In January, following extensive efforts from our marketing and store teams, we introduced the Indie Selects section on the Xbox Store. This section pays tribute to the nostalgic era of Xbox Live Arcade by featuring hand-curated collections of exceptional titles from independent developers available on Xbox. Moreover, starting in February, we commenced recognizing six titles each month with the prestigious Indie Selects designation.

While personal preferences vary when selecting outstanding games, the Indie Selects designation serves as an effective way to assist individuals who may not be deeply engrossed in gaming news to identify games endorsed by Xbox curators and staff on a monthly basis. It is worth noting that most games available on Xbox Game Pass do not fall under the Indie Selects program, as our marketing efforts primarily target games outside of Game Pass.

Global Expansion and Inclusivity

Our efforts to support developers globally continue to expand. With “business hours” coverage for developers available 24/7 worldwide, we have seen over 100 titles in development for Xbox consoles through the ID@Xbox Program from regions like Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. However, our work is far from over as we strive to nurture and empower developers from all corners of the world, ensuring that Xbox remains an inclusive platform for both players and creators.

While not every game will resonate with every individual, our ongoing challenge is to enhance discovery mechanisms to help players discover their next favorite games and assist developers in connecting with their intended audience worldwide. We remain committed to fostering a future where every game has the opportunity to make a significant impact both creatively and commercially. We are immensely optimistic about the future of games and developers on Xbox, based on what lies ahead.